It’s Not a Vacation When You’re Sick

It’s Not a Vacation When You’re Sick

And the fun continues. Yesterday I spent a good portion of the day first at the health center of my university where I was having some chest pressure and difficulty taking in deep breaths. I cancelled all my experiments that were planned for the afternoon and after being prescribed an acid-reflux drug, I still wasn’t feeling my best but walked back to my lab and sat back at my desk trying to employ some deep breathing/meditation techniques to avoid a full on panic mode situation. I took one of the anti-acid pills that were prescribed and then the fun really started. It was immediately more difficult to swallow and the pain in my chest started increasing from taking such shallow breaths. I packed my stuff, thinking I was having some kind of allergic reaction to the medication and hopped on the bus as at that point I was planning on getting in my car and driving myself to the emergency room. No go. I got on the bus and within a minute felt my airways starting to really be compromised. I immediately told the bus driver to call 911 and he pulled over at the next stop while we waited for the ambulance to arrive. I had my eyes closed this entire time, doing to my best to stay calm and I was beginning to feel very faint and I just knew that fainting at that point, before the EMT crew, arrived would just be highly problematic. I sat as still as possible and thankfully the fire department arrived first followed closely by the paramedics.

I was asked some basic questions and quickly placed in the ambulance where they did an EKG and started me on a breathing treatment to open up my airways. An IV line was put in and off we were to the hospital. The breathing treatment in the ambulance helped ease some of my panic as my breath started coming in easier. I was there for close to 30-45 minutes I believe and I kept asking them to try and locate my husband’s work phone number, as my phone had died. My husband finally arrived and I felt a bigger sense of relief. We ended up staying in the ER for close to three hours or so and finally went home with not a 100% diagnosis but the main thought being that I had had some sort as asthma attack which was probably worsened by my anxiety the last few days from the stress of my grandmother’s situation. When I got home I managed to eat some macaroni and cheese and then watched TV for a little bit on the couch. My husband unfortunately is under the weather with flu-like symptoms and he was in bed before I even was, so I had to take care of myself the last little bit before finally going to bed.

Fast forward to today. I emailed into work that I was going to be taking the rest of the week off and boy am I glad I did. I woke up feeling fairly decently and had some coffee in the morning and even went through my inbox and did some very light working. Shortly after I took a different pill that was prescribed to me yesterday by the first doctor at the university, a Mucinex. The discomfort in my throat took on a renewed vigor and I once again felt my airways closing. My chest was hurting from dealing with all the pressure of shallow breathing and my husband and I found ourselves back in the emergency room for the third installment in the last 5 days. They did another breathing treatment which helped and gave me an injection of an anti-anxiety medication to help with the stress. The doctors were more convinced that I am having a very severe asthma attack combined with anxiety. They prescribed an albuterol inhaler and steroids to hopefully reduce the inflammation in my airways and see if that helps get me back into shape so I can resume my normal life.

I’m feeling better, more relaxed now that I did one of the albuterol treatments and took a steroid a little while ago or I wouldn’t be writing a post. Mostly the stress of having to essentially be home and do very little is very frustrating as well although I am also incredibly thankful to be back in the comfort of my couch.  I still am somewhat anxious not knowing if I’m going to feel my throat and airways constricting once again which is such a terrifying feeling. Thankfully my husband stayed home from work today to be by my side and he is off work tomorrow and his sheer presence alone is a very calming force. I truly hope that these next four days before I plan to be back at work can go smoothly and that I can be ready to go on Monday symptom-free.

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