As I was scrolling through some allergy news today, I read about an American tourist who experienced an allergic reaction while in Europe. This story highlights one of my biggest fears…having a severe reaction in a foreign country. Especially when traveling with school, it can be difficult to find travel buddies who have either lived with someone with allergies or are familiar with my circumstances. I’ve always made it my MO to find my tribe PRIOR to leaving the country ;).
When I traveled to Montreal, I trained my group of guy friends how to use an EpiPen! The were my true supporters when, 48 hours prior to us leaving the country, the director of international programs told me I would probably not be able to eat anything at our group dinners. During my second year, I traveled to Vienna, Austria with my sister, making things so much easier! I’ll never forget us walking around until 10pm looking for a safe restaurant in Vienna… we finally settled for a good old American burger! In Australia, I was with a long time friend who was supportive and helpful. I think he also realized just how difficult it can be to travel with food allergies.
In today’s readings I learned of a 17 year old young man traveling in Dublin who had an allergic reaction from ingesting tree nuts and experienced signs of anaphylaxis. He ran to the nearby pharmacy, and the pharmacist recognized the signs and took action. After two doses of Benadryl, the teen’s symptoms subsided and emergency vehicles were on site. The young man’s life was saved and the pharmacist was a true hero.
I will always believe that education is key. I hope this blog can not only provide stories of my own experiences, but also help others be aware of the severity of allergies and anaphylaxis.
To read more about this lifesaving story, click here.