Food Allergy Awareness Story of Hope

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Eighteen months ago, our customer Colette went out to eat with her family at a Fondue restaurant. What started out as a celebration dinner quickly turned into a frightening situation when she woke up early the next morning with hives and a swollen tongue and lips.

Colette’s husband called an ambulance and she was given epinephrine and Benadryl on her way to the ER, where she was told she was having an allergic reaction to seafood.

Colette was no stranger to allergies; she had grown up with allergies to penicillin, sulfa, keflex, codeine, ibuprofen, tetanus shots, morphine, Dramamine, and many pain medications, and even recovered from a C-section on nothing but extra strength Tylenol. Adding another allergy to the list wasn’t easy, though, and Colette had never dealt with a food allergy before.

“I have discovered that many restaurants cook foods on the same grills or in the same oil and it is difficult to find safe places to eat out,” she said. “Now I know to always notify and ask. Sometimes I feel embarrassed, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!”

Colette has learned that it’s always best to error on the side of caution, and she knows to trust her instincts and her doctors.

“You know your body better than anyone else. Even doctors! If you feel wrong about something, go to the doctor or the hospital,” she advised. “Take time to find an allergist that you like and feel comfortable with. I saw a few before I found the one that I love and feel safe with.”

Today, Colette is able to live life to the fullest, despite her many allergies. She has taken her new seafood allergy as an opportunity to improve her health – and her cooking skills!

“Taking good care of myself makes me happy and I love to go for walks. We eat at home more often now so I am learning to be a better cook and it’s been fun,” she told us.

While she is able to see the positive side of her diagnosis, Colette still recognizes the danger of her multiple allergies and doesn’t take it lightly. After being prescribed an EpiPen, Colette knew it was time to start wearing a medical ID bracelet.

“I knew I had to do all I could to make people aware of my allergies in case of an emergency. I don’t want to be unconscious and not be able to notify anyone of my many allergies,” she explained. “It makes me feel safe and the bracelet I chose is very stylish!”

Colette says her bracelet makes her feel much safer, and it even increased her peace of mind during recent tornadoes in her area.

If you or someone you know has severe food or drug allergies, it is imperative that you wear a medical alert bracelet. Medical personnel should be immediately alerted to your allergy in case of an emergency, so they can treat you as quickly and effectively as possible. This is especially true if you are dependent on epinephrine or if you have an allergy to medication. To best alert first responders to your allergies, you may wish to engrave your allergy alert bracelet in the following format:

First and Last Name
Food or Drug Allergies
Use Epi Pen
In Case of Emergency Number

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