OK, we had a more detailed discussion last night, and while I understand why he did what he did, I reiterated to him that he should have used his Epi, then call 911 (or have his friend call 911 while he is Epi-ing himself). For once, he actually listened to what I had to say instead of being defensive and dismissive of me. I think it seems less abstact to him now.
So, there's an abridged version of the chain of events:
They were in Saratoga, NY, which apparently is no longer the sleepy, bucolic town I remember.
They had been out socializing, and he had two beers earlier in the evening, but by the time they decided to end the evening at the Pizza place it had been hours since his last beer. He had the first slice of pizza, which was plain. OK. He added Buffalo Sauce to the second slice, and inhaled it (he generally vacuums his food
), and immediately felt what he described as a really bad case of OAS - tingling, itching in his mouth and throat. He then asked about the ingredients, and they informed him that yes, peanut ingredients were in the Buffalo sauce.
Apparently during the summer Saratoga gets a bit rowdy, so there are police stationed on the main drag where they were. They figured the police would be able to summon and ambulance quicker, so they spoke to the police outside who told them the ambulance was about 2 minutes away. Since he felt fine other than the mouth symptoms, he decided to wait until the ambulance got there (insert spanking-adult-child's-hiney emoticon here). They gave him IV Benadryl in the ambulance, and he felt better immediately. The hospital was only about 3 minutes from where they were, so from the time he experienced symptoms to arrival at the hospital it was about 10 minutes or less.
We had an in depth conversation about his action plan - which calls for Epi if there is any known ingestion even if he doesn't have any symptoms, and why. He seems to understand, but as I suspected, he's afraid to use the Epipen. He said that he's made it all this time without using it, and it didn't want to start now.
I explained why waiting is so dangerous, and how illogical your thinking can become once you experience symptoms (I told him about my experience with my allergy shots, and the poor decisions I made once I couldn't think clearly). I also told him about all the people who started out thinking their reactions were no big deal, and how they ended up dying because once the Epi was administered it was too late.
I also asked him if having the Auvi would have changed the equation at all, and he said no.
So that's the story. He said he would call the restaurant to find out the brand of sauce for future reference; I'm curious whether peanut was an actual ingredient or a may contain/shared facility. I'm also curious about whether or not it contained peanut oil.
I hope this is helpful to others, in terms of understanding the thought process of a young adult in the midst of a reaction.