On EpiPens

You’ll never forget your first EpiPen experience, especially as a parent.

Strangely, I had my first experience this weekend amidst all of the swirling controversy around the big pharma company that’s been price-hiking the darn thing into the stratosphere.

Thankfully, apparently, they are going to reduce the cost by 50% less but I believe there is a much larger systemic problem (but this post isn’t about that).

Stabbing your child with an inch-long needle is a bit traumatizing, to be honest. The tension and anxiety is already at an all-time high because you’re in the situation that demands the use of one in the first place.

Classic situation: We’re at a birthday party and there are a ton of unknowns, from new kids to new parents to a ton of different foods (and food sources) that are impossible to identify. Add the chaos of a piñata at a public park and a blind fold with a swinging baseball bat and it’s a bit of a show.

Suddenly, my youngest is having an episode and it goes from zero to 1,000 in minutes. Eyes swollen shut, hives breaking out over her face, and the color changing in her sclera (the white part around the iris) besides it also swelling had us grabbing the EpiPen and heading to the ER.

A few pics:

And it begins...
And it begins…

We’ve seen this before, but, it accelerates at a phenomenal pace. We’re certain it was the blindfold that was put over her face for the piñata. Never, under any circumstances, can you put anything on Arden’s face – that’s like her kryptonite.

The sclera is changing color...
The sclera is changing color…

This was the scariest moment where things started to cloud and bloat and she was beginning to lose eyesight.

Stab complete.
Stab complete.

Ugh. I counted way too fast. I had to slow things down after I got to 7-one-thousand… and that made it even worse.

The needle is huge...
The needle is huge…

Eww.

Blood.
Blood. Doesn’t surprise me. Pants will need washing.

I could have got her a little higher on the leg which would have hurt less but she was, at this point, in her car seat and that’s all I had access to.

We end up here.
We end up here.

Good news is that it all ends well. We did the right things and made the right decisions, but, the thought of not having an EpiPen available gives me nightmares. This is the first time we’ve ever had to use one and it was 100% worth it.

And, God-willing, I hope that it’ll be the last. Parenting level-up.


Also published on Medium.