Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Breathing is NOT overrated.

I have, since Wednesday of last week, been suffering badly with asthma. I know this is not a unique condition, and lots of folks out there have it, too. I haven't had trouble with it in over two years, though, so it really caught me by surprise to have trouble breathing last Wednesday. Further, I've been surprised by the fact that it's been ongoing since then. The real waker-upper was that I had a nasty attack yesterday afternoon at work (only 20 minutes after using my inhaler) and ended up in the emergency room.

Luckily, the hospital staff were quick and friendly and got me a breathing treatment very efficiently. I even got a kids' room in the E.R. so i had SpongeBob and Spiderman wall art for scenery, which beats institutional gray any day. Once I'd had the breathing treatment, all was well again. It was kinda scary, because although I'm familiar with this whole procedure (O2 monitor, BP cuff, gown, breathing through a tube) from having seen my sister go through it, I've never been through it myself. Hello: New Perspective!

End result: I got a new inhaler, as my old one was rather -- well, old. I also got a round of prednisone, which is NOT my favorite thing. I've seen family members go on it before, and I'm not looking forward to the side effects, although I cannot argue with the efficacy of its therapeutic effects. Today is the first day in nearly a week on which I've been able to take the stairs.

Lasting effects: ummm... I'm mortal. I forget that sometimes, that my existence will eventually cease, I'll be dead, and everything I know here and now will be no more. Honestly, that doesn't bother me. It's going to happen, I can't stop it, and I don't think it'll be terrible. In fact, I kinda look forward to the adventure of change although I'm in no hurry to get there; it seems there's no good way back. Suffocation, however, is my single greatest fear. I can't craft any words that adequately convey how deeply terrified I am of suffocation. I'm not afraid of dying, and I'm not afraid of death. I am shredded to the bone over suffocation. I keep telling my co-workers who ask after my health that i'm okay and "breathing is NOT overrated". It's shamefully cliche, I know, but it's the only response I have that doesn't get too personal. I don't want to show them this fear and pain. I don't want to answer honestly because that allows them into me too much.

1 comment:

joker2 said...

I hear you. Asthma's beaten me down a time or four... Scariest feeling to know there's air to breathe and yet you can't do it. My sleep apnea instills a similar fear...