Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Mile In Their Shoes

So, I can be a whiner. I know this. And I don't like it. But I fight a little battle in my head (loooooony!) regularly between the side of me that wants to share and the side that doesn't. So, since Facebook is a little more in your face, I figure I can say what I want here and those who can read it and take it with a grain of salt are welcome to, and those who would rather not can avoid it easily.

That being said, I gotta tell you what happened to me last night.  I literally had an asthma attack. I don't have asthma.  I thought when I was a kid that I had exercised induced asthma, which I always thought might be a little bit of 'you're-just-outta-shape' asthma.  Last night confirmed it for me.  What I had as a kid, was not asthma.

I can totally deal with being sick. It happens. You get to lay in bed a little, lay low, all that stuff. Of course I don't like it, but I try not to worry to much about it. I generally don't go to the Dr until well after I should, but I also go to the Dr a lot since my body doesn't seem to fight off infection well.  Whatevs.  I was sick all day Monday. Dan left the house putting Maddox in charge since I was pretty much lifeless on the couch.  That resulted in a lot of messes, a lot of Easter Candy being eaten, and fortunately no real drama. 

So I'm in bed texting a friend when I realize the weight on my chest is feeling heavier and heavier.   I decide to take a super hot shower and sit in the steam to clear things up a bit.  I was pretty sure it would work. Its what my mom did with me as a kid growing up whenever I had croup. Which was a lot.  So I wasn't too worried.  But something happened while I was in the shower.  I had another coughing fit, but suddenly it was more of a bark than a cough, and suddenly I couldn't breathe without it sounding and feeling like I was gasping for breathe.  And then I realized I was gasping for breathe, and I panicked which of course made it worse.  I banged on the wall of the shower, and Dan was down in no time.  I literally felt like my esophagus/throat was going to collapse like a balloon with the air being sucked out of it. I don't know how else to describe it.  It took everything I had to keep from ripping at my chest in a panic.  Enter Dan.  He was able to help me calm down and after several sobbing failed attempts, take slow breaths.  We sat there trying to decide if I needed to go to the ER. How much was from panic? Did I have pneumonia? Would I be able to drive myself? Would he need to call 911, and for a few seconds I prayed that he would because I just wanted something on my face getting air into my lungs stat.  But his calm and persistence paid off. We got my breathing under control enough that he was able to walk away and just check on me in a few minutes. And by the time he came to bed, Nyquil had calmed me down (knocked me out), and I was able to get some sleep.

I woke up still feeling like a truck was parked on my chest, but I made an appointment and got in to the Dr.  I might be a little dramatic... only a little... but I kinda thought they were going to tell me I have pneumonia and either give me breathing treatments, or in my more dramatic (read:Hypochondriac) imaginings, I saw myself being admitted to the hospital.  I wasn't surprised that when the Dr checked me out she saw that I was basically a mess who just wanted to go back to bed. But what did surprise me was that she noticed that my ears and neck and face were swollen, and that I had had, and was possibly still having the effects of an asthma attack brought on by allergies. And that the buildup from the allergies had also caused basically a sinus infection.  She said that something had blown into the area that was messing with all of her allergy and asthma people.  It makes sense that whatever this allergen is, isn't the norm because I really have not struggled with allergies in TX until the last couple weeks. 

While she was surprised that I hadn't ever been diagnosed with real asthma, she and I were both comfortable believing that this was probably a one time, perfect storm situation.  We will of course be keeping an eye on the allergens, and be wary of another bout of allergic reaction, but what I have come out of from this, is a brand new understanding and empathy for those with asthma.  I have had to deal with it once. How many times have others, and children dealt with it. Felt like they were literally going to die.  I was not going to die, but its the closest I have ever felt to it. 

All in all, I got some good drugs, and I'm going to be just fine in no time. But it was such a big experience for me that, while I don't want to go around boring the whole world telling them about what "happened" to me, upping my neurotic-hypochondriac-whiner rep, I still wanted to share it.  May not be a difference, but oh well.  :)  Nyquil is now coursing through my veins and calling me to bed, so I will obey and sign off.