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  • Writer's pictureKat

Asthma attack or allergic reaction?

It's March now and spring break is approaching. However, my allergies started to act up and my allergies were getting worse.

I have had to use my inhaler almost everyday because my asthma was escalating. My friend Sophia and I went to see Captain Marvel because we are huge Marvel Fans! I was waiting for Sophia so I decided to go to Starbucks to grab a coffee. I have an airborne allergy to dairy and when I'm exposed to Doritos or Cheetos, or anything containing cheese dust, I have an allergic reaction; my arms start to develop hives and my airway starts to close. A similar reaction occurs at Starbucks. My friend thinks it's because the milk powder residue is present in the air due to the machines they use. I stayed at Starbucks for about half an hour and I thought I didn't have to use the inhaler. I was having a hard time breathing but I didn't think much of it at the time. However, when my friend arrived, I exited Starbucks and I couldn't breathe. I took the albuterol and fluticasone and it helped...for a while.

Throughout the entire day, I continued to use my inhaler because it increasingly became difficult for me to breathe. Later that night, my friend from high school came to visit. Nora came for dinner and even then, I still had to take my inhaler. We went to a college party and for those who wish to attend parties in college, always remember to bring your epinephrine and inhaler. When I go to parties, I usually place my medication in the pocket of my jacket. There is enough space to bring it all and when I get to the party, I tie the jacket around my waist so I always have my medication with me.

When we left the party and went on the bus, I couldn't breathe again. But this time, it was much worse. I took my inhaler several times but it didn't seem to work. I didn't know whether this was a delayed reaction to the milk residue from Starbucks or if this was an asthma attack, so I decided to administer the epinephrine. When I got back to my dorm, I called my best friend Nikita to give me the epipen. She administered it a couple of months ago and I trust her. I called my friend Alex and he told Nikita. They were at a different campus at the time but didn't hesitate to borrow their friend's car to drive to my dorm. They arrived a few minutes later and Nikita administered the epipen while Nora called 911. Epinephrine opens up the airway so I knew regardless whether it was an asthma attack or allergic reaction, it would help.

When the paramedics arrived, they gave me an oxygen mask and drove me to the hospital. Alex and Nikita were so kind for coming to a different campus to help me. I can't thank them enough! Nora came with me in the ambulance and when we arrived to the hospital, they gave me an IV just in case I had a delayed reaction. They also gave me the nebulizer to help me breathe better. Nora stayed with me all night! She is truly an amazing friend!

They never figured out what caused this difficulty in breathing but when I did some research, I had a theory. I think the asthma attack was triggered by the inhaled allergen of milk powder in the air. It probably progressed later in the night.

This is the second time I have had a life-threatening reaction but I'm so grateful and lucky to have such amazing friends. They didn't have to come all the way to a different campus late at night, but they did. They also came with me in the ambulance and stayed with me at the hospital! I can't thank them enough! I truly don't know what I would do without them.

This is Nora! She stayed with me at the hospital all night. She is an amazing person :)

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