Friday, April 18, 2008

Just Breathe

So after all that trash talking, things got kind of interesting around here. By five o'clock in the afternoon, it felt like a concrete block was sitting on my chest. I freaked, and called Matt at work to ask him to come home. I also paged my doctor- and by the time she called back, I was having problems breathing, and the chest pressure got really intense. So I do what makes perfect, rational sense-- I burst into tears. My poor doctor can barely make out who is on the other line because I'm a wheezing, blubbering mess. I'm almost too embarrassed to have to go see her in a week.

She, of course being of sound mind and concrete-block free body, logically tells me to get my ass to the closest emergency room. I (thank you Google!) find this clinic around the corner, grab my keys, meet my husband who has just pulled into the driveway and take off.

To put this in perspective, this would only be my 4th visit to the ER in the last ten years. Once, I was in a car accident and my neck got tweaked. Two other times I had the remarkable pleasure of passing kidney stones (while pregnant! nothing prepares you for labor more than shredding your insides to bits with calcified sand granules). All four times, I drove myself to the ER. When you're married to someone that works on average of 120 hours a week- a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. It did get somewhat ridiculous when I was mid-passing a stone in the ER and they kept trying to force morphine on me and I was all, "Hey now, that's not a good idea because I really need to drive myself home. Please just give me some Vicodin and we'll call it a day." Driving yourself while having a serious respiratory issue is a walk in the park compared with having a grumpy husband and two very-near bedtime toddlers accompany you to a sterile waiting room for an indefinite wait. I'd rather donate some much needed organs, while living, than to have to go through that.

So when I show up at the local Doc-in-a-box, I was expecting a long wait. And really, when you don't have to put the kids to bed or clean up the dinner dishes, how bad is it to sit in a plastic chair and be forced to watch CSI and Survivor? It fucking sucks when you have a two ton block of concrete on your chest and are gulping for air.

Luckily, they either saw my distress or were afraid I was going to scare away the rest of their business for the night because they had me in an exam room in fifteen minutes. (I only got to see one severed head on CSI- that's pretty good by gory time standards). After one abnormal EKG where the nurse (he was from Australia, his Dad is an aborigine that lives in the bush. Why must I insist on finding out everyone's life history whenever I'm in a hospital?) became convinced I was having a heart attack- this kind of dampened my plans for a few moments, and made me wonder if the last thing I was going to see was a crappy CSI and the speckled ceiling of an exam room- he fixed some button and finally got a normal reading.

After figuring out I was not pregnant, not having a heart attack and ruling out pneumonia, they quickly discovered I really couldn't breathe that well. I was having a "flare up" of asthma that I thought I had outgrown four years ago. They put me on oxygen, gave me some steroids to lessen the swelling in my lungs (hey look! I also get testicles as a parting gift!) and gave me a breathing treatment. Within two hours, the concrete block had lessened to a piece of particle board, and I was ready to go home. Home to a house that no longer had a week's worth of trash in it. Because I was sly and dumped it at my neighbor's before theirs got picked up. I'm classy like that- particle board chest and all.

1 comment:

Franklin5 said...

Have been meaning to comment for a while now on all the comings and goings and ins and outs, perhaps pausing for a moment to whine about the fact that you're leaving the state before we ever got organized enough to meet up, either here or there...

... and then, WOW. This post. So glad you weren't having a heart attack, and so hopeful you're feeling absolutely, positively swell and keeping a nice safe distance from the emergency room.

Take good care of yourself, and keep in touch...
Amy (mrs. f5)