Once upon a time when I was a baby a doctor gave me Amoxicillin for an infection and I developed a rash. As the legend goes, no one was sure if the rash was from the antibiotic or my illness, but just to be safe they labeled me as allergic to all the drugs in the Penicillin family and I lived happily ever after.
Do you know what doesn’t make me happy? Having to retell that story to every single medical care provider I’ve had my entire life. We don’t even know if I was allergic to Penicillin. I wasn’t even cognizant of what was happening to me, but every single physician I’ve ever seen needs all the low-down dirty details of my babyhood reaction and I can’t really give them the details they want.
Earlier this week I was prescribed antibiotics, which resulted in my nurse, my doctor AND my pharmacist quizzing me about my allergy. By the third round of “What happens when you take Penicillin?” my shoulders got tired from all the shrugging. I feel completely sheepish explaining it since it’s such second hand information. Maybe I would find this less annoying if I actually remembered having a reaction to Penicillin. Or if they were SURE I had a reaction to it. It’s especially annoying to have to explain the situation when we’re not even sure that I really am allergic to the drug. Sometimes I wish we could give it another try to make sure I’m really allergic, but I know that’s really dangerous and everyone’s just looking out for my best interest.
Still, it’s one of those minor things in life that continually pops up to annoy me.
That said, man, I love antibiotics!