what i watched last week

the proverbial shot of adrenaline

Except it wasn't proverbial, it was real. I was filled out a meme over on Facebook, listing random stuff about myself, and one of the things I mentioned was that once, when I was a kid, I was given a shot of adrenaline by the doctor.

I got allergy shots when I was a kid, three times a week. I'd go in and get the shot, and then I'd have to wait around a few minutes to make sure I didn't have "a reaction" to the stuff. I was never told what constituted "a reaction," and I went years without a hitch, so the sticking around part was always boring. I don't know if my memory is correct, but I feel like I was told they would gradually increase the dose in the allergy shot, doing so slowly to help my body adapt to the increasing levels. One day, the increase broke the camel's back.

Soon after my shot, I was sitting in the waiting room (or waiting in the sitting room ... what's all this brouhaha?) and I started sneezing. I mean like every three or four seconds. I went up to the front desk and asked for some kleenex ... the receptionist supplied me with plenty, I went back to sneezing like crazy, and after ten or so minutes, I left the doctor's office, still sneezing but blissfully unaware of what was happening ... as was the receptionist, apparently. Looking back, I wonder why I had to stick around after each shot, if when I finally got "a reaction," they didn't recognize it. As I walked home, I stopped at Foster's Freeze and got a frosty cone, sneezing all the while. I ate the cone as I finished my walk, and when I got home, my mom wondered why I was sneezing so much. Something got her attention, she had me remove my shirt, and my body was covered with hives ... it didn't look like I had a thousand hives, it looked like I had one big hive, because my chest was a solid color, the color of the hives. I didn't know the phrase for it ... I called it "a reaction" like I'd heard so many times at the doctor's ... but the phrase was "anaphylactic shock," and that's where I was.

My mom called my dad at work, he came home and got me and took me back to the doctor's, and they kinda freaked out, but they got right to work. I was pretty scared, but for the wrong reason ... I thought they would take an x-ray and somehow figure out I'd eaten a cone at Foster's and I'd get in trouble from my mom for that. They took me and my dad into a room and prepared to give me another shot. I remember my dad asking if it was another allergy shot, and the doctor replying no, another one of those would kill me. He was, in fact, preparing a shot of adrenaline. He told me I might get a headache, and he advised that I lay down. I didn't understand the need to lay down ... I got shots all the time ... so I just sat there, and he injected me.


Suffice to say, I lay down. Immediately. And yes, I got a headache ... a king-hell of a headache. Immediately. I felt like barfing, although I don't recall that I actually hurled. The hives went away, my life was saved.

So nowadays, when I'm watching something like 24, and they revive someone via a shot of adrenaline, I know how that person feels. There are plenty of drugs where, once you're no longer sick, the drugs are fun to take for recreational purposes ... opiates come to mind. I'm here to say that I don't feel the need to re-experience the rush of adrenaline.