Thursday, July 23, 2015

DIY Epi-Pen Case

Credit for photo of my son Will - RLPhoto (Rachael Lescarbeau)
Ah, the Epi-pen. That little dual-tube of security and terror that folks with anaphlactic allergies (and their parents) carry around with them; an insurance policy in the event of an exposure to a sneaky allergen, ready to protect at the moment of accidental ingestion and subsequent life-harming reactions. 

The Epi-Pen: the Athanas Family security blanket for the last 2 years. It has given us a bit of reassurance at restaurants, on trips, and even just on day trips or cookouts with friends.

And for the last 2 years I have been on the hunt for the "perfect" carry bag. Something that would allow me to have his vital information, basic - but clear and important - symptoms to look for, and clear instructions for how to use the injector in the event of an emergency. Something that wouldn't be just an Epi-Pen at the bottom of a bag with all the regular pens alongside... somewhere... I think?... a printed and folded allergy plan.

Something simple. Something that a childcare worker or Sunday school teacher can just grab, have instructions, have the Epi, and be able to react fast.

I couldn't find one that I liked. I certainly couldn't find one that wouldn't have cost me more money than I thought something like that should cost. And I can't sew. Actually, let me rephrase that: I don't like sewing by hand - I'm not very good at it - and I have no idea how to use a sewing machine. So sewing an epi-bag was out... which meant that I have not had a carry case that I liked.

Until today.

Did you know that it's "Back to School" time? Oh, Target shoppers... guess what?

They have a plastic pencil case right now for a mere $0.69 that fits an Epi-Pen 

Like a glove.

I spent some time in MS Publisher creating basic instructions and included a 4-step graphic on how to inject the epinephrine in the event of an emergency (I got that off the internet someplace). 

I spent a little more time creating a front cover that included a picture of Will, his allergens, and who to call after calling 911.

I cut out both and attached them with packing tape (though "contact paper" would be just as good I would imagine). 

I made one for my bag and one for my husband's bag (we keep one in each) to give us a consolidated, grab-and-go tool. It's simple, it took very little time, and you don't need to be crafty to get it done. I feel so much better that this is a shape that can easily be felt in any bag and that his allergy plan/information is right there and visible.

Especially since I am giving you the .pdf file to fill in with your own (or your child's) information.


Now you too can have an insanely inexpensive, easily found and simple Epi-Pen case.

May it never come in handy.

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