Anaphylactic Shock – Alive

I sincerely apologise for not blogging for such a long while. This blog was supposed to have been sent 2 weeks ago, but as you see, it never happened.

Two days after my last blog post I had anaphylactic shock and landed in hospital. I was in hospital for 2 days and nights, and for 7 days after that I was too tired from all the medication that was supposed to help me recover. It was only since this Monday past that I have had the energy to work again and try to sort out all the things that need catching up.

You remember Hitch and his response? Hehe:

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It was said that if I had been taken a few minutes later to the emergency rooms, I could have ended up in a coma or worse yet, dead. It is a pure miracle I am alive, as they struggle for 18 hours to keep me stable and prevent my organs, heart and temperature from spiking again. My family, cell group, friends, boss and colleagues, and even my brother’s friends and their churches prayed for me non-stop for 24-hours long.

For those who don’t know, anaphylactic shock is very dangerous and scary. You could eat or drink something that you’ve had many times before and on a day get allergic to it. You could accidently cut or stab yourself with something and have an allergic reaction. However, anaphylactic shock is much more severe than an allergic reaction:

  • It will start with sever itching all over the body
  • With all the scratching, it will follow with swelling of the face, hands and feet
  • A rash will spread all over the face, neck, arms and chest, and it will spread
  • As in my case, my vision became blurry, it felt like a thin layer of fog settled on my eye balls
  •  This is the stage where it is absolutely necessary to call the ambulance or if you are not alone, ask whoever is in the vicinity to rush you to hospital (DO NOT attempt to drive, as the swelling will cause your eyes and ears to swell closed) – this was where I went to the bathroom to wash my face and hands, and when I saw my swollen face and hands in the mirror, I yelled for my mom and brother and told them something is wrong and my vision is very blurry, I couldn’t see so well anymore. They in that moment realized that I had to be rushed off to the hospital.
  •  About 10 minutes later, the throat and chest will begin to swell closed. This will cause you to start wheezing and eventually stop breathing

My family rushed me off to the clinic, and my brother held my hands, checking my pulse every 3 minutes on the way, as he was one day away from finishing his BLS ambulance exams. In the ten minutes that it took for them to get me from my home to the clinic, my eyes had swollen closed and my body had swollen to twice its size. While the doctors and nurses rushed to put adrenaline, drips and shots into my body to counter-attack the allergy, my throat and chest began to swell closed.

An ambulance arrived a few minutes later to take me to the hospital. Between the clinic and the hospital it took about 5 minutes, and my chin had become a double chin, almost covering my chest, that’s how much I had swollen. I was as white as a sheet of paper by that time.

Originally the doctor’s of the clinic thought I’d only have to stay over for one night and go home in the morning, but the doctor and nurses at the hospital said that I’m still at too much risk and need to be kept 2 nights.

I have never slept so deep or so well in my life as those two days in the hospital and the days following after that. The nurses had to wake me up every 2 hours for temperature and heart rate readings. The following morning, Thursday 30 July, when they thought I was settling, my temperature and heart rate spiked, everything went sky-high again. The nurses and doctor became worried again. But I fell asleep, and after 3 hours, I woke up and felt much better. From there on I began improving. By Thursday night some colour began returning to my face and skin.

After effects

Side effects of anaphylactic shock is quite horrible to say the least:

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  • You will suffer from headaches and dizziness for up to 2 weeks
  •  You might experience nightmares of the incident (I experienced nightmare on 3 different evenings – fearing death, fearing the thing that caused me to almost die). During the day while you are awake, it might seem that you are okay and aren’t afraid of dying or not afraid of anything, but at night those fears in the back of your mind creep up on you. One of the things that permanently cropped up in my dreams was that I was alone and no one could save me from dying – I think this was instigated from everyone who told me afterwards, “Thankfully you weren’t alone when it happened.”
  •  Feelings of irritation will bother you for a couple of days, and you might even get angry at someone quite quickly
  •  You will feel as if you stepped right out of one universe into another – you feel different, you think differently and act differently. People will even say, “You are different”, “Something changed”, “What happened to the old you”, “You’re not the same anymore”
  •  People who hated you before the incident, or people you always struggled to get along with, will suddenly be very nice and considerate and even treat you differently. You might even get a nice phone call or message from them. I was told it is because they got a fright when they realised that they might never get a second chance to sort out things with you and they feel guilty about a lot of things in the past.

Honestly, it is a life-changing experience. You see things from a different point of view. You realise a lot of your fears was a waste of time, and you haven’t been spending enough time on the things that are valuable are really worth your time. Did my life flash before my eyes? No. But the two days in hospital made me do a lot of thinking and re-evaluating of my life.

I literally thank God every day for my second chance at life, and that I can spend another day on this earth with my family and friends and colleagues. I know it wasn’t God but Satan who tried to take my life, and I know he did. It is for this reason that I am even more convinced to go ahead with what God told me to do. I intend to make the most with my second chance at having a life on this earth.

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“See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil.”

Deuteronomy 30:15

“Behold, as your life was precious this day in my sight, so may my life be precious in the sight of the Lord, and may he deliver me out of all tribulation.”

1 Samuel 26:24

“The fear of the Lord prolongs life, but the years of the wicked will be short.”

Proverbs 10:27

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”

John 3:36

You will be hearing more often from me from now on.

God bless you and take care,

Ruth

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