While our weary traveller Stephen takes a break from blogging about all his amazing experiences and recovers from a New Year in Australia, we thought we'd kick off 2014 with some essential New Year's resolutions for anyone with a severe allergy of any kind; So here are some good old fashioned New Year’s resolutions that are easy peasy to do and could save your life...
2) Vow to become an adrenaline junky.
You don’t even have to jump out of a plane, swim with sharks or bungee jump to get your fix - all you got to do is carry your adrenaline auto-injector. Whether your doc’s prescribed you an EpiPen, Jext or Emerade device, just bloomin’ carry it! Why carry it you ask? Because it can’t save your life if it’s at home in that third box along on your top shelf or that drawer with all your other stuff in it, can it now? And while we’re on it, carrying it doesn’t just mean when you’re going out to eat or know you’re going to come face to face with your allergen(s), because the funny thing about allergens is they tend to crop up when you least expect it, rather than when you’re ready and waiting.
2) Remember to do your homework.
‘Cus everyone knows practice makes perfect. Learn how to use your adrenaline injector. The easiest way to do this is by watching our YouTubevideo but you can also read the instructions on the side of the device or go to your injector’s website formore information. Get yourself a trainer pen while you’re there – they’re free and if you’re anything like us, you can’t resist a bargain.
Spread the word and teach all your family, friends and even people in the street as who knows where and when you could need it. You could even do our AllergyWise online test if you really want to be top of the class.
3) Use the force!
You’ve been given the force, now for god’s sake USE IT! (The force obviously being your adrenaline, that is). Common misconceptions about adrenaline include:
Myth 1: It’s going to hurt or harm you in some way if you use adrenaline when it’s not needed
FALSE. Adrenaline is first and foremost a natural hormone and won’t harm you at all if you don’t need it. Did you know that in some countries they actually get children to inject themselves when they’re NOT having a reaction so they know what to do in an emergency?
|Adrenaline injectors...they're just like light sabres.|
Myth 2: You need to be on death’s door before you use your adrenaline auto-injector.
FALSE. You should ALWAYS use your adrenaline if in any doubt whether you need to or not. Some signs to look for if you need reassurance are:
- Wheezing or finding it harder to breathe
- Feeling faint, dizzy or super tired
- Having difficulty swallowing, a persistent cough or your tongue is beginning to swell
If any of these appear in you, use your adrenaline immediately.
Myth 3: You have to go to hospital when you’ve used adrenaline because it’s dangerous for you.
Once again…FALSE! Well, you do always have to go to hospital once you’ve used your adrenaline, but it’s just so they can keep an eye on you, nothing else. Think about it, you’d have to go to hospital if you broke your arm, but you’d hardly be in mortal danger…duuuuh.
But remember, if in doubt, use the force…whoops, we mean your adrenaline!
4) Check your expiration date.
Just like you would check the milk before you slather your morning coco pops in it (okay bad example if you’re allergic to milk), check when your adrenaline ‘goes off’, or you could be in for an equally nasty surprise…no one likes milk chunky style.
An out-of-date injector may offer some protection, but this will be limited and sadly doesn't always do the job.
There are several free services available that will remind you when your adrenaline needs to be updated and even some apps that will do this for you from the comfort of your iPhone, so sign yourself up and make a vow never to let your adrenaline go past its best.
Expiry reminder services: