Saturday, September 20, 2008

Between the couch cushions

A month or so ago when Mitch was cleaning the giant yellow couch prior to selling it on Craig's List, he found an asthma inhaler. We have no idea who it belonged to. In classic pack rat mode, Mitch actually saved the thing. Well recent events have made me thankful for that bit of crazy stashing of things.

After Lucy was born I went through this 9 month or so period where every time I went running, I couldn't breathe and would hack up great chunks of phlegm for about an hour afterwards. It pretty much sucked but I was reluctant to go to the doctor. Finally it seemed to go away. Later I talked to a friend of mine who said that getting mild asthma post pregnancy wasn't that unusual.

Well come around to present day and the same thing is happening all over again post Josie delivery. Every time I go running (and mind you, I don't run very fast. Small children and elderly people regularly pass me) I treat myself to an hour of labored breathing and gross snot in my lungs. Mitch has mentioned several times that a sane person would see a doctor concerning such a thing. The other added twist is that now when I get a cold, it always turns into this ugly chest extravaganza where I have to sit up on the couch all night wheezing and worrying that I am going to suffocate before morning.

Just such an episode happened this weekend. I have round two of the cold that is going around (I already had the damn thing two weeks ago but now I have it again). Yesterday afternoon it became this debilitating chest thing where I nearly expired walking to the park. A friend of mine at the park who used to be a respiratory therapist said I looked like crap and needed to go to the doctor. She also asked if I was using my inhaler and I said, "what inhaler?" Things were getting pretty ugly around 6 PM and I was starting to consider going to the emergency room (why do these things always happen on a Friday after 5 PM) when I decided that using an unknown person's inhaler that expired in 2004 was a great idea. Who doesn't get their prescription medicine out of the couch cushions?

Yes, I am an idiot. Yes, I should have gone to the doctor ages ago. But at least I looked up albuterol on the web and found out that there is a pretty generalized dosage for people over 12. Anyway the good news is that the albuterol worked like a charm. Within seconds I could actually breathe. The crappy part was that I had to keep using the inhaler every four hours for the next 12 hours but now I feel a bit better.

I swear next week I am going to the doctor for real. But until then, thank goodness for the couch cushions.

1 comment:

Scott said...

Hey - I've been looking for that thing! Actually, I doubt it's mine, but it could be - I started using one shortly after I moved to Davis, for exactly the symptoms you described: exercise induced asthma caused by being allergic to Davis. I used to use it prophylactically before running/riding during the spring, and before races. It really helped. Definitely worth having one around... or two, in case you lose one in the couch.