Panic and Anxiety disorder CAN kill you…. if it causes doctors to not take you seriously. So…. I got my first true experience of being treated poorly because of my past anxiety disorder and my allergies. I am thankful this happened to me and not my daughter.
On November 18th I went to the hospital with severe stomach pains. During this visit I broke out in a rash. The doctor informed me that it was just “in my head” and I was being “anxious” (due to “anxiety” that was written on my medical records from something that happened a decade ago but I haven’t been treated for since) but agreed to give me benadryl anyway. Around 20 minutes or more after the benadryl was given the rash slowly started to fade. I was diagnosed with a bacterial infection in my intestinal tract and given 2 strong antibiotics. I warned the doctor that I am prone to antibiotic allergies and again he told me I was “just being anxious”……I felt like a total idiot….
I thought this would be the end of my episode till a few nights later when I returned to the same emergency with stomach pains. (My doctor’s office was closed for holiday and it was late at night) I told the doctor I think I’m having an issue with the medications…possibly an allergy. The doctor says he is positive that it is a UTI and prescribes MORE antibiotics (I was already on almost 4000mg of antibiotics). Well I don’t fill them because it was late. The next day my heart feels like it’s gonna beat out of my chest and a family member checks me. My heart rate is jumping up to 165 resting and blood pressure is 178/115. It reminded me of how my body reacted as I slowly became allergic to eggs in my early 20’s.
My family eventually talks me into returning to the same emergency room. I’m reluctant at this point as each time I go I feel like an idiot who is just “anxious”. Once I get there and they get me back my HR is down to 120 and BP is 150/95… not AS high but still higher than my norm of 70bpm and 115/76. This time another doctor says she thinks it’s purely “anxiety”… I ask if it could be a reaction to the antibiotics I’m on. The doctor says she is sure it is JUST anxiety. I literally cry the drive home because I feel so silly.
Well within 36 hours I end up back in the same ER with a severe patchy rash that looks like a very bad case of eczema… slightly swollen face and throat. This time they agree it’s an allergic reaction and tell me to stop all meds. They give me a simple steroid to take and let me sit there for 30 mins. They then send me on my way with instructions to take benadryl and fill the steroid prescription. I’m amazed they push me out so fast!!!!
Within 45 mins of leaving the emergency room I am back. This time the reaction had come back with a vengeance. I can hardly breath. They finally treat and monitor me properly!!!!
I have never in my life felt so mistreated by medical professionals. BTW I DIDN’T even have a UTI at all…. so they were wrong there as well. They judged me based on an anxiety diagnosis that came right after my boyfriend/longtime friend died in my early 20s….they treated me like I was crazy.
When I was finally able to get into my allergist a few days after reaction. She seemed to just know that the second stomach ache, the high HR, and high blood pressure were infact an allergy manifestation. She said these symptoms were quit common of an allergy infact. I really wish the medical community as a whole would get a better understanding of allergies and learn to listen to their patients. No one should be treated as if they a crazy because they have previously suffered anxiety. However..the biggest lesson here is I shouldn’t have doubted my gut instinct….. I should have pushed them to hear me…. I never should have allowed them to railroad me and make me feel as if I didn’t know my own body.
The reason I have put photos of my daughter all throughout this post is…. THIS is what would have been lost had I hesitated more to go in to the emergency room for my allergic reaction. Anaphylaxis is serious and can kill quickly….yet I was almost embarrassed to go get help. I was afraid it wouldn’t be anaphylactic shock and they would treat me as if I was crazy again. My daughter could have lost a mother…. a mom she’s never gone even one night without in her whole 5 years.
I really hope to one day find a way to prevent another person from feeling how I did throughout this whole situation…..
Thank you for “listening”…..