Allergic reactions and me

Because I haven’t written this out before (at least I don’t think so) and presumably it will be helpful in some way.

When I was little, my younger brother had fairly severe allergies, but I was fine. I was familiar with what allergic reactions looked like, and with various treatments for them, but I never had even a mild allergic reaction to anything. His allergies got much less severe as he got older.

When I went away to college, on my very first week there, I had a fairly serious allergic reaction. The cause was probably some kind of pollen, I don’t know for sure.

Everyone I knew, including my RA– the whole incoming class, in fact– was busy watching a movie. The campus health clinic was closed. I knew where the local hospital was, but it was too far away to walk to, there was no public transportation, and I did not have a car. So I had a choice between sitting and doing nothing, and calling 911. I chose to sit and wait.

My eyelids swelled up. I could feel my throat getting narrower. It was terrifying.

I apparently didn’t look or sound terrified (like I talked about towards the end of this post) so when the rest of the dorm returned from the movie and I did ask people for help, they seemed more confused and annoyed than concerned.

I was fine a.k.a. numb for about a week afterwards, at which point I cried myself to sleep a couple of times. On my personal scale of delayed reactions, that equates to “moderately bad”.


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