“guess I’ll die another day”

January 17, 2008 at 9:00 pm (ambulance, asthma, emergency room, health, journal, nashville, potential, rant, struggle, suffering, weight, weight loss, workout, ymca)

justbreathe.jpg

 

Ok, so the title is meant to be a small example of my, somewhat morbid, humor. I had sort of a close call today. This morning, I woke up as usual, but within minutes, I was having a serious asthma attack. Usually an attack warrants only a dose of albuterol on my trusty nebulizer, but this was different. Without any warning, I suddenly could move no air at all through my bronchial tubes. I tried to start a breathing treatment to no avail. After a few minutes, I stumbled across the room to my door. Thankfully my roomate was still getting ready in the bathroom, just about to leave for work. I mouthed to her that I could not breathe, and she immediately called 911.

You know how they always say that your life flashes before your eyes? It’s sort of true. In a strange, almost out-of-body, experience, I was remembering my life, and whether or not I made it count. I also saw the faces of all the people I care about…the ones I would be sad to leave if it really came to that. For several horrible minutes, I had contemplated the real possibility that the next, very short breath, may be my last. Let me tell you, that is quite a sobering fact.

I’ve had asthma all my life. I was diagnosed with it when I was just a baby. In my 27 years on earth, I have had several close calls, all equally terrifying, yet eye-opening.

By the time the paramedics got there, I felt like I may be on the verge of losing consciousness. I was shaky, thanks to the adrenaline that rushes through the human body in these types of cases, but it also seemed to help move just enough of the necessary oxygen.

After what seemed like hours, but in reality was only a few minutes, I had regained enough of the ability to be able to walk on my own, and make my way to the ambulance waiting outside my front door. Once in the ambulance, the drama was over. It’s amazing what that medicine in the IV can do. I immediately felt the effects, and my chest released its grip, allowing me to breath freely again. I would definitely prefer the ambulance ride any day, if for no other reason than to feel some relief more quickly than having to bear a ride to the hospital.

So, that was the adventure of my morning. Another perk of the ambulance ride, is that they immediately take you in and get you in an ER room. I was hooked up to more wires and tubes, given a 2 hour long, intensive breathing treatment, and was feeling good as new. Actually, I kept joking with the doctors that this was the best I have really felt in a while. Maybe I should’ve come in sooner to get the magic juice pumped into my veins.

The docs were suggesting that I stay overnight, but I convinced them otherwise. I know, I know. But this isn’t the first time I’ve had to go through this process. I would much rather be in my own bed, taking breathing treatments of the same medicine that I would be taking at Vanderbilt.

I’m on a hefty dose of some steroids for the next week or so (and I don’t even mind the mood swings, brain fog, fatigue, and puffiness that comes along with it). I think I can handle that.

I’m realizing more and more just how much progress that needs to be done, in all facets of life. Life has a lot of potential. I just have to figure out how to get there.One step at a time…

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1 Comment

  1. Janet said,

    Thanks for posting your pic. My students will immediately understand your distress from this powerful image.

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