ER Adventures

“He’s back and he wants to take me again!” I yelled between hacking coughs in the general direction of the hospital intercom. I felt a sudden tinge of panic- the type of panic someone who has followed orders to a tee their whole life might feel if they were suddenly going against orders. Don’t let him take me!

Okay, fine, maybe I didn’t yell but I was speaking very loudly not knowing how poor or great the technology was. I was also half-lying on a hospital bed trying to maneuver my body enough to speak into the wall intercom located directly behind me while trying not to flash anyone in my loose hospital gown. I was met with confusion on the other end.

“Who… is trying to take you?” The male voice over the intercom asked carefully.
*awkward silence*
“Can you just get Alyssa, please? She was the nurse helping me.”

It’s been over a week since Covid barged into our home. At first, the symptoms were mild and hardly made a dent in my usual zest for life but two days in and I was ready to rip off my nose. The congestion was putting unbearable pressure on the middle of my face. Then came the dreaded cough. I always knew if I caught Covid I’d have a rough time given my history of lingering coughs. Usually when a cold virus makes its way into my system, the cold itself stays for about a week, but the cough pitches a tent and calls me home for about 4-6 weeks. I didn’t think this was average, but I also didn’t realize it was abnormal.

The day before my ER visit, I’d had a rough night racked with a dry, nagging cough and what I noticed to be shallow breathing. I decided I’d wait for a reasonable hour to call my doctor’s office in the morning to see if my concerns warranted a visit to the nearest hospital. I chose hospital not because I felt it was of an urgent nature but because if I had to do any further testing (i.e. chest x-ray), it would be more readily available compared to if I went to a walk-in clinic on a Sunday morning.

Upon arrival to the make-shift triage area of the hospital, I was seated in the “Covid-positive” section and I found myself trying to maintain my dignity by impossibly suppressing a few coughing fits so as not to garner any further attention from others. After an hour of furiously chugging water and popping cough lozenges like my life depended on it, I was finally put into my own room to wait for further assessment.

A nurse eventually walked into my room and went through all the testing that would be done. As she was explaining all this, I happened to notice the name on her hospital badge was Alyssa and I thought at once, I better remember that. She explained that I would do a short walk test around the room so she could gage my blood oxygen level while in motion. Then she showed me two separate puffers I needed to inhale at specific intervals (two rounds each), in order to open up my lungs enough for the chest x-ray I’d need to undergo later. After the last round of inhalers, I was instructed to press the call button for the nursing station to let them know I was done so that we could begin counting down 2 hours to my x-ray test.

Well, I was in the middle of my first round of inhalers desperately trying to stay focused on what count I was on when a gentleman knocked on my door to let me know he was there to take me for my x-ray test. I panicked and that’s when I pressed the call bell for my nurse, dramatically telling the nursing station they were trying to take me away.

Hours later, after a few tests and physical exams, I was told what I had already subconsciously suspected. I am asthmatic. The doctor referred me to an outpatient clinic for further follow-up at a later date. She also recommended I get myself a small, portable oximeter to monitor my blood oxygen levels at home. I left with a prescribed inhaler (my asthmatic friend calls this the “rescue” inhaler) for my coughing fits which turns out to be asthma attacks.

I suddenly thought of the many times in my life when a “rescue” inhaler would have saved me much embarrassment:
*uncontrollably coughing in class while writing an exam
*hacking my brains out on a crowded train
*suppressing my cough while sitting in the Covid section of the hospital waiting room

I slowly realized the universe was subtly telling me I was asthmatic for as long as I can remember: my associated family history, my sister urging me to get asthma-tested, my own medical history of never-ending coughing spells, and my prescribed puffer to use at night during the dry winter months. I just wasn’t ready to listen to the universe, I suppose.

Now that I’m here, I choose to look at this in a positive light and use this to my full advantage. 
Husband: Can you get me a water?

Me: No, I can’t. I have asthma. Why don’t you get me a stick of gum and a water with a lemon wedge?
Sister: OMG, you need to try this new workout program I’ve been following! 
Me: Sorry, I can’t. I don’t want to give up my crispy chicken skin. Plus, I have asthma. 

Suddenly, I’ve become the ambassador for the National Asthma Association (this isn’t real, at least I don’t think so), eager to spread the word about the affliction of my asthmatic friends alike.

Hello, my name is drama queen Jen, I have issues asthma, hear me roar cough! 

P.S. Asthma is a common condition, but can be a serious health issue if left undiagnosed and untreated. Speak with your trusted healthcare provider if you suspect you might be asthmatic too.

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50 thoughts on “ER Adventures

  1. I’m so glad you got that figured out and sorted!! Asthma is no joke especially when you have Covid, I hope you get to feeling more normal really soon. ❤️ on an unrelated note… your list of other posts at the end is extremely clever! I love that idea and may borrow it on my own blog. Keep being your amazing self! 💪🏻

    Liked by 1 person

      • We’ve had a family crisis of our own, I’m currently a mom to three kids (two are my SIL’s kids). It’s been a big learning curve. 😵‍💫 Hopefully it gets better but it’s why my blog posts have been posted late 😩 I’m currently trying to bang one out right now

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      • Oh LaShelle, sorry to hear things aren’t going as planned over there! Sounds like you have a lot to sort through! Hope you take care of yourself and do what you can (without putting too much pressure on yourself)! Don’t feel bad about delayed posts, we’d all be happy to know you’re doing well! 😊

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      • I appreciate your encouragement! It’s a big learning curve and the kids are struggling and lashing out so I’m swimming up stream but writing… it’s an amazing escape. So I’m trying to carve out time for me and my mental health too ❤️ hopefully I have one done for tomorrow 🥰 it’s about half way there!!

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  2. Jen!! I’m so sorry you’re going through this, this is so scary. How is your COVID now? My sister has asthma as well and we’ve all been on high alert for the last two years of COVID, hoping she never gets it. It is really very serious and I’m glad you finally have some treatment that might ease some of your symptoms. Oy hang in there my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Libby! I am hanging on for sure! The last few days I felt like I was reliving the first day of a terrible cough over and over again… the dial just wasn’t moving… but I feel like I am getting incrementally better…. Thanks for the well wishes! 💕🙏

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  3. Like most people, I’m sure it’s somewhat comforting to know what the heck is going on with your body, even if you don’t like it. Our son used to have problems with asthma when he was a kid that has mostly gone away. I had pneumonia near the end of my teaching career, and it took forever to get over. Let’s hope your body responds quicker. It’s not lost on me that you still managed your regular Wednesday blogging post. What a trooper! You should have started passing out cards in the ER to random people to follow your blog.😉 I sure hope you feel better soon.

    My wife and I just returned from Montana to see our son and his fiancee. We did fine, but suddenly the reality of traveling two weeks at the start of May to visit my three brothers hit me. I purchased travel insurance, but what if I get Covid on my trip and need to isolate at someone’s home instead of traveling as I planned? I seriously would be screwed, not to mention the other people who would have to tolerate me. Oh good—something I can obsess over for the next twelve days. 😆

    Wishing you a speedy recovery, Jen. Is Charlotte understanding of your situation?

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    • Pete… thank you for noticing that I still kept up with my militant posting schedule haha I always appreciate your input and encouragement! So glad you got to spend much-needed time with your son and his fiancee, that must’ve been so wonderful! Charlotte just knew we were all sick together. The only thing she kept saying was, “Why you keep coughing, mama?” haha but not really in a concerned way, more like, “Could you stop? I’m trying to watch Peppa Pig!” LOL… We’re all starting to feel like ourselves again so that’s a true blessing!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Michelle, yes I am grateful to have the diagnosis and to know that it is treatable and what needs to happen every time I come across a nasty cold! That’s definitely more than half the battle and I am so thankful we’re over covid (sigh, for now)! Hope you’re keeping safe!

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  4. It seems like there’s no escaping this danged virus. It’s coming for us all. Thankfully, the symptoms these days do seem milder than when it first started.

    I grew up asthmatic too, and boy was it no fun. I’ve always had weak lungs, and maybe that’s why I’ve picked exercise in recent years—so I could feel what it’s like to perform better physically. Anyway, great that you’re feeling better!

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    • Thanks so much Stuart- definitely a nasty virus! Was so hard to get rid of it too, felt like forever before I started feeling myself again but so thankful it’s come and gone! Good riddance!


  5. My goodness – what a year for you Jen. I’ve had allergies for years and the clinic I go to treats asthma and allergies. Well, at least you know now and your inhaler is your friend – armed with it, you are hopefully on the road to recovery.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I had allergy shots for Summer allergies from 1975 to 1995, then my allergist was retiring the end of 1995 and said “you can stop the shots now – you are good for life.” (Of note, he never made this suggestion before he was ready to retire.) So eight years later, the allergies started back up, but in the Spring, not Summer, once everything bloomed, grass was lush, trees leafed out. I thought it was a fluke and dealt with it, but the next year I started back on the allergy shots again, from square one. They do work.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I still have the allergies, but with the shots it really does help, so I tell people after having shots for 20 years, stopping them (on the advice of the doc), then back with the shots for 18 years now, that they do work. I would sneeze repeatedly so many times that it took my breath away. I can remember going to outdoor concerts with friends, with lawn seats and being miserable the entire evening (but still unwilling to pass up the concert and the camaraderie).

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  6. Thank goodness you finally fessed up to having asthma and are now on the train to getting it under control. Whew! It is wicked. I see this in my preschoolers. Giving them their inhaler when they are gasping for breath is very scary, and cemented in my memory. Best to you, Jen!

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  7. I’m sorry you had to go to the ER but I am happy that you learned something helpful about yourself. Not that being asthmatic is great, but better to know than not. Plus you got a remedy in hand. I’ve had allergies all my life, so I know how wonderful those little buggers can be.

    Liked by 1 person

    • haha thanks Ally! Yeah, it wasn’t fun but it wasn’t terrible. Having caught covid, I felt like I was already staring the monster in the face (previous to that, I was always worried about catching it in the ER whenever I had to pay a visit there)! Sorry to hear you suffer from allergies too, what a drag eh!?


  8. Glad to see you took all this illness with your usual aplomb and good humor, especially the ER situations. Now you can say you’re one of those “lucky” people with an underlying condition and move farther up in the line for your next Covid booster if/when you might want one. I have no idea how it’s done up there in Canada but I just got my booster here based on my old age. My 67th birthday was yesterday. I’m sure you also know that moms, of any age, are just not allowed to be sick no matter what.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much! We are finally feeling much better and so glad to be back to ourselves again! Yea, I was double vaxxed and boosted so I think that had something to do with the mild-moderate illness. I don’t want to think what it might have been like had we not been vaxxed! Happy Belated Birthday to you!!! Hope you had a wonderful day!!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m late to this post but sending you lots of healing. Hope you’re fully recovered now.
    Haha national ambassador for asthma. 🙈🤣 My sister also suffers from very mild asthma and uses it to get out of cleaning, dusting and any physical activity that she doesn’t like. On the other hand, she goes for hikes and stuff all fine.

    I’ve had these uncontrollable coughing sessions too. The worst was when I was during this hour long bus ride where I kept trying to control my coughing but it wouldn’t stop and the people around me literally cleared away thinking I’m carrying some deadly disease. (Pre-COVID days) 🤣

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    • Yes! That happened to me on my honeymoon! On our way back, I found a soul sister in a lady that had the same affliction! We kept offering each other lozenges!!! It was so bad on the plane that I was coughing into pillows lol and people kept walking by and offering me medication… as if my deathly cough was by choice LOL..

      And thank you so much! I am feeeling 100% myself now finallyyyyy 🙂


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