When I started out I was prescribed an epipen and faithfully carried it with me everywhere. I still have it, although I think it is expired, but I no longer carry it.
What I don't know - and cannot find out - is how serious the risk of anaphylaxis is. My thoughts are prompted by today's troubling news that hospital admissions and deaths from anaphylactic shock have doubled in Britain.
It's good to see that someone has taken the trouble to dig out the figures and also to do something about it. That apparently includes trying to find out what lies behind it. Now if you go to the Anaphylaxis Campaign it's pretty clear that the main problem is with peanut allergies. So is the problem that, in spite of all the warnings, peanuts are being tucked into all sorts of foods? The statistics suggest not for they show big increases in reactions across a number of categories.
Now the GP was quite right to give me an epipen at the outset. My mouth, tongue and throat were swelling and we didn't know what the allergy is. It also seems pretty clear now that salicylate hypersensitivity is not like peanut allergy - certainly not for me. But I may be wrong. As I've reported recently, a small dose of pepper can cause my throat to swell, my tongue to burn and my voice to go hoarse. Yet in general the problems seem to accumulate steadily. Some people call this anaphylaxis but not anaphylactic shock.
If I've got everything under control I don't go straight to a bad reaction - things just pile up over a couple of days. So it doesn't seem likely I will go into shock, which seems to be caused by very fast, extreme reactions. Perhaps if I inadvertently took aspirin it might happen.
Does anybody know? Is there any experience of shock caused by salicylate allergy? If so, I'd better get the epipen renewed.