Lessons in Breathing

NO HORN BLOWING, originally uploaded by nicolemonet2002.

As I'm sure I've mentioned before, my allergies have been nothing if not annoying since coming to Sacramento last year. What I rarely talk about is the negative effect it's been having on my asthma recently. The reason for that, is because I really don't pay attention to how difficult it is for me to breathe until right before I enter crisis mode. It's a bad habit that I didn't really realize I had until today.

I went to the Health Clinic today in hopes of getting some information on the H1N1 vaccine, as well as to mention how out of wack my breathing has been lately. As I waited to be seen by the doctor I noticed my voice progressively fading while my head started to pound. I just chocked it up to allergies. By the time I'd been called to see the doctor I'd been feeling slightly dizzy with my head still pounding.

I was having an asthma attack.

I didn't even fully realize that until the doctor told me to take deep breathes so she could listen to my lunges, and I couldn't. She immediately gave me a look and said,"Your lungs are really tight. I'm going to have you take a treatment. I'll back after" [Treatment: Nebulizer filled with Abuterol solution.] The shit makes you jittery as hell, your muscles literally jump... But your lungs open like the red sea so...

It was pointed out to me, once the doctor came back that when she'd first come into the room my lungs were so tight that I barely had enough oxygen in my lungs to speak. And to top it off the lack of oxygen was most likely the cause of the headaches I'd been getting for the past few days. After asking me if I even had my inhaler with me and discovering that I didn't... I basically got chastised like an extremely irresponsible child.

Which, I suppose I deserved.

I've never taken my asthma seriously. To me, in the face of the very serious illness in the world, asthma was only a minor blip. And the doctor let me know how irresponsible that was. "Asthma is a very serious disease and people have died." - "If you ever find yourself out without an inhaler you NEED to go to an emergency room." Then finally, "I'm putting you on steroids."

I think that, more then anything kind of woke me up. You get put on steroid tablets when your attacks start become unmanageable by an inhaler alone. She then told me that in my condition it would be best to get at least the normal flu shot since my asthma seems to get badly exacerbated by illness.

It's crazy and scary. It's time to start taking things a bit more seriously. And I will.

Bring on the jitters!


bk said...

I won't reprimand you too for not having an inhaler and stuff; I think the scare you experienced was... well scary and punishment enough. So, please, do take this seriously. Stock up on inhalers, so that you have one in your school bag and one spare and one for emergencies, hmmmmkay? In fact, it would greatly suck to have you at risk just because... you know of a dude-tude towards asthma. Asthma is not a friend to your lungs which you need for breathing, hmmmmkay?

VeganBattleBot said...

Yeah jitters! Woo! Especially contrasted against the consequences of not taking your condition seriously. I'm glad to hear that it's finally dawned on you that taking it seriously is the way to go. :]