Allergy problems may well be solved. How you ask? Well, strangely enough… by doing what the doctor said.
If it was not for my stubborness, I would have all but given up hiking in Alabama now. 80% Deet all over me, the rest of the party bug free, and I am consistently the only person who gets bitten. 5 times out of 6 it swells out of control, and we head down the IV fluid, steroids and anti histamines route. I went to see my PCP and he asked why I was not using my Epipen. Well, mainly because I thought these were to be used in the ‘we have 5 seconds between life and death’ type situations, not my own body’s lackadaisical ‘well… I’ll swell up big really quick, and make you look all red and sunburned and itch like crazy, but then I’ll just hang around in this annoying state for some 24-48 hours, slowly the swelling… You can go take some anti histamine shots, but I won’t respond… I will, however, probably let it spread to other parts of your body… might not though…but eventually you’ll probably lose enough fluid to go into shock … depends on how much effort I make…”.
I am sure we all remember that my doctor warned me that if I wait until the 5-sec life or death moment, it may be a little late. Which was a wise point.
So, I got bitten on Saturday, but what ever was in David and Beth’s yard clearly didn’t trouble my old histamine receptors. Then I got bitten on Sunday on a hike (no, NO ONE else got bitten either time). I watched the area go bright red and start to quickly swell. I still hesitated, yes I did! I don’t know, fear of the unknown I guess. Using an epipen seemed so… dramatic somehow.
But… I am writing this in case anyone else is in the same situation. I jabbed it into my leg… none of the other hikers even noticed. I had a brief (and intense) sweat -lovely- and boom: zero reaction. All redness, all swelling, most itch just gone. Instantly.
Way less drama and fuss than the other option. So, people, anyone googling for allergy advice and unsure about using the epipen: use it. It is about as difficult as taking a Benadryl. I had almost no side effects. I understand that the more extreme your reaction, the less the side effects, but still – even if you were not having a reaction I am pretty sure you would have a fairly minor effect of racing heart and suchlike. I finished my hike and have been troubled no more.