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I Joined the Club and Got My Special Pen

Ever had dreams of joining an elite club? The dues are high but it doesn’t matter because you’re in and once you’re in—you’re in for life. This is a special club only some may join. Once the club chooses you, membership is non-negotiable. Your fellow members are diverse. Age, race, religion, or sexual orientation do not matter. There is no discrimination in this club.

Depending on where you live, your income, and/or job status, you may have what you need to remain a member.

If you’re unable to remain a member, you could die. Literally.

Two weeks ago, I had an allergic reaction to something. I was itchy but in about twenty minutes I had hives on my entire body, my mouth was itchy, my tongue felt thick and I lost my voice. Stupidly I went to urgent care (emergency would have been the appropriate choice). I left with an army of meds and a heavy two-week course of steroids.

Yesterday I was following up and my MD about something else and I mentioned I was still itchy. She halted our current conversation and we did a deeper dive. My doctor told me I was most likely reactive to something other than I had thought. Because I have no idea what caused this reaction, the safest course of action is for me to have an injectable epinephrine pen.

I always thought epipens were for kids with severe reactions to foods. I had no idea that I would be a candidate for one. I know I’m allergic to some medicines and have an anaphylactic reaction to a few of them. Now it seems that I could have that reaction to something else.

We are fortunate. We have medical insurance that covers most of the cost of the pens.

Even if our insurance didn’t cover them, we’d be able to purchase this medicine to keep me safe. I’ve been following the cost of the epi-pen and its alternatives for a few years after reading about the costs a few years ago. Frequently, we don’t become aware of an issue until it becomes present in our lives. Luckily (?) for me, I’ve been following this for a while.

Now that I’m a pen carrying member of this club, I’m paying attention. I’m doing research so I can fight to make this necessity available to those that require it. Because if I can speak up and do something, I will. I’m safe….I want to make sure everyone can be safe. I’m a part of this new club…I want to keep all my fellow club members safe!

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