Allergic To Bad Nurses

, , , , , | Healthy | August 29, 2018

I have been dating my boyfriend for a few years. He is allergic to nuts. Eating them makes him very sick, so since we started dating I have stayed away from nuts, out of fear of cross contamination making him sick.

This particular day my work was doing a bake sale for charity. One of the things for sale was a Reese’s Pieces brownie, with whole chunks of peanut. I was very happy to have a place where it would be safe for me to have peanuts, so I bought one and ate it straight away.

Pretty much instantly I thought that my tongue felt a bit strange, but being an idiot I thought it was just my imagination and I ate that brownie in about half a minute.

In the next few minutes my thoughts went from, “My mouth feels a little strange,” to, “It’s definitely getting harder to breathe.” I mentioned this to my manager, a first aider, but she thought I was joking. So I went to the receptionist, also a first aider, and mentioned it to her. She realised I wasn’t joking and panicked, running to get my manager.

An ambulance was called and the staff sat with me as I waited and waited, in discomfort, and with no idea if it was going to get any worse. I vaguely remember joking to the baker that “these brownies are killer.” I thought it was funny at the time. Pretty sure she didn’t.

After about 45 minutes with no ambulance, they called 999 again. That’s when we found out that the first ambulance couldn’t find their way into the office block — through the clearly-marked entrance — so they just gave up.

The second ambulance came, and a decision to go to hospital was made, considering that I had no history of an allergy.

We got to A & E and it was unsurprisingly busy. The paramedics were told to put me in resus until another bed cleared, as there was a space in there. They gave me antihistamines and steroids, and by this point I was feeling a lot better, but a secondary reaction was possible, so I still needed an eye on me.

That’s when a nurse came in with a face like thunder, took one look at me, and declared to the whole room at full volume, “She’s not sick! She shouldn’t be in here!”

She repeated this several times, while I just sat there nervously; I’m anxious enough most days, without someone telling me off for being somewhere I have no control over. I had no idea how to respond, so I just sat there ignoring her. She wasn’t doing anything except look at me and make these comments again and again.

Eventually they found a normal bed to put me in, and I got moved, but as they moved me, she declared to the medics and porters around her, “See?! I told you she’s not sick!”

A later blood test confirmed that I had developed a peanut allergy at 23. Luckily I didn’t have a secondary reaction, and it was a pretty easy lifestyle change to avoid, since I was already avoiding them for my partner.

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