Friday, July 13, 2012

Epi Epiphany!

I was thinking a while back, when practicing with my daughter's EpiPen trainer, that I wished I could know what it was like to get the EpiPen shot, so I would know what she would experience, if/when I had to administer it.  I thought maybe then I wouldn't feel so nervous about giving it to her. (Update: See here to read about how I am no longer afraid!)  Then, one day I was thinking about the birth of my daughter and bam! I had an epiphany...I realized that I had been given epinephrine, before!

I know this certainly might not apply to everyone, but I had an epidural for the birth of my daughter.  I have a muscle-weakness condition and intense pain is fatiguing and labor is obviously fatiguing, so my neurologist and OB agreed that I would get the epidural as soon as possible.  It didn't quite work out that way, but that's a long story.  I did get my epidural, though, and part of that process is getting a shot of epinephrine.  Shortly after my daughter's birth, I sat down to write out my daughter's birth story, while everything was pretty fresh in my mind.  Here is the section relating to the shot of epinephrine I received:
Getting the epidural was interesting. He suggested giving me the needle while I was having a contraction, so I wouldn't notice the pain as much, since I'd already be in pain. The needle barely hurt at all and I just felt a little tingly sensation when they put in the epidural catheter. I was still feeling pain and asking why and he said he hadn't given me the medicine yet. He had to do a "test dose" and make sure that it hadn't been placed in an artery. He also gave me a shot of epinephrine. That made my heart pound SO hard. I thought it was going to jump out of my chest and run out of the room on its own. My husband was worried because I was staring across the room. I said I felt funny and he said what do you see and I said "curtains". I was just staring at the curtains as I waited for my heart rate to return to normal. After that, he gave me the "loading dose" and said it would take a bit for it to kick in and I might feel a strange sensation in my legs, but I shouldn't feel any pain.
I know it states that my husband was "worried", but I wasn't worried in that moment, I was just sitting still, staring at the curtains, waiting for the BOOM-BOOM-BOOM-BOOM to pass.  It didn't last long and after it passed, I felt normal, again.  Well, as normal as a 9-month pregnant woman awaiting the birth of her child can feel. ;)

I guess my point is that if you've had an epidural, then you might have already experienced epinephrine and you might have a sense of what it's like.  If you haven't, I just wanted to share that it's a heart-pounding experience, but that feeling subsides and if you were in distress, I'm sure it would be a great relief once it returned your systems to normal.  Once it occurred to me that I had experienced epinephrine and was just fine afterward, it made me feel better, so I just wanted to share that and hopefully make someone else feel better, too. :)

(P.S. I know we're bigger than our kids, but the dosage is tailored to their smaller bodies.  I don't know how the dosage with epidurals equates to that of an EpiPen, but the one I received when straight into my back, so that's pretty direct.) 

1 comment:

  1. Smart lady! That's so cool! All I associate epi with is Edan BREATHING which is a good thing so no worries here. ;) Magical stuff.