Does your mom un-discretely yell out the door, Do you have your Epi?, when you're heading out with friends?
I feel your pain. My mom would always yell it out the door after us, my brother and I, despite having asked us in the privacy of our home already. It used to make me feel so embarrassed. Here I was trying to hide my allergies and act normal, and my mom was drawing attention to them like a blaring siren. Then there would be the barrage of questions from friends - what are you allergic to? Will you die? Do you vomit everywhere? I feel so sorry for you.
Not that I'm blaming my mom for anything. Being a teen that's "different" in one way or another can be difficult and she was ensuring that my social discomfort wouldn't overshadow my physical well being. I wasn't about to share my allergy info with my friends so it's probably a good thing that sharing was forced upon me. Hiding your allergies doesn't do you any favors especially in the event of a reaction.
In many cases of fatality the epinephrine was not administered fast enough. I personally know many allergic adults who do not carry one. Is it because they don't understand the risk? Is it because it's a clumsy thing to bring along? Do they just forget from time to time? I understand that for men it can be awkward to keep it in your pocket; my brother has told me many times.
When I was 16 I really learned a lesson about prioritizing carrying my Epi Pen. I was starting to come out of my shell and got invited to an all ages party downtown with a group of friends. My mom reluctantly let me go, emphasis on reluctantly. None of my friends were bringing a purse so I didn't want to bring one either. So where would I put my meds? My mom and I debated about this for some time, me constantly refusing the obvious solution to just bring a frigging purse. My skin-tight white capri pants *cringe* didn't have pockets. I made a big deal about it. I insisted I didn't need to carry one that night, that I wouldn't be eating anything suspect anyways. My mom was disappointed, my dad looked tired. I decided to wear a jacket and keep it in my pocket but I was unhappy about it.
When we arrived at the bar I was stunned to see that there was no coat check despite still being cold outside. Yes, I had planned to coat check my jacket + Epi and yes, I know this was stupid. My friend's suggestion to stuff it in a box underneath the bathroom sink didn't sit well with me. I pulled my Epi out and somehow managed to roll it up into the waistband of my pants. Benadryl went straight into my bra. Large flouncy tops were in style at the time... What can I say, it was a bad time for fashion and I was laced with medication like the allergy girl SWAT team.
About 10 minutes later my jacket was stolen, and then about thirty seconds after that my Epi Pen sprung from my waistband and rolled across the sticky dancefloor, me chasing after it like an imbecile. Dodging heels and fumbling amid the strobe lights. One of the guys in our group saw this pathetic display and offered to just keep it in his pocket, he was allergic to peanuts. He understood the allergy but likely not the baffoonery. He hadn't brought his Epi Pen that evening because he didn't think he'd need it. If either of us were to have had a reaction and it had still been in my stolen jacket, what would we have done? What if I hadn't brought mine either? Remember that you can have a reaction from kissing if that person ate something you're allergic to.
The moral of this seemingly useless story? I was not acting in my own best interest. I wasn't making my safety a priority. Trying to hide my food allergies didn't get me anywhere. You only live once, so carry your Epi Pen.