Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Self-pitying post here. Some of you might not know that I have asthma. It's never been too terrible and, although I am pretty sure in hindsight I've always had it, I wasn't even diagnosed until I got to college. I think the pollution in Philly was a little worse than in Indy, so that's when I had my first big asthma episode. I spent a few years on daily meds (lots of steroids, which kindof freak me out) and by the end of college, I hadn't had one of my bad episodes (which compared to lots of people with asthma are really, truly not that bad... no intubation, no hospital stays, just short visits) in about a year. Eventually, with doctor approval, I stopped taking daily meds and just use my rescue inhaler before I exercise.

This was all working fine until a couple months ago when I got this cough I couldn't kick. Probably allergy related, as my allergies have morphed from just cats 15 years ago to cats and dust and pollen these days. Fun. My chest has felt a bit tighter lately. I started using my inhaler about once a week in non-exercise settings. I had a couple mini episodes that I calmed my lungs out of with my inhaler. I also discovered I'm allergic to some cherries a couple weeks ago and that set me off too. How annoying is that -- allergic to an awesome fresh fruit? Oh well.

Well, last night I was up late working and around 12:30am my chest felt extra tight. The inhaler wasn't working. I finally got in bed around 1:30 to try to relax, but my chest just felt worse. I'm a worrier by nature anyway, which isn't a good characteristic for an asthmatic as relaxing is half the battle. So I sat there a little while trying to figure out if I was in bad shape or just freaking myself out. I walked downstairs and tried to cough through it (sometimes works), drank some water (sometimes helps). But nothing. At 2:30am I woke up Rob and asked him to drive me to the ER.

Rob dropped me off at the ER door to find some middle of the night parking nearby and then joined me inside. The nurses and doctors helped me right away. The bonus of walking in and saying you can't breathe, I suppose. The ER wasn't very busy, though, and the staff was very friendly. I think the hospital is called the Illinois Masonic Hospital, which is just a few blocks away from us. Thumbs up from me. They hooked me up to a hard-core nebulizer and pumped me up with steroids. They took a chest x-ray, which was all clear. I took some more steroids in pill form. And by 4:30am, my chest was still a little tight, but clearly not getting worse. Breathing was not difficult, although still not ideal. My peak flow was about 350, but headed up. Someone my age, gender and height should probably be closer to 500, but I think my normal isn't much more than 450 anyway. So all things considered, I was fine. I was also armed with new prescriptions for daily asthma meds. Boooo.

Rob was great through our ER visit. He kept me laughing, which was certainly relaxing. And while I got to call in sick today, poor Rob still had to get up a couple hours later and work all day. Of course, me being me, I had my co-clerk Mike email me an opinion I was working on so I could finish the draft and turn it in today. Although I'm quite sure it's the worst one I've ever done. My judge told me I could just give her what I had and she'd work on it from there, so I just added the changes I was making last night and did that. But I generally make most of my improvements at the end of the writing process. I hate showing other people my flawed or incomplete work product. Makes me crazy.

Anyway, that's our unwanted adventure of the week, and hopefully of the month.

1 comment:

Valerie said...

Sorry to hear about the ER trip. Hope you're feeling better! On another note, I love the graphic picture done for your sister. Do you think their friend would make another one--I'd pay him for it, of course.