My Dad is Always Bugging Me About Carrying My Meds
I recently had a really bad reaction to peanuts. Now the doctor says that I have to carry an EpiPen®. I'm really good at avoiding peanuts so I don't think I need it, but my dad is insisting that I carry it all the time. It's such a pain to carry around. What can I tell my dad to make him see that I don't need to carry the EpiPen® everywhere I go?
I’m going out on a limb here, but I’m guessing that your recent reaction to peanuts wasn’t something that you planned for. To rely on a cliché — that’s the thing about mistakes: you never plan to make them. So while you may be really good about avoiding peanuts 99.9% of the time, there’s still that pesky 0.1% that will pop up every now and again.
In a way, it’s a good thing: it shows that you’re human. Being human, you’re apt to make mistakes. No scientist in the world has found a way around that.
But the good news is, you don’t just have to count on being lucky. You can take control of your life and your allergy and minimize your risk … and, you guessed it, a HUGE part of minimizing your risk is carrying your EpiPen® with you all the time.
Sure — carrying your EpiPen® can be a pain sometimes. Sometimes it doesn’t fit discreetly into the bag you’re carrying, or sometimes you just don’t want to slide something a little bulky into the pocket of your shirt or pants. But, for that 0.1% of the time that you will mistakenly be exposed to peanuts, wouldn’t you rather have it than not?
Try to figure out what the biggest hassle is about carrying your medication all the time. Is it that you don’t have a convenient place to carry it? Are you afraid that you’ll lose it if you have it with you all the time? Are you worried that it doesn’t look cool to have your EpiPen® on you?
Once you figure out what you dislike the most about carrying it, you and your dad can brainstorm some creative solutions. Ask your dad to “model” an EpiPen® for you so that you can see just how discreetly he can tuck it into a shirt or pants pocket. Maybe you need an EpiPen® carrying case to clip inside your bag so that you always know exactly where your meds are when you need them. Whatever the biggest obstacle to carrying it is for you, I’m sure that with a little creativity, you and your dad can find a solution for it.
As for your dad, what I’m really hearing you say is that you want to be in control of your allergy, as opposed to having your dad tell you what you have to do all the time. To rely on another cliché — actions speak louder than words, especially in the case of food allergies. The best thing you can do to get your dad to stop insisting that you carry your EpiPen® all the time … is to carry your EpiPen® all the time.
Why risk having a reaction without it?
Marguerite is a 24-year-old graduate of the College of William and Mary. She lives in northern Virginia and likes to run, write, and cook.
The information above is not designed to take the place of a doctor’s instructions. Patients are urged to contact a doctor for specific information regarding guidelines for care.