Sunday, February 20, 2011

Why Asthma is fun. (not really...)

If there is anything this past week has taught me, it's that I suck at self-assessment. In fact, I find myself sitting here on a Saturday night, completely exhausted, wanting no more than to sleep, yet I'm cursed with the sandman finding me completely unattractive and unworthy of a visit. Every time I lie down, I start coughing. Hmm... I'm really not whining. I just find it interesting that after 15ish years of dealing with asthma, I find myself coming full circle.

When I was first diagnosed, I faced almost the same scenario medically that I have this week. I was completing my next to last clinical in PT school at an inpatient rehab hospital in Lynchburg, and I had come down with the flu. I was miserable. My clinical instructor was so great, even bringing me food and drinks to my dorm room. But I finally admitted I was in trouble early one morning, and called my now husband to rescue me. He drove from Richmond to get me, then back again all the way downtown to student health at VCU, since I had no real health insurance. I got 2 breathing treatments, antibiotics, and a course of prednisone.... and my now husband got instructions about what to look out for, when to take me to the ER, etc.... and I spent the next week in the recliner at my now in-law's home. And here I sit in our recently purchased recliner. I just had a cold that may as well have been the flu... my husband again rescued me (this time I thought I was getting better)... again a course of antibiotics, steroids (this time a super fun shot, too), and breathing treatment, and we got the speech about when to take me to the ER should my symptoms get worse. (I have to mention how sweet my husband was after our trip to urgent care... our hot Friday night date ended with take-out from Cracker Barrel, watching the harvest moon rise from the CVS parking lot, and how he's done the mounds of laundry and clean-up that I couldn't do while he was out of town.)

Perhaps the only blessing from having asthma and dealing with bouts of bronchitis is that I can relate to my patients with respiratory issues. I can exactly describe to them the feeling they get when their symptoms are at their worst. We can commiserate about the feeling that you are seemingly drowning without all of the fun of going swimming, and how it's perfectly acceptable to sleep in your recliner when your symptoms are at their worst, and that taking a mess of inhalers really sucks. Truly. And then they trust me, and we are fast friends. It's one of my great joys to help someone work through a respiratory issue, because I've been there, too.

So now the fun begins with building up my tolerance to activity (just as my patients have to do, except they deal with far worse symptoms and older bodies than me, of course) so I can perform more meaningful activities that simply watching TV, typing on the computer, or walking across the room without incurring a major coughing fit or requiring a few puffs of albuterol! Wish me luck... and thanks for reading. :)


  1. Poor thing :-( I wish I could make ya feel better somehow. I can always take some cute little girls this weekend. I know Haley would love to have Kendal over for a sleepover! Give me a call if you need anything!

  2. So not fun...but what a sweet husband you have! Hoping you feel better soon. My little ones tend to get nasty upper respiratory stuff that scares me. Hang in there and enjoy your recliner. :)