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Author Topic: How to Get Teens/Young Adults to Carry Epi  (Read 2140 times)

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Offline GoingNuts

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How to Get Teens/Young Adults to Carry Epi
« on: July 24, 2015, 07:41:06 AM »
I work in a medical office and from time to time when I'm reviewing a patient's medical history I'll see that they have food, medication or insect allergies, with a history of anaphylaxis.  I always address it, and most often when I ask if they carry epinephrine, the answer is "not anymore".

I always give them the talk, but I'm sure they are inwardly rolling their eyes (like the 20 year old PA young woman I saw last night).

What to do with this population segment?  I hope that when he is away at school, my 21 year old always carries, but honestly, who knows?  And how to reach kids who aren't mine?
"Speak out against the madness" - David Crosby
N.E. US

Offline spacecanada

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Re: How to Get Teens/Young Adults to Carry Epi
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2015, 08:13:09 AM »
I honestly don't know.  Apathy is an epidemic.  I have had this conversation with parents of children who don't carry and adults who don't carry for themselves.  I've tried being reasonable, educational, visual, and very rarely used scare tactics.  Honestly, the best trick up my sleeve is the Allerject (Auvi-Q) demonstration.  People seem much more receptive to the new technology and it's more convenient size.  I think I've had more success with that than anything else, oddly enough.  (I even mention to women and girls that they fit ever so nicely in the waistband pocket of their yoga pants, which makes them less of a burden to carry.   Though some of them carry phones in their bras, which I think is gross, but I suppose Allerjects would fit there too.  *shudder*)

Still, it's not something people want to admit to, and not something they want to carry.  All we can do is educate as much as possible.  They have to make the choice on their own. 
anaphylaxis to tree nuts, peanuts, and potatoes; severe dairy intolerance; vegan (preference)
family members allergic to dairy, egg, peanut, sesame, shellfish

Offline GingerPye

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Re: How to Get Teens/Young Adults to Carry Epi
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2015, 10:12:50 AM »
This is a tough one.  My DD has had enough reactions in her lifetime that she carries her epis and I don't have to worry about her now in college.  During high school, it was embarrassing for her.  Same with DS.  During our last visit to the allergist, I had the young male allergist talk to DS about carrying, how important it is to always have it, and have TWO epis at all times.  DS was rolling his eyes, but at least the talk was not coming from Mom. 

This doesn't help your situation, however.  Those young adults may be rolling their eyes while you are talking, but maybe a nugget actually sticks in their brains and they think about it. 
DD, 21 - MA/EA/PA/env./eczema
DS, 18 - MA/EA/PA/env./asthma/passed baked milk challenge
DH - adult-onset asthma
me - env. allergies, exhaustion, & mental collapse ...

Offline Macabre

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Re: How to Get Teens/Young Adults to Carry Epi
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2015, 01:16:38 PM »
I think AuviQ is the answer. I do. Which is why it really makes me mad that insurance companies aren't covering it.
Me: Sesame, shellfish, chamomile, sage
DS: Peanuts

Offline BensMom

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Re: How to Get Teens/Young Adults to Carry Epi
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2015, 09:34:11 PM »
Randomly popping in here. I usually stay down in OT. My insurance company covers Auvi-qs and I think they have coupons online for those who have to pay out of pocket.

I think I'd just help them think it through. What happened during the reaction when you had anaphylaxis? What did you eat? What did you do to treat the reaction? If they carried epi, then "well what would you do if you didn't have epi?" and talk about how delaying can be deadly and how did the reaction feel, etc. Maybe they treated with benadryl and were fine? That would be tougher to sell. I would just keep asking questions--and then what? And then what? Try to get them to see that help may not come in time.

DS always carries his auvis. I sent him to the grocery store 2 minutes away to get a box of spaghetti and he picked up his wallet, phone, and auvis. I think he's gone running without them. (I got him a Running Buddy, but he didn't take it to school with him, so I've used it to hold my phone and keys on bike rides.)

Offline GoingNuts

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Re: How to Get Teens/Young Adults to Carry Epi
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2015, 03:36:28 PM »
Ugh - another one today. Reactions "aren't that bad; just hives, swollen lips and vomiting".  :banghead:
"Speak out against the madness" - David Crosby
N.E. US

Offline CMdeux

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Re: How to Get Teens/Young Adults to Carry Epi
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2015, 08:12:43 PM »
Oh, only that?  All fine, then, until the breathing stops....  :banghead:
Resistance isn't futile.  It's voltage divided by current. 

Western U.S.

Offline PurpleCat

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Re: How to Get Teens/Young Adults to Carry Epi
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2015, 07:08:35 AM »
Wow!  That is super frustrating!  Will it work to tell him all the FAS Mom's say - "Carry your meds!"

Offline GoingNuts

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Re: How to Get Teens/Young Adults to Carry Epi
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2015, 07:37:03 AM »
Oh, only that?  All fine, then, until the breathing stops....  :banghead:
Oh yes, she even said, "It's not like I've ever stopped breathing."

BTW, this young woman is a nursing student, so I explained the two body systems = anaphylaxis, etc., hoping it would appeal to her professional side. 

I can't even begin to tell you how frustrating this is to me.
"Speak out against the madness" - David Crosby
N.E. US

Offline GoingNuts

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Re: How to Get Teens/Young Adults to Carry Epi
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2015, 07:37:46 AM »
Wow!  That is super frustrating!  Will it work to tell him all the FAS Mom's say - "Carry your meds!"

I told her a variation on that - I told her that this Jewish mother was telling her that, LOL.
"Speak out against the madness" - David Crosby
N.E. US

Offline hedgehog

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Re: How to Get Teens/Young Adults to Carry Epi
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2015, 01:07:48 PM »
Be blunt and matter-of-fact.  As in, "If you gave a reaction and do not have an epipen with you, you WILL die."  Don't be over dramatic about it in tone of voice or gesture, though, because teens tune that right out.
USA

Offline hedgehog

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Re: How to Get Teens/Young Adults to Carry Epi
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2015, 01:09:38 PM »
Or print out selections from the "In memory" thread.  Keep them on hand to show teens that it does happen.
USA

Offline Macabre

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Re: How to Get Teens/Young Adults to Carry Epi
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2015, 11:18:44 PM »
I did that for DS.

I was doing laundry and found two auvis in his shorts two years ago. He had said he had them with him. When I picked him up, I asked him to show me his auvis. Then I handed them to go and an eight page front and back print out of stories I collected. I told him to initial each page after he read it and gift it to me when done.

Be read it in one sitting.

The pages have tear stains on them.

He hasn't lied about not having his auvis since. There have been times he's forgotten them, but he hasn't lied about it.
Me: Sesame, shellfish, chamomile, sage
DS: Peanuts

Offline GoingNuts

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Re: How to Get Teens/Young Adults to Carry Epi
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2015, 03:49:13 PM »
We had an off-site work event today, and in the middle of it one of our managers came around asking if anyone had Benedryl. It seems one of my coworkers (who eats Chinese take out at least 3x/week) ate a muffin and was having a reaction. It turns out she is PN/TNA, and eats whatever she wants, because she only gets hives, swollen, and if it's really bad, throws up.  It's not like she has trouble breathing or anything.  ~)

She is in her early 20's, and is a single mom to a 3 year old. I swear I just want to out her over my knee and spank her.  :misspeak:  (My coworker, not her DD!)
"Speak out against the madness" - David Crosby
N.E. US

Offline Macabre

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Re: How to Get Teens/Young Adults to Carry Epi
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2015, 08:28:32 PM »
I hope you have a good talk with her. I'm sure she wouldn't like to leave her DD without a mom.
Me: Sesame, shellfish, chamomile, sage
DS: Peanuts