Drug allergies are perhaps the most dangerous of allergies. I have discussed allergies, allergy attacks, food sensitivity and intolerance, and the myths. Today I would be sharing my personal experiences. Something I feel strongly about. A fair warning. This might be considered a rant post by some. But it is time we talk about awareness among health professionals.
It is often understood that doctors are more empathetic and aware of allergies than a common man. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. There have been numerous cases where doctors and health professionals just refuse to acknowledge them. I share a few instances where my life and that of my father were put at stake because of the lack of awareness among the doctors.
My father was highly allergic to heparin. It actually runs in the family where my uncles, aunts, and even my brother is allergic to it. Heparin drip is often administered in case of heart episodes. When my father suffered an angina attack, he was put on the intravenous drip for hours in spite of repeatedly explaining to the doctor that he was allergic to it. This resulted in a severe reaction and my father had to be sedated for days. To cover his back, the doctor tried to declare my father as a psychiatric case. Thankfully, better sense prevailed. This was one of the most reputed heart hospitals in Delhi.
I am allergic to Allegra, an antihistamine. Yes, one can be allergic to antihistamines. I was prescribed it over my tried and tested one. The first time I had it, I broke into a coughing fit. Going by experience, it was a sure shot sign of an allergy developing. The immunologist refused to accept it and insisted I switch to it. Needless to say, I had an anaphylaxis attack and was on liquid diet for a week.
I am allergic to local anesthesia. I had to get dental treatment done, but I was wary of being administered anesthesia. The dentist shamed me by calling me a drama queen and injected it. I choked there and then on the chair. The dentist is one of the most celebrated dentist here.
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This is just the tip of the iceberg. There have been instances where I have been shamed for allergies by doctors. That I don’t follow a balanced diet or have too much packaged food. Or that I barely stepped out of the house as a kid. None of which is true. Of late, I have switched to natural remedies since there is only so much risk one can take when it comes to allopathic medicine.
I have nothing against doctors. My father was one, so was my grandfather. I have uncles, aunts, cousins, nephews, and nieces who are doctors. All I ask is for a bit of empathy.
Sometimes I feel I am speaking into a void. Lack of awareness regarding allergies is still acceptable among the general public but not among doctors. If you suffer from allergies, I can only hope and pray for you to not suffer what I have suffered. My request to doctors is to please listen to your patients when we talk about our allergies. We are not questioning your education or your skills. We trust our lives with you, please don’t put us at risk.
Follow the allergy awareness series for more discussions around allergies. Let us start a much-needed conversation around them.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical practitioner. The purpose of this series is to bring about awareness. Please consult an allergist/immunologist for queries and overall management of allergies.
As a part of Blogchatter’s Blogging with a Purpose campaign, I am using my voice to highlight something I care about.