Asthma Getting in the Way of Progress and LifeI have asthma.
It hit me 10 years ago and hasn't let up since. I moved to Florida to shed the many triggers in New Jersey - ragweed, mold, winter, extreme temperature and weather changes.
That doesn't mean my asthma is cured but it has been much improved.
The last two years I lived in New Jersey, I spent at least once a month in the ER or overnight in the hospital - one time I spent two weeks in the hospital. After that, my doctors sent me to National Jewish Hospital in Denver for two weeks of intense tests two months before I moved to Florida.
Since moving south two years and three months ago, I have been to the ER 3 times for asthma, with one visit turning into an overnight stay. Sunday night was the third ER visit.
I went to work at the pier Sunday morning and I'm not sure what triggered the attack, but it hit hard and I went down fast. I don't huff and puff and struggle for air - my lungs close up and stop moving air. It feels like someone has deflated them. It's hard to move or talk.
The lungs hurt - it can be very painful. Not everyone has chest pain with asthma. Lucky me. Sometimes it feels like there are hands inside squeezing my lungs tight. Sometimes it feels like there are large books or animals or my brother sitting on my chest.
After a full day using my nebulizer every four hours and trying to rest and B checking on me (he stayed at the pier much longer than his schedule allowed - just watching out for me), it was decided I should head to the ER. I wasn't getting better and it was time for some IV steroids and help. I always question this move - going to the ER. I shouldn't - once you are asking the question, it is time to go.
B drove down from Naples at 9:30 p.m. and drove me back to Naples to the hospital. When he arrived at my place, I was still questioning whether we should go. He persuaded me - you can barely talk, you need to go. I'm glad we did. I'm glad he was there to take me. He's a good egg.
The drill: you say you have asthma - you get back almost immediately. You tell the triage nurse about your chest pain and you are sure it's the asthma. No matter - EKG time. Chest X-ray. Doctor listens to your lungs not moving air. Blood work, IV, IV steroids, breathing treatment. Doctor listens to your lungs moving a little more air, hands you a prescription for prednisone and sends you home with an order to follow up with your pulmonologist.
B drove me all the way back to my place instead of two blocks away to his - for several reasons but mostly because my nebulizer was at my condo. He checked on me every time I woke during the night, asked if I needed anything. He stayed with me for much longer than he should have work-wise on Monday because he wanted to make sure I was ok on my own. As Jess said: so glad he was able and willing to help me.
I let my parents do a little petting last night. They had me over for dinner and that was very comforting. I told them B stayed at the pier watching out for me Sunday and took me to the ER. Dad hugged me and said, "little girl, that's what good guys do." I told B he made some serious brownie points - haha. (Don't get excited or freaked out out there. It's nice. No jumping ahead here.)
Two days later and the Prednisone is starting to kick in a little - sometimes it takes a while. I feel a little better than yesterday - the entire Encyclopedia Britannica isn't sitting on my chest and there's a lot less pain, but still really tight. And I'm writing today - more than I could manage yesterday so I must be on the mend. I'm trying to sleep but my brain is awake - my body isn't so much. And my brain isn't exactly moving quickly.
Something funny though: a couple in the coffee shop earlier today were telling Oscar he could sooth his dishpan hands with "that dish detergent what's it called?" I piped up with Palmolive - whoa where did I pull that out of? "And who was it who used it," the mused. Immediately from me - Madge. I couldn't come up with my doctors names at the ER Sunday night without looking at my phone contacts - what the heck? I guess I regressed. Haha.
While my home looks like a cyclone came through and I'm unable to muster the strength to clean it, I did manage to change the light bulb on the fridge water and ice dispenser... and to color.
I'm going to try to shut down my brain now and rest my lungs. Good night.