“ Brand: Asda / Dosage: Tablets „
If you've have Aid Training chances are you'll be acquainted with Resusci Annie - a head, shoulders and chest mannequin used to teach CPR techniques. At my work we get Emergency First Aid training regularly and Annie is always present. In order to make our training more enjoyable and hopefully more memorable, Annie often does take a little flack. First of all we'll name her after an irritating celeb or politician (plenty of scope here), have mock conservations with her (as in the Roman bust in the Morecambe & Wise "Anthony and Cleopatra" sketch) and place her (and ourselves) in the most unladylike positions and poses.
Meet My Allergy
I don't have the regular hay fever or pet fur problems - my particular allergy to that powdery stuff you get on things like rubber gloves, balloons and many latex products - especially when they are brand new. It's usually an easy allergy to manage, but the results can be pretty nasty.
When Annie met Allergy
Recently we'd had a first aid training session in work - and a lovely new Annie straight out of the box.
Back in the day when you learnt mouth to mouth Annie was given a good wipe down after each snog, but now we use an oxygen mask, and plain old Vinnie Jones' "Staying Alive" compressions, so there's not just quite as urgent a need to maintain Annie's personal hygiene.
Being made of latex and being new, Annie had a post-factory invisible dusting of powder that wasn't getting wiped away after each person took their turn.
After my go, I touched my face - and the tiniest residue of newly-boxed Annie went straight for me!
I didn't feel anything at first - I just saw the look of horror on the trainer's face and what I thought was the hint of a smirk from Annie. Went straight to the ladies loo to look in the mirror and saw my right eye swell up to the size of a tennis ball, followed by a tight itchy throat and a blocked up nose.
ASDA is just two minutes away from where I work so I sprinted round there.
Finally - to the product!
ASDA's One-a-day Hay fever & Allergy tablets were priced at £1 - but on offer at 90p! I chose the green ones shown above and the pack contained 14 tablets. The tablets contain 10mg of Loratadine, (sounds like a country & western singer), and although it didn't state it on the box, I knew from experience that this was a type of "non-drowsy" antihistamine. They also contain lactose.
The box says that they provide "Effective relief from hay fever and other allergies", and states that they can also be taken for rash, itching and hives. It warns not to give to children under 2 years of age or weighing less than 30kg, and that if you have severe liver problems you may need to take one tablet every other day. You are warned not to take if you are breastfeeding or pregnant. There is also a detailed leaflet inside the box that you are advised to read. It includes a warning that in some cases Loratadine may cause drowsiness.
The tablets are tiny oval shaped, and very easy to swallow. I've never had a problem taking tablets and if I was in real need I could take them without water.
Within an hour my nose and throat began to feel much better - my nose was clear and the itchiness had gone and I experienced no additional swelling round my eye. My eye had gone down significantly the next morning, but it took a couple of days for it to go down completely. Another bit of advice - if this happens to you rub plenty of Vaseline round the swollen area - not only is it nice and soothing, but it stops your eye getting all sore and crusty once the swelling goes down. It makes the swelling look worse because it makes it "shiny" but a good pair of sunglasses will hide this OK!
Mine was a one off, so I don't know what it would be like to take these regularly if you had an on-going issue like hay fever.
At 90p they were a great price - as far as effectiveness goes they were just as good as any other antihistamine I'd ever had before, and one was enough to stop the allergic reaction.
My eye went safely back to normal - and Annie went safely back in her box.
I still have a bit of a creepy feeling about her - and imagine her laughing to herself like the ventriloquist's dummy in that old Ealing movie "Dead of Night".
I'm not resorting to sleeping with the lights on - but I'll be a tad reluctant to take my turn the next time CPR training comes around - and I'll treat Annie with plenty of respect!
Thanks for reading - and don't have nightmares!