How Do You Deal With Anaphylactic Shock?

(Note: I waited until a week after this occurred so my temper has gone down and I am no longer mad. While I know that what happened was a complete accident and that no one is to blame, I'm still upset that this happened and I wish things could've been better.)
I went into the hospital infusion center last Tuesday to have a routine chemo infusion. Some background info: This was my sixth infusion at the hospital, I've had the same chemo treatments at least four times. However, the fifth time, I was more nauseated and fatigued after the treatment for some reason. So I went in hoping for the best.
Things were going well and I was taking a nap till they administered oxaloplatin (I believe that's the name for it), and then I start to feel like something's wrong.
I start to feel nauseated and sick, like I want to throw up, it feels hot in the room to me, and my neck starts itching. I push the nurse call button and I tell them my symptoms and I say, "Nothing feels right" to them. Then, my vision suddenly darkens while I'm awake. I started to panic and I say, "I can't see anything" and they have me lie down.
When I lie down, I suddenly pass out and that's when things got worse. The nurses start taking my vitals and all of the sudden, a whole medical team, including doctors, descended on me. Someone puts a breathing tube on me and that's when I know things are serious. I'm fading in and out of consciousness and suddenly I can't breath. I pass out, but part of my mind is still conscious and aware of my surroundings, though I can't see anything. There's a lot of shouting now, everyone's in a panic, I realize that I'm not breathing on my own and they're trying to get me to breath on my own (That's what the breathing tube is for.) One of the nurses called my name and asked me to stay with her, I momentarily stay awake for a few seconds before going back into unconsciousness.
I hear them shout things like "Code Blue" and I know the situation has just gotten worse. I'm not breathing on my own now, so they have to intubate me. I know what intubation is, and I'm scared.
At this point, I seriously wondered if I was going to die. That's how scared I was. I wondered if this was what death or dying was like, and I realized that I did not want to die yet. I started praying or calling out to whatever higher being there was out there to please not let me die yet, as I still had so much to do and I was not ready to go yet.
When they intubated me, it didn't go in correctly the first time, so they had to do it a second time. The second time they intubate me I can hear the doctor who is performing this delicate operation pray "God Almighty" as he attempts to intubate me a second time. This time he succeeds and I'm breathing with the help of a ventilator. However, I can still feel things so when the intubation tube went in both times, I actually felt it go down my throat and scratch it both times. To me, it felt like a huge tube they were trying to jam down my throat, almost like if you wanted to force someone to swallow or drink something, and in my opinion, it's just as painful as having an NG tube stuck through your nose.
Eventually I passed out and I woke up in the ICU of the hospital, drowsy and confused, with both of my parents next to me. I can hear the doctors outside talking about my condition and what happened to me. I check the time and realize that it's 4:30pm; I got checked in to the infusion center at 9 am and the last time I checked the time there before passing out, it was 10:35am, meaning that I have been out for at least six hours. When the doctors come in, they explain to me that I went into anaphylactic shock because I had a severe allergic reaction to oxaloplatin. My neck, eyes, and lips had swelled up, and even my lips had turned a little blue. At one point, I wasn't getting enough oxygen to the rest of my body, and my heart was beating rapidly because of this (undergoing hypertension), hence why they called Code Blue and intubated me; because I wasn't breathing on my own. After intubation, they gave me some sedative medicine to ease the intubation tube a little. (I guess that's when I lost consciousness)
According to the doctors, I was extremely lucky to have still been in the infusion center at the hospital when I went into anaphylactic shock. That way, the nurses and doctors were able to help me right away. Hence why chemo patients are always being monitored by nurses.
I still feel really thankful to be alive and well today. I'm very thankful that I had a very good medical team taking care of me and that my parents were able to be there and take care of me. Now when I wake up in the mornings, I feel grateful that I am able to take a breath and breath on my own.

Comments

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  • Wow that sounds scary! Glad you survived it. I have only ever had a couple mild allergic reactions - once to oxycodone and once to morphine - both which caused a rash and shortness of breath but were fixed relatively quickly with Benadryl. First was in the hospital and second was in an ambulance it is great to have the medical personnel already there... I take dilaudid which seems to be ok and I refuse to try any other pain killers now, if I ever have to I will only do it under medical supervision so they can fix me right away if it doesn't go well lol.