18 July 2006

breathing is a privilege

today i had an asthma attack at work. one minute, i was sitting there, listening to the discussion about a recent report that was released, fine. then suddenly i felt my lungs constrict, my throat seemed to close and i knew i wasn't getting enough air. i tried to calm myself but immediately felt like i wanted to cry--i often cry during asthma attacks uncontrollably. i ran out of the room (causing my boss to immediately ask after the meeting, "are you okay?") to my desk and took two quick puffs of an asthmatic's best friend, albuterol.

i sat at my desk, shaking, tears in my eyes that i refused to let free. i calmed myself down, slowly, trying to focus on breathing. breathing is such a beautiful, ! wonderful thing and most people i know take it for granted. me, i never do; i have had times where i thought i would never breathe again. so inhale. exhale. it's wonderful that right now i'm doing it and not even thinking of it.

after shaking at my desk for about fifteen minutes, i felt composed enough. i was done shaking, i was breathing again. i splashed some water on my face, and tried to do work, but still felt too scattered. i sat in my chair for the next ten minutes, sitting and breathing.

and enjoying my breath.

what i find hard to believe is how my asthma has gone from strictly exercise-induced asthma to full-blown asthma. i am addicted to many asthma medications, and cut myself off two of them--but i still am on two inhalers and one oral medication per day. it's a lot. my lungs hurt a bit now. i ran for 12 miles or more on saturday, and was fine. my asthma has not bothered me on a daily run in years--races it has bothered me in, but! not my regular run. speed play will hopefully prepare my lungs for th e marathon.

but please, as you are reading this, don't take that beautiful oxygen flowing so easily into your lungs for granted; there are too many asthmatics in this world who wish breathing was simple.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hm, May - September is allergy to some airborne shitweed. September - Jan is another type of allergy to another type of airborn pollen. And, the remaining months? Well, it depends on if there's moisture or dry climate...each brings along a different type of allergy. Fun, huh?

As fun as blowing a small reservoir out of your nose every 2 minutes. Oh, and as fun as having a beehive lodged firmly between forehead, eyes and nose. Did I mention coughing and sneezing until your lungs, throat and ears feel like they'll bleed. "if i sneeze just one more time?!"

You know and that's not even the worst part!!! The kicker is (drum roll)...on top of all that (any one of those things is too boring on its own, right?) is that 3 yrs ago, I developed allergy related asthma.

I started waking up in the middle of the night feeling like somehow the bed had rolled over on me (with R and the 2 kits on it). Then. Losing my breath, wheezing (oh man, just imagine the type of nose whistle that causes? Yeah, if i could carry a tune, i'd join a band). In Boulder, it might even catch on - one woman act ft a nose whistle and a loop machine.

Well, i can moan and groan about it for ages, but, of course, you know. I've opted for meds to reduce my allergies - this season, i started meds early enough that my symptoms are minimal - hardly any asthma in comparison to before.

I tried tons of herbal remedies - parsley and apple or pear juice. Neti pot? Makes me sneeze more longer (hmmm, oops, nevermind more and longer is about something different). Teas, tonics? Nope, those all contain dandelion - my first and worst allergy.

So, i use 2 different inhalers and one pill. I have Rxs for eyedrops and another inhalant. I REFUSE to depend on that many meds!! (i know there's plenty who need more).

A long way to say, "i agree", but it would take many more breaths than i care to spare to say it. Luckily, my fingers don't each need its own private lung!

On a happy note, I am NOT allergic to my kits! So, i don't have to turn my bedroom into an oxygen tent just yet.