Bored off our brains one Sunday evening, hubby and I decided to order a pizza. Turned out to be a grossly bad idea. Within half an hour, we had our heads in the toilet, puking as much from the sight and smell of the others vomit as from that pizza. Hubby felt better by the next morning; I however was still suffering from sickness and diarrhoea three days later.
Despite feeling so ill, I still showed up for work, took care of the kids and even managed to clean out the rabbit’s cage. By Wednesday however I had depleted our supply of paracetamol so, shaking and hallucinating, I stopped off at the local supermarket on the way to work. In the pharmacy isle, the selection of drugs were sparse but Alka Seltzer caught my bleary eye, I had never taken it before but it promised to settle my stomach so I grabbed a box and crawled to the checkout.
Later that morning, I dissolved the recommended dosage in a cup of water and managed to scrape my head of the desk long enough to swallow the potion. True to its written word, the tablets did the trick. I got through the day in discomfort rather than pain and slept like a log that night.
I woke around six the next morning with the strangest burning sensation on my ears. I went to use the bathroom and by the time I had flushed, my scalp had started burning. In under a minute my neck was burning and I was scratching at my skin like a flea-infested animal. I woke Hubby who looked a little alarmed at the blisters which were forming on my face. Ten minutes later and the burning and itching had spread from my scalp to my thighs and one eye had swollen so much I was struggling to see out of it.
I called NHS direct in a panic. I figured that they would more than likely tell me to go to my GP as soon as the surgery opened, but I found that as I was explaining my symptoms, my voice had started to croak. The nurse said she suspected a severe allergic reaction and was sending for an ambulance.
The paramedics arrived very quickly and helped me into the ambulance whilst I apologised profusely for the fuss, all I had was itchy skin and was more than capable of driving myself to the hospital. Mainly though, ambulances have a habit of drawing a crowd of sightseers and I was blistered, swollen and wearing a Pink Panther nightie.
I was taken to a private room in A&E where I had my hands slathered in anal gel in an attempt to remove my rings from my very swollen fingers. I thought by this time my humiliation was complete…. oh if only! Mid-conversation with a nurse I found that I could not swallow, an extremely scary development, which saw me being trolley-dashed into the resuscitation room Holby City style with doctors jabbing needles into my arms and thighs whilst I was hooked up to some kind of monitor. I was certainly scared by this point as a nurse explained to me that my airways were constricting.
I was thinking that the only way this could get any worse is if I popped my clogs, when can you believe it?…..my diarrhoea kicked in. The nurses refused to let me go to the toilet but instead offered me a cardboard hat…Are You Shitting Me?? Absolutely No Chance, No Way!
Soon I was writhing in agony from the stomach cramps so the doctors injected me with some kind of concoction which had my head rolling within seconds. A nurse dragged me off my trolley and sat me on a commode and after that, all I can say is “they asked for it!”.
Revenge, however, was quickly administered. Whilst a nurse opened a window, a young, much too pretty doctor could not suppress a sadistic grin as she informed me that my day was about to get worse. She snapped on a pair of examination gloves. Not knowing the cause of my poops etc, I needed one of those examinations. Knees to my chin, eyes squeezed tightly shut, I visualised myself beating the pizza delivery boy to a pulp.
The following morning I awoke on a ward feeling completely recovered. No symptoms of the reaction remained aside a little puffiness and a talking sphincter. The doctors were unable to tell me exactly what caused the reaction. Could have been a reaction to the aspirin in the Alka Seltzer. Perhaps it could have been cleaning the rabbit cage (lower immune system heightened my hayfever) or maybe I had a reaction to the bugs which caused my sickness, who knows?. What I do know is that, next time I am bored of an evening, I will just simply go to bed.
Anaphylaxis, also known as anaphylactic shock, is a rare and severe type of allergic reaction that occurs in people who have developed an extreme sensitivity to a specific substance. The reaction spreads through the body causing a sudden drop in blood pressure and narrowing of the airways and can be fatal unless immediate treatment is available. Symptoms of Anaphylaxis are:
- Sudden feeling of extreme anxiety.
- Swollen lips, face and tongue.
- Wheezing and difficulty breathing.
- In some cases, an itchy, red rash and flushing of the skin.
- Light-headedness or, in some cases, loss of consciousness.
If either you or anyone you are with develops these symptoms, you should call an ambulance immediately.