How is that for a blog title? Wild eh? Imagine how I feel! This has been a wild week, and I have doggy first aid preparedness to thank for keeping me safe. I wanted to share because it showed me the importance of being prepared for emergencies - not just with our dogs, but with ourselves as well.
A few weeks ago, I had the team over to teach pet first aid basics. I also updated & upgraded our first aid packs - which meant I had all the supplies on hand.
The first aid kit contains mostly stuff for cleaning and wrapping wounds, but also peroxide to induce vomiting and Benadryl in case of an emergency allergic reaction. Before I upgraded these packs, my house was without Benadryl. This gives me anxiety, because if what happened last Wednesday happened a few weeks earlier - there's a chance I wouldn't even be here to write this blog.
So, a week and a half ago I was eating chips on a Friday night (nothing new here). I was eating my favourite flavour of non-dortios chips, sea salt and malt vinegar. They were SOOOOO sour, and made my mouth burn and my tongue feel raw but I live for this. Even typing this my mouth is drooling because I love those sour and salty chips so much. As I was eating, I noticed my lips tingling. I looked and they were for sure swollen. But I just assumed it was because I was eating my mouth raw and swollen lips didn't seem so crazy to me. So I finished the bag (as I do), and went to bed. Whatever.
A few days later on Wednesday, same thing. Different brand, but same flavour. I was laying in the dark watching RuPaul and eating the chips. I do this disgusting thing that I can get away with because I am single, where I lick each chip to maximize the flavour before eating the chip. Lmao so gross. Anyway my tongue was so sore, but I was loving the chip eating so I actually was like using the side of my tongue that didn't hurt to lick the chips. I just kept eating through the pain. But then it was really really sore, so I was like "you know what would help? Ice cream!" So i went into the kitchen and like, got a bottle of dulce de leche ice cream, put it in a bowl, and microwaved it... and got the ice cream tub and a spoon and went to the couch. I took a bite and it honestly hurt so bad. I tried again, but it still hurt so much and I couldn't even really get the spoon in my mouth. Then I thought about it, and my lips were really tingly. So I got my camera and opened snapchat and took a video of my face. My lips were VERY swollen.
OK. Kind of scary. So I go to the bathroom and before my eyes I see my tongue swelling. So I do what any reasonable person would, and I take snapchats and send it to my best friends like "lol wtf?". However, a very reasonable voice in my head told me to take Benadryl - which literally 1.5 weeks ago I would not have had in my house. So I took a huge dose (75 mg) and I called David, he told me he was on his way. Then I called my mom. As I was talking to her my tongue swelled so bad that I couldn't talk. Fuck. What the actual fuck. Now I was scared. She told me to go to the ER - so I did what any reasonable person who is about to die would, I call an uber :)
Uber gets here, we are on our merry way - and we get stopped in traffic. The TFC game just got out. This is when I panic. I realize that I could die here in this uber, and that I should have called 911. But that because we are gridlocked, even 911 couldn't get to me. My sister had tuned in at this time and she was very mad I didn't call 911 but I confirmed to her I could still breathe and she kept me calm. As I was sitting there in traffic, I could feel half of my tongue stop swelling and I realized the benadryl was kicking in. Thank god. It was the longest 15 minutes of my life, but I got to the hospital.
How it works is that you get triaged by a nurse, and then called back based on the urgency. However, to get triaged - you have to take a number and wait til your number is called. Me, being the reasonable person I am, took a number and sat and waited. With my swollen tongue. My number was called quickly and the nurse was like ~WTF WHY DIDN'T YOU SAY SOMETHING~ and I get surrounded by help as I register and am taken back immediately. I get hit with extreme nausea and guess what! Turns out I am having an anaphylactic reaction :') The nurse told me it was really good I took the benadryl, but that next time I needed to call 911. They gave me 0.5 of epinephrine and an IV. Blah blah blah, I now carry an EpiPen and as far as I know am allergic to salt and vinegar chips (??).
I guess allergies can just happen like that. All of a sudden your body sees something that you have had hundreds of times as a threat - and attacks it. And I guess each time you are exposed after that, the reaction gets worse (and in my experience from time 1 to time 2 this is totally true). I lived my whole life not being allergic to anything, I never even considered it to be a threat that I had in my life. If it wasn't for my first aid preparedness for my DOGS I have no idea how that night would have turned out. I say my dogs are my little life savers because they make me so damn happy, but because of them & my need to protect them (and your dogs) my life literally was saved in a tangible/measurable way.
Morals of the story:
- Be prepared for emergencies for both your dog, and yourself
- Having benadryl can help save your dog if they get stung by a bee or have another emergency reaction, but also can help delay an allergic reaction from becoming anaphylaxis or deadly in time to get you to the ER or to have an ambulance come to you
- The benadryl dose for dogs is about 1 mg/1 pound. The standard pill is 25mg, so a 10 pound dog can have about 1/2. A 25 pound dog can have 1. A 50 pound dog can have 2. But please always consult your vet first if possible.
- If your tongue and lips swell, call 911. Do not fucking uber.
"Chips once were life... now they might cost me mine."