Sunday, August 24, 2008

Packin' Epi


I've been reading some of the back to school posts on parents blogs and feeling relieved that I don't have to worry about how to carry my 2 Epi-pens and liquid Benadryl with me, since I just throw it in my purse. [Great post links to sites selling a range of carriers for kids at checkmytag.com ]I'll eat those words with a little corn-free mustard now, thank you. I needed a good hands-and-shoulders-free way to carry my emergency meds yesterday.

We had our big end of the summer party yesterday, an all day event with booths, games, a cookout and an outdoor movie. I was only scheduled to work till 8 since the planners decided get a professional size popcorn maker and serve popcorn during the movie. At the final meeting I found out that the cookout menu had been changed and we would also be cooking 300 ears of corn, wrapped in foil on the grill. Oh holy-flying-corn-proteins-Batman! I let the organizers know that I may need to leave when the corn starts cooking, since earlier experiments have shown that being in same house where corn is cooking is not good for my ability to breathe.

I was hoping that somehow foil would magically seal every ear and protect me from corn proteins escaping from the cooking foods and going into the air. Or that the fact that we were outside and that I would stay as far away from the cooking area as possible would provide some help. I try to be logical about this allergy, but I fall into wishful and magical thinking about my ability not to have a reaction sometimes -- maybe if I don't look at the area where they are cooking, and the wind always blows to the north, and I stand on one foot, and hold a lucky feather between my toes, and don't think about anything yellow....right. I never have that kind of luck or anti-allergy magic.

Cooking was scheduled to start at 4, I think it started early, because by the time I noticed my lips tingling and the people I was talking with noticed that I had started to look odd, with my oh-so-gorgeous crimson cheeks and puffy lips, and sound odd, with my raspy voice, it was only 4:02. I sent A. to the cooking area to check, and to let the organizer know that I had to leave and I ran away. Is it bad that all my friends and many of my colleagues and acquaintances are trained know the early warning signs of a reaction?

It happened, but it wasn't as bad as it could have been, since I fled the area and had my emergency medications on hand. Before I left the house, I was trying to figure out how to keep my emergency meds on me, since my assigned duties would have my running around for set up and then running around with kids -- not exactly conducive to carrying a purse. I used to have a great flat waist pack (not a big fanny pack) that I used when I traveled, but I have no idea where that is, I also have SOMEWHERE in the house, one of those neck pouches that everyone uses for traveling. I can fit a small bottle of Benadryl and 2 Epi-pens in that, hang it around my neck (under my shirt) and stick it in my waistband of my shorts, on the side, IF I could find it. What I wound up doing was taking the mini Camelback backpack A. uses for skiing, and putting a liter of water (to act as a cold pack), the Epi-pens, 2 bottles of Benadryl, and some safe snacks in that and lugging that around for the day. Not the smallest thing, but the best I could do.

So, now I'm thinking about how I want to carry my Epi-pens, other than thrown in my purse. I don't want any of these cute bags that everyone seems to be selling. I could use any of the cute bags I already have for that. I can see the point if have a kid who doesn't want to carry their Epi and the cute bag makes it more palatable somehow. What I want is a bag that says, "Serious emergency medicine here, if I look like I need help, use what is in this bag!" It would be a plus it if protected the Epi-pens better than my purse. I've found a few things for carrying Epi-pens, but none of them work for me, because I also need to carry liquid Benadryl and can't carry the capsules because they are full of corn!

Here are some interesting, more serious, options for carring 1 or 2 Epi-pens:
Take in Case Leg or Arm Case -- http://www.takeincase.com
Ana-Tote http://www.achooallergy.com/allergyaccessories.asp
Medipouch http://www.medipouch.com/twinject-carrier-products.html
Omax Care http://www.omaxcare.com/

The best one I have found for just Epi-pens, and the one I want to order because it is insulated so I don't have to worry about them overheating. (photo above):
Activeaide http://www.activeaide.com/shop/home.php?cat=103
They are in Australia and I am waiting to hear back on international shipping. Right now, their website is only set up for domestic shipping. I may have to ask a friend in Australia to mail it on to me if they don't ship internationally. Still, it is just sized for 2 Epi-pens and I still have to carry my bottle of Benadryl too.

Update: Jennifer of Comments From the Peanut Free Gallery sent this great link
Peace of Mind Allergy http://www.peaceofmindallergy.com/index.php
They have larger bags that can handle 2 Epi-pens and an inhailer or pre-measured dose of Bendadryl. Now I have to decide between a cool looking bag with room for more or an insulated bag for just my pens. Anyone manufacturers want a test reviewer? (hint, hint!)

Jennifer has even more options up here: http://peanutfreegallery.blogspot.com/2008/08/more-epipen-options.html

I'm packin' Epi, are you?


10 comments:

Jennifer B said...

We use the Benadryl pre-filled spoons. They are super-portable and just the right dosage. Too little medicine for you but would it work if you carried a bunch of them? They don't spill which is SO nice!

Jennifer said...

Christine,

I found this site on my searches the other day. They will make whatever you want in an epi-pen carrier to suit your needs. Maybe you can work with them to make exactly what you need.

http://www.peaceofmindallergy.com/index.php

Jennifer

Christine said...

Hi Jennifer B,
I think those pre-filled spoons look great for kids.

I'd thought about carrying them but, guess what the regular Benadryl in those spoons has in it -- corn, in the citric acid! :(

Given the number of purses I have with sticky Benadryl residue in the, I'd be willing to carry an adult dose of those with me.
-c

Christine said...

Hi Jennifer,
Thanks for the link, I am going to update with that info. It looks really good.

Now I have do decide between a pouch with more room or an insulated pouch from Australia.

Take care,
-c

Flores Hayes said...

my roomate is THRILLED with her panda bag!
she just LOVE it
hkpanda.freetzi.com

dana said...

Benedryl makes 25mg meltaway strips (exactly like the Listerine breath strips). My youngest daughter (11yrs) has been using them for 3 years now. They work quickly and are extremely small and slim to carry in any bag.

dana said...

has anyone tried to access the peaceofmindallergy.com link? Is it no longer in use?

Emily said...

I just got a great Epipen Waist Band from concealedepipen.com It's the best. I wear it under my shirts and because is made out of a soft material and you put one epipen in a front pocket and the other one in the back so is not bulky at all. Here is the link. Happy New Year!!
http://www.concealedepipen.com

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