Posted 1/26/2012 4:19 PM (GMT -7)
I have a steroid inhaler, but don't really need it. I don't have asthma. If I'm having an allergic reaction I take Benadryl (tablets only, as liquids have sulfites), and an Alavert. Repeat Benadryl as needed.
I had an epi-pen, never used it. My allergist thought I needed it. One isn't usually enough anyway, according to my reading. My reactions don't usually include actual throat swelling, but so far that has been taken care of by Benadryl. (One time I was midway on an 11 hour flight from Europe when I had an allergic reaction to some nut or possibly sunflower seed in a cake. First bite - I could feel the reaction in my mouth but swallowed reflexively and knew that was a mistake. Fortunately and wisely I had both antihistamines in my purse, and I chewed them up. I had atenolol and aspirin which I chewed up for the tachycardia that started too. I had the epi-pen along, but could control the reaction without it. By landing the reaction was over.)
For any reaction I can't control, I go to the ER. I can get there (someone else driving of course) in the same time as an ambulance can get to me. I get yelled at for not calling ambulance, but in my experiences, and there have been a few, it's a exactly the same timing for getting to the ER for an IV or having the ambulance crew start one and still being at home.
I think it's important to know your own condition - how serious your reaction is and whether you can control it yourself, also how fast you need to get help if you need it. I know myself fairly well, so at least I don't panic. I carry what I need in a little zip pouch in my purse or pocket, even if I'm just out mowing or walking in the woods.
Cell phones are indispensable too.