Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I am doing this separate post since it is a separate topic, and the other post was already long enough.

After living with knowing what my real food allergies are for 3 years, I have finally owned up to a big fear of mine.

I now own EpiPens (with a training device). That's right... I suffer from Needlephobia.

I have had this phobia for as long as I can remember. Added to that, no matter how well I can focus on something, anything else, even talking to the other people in the room (myself & the nurse/phlebotimist or my husband) I can still feel everything from them rubbing the cool alcohol swab, to them poking at my veins (which still tends to cause minor anxiety), to putting the "butterfly" around my arm to the final moment of the "prick" of the needle, and all the while, feeling the vein that is losing blood, to the blood flowing out into the little tube - to the final removal and relief of having the needle removed. Then the aftermath minor pain, the minor bruising of where they stuck me. I have learned to tell them that my veins roll, otherwise, they tend to miss, which causes me to escalate from anxiety to panic mode - not to mention the physical pain. At this point, hopefully I have not seen the needle... because I don't need that on top of cold shock. Yes, I have gone into cold shock when people have missed and have had to try again. Yes, I have had veins collapse - that really hurts and guarantees cold shock.

The typical blood drawing for testing, I have been able to do alone, because I have been able to teach myself how to try to focus on other things, before and during. Another very simple, but very important point I have learned is to tell them NOT to let me see the needle, not even a glimpse - otherwise forget it. What has been the worst for me is when I have had to get an IV. My experience with IV's have been bad, really bad, and thankfully, I have only had 3. Two (2) out of the 3 were an absolute nightmare! All of those, I have had Kabaju with me. I told him from the beginning about my worst phobia, needlephobia, but he didn't understand the extent until I got my first IV - I was sicker than sick and I still went from anxiety to panic mode, all while trying not to throw up and bury my head in his upper torso, to keep me from seeing anything and try to focus on him. He then agreed after that experience, that I was not joking.

*Shiver* Just writing this, I can still feel the aftermath ache of where they just recently stuck me. Before I picked up my EpiPens, just the thought of actually and finally getting them to carry everywhere I go, has given me the heeby-jeebies (makes me shutter, shiver, urg). Now that, I have practiced with the training device, it's not so hard to use - easy really - but I just hope if we ever have to use the EpiPen(s), that I won't feel those nerves on the side of my thigh that hurt when I used the training device. I also actually don't have the heeby-jeebies now that I have the EpiPens - but I will avoid touching their box as much as possible until I am forced to use them. The training device does not have needle so it will be used often to train family and friends - children will not be allowed to play with it - it is to train for emergency, not for fun.

For more information about EpiPens go to the EpiPen website. EpiPens are only given by a prescribing physician and a pharmacy. There are no over-the-counter alternatives. If you, or a loved one, or someone you know has an allergic reaction, but does not carry an EpiPen call 911 and tell the operator that they need Epinephrine or an EpiPen. Or, if they do carry one, learn how to use it and then make sure they get further medical attention. Do not practice with the actual EpiPen. Again for further information go to the EpiPen website, or talk with a medical professional. I am not a medical professional.

This website does not constitute medical and/or legal advise and should not be relied upon as such. All information and suggestions offered are based on my own personal experiences and individual research. My goal is discussion, feedback and further education. As an active member of this blog, you accept personal responsibility for any actions you take with the information shared. Your qualified personal physician is your most important resource for individual allergy needs.

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