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Thread: Way OT: Life with an Epi Pen

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    Default Way OT: Life with an Epi Pen

    Today,one of my kids became the proud owner of an Epi pen after an encounter with pistachios. Worthless nuts!

    This represents a lifestyle change for the kid and me, as I'm not accustomed to carrying anything with me when not going back and forth to work except for my wallet, car keys and phone. Now I have to have this thing handy at all times and it's not exactly something that can be stuffed into your pocket.

    Based on the stats I heard today, at least someone else here is in the same predicament. How do you carry you / your family member's Epi pen inconspicuously? Am I committed to a life with a fanny pack, must I always have my knapsack/briefcase with me now?

    Just so we're clear: I'm not trying to trivialize anaphylaxis, just solve an unexpected logistics problem that has entered our lives and I don't need medical advice or commentary about allergies in general.

    Thank you.

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    Default Re: Way OT: Life with an Epi Pen

    I got this. Much smaller, much less inconspicuous compared to the "harpoon."
    Insurance might not pay for much of it though.

    91566_w.jpg

    PS. It's not for you, I know, but I can carry it in a smallish seat pack.
     

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    Default Re: Way OT: Life with an Epi Pen

    Bob...carry two in case the first injection doesn't do the trick and pay attention to the expiration date. I keep two in my messenger bag for work, etc. and two in the tool roll on my bike. I need the pen to deal with bee stings and it's amazing how many people carry them to deal with allergies, asthma, etc. I know, bee stings and cycling are inevitable but without the pen I would have had met my maker a lot sooner than I'd care to. Tell your kid it's not the end of the world and let him become familiar with the process by using the practice pen in case you're not around to assist.
     

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    Default Re: Way OT: Life with an Epi Pen

    ^^^ excellent advice.

    The Auvi-Q kit comes with a practice unit, FWIW.
     

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    Default Re: Way OT: Life with an Epi Pen

    Quote Originally Posted by rwsaunders View Post
    Bob...carry two in case the first injection doesn't do the trick
    Yes. Unfortunately, I lost a co-worker whose first didn't do the trick and, in a room full of doctors and nurses, no one had a backup.

    Quote Originally Posted by rwsaunders View Post
    Tell your kid it's not the end of the world and let him become familiar with the process by using the practice pen in case you're not around to assist.
    Yes. I'm blessed with a really good community. His school nurse spent an hour with him, gave him a trainer to keep…which he promptly took home and taught his sister how to use!

    What do you do when you're just running and errands and not carrying the messenger bag?

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    Default Re: Way OT: Life with an Epi Pen

    This is probably not helpful at all... but I have protocols to carry epinephrine when leading groups. I don't carry epi pens but rather ampules and sharps. Much smaller and many, many doses. Way cheaper too. Downside is having to learn how to deliver an IM injection, but it's not hard once you get over stabbing someone for the first time.
     

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    Default Re: Way OT: Life with an Epi Pen

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobonli View Post



    Yes. I'm blessed with a really good community. His school nurse spent an hour with him, gave him a trainer to keep…which he promptly took home and taught his sister how to use!

    What do you do when you're just running and errands and not carrying the messenger bag?

    So smart to get the school nurse involved. Now go tell every other person in the school about it - EVERYONE! Then tell every other person you have ever known. Tell any person your kid has ever known or comes in contact with no matter how often. There is no such thing as TMI when your kid's life is on the line.

    As a former volunteer EMT with 3 doctors (one a pediatric ER) and a nurse in my family with a great deal of auto-immune and allergy issues across multiple generations I am all too familiar with the many variations of epi pens.

    If I can give you one piece of advice it is teach your kid to be self-sufficient. You will not always be available and there may not always be a medically trained person around. The best thing your kid can do if he needs help is to either self-administer or give the pen to someone else to do it for him. This needs to become a part of daily life....as it is a life long issue. Its great that your kid has the trainer. Reinforce it by using it with him once a week. Then taper off to once a month. Then every few months. Do not stop until it is a habit that will never be forgotten. Make sure your kid tells everyone he knows about it. Reinforce that he should always share it even when food is not involved.

    Make sure you share this in a positive way. The last thing a kid needs to know is that they are different, And these days with all of the food and other types of allergies, they are not really that different.
     

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    Default Re: Way OT: Life with an Epi Pen

    How Marketing Turned the EpiPen Into a Billion-Dollar Business - Bloomberg Business

    Just read this article a couple days ago. I've often thought about carrying one with me after a friend of mine saved a fellow rider's life. I figured the need for it would keep costs down, as it seems fairly common. I was wrong.
    -Dustin

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    Default Re: Way OT: Life with an Epi Pen

    I carry an Epi pen, but I also carry Benadryl as a backup.

    Also look at the back of the epi pen, note the conditions for storage 60F-80F and no direct sunlight.

    -Joe

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    Default Re: Way OT: Life with an Epi Pen

    Chiming in with my 2 cents, not as a user, but as someone having worked on epi-pens.
    Don't mean to add to anxiety, but there are many documented cases of the needle stabbing the administering thumb(!).
    There are real design flaws with some of these, with semantics that do not communicate the right way to use them.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by xjoex View Post
    I carry an Epi pen, but I also carry Benadryl as a backup. Also look at the back of the epi pen, note the conditions for storage 60F-80F and no direct sunlight. -Joe
    Benadryl isn't backup, but a required part of treatment. The epi will, in many cases work for ~10 min and then you're back in anaphylaxis time again. Benadryl actually treats the reaction. Not usually an issue in urban settings as ems will arrive in 10min or so, but epi without antihistamine in the backcountry is pretty useless.
     

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    Default Re: Way OT: Life with an Epi Pen

    i started bringing Benadryl on rides after being stung three times in the last week.
    One of the stings was on the tongue. Tongue swelled up so much that it filled my mouth cavity- I could not spit, it turned me into a drooling mad dog.
    As soon as I got home I chewed into a couple Benadryl capsules. It literally deflated my tongue.
    Keeping Benadryl on me for a while.
     

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    Default Re: Way OT: Life with an Epi Pen

    We got a little off track......

    My questions was/is: How to carry the pen when you're not lugging around a bag...or are we (the parents) new members of the fanny pack brigade?

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    Default Re: Way OT: Life with an Epi Pen

    The unit I've shown above is three and a quarter inches by two inches. Hardly fanny pack material.
     

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    Default Re: Way OT: Life with an Epi Pen

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobonli View Post
    We got a little off track......

    My questions was/is: How to carry the pen when you're not lugging around a bag...or are we (the parents) new members of the fanny pack brigade?
    Most of the time when I'm running errands, I'm traveling by car so I just throw one in the car and carry it in my back pocket. In my case it's a bee that I'm worried about and not nuts so I look at the stats of getting stung in Target as pretty low, but I did get stung inside of a building once...go figure. In your kid's case, just throw one in your pocket.

    Good advice on the Benadryl too as I have three tabs in my tool roll and messenger bag as well. Since my first bad reaction in 2001, I've had 6 bee stings while riding and in two of the cases the reaction was pretty hairy...both neck hits. I was stung about two months ago on the arm and I immediately stopped, chewed a few "Bennies", let my heart rate slow down a bit and took out the pen. No issues...another go figure.

    Long term, are there any treatments that your kid might be able to go through? I'm in the market for bee sting therapy and I just need to make the weekly commitment for the next 6 months.
     

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    Default Re: Way OT: Life with an Epi Pen

    Thanks everyone. I'm hoping the work-up shows this is isolated to one type of nut, particularly since he's been eating other nuts (walnuts, peanut butter) for almost 7 years. Easier to isolate from one type than then entire constellation of nuts.

    Keep the ideas coming.

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    Default Re: Way OT: Life with an Epi Pen

    Quote Originally Posted by rwsaunders View Post
    Most of the time when I'm running errands, I'm traveling by car so I just throw one in the car and carry it in my back pocket. In my case it's a bee that I'm worried about and not nuts so I look at the stats of getting stung in Target as pretty low, but I did get stung inside of a building once...go figure. In your kid's case, just throw one in your pocket.

    Good advice on the Benadryl too as I have three tabs in my tool roll and messenger bag as well. Since my first bad reaction in 2001, I've had 6 bee stings while riding and in two of the cases the reaction was pretty hairy...both neck hits. I was stung about two months ago on the arm and I immediately stopped, chewed a few "Bennies", let my heart rate slow down a bit and took out the pen. No issues...another go figure.

    Long term, are there any treatments that your kid might be able to go through? I'm in the market for bee sting therapy and I just need to make the weekly commitment for the next 6 months.
    My goodness. Where do you live with so many bees? And inside a building, no less!!.

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    Default Re: Way OT: Life with an Epi Pen

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobonli View Post
    Thanks everyone. I'm hoping the work-up shows this is isolated to one type of nut...
    oh you must mean Stan-

    tinfoil_hat.jpg
     

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    Default Re: Way OT: Life with an Epi Pen

    I carry mine in a messenger bag. Just so you guys know, if you don't already, the epi web site has a copay program. i pay nothing for them.
     

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    Default Re: Way OT: Life with an Epi Pen

    Thanks for mentioning that!
    -Dustin

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