Monday, November 14, 2005

supposed to be...

...preparing a lesson for tomorrow night's class. Instead, I've been chatting with a dear friend that I'm glad to be reconnecting with. It's impossible to have too many intelligent women in your life. We chatted about the nature of butch/femme, and that conversation helped me to refine my opinions on the subject. It's something I've been thinking a bit about lately for various reasons, so it was good to get to say the things aloud that I've been tossing around in my head. I've also been farting around with my computer, downloading a spyware removal program, toying with my profiles on various websites, ripping my cd's to mp3, generally doing anything EXCEPT what i'm supposed to be doing.

*RINGRING* phone break!

Okay, having just spilled my innermost secrets to my little sister, I'm ready to get down to what this post was supposed to be about in the first place: asthma. I have been doing a lot to keep myself busy and not think about it lately. I was supposed to have a doctor's appointment this morning to discuss it and come up with a management plan. Unfortunately, that didn't work out. The office wasn't where its map said it was, and although my appointment was scheduled for 8:30, when I called to get revised directions to the office, the answering service said the office didn't open until 9. I don't have any idea how the directions and hours got so screwed up, but I'll be finding a new doctor before I set another appointment. Even now, in my post about asthma, i'm doing what I've been doing for a week: thinking and talking about everything EXCEPT how I feel about it.

I'm supposed to play in a rugby game this weekend. Last night was the first time I've gotten more than an arm's length from my inhaler since I went to the ER last Monday, and bragging about it just then made me go all tight and claustrophobic. Honestly, I don't know exactly where my inhaler is at this second, and that scares me. In fact, I'm going to go find it. Be right back.

Okay, so it was in the console of my truck. That's actually a pretty reasonable location for it, as long as I'm driving myself wherever I'm going. I really would like to get a few spares, so I can keep one at home and one in the office.

I've been trying to talk about this off and on for the last week. I haven't done a very good job expressing it to anyone, and if I've personally bored you with the discussion, I apologize. I do not fear. There are so few things in this life I'm afraid of that you might as well say there are none. I'm not scared of any of the typical stuff: bugs, snakes, bats, guns, death, violence, pain, heartache, heights, flying. In fact, relative to suffocation and stagnation (the emotional version of physical suffocation), I can honestly say I'm afraid of absolutely nothing.

So I'm supposed to be playing in a rugby game this weekend. It's an Aggie Alumnae game in which the old ruggers play with or against the current ones. I've been looking forward to this event for months. I was excited a month ago about the prospect of getting my boots back on and getting into my gear and pushing my body to keep up with my brain for an hour and a half. And then this asthma mess started up. I'm plain terrified.

I started trying to get to the root of this fear, because I'm ashamed that I have contemplated sitting a game out due to it. I have struggled with asthma before, and in a rugby context, it's very familiar. But something is different this time, and I'm scared in a way I've only felt once before. I think the difference is that before this, I've always known precisely what brought the asthma on. I've also always known exactly how to fix it. I suck on my inhaler, I wait a minute, air comes back into my lungs, I can breathe, all is well. There was one time in Aspen that it took a really long time for me to get an inhaler, and even longer for the attack to pass, and I got good and snotty drunk that night and cried on my friends' shoulders about it. This most recent attack was similar to that first in that I was without air for a very much longer time than I usually am. The difference, however, is that this time it wasn't triggered by playing rugby or by allergies or by anything I can put my finger on for certain. I'd been coughing a lot, with congestion in my chest, but later it turned out there was nothing unusual plugging up my chest. I was just standing in the copy room at work, having taken my inhaler just about 20 minutes before, and I suddenly couldn't breathe. Well, I could try, but no air moved when I tried to breathe. And here I am again, talking about the mechanics and the situation and the context, but not how I feel about it. I'm doing all I can to keep from facing this fear and feeling it.

So, I've gotten all distracted by other things as I've tried to compose this post, and now my neighbors are upstairs bowling for sex or something, so I'm going to end this ramble. More when I'm more coherent.

1 comment:

joker2 said...

Thanks for saying " In fact, relative to suffocation and stagnation (the emotional version of physical suffocation) " ... I hadn't really connected the two before, and hadn't made that link, yet realize that the feeling is very much like an asthma attack.

Definitely get a new doctor, that sort of stuff is inexcusable. Whatever doctor you do see should be able to recommend a maintenance medication to keep you on an even keel

Realizing the asthma is a fear, and a valid one, goes a long way to facing it. (Make sure the inhaler hasn't expired, and check it in a sink full of water -- if it floats near the top, then the reason it didn't work was because it's empty! Also, leaving the inhaler in the truck may not be doing anything good for it -- the directions say it should always be kept at room temperature.)

Your dog takes you on walks -- you posted a couple days ago that you played with her until she was tired... you haven't given in yet. Yes, your recent illness probably weakened your respiratory and immune system, but don't let it keep you from living. I would assume that like with any organized game they'll have medical staff / an ambulance on hand in case anything happens.