Saturday, January 12, 2008

Tums are bad. Very Bad.

Last night seemed to start innocently enough. I was basking in the glory of a Friday after work, watching last night’s Grey’s Anatomy on tivo, waiting for my husband to get home from Muncie. As I was sprawled on the couch, I noticed a relatively new pregnancy annoyance beginning to make itself known. Heartburn. It’s only been within the past 2-3 weeks that I’ve started to have this problem, and I’ve not done anything about it thus far.

Well, Steve got home and we decided to go to Menards to get paint for Brett’s room, as well as a new showerhead, and then go to dinner. Because of my heartburn I wasn’t feeling particularly hungry. So, Steve grabbed some generic Tums (again on my list of “acceptable” medications – Tums IS okay) and we were on our way. While leaving the driveway I took 3 of these….I guess they were tropical flavored? I didn’t care, as long as they got rid of the problem. Menards is all of 5 minutes from our house – and as we pulled into the parking lot, suddenly my tounge started tingling and feeling itchy, as did my scalp and my back and my heart started to race. I really didn’t know what the heck was happening to me.

We went into the store and I told Steve I wasn’t feeling well, and my breaths became a little shorter and I started coughing. He ran out to the car to grab a bottle of water. I drank it and we started to walk around the store. All the time I was not feeling well. While trying to locate the showerheads, we ended up in the bath area with lots of mirrors. I gasped when I looked at myself. I had welts forming on my chin and my neck and my lips were swollen. Plus I was itching like crazy, and there wasn’t anything to do about it. I realize now that I must have looked like a complete crazy person – I have no idea what the shoppers thought of me. Steve said the look on my face was of desperation. My breathing was getting shorter and shorter, so I told him to call my mother (yes, I still call my mother when I’m not feeling well – after all she was a nurse!). She said I was having an allergic reaction and I needed to take some Benadryl ASAP and if it didn’t improve to get to the emergency room.

So we rushed back home – I must have been freaking Steve out because I was wheezing in the car, I had trouble taking a complete breath. Finally I took the Benadryl and laid on my bed. I was able to see the mess of welts that had formed on my trunk and legs. I looked like a freak. Steve got me a VERY COLD washcloth (I must emphasize this because he hadn’t totally wrung it out and it dripped all over me at first). I put it on my face and we sat there for about 10 minutes. Finally, things started to get a little better. I still had trouble talking because of the breathing. I decided to call my mom back because now I was worried about how this may have affected the baby. When I told her that I had also formed welts and my lips were swollen, she told me to go to the emergency room anyway to make sure everything was okay.

We get back into the car, now 8:15 (poor Steve still hadn’t had anything to eat) and headed to the hospital. Luckily I had gradually started feeling better, so I was able to breathe now. Once we got there, they checked us in (I love how the first question they ask you is to see your insurance card – how lovely), we went to a room. I was a little afraid I’d be trumped by gunshot victims and the like, but luckily it wasn’t busy. A doctor checked me out and told me to take Claritin for the next week. He didn’t even check out the baby. He was sure it was okay. Seriously? And we are paying for the ER? Well, a nurse did come in afterwards and she was very friendly and went ahead and let us listen to the heartbeat. Brett was fine. At this point, my parents had shown up too… I had no idea they were coming. What a night!

So, we left (I had NO idea how much that hospital visit cost – and I’m afraid to see the bill) and finally got dinner around 9:30. At that point, the Benadryl had made me so sleepy I almost fell asleep in my food.

We got home and I went to bed immediately.

NOT how I had planned to spend last night. At all!

3 comments:

Miss Amanda Jones said...

I just stumbled upon your blog while searching for "allergic reaction to Tums." I am 7 months pregnant and experienced exactly what you described last night after taking just one generic Tums. I took Benadryl and feel okay today, albeit quite scared. I was just wondering if you ever had another reaction to something similar again or if it went away after your pregnancy. I will definitely avoid Tums from now on but there isn't a whole lot of information available about this reaction. In fact, my doctor had never seen it before. Got any other insights? I am happy to see that you have a happy and healthy little boy with another on the way so that makes me feel better!

Carrie said...

No, I've never taken Tums again - LOL. But I did have to wear a bracelet in the delivery room to say I was allergic to them!! The only thing I can think of was that there was some ingredient in the tums...it was the fruity flavors that I was allergic to. Good to hear there's another one out there like me, as my doc hadn't heard about it either!!!

Johnette Mannato said...

I had two very mild allergic reactions in the past few days to fruity flavor TUMS after taking them sporadically for the past few years. After showing him my rash, my husband casually said that he sometimes gets a rash from TUMS too. Needless to say that I won't try the other flavors and will not take another TUMS ever again. By the way... I am happy to hear that neither of you ladies had problems with the babies.