Friday, December 13, 2013

5 Minutes for Food Allergies

Disclaimer:  Individuals with food allergies, or any other suspected medical condition(s), should be under the care and advisement of a medical professional.  Always consult a physician before making any changes to your current health care regimen.

A week ago, I was reading about the heartbreaking passing of Shimmer James, age 6, due to an anaphylactic reaction to peanut.  I was overcome with a feeling of urgency and the feeling that I'm just not doing enough to get information out to the masses.  I immediately started writing a Facebook status update, pouring out all of the things I wanted to tell people, off the top of my head, about food allergies and anaphylaxis.  I initially paid to promote the post, in the hopes of reaching as many people as possible, but Facebook stopped "promoting it" after 130 views, because my graphic had "too much text".  Despite this, the information made its rounds thanks to the power of all of the other food allergy parents and kind souls out in the vastness of Facebook!  Thanks to all of you who have shared the post, it is up to 1,000 shares, with a reach of around 50,000 people!  You all are AMAZING!

Surely there are points that could be added, so if you would like to provide other important points, please comment on this post.  I am unable to edit my post, so perhaps people can refer back here for additional information/discussion.  My profuse thanks, again, for getting this information in front of the eyes of so many.

Here are some points I wanted to add:
  • Epinephrine is prescribed and delivered in 2-packs, which should be viewed as a set, not to be split up between locations.    
  • Epinephrine auto-injectors (EAIs) expenses can add up, especially when multiple sets are needed, but there are often discounts available, especially for cash-paying customers.  There are also patient assistance programs for those in need.  Never let cost get in the way of maintaining a supply of epinephrine.  Saving money by not buying at least one set of epinephrine is not something allergic people can afford.  People raise money for sports equipment, uniforms, band trips...Why not life-saving medication?      
  • Epinephrine auto-injectors should be kept within their stated temperature ranges (see each manufacturer for specifics.)  They should not be left in glove compartments, or other places where they might get too hot/too cold.
  • If at all possible, those at risk for anaphylaxis should carry their EAIs on their person. 
  • Check your state's self-carry laws and learn more about your rights: Medications at School (US)
  • Also familiarize yourself with the varied epinephrine policies for EMS workers: 
  • Those with serious medical conditions, including food allergies and anaphylaxis risks of any kind, should wear medical alert jewelry to alert medical professionals.  The symptoms of a severe allergic reaction may be confused for other conditions.

Please continue to share!

5 comments:

  1. Selena, your voice is being heard!

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    1. Thank you for commenting! I am so grateful to all those amplifying my voice to get our message out until there's no longer a need to sound the alarms!

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  2. Your friend Christie Whaling Yowell gave me a link to this. We just found out the hard way that my son is allergic to cashews. He is OK now but what a scare. We had no idea what a food allergy reaction looked like until now. His allergist that he sees for his asthma and seasonal allergies didn't test for any foods, but wants us in after 6 weeks. He also recommended we get an epi pen asap. If you could direct me to your blog or FB or anywhere that you have posted information on epi pens and nut allergies I'd really appreciate it. He is my only child and neither my husband or I have food allergies so we have zero experience here. Thank you!

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    1. First of all, (((HUGS)))...I know how overwhelming this all can be...I have limited internet access right now, on Christmas vacation, but I wanted to point you to my Favorite Posts link, on the right, which has some of my posts to get you started. My blog doesn't cover nut allergies by themselves, since my daughter's allergy list is a bit long, but the information applies just the same. When I am back online, I will be glad to provide more links to other sources and anyone reading can feel free to add resources. (((More hugs)))

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    2. You can email me at amazingandatopic [gmail], too!

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