I knew something was wrong the moment I stepped out of the cafeteria.
My throat had become incredibly itchy. “It’s nothing,” I told myself. Later did I know that it was the beginning of anaphylaxis: which is a life or death situation.
I powered my legs forward toward my next class –– 6th grade science with Ms. Stary. As the teacher was lecturing us, I couldn’t stop coughing. Everyone was staring at me. My face turned redder than the the core of the sun. “What is wrong with me?” I managed to mutter before I was overcome by coughing again.
I soon couldn’t stand my coughing anymore, so I asked the teacher to let me go get some water. She sent me to the nurse instead, and to this day I am still thankful that she did.
From the 2 minutes it took to walk from the science room to the nurse, I realized that I was becoming overwhelmingly itchy everywhere. I looked at myself and realized that everywhere along my body was covered in what looked like mosquito bites –– of course it was actually hives.
During the 30 seconds that I had to wait in the nurse’s office, I realized I was having technical difficulties breathing. I must have looked like a fish out of water –– standing there gasping for air. I clawed at my throat, trying to open it up to let some air through.
After what felt like forever, it was finally my turn for the nurse to check on me. From the lost of air, the rest of the things that happened were a haze. However, I remember that first the nurse gave me some benadryl. I can still feel the medicine slowly drip down my throat. She then guided me towards the mini bed that was in her office. Then she gave me the epipen. It felt like waterfalls of sweat were falling from my hands when I saw that that big orange medical pen had to be injected into my leg. Clenching my fist together, I readied myself for the pain. The nurse injected the epipen in a blink of an eye. Maybe it was because I was already so uncomfortable –– or maybe it was because the nurse just inserted the epipen expertly –– but either way, it didn’t hurt at all. Slowly, I released the big breath I was holding. The nurse then called 911 and my parents.
As we waited for the ambulance to come, the nurse put an oxygen mask on me. I instantly felt more air fill my lungs. I could taste and feel the oxygen slowly seeping into my mouth and nose.
The firemen came first, then the police, and finally the ambulance and paramedics. As I looked at all the people who were there helping me, I knew that I would be ok. I was quickly shipped off on the ambulance to the hospital. To this day, anaphylaxis will always be a challenge of mine.