Wednesday, April 15, 2009

So, what was your morning like?

Remember way back in December, January and February when two bouts of bronchitis darn near killed me? Remember that? Yeah,... I do. Vividly! Talk about good times. Anyway, I haven't really been myself since then. I've been having lots of problems with wheezing, feeling tired ALL the time, dealing with some killer headaches and even experiencing a few episodes of asthma attacks.

Well, this was all fine and dandy until a few days ago when I anxiously inhaled the last puff of my inhaler. For the last few days I've been thinking this asthma thing, which came out of nowhere at my old age, was just in my head. I was convinced that I was fine and that I would be OK without sucking the life out of an inhaler.

OK so let me just put it bluntly, the last few days have been a living hell! Apparently my problems are more serious that I let myself believe and although there are many things in my head that are absolute craziness, this should not have been one of them. I was up at 5:00am this morning, unable to breathe and wheezing like a maniac. Absolutely lovely! Yes, I was up, on the computer, looking up respiratory doctors in my health insurance network at 5:00am this morning. Luckily I found quite a few providers in my network and close to my home so by 9:00am I was speed dialing to get myself an appointment.

Mission accomplished! I had secured an appointment for 9:45am. So I got ready and ran out the door. I got to the office, signed in and took a seat in their rather nice waiting area. Suddenly they called my name. YAY! I could finally see the light, or breathe right, or something.

The receptionist cordially says: "Ms. Butler, there appears to be a mistake. Your appointment isn't until tomorrow morning."


I try to compose my oh so attractive wheezing self and say: "Oh! Well I made the appointment this morning and was told to come in to see Dr. X at 9:45am"

The receptionist responds: "Hmm, Dr. X doesn't even work today. Do you remember who booked your appointment?"

Although she's being so polite about the whole thing, I'm getting a little irritated because really WHO CARES who booked the appointment? Now my breathing is becoming more difficult, but I try to remain cool and I say: "No, I really don't, but I'm sure she said today. You see I wouldn't be here otherwise. Is there any way I can be seen by any other doctor, one who might actually be here and have an opening maybe?" I'm really not trying to be ugly, but seriously!

"No honey!' she says "The only available appointment is the one for tomorrow with Dr. X."

Well, Isabella's Spring Program is tomorrow morning and I wouldn't miss that for anything so I say: "I can't come tomorrow morning. Do you have anything at any other time? Preferably today, but I'll take some other time tomorrow."

"Yes!" She kindly responds. "The next available appointment is for May 20th".


I want to yell "Are you kidding me?", but instead I say "Ma'am, I'm having a really hard time breathing. I have to see someone soon. I can't wait that long."

"So, would you like for me to cancel your appointment for tomorrow?"

"Yes, thank you." I say as I take my wheezing self right out of their office.

By this time I am no longer irritated or annoyed. Now I'm downright pissed! So I call my mom and explain the situation and tell her that I'm coming home to call some of the other providers and hopefully find someone who would see me, PRONTO!

I'm walking towards my car and to my surprise it's not there. As a matter of fact, the parking spot is available. Wide open. Empty. I stand there and look around.


I think to myself that maybe I didn't park here exactly so I start walking around the parking lot looking for my car. Nothing! Now I'm starting to panic, so I press the panic button on my key chain waiting to hear the alarm go off so that I can locate my car. Nothing! It finally hits me: Oh my gosh! My car's been stolen. So I call my mom and tell her then I call Scott and tell him and then I don't really know what to do next. Do I call the police to report it? Do I walk back inside the building to talk to security? I'm dumbfounded! So instead I keep walking around the parking lot looking for a car that I KNOW is not there. This entire time my breathing is becoming more and more laborious, almost impossible.

After a few more minutes of feeling, looking and acting like a choking idiot I walked over to a man who was sitting in his parked car. I told him my car had been stolen and asked him if he'd seen anything or anyone suspicious. He was so nice. He got out of his car, asked me where I had parked my car and walked over with me to look at the empty spot. Then he asked if I had come in the front or the back.


"There's another parking lot?" I asked. To which he ever so kindly replied, because by this point he understood he was dealing with a challenged individual who apparently was also quite the heavy breather: "Yes, if you came in from Poplar Avenue (which by the way, I did), you're probably parked in the front lot". After apologizing profusely for bothering him and feeling like an absolute MORON, I walked back into the building, crossed the foyer and walked out the front door.

By now I reached a point where I could not breathe. Scott had left work and was already on his way to meet me, but he didn't have his cell phone on him so I couldn't call him to explain what had happened. I called my mom as I walked to where I remember parking the car, which just happened to be parked right where I left it. DUH! In between wheezing, gasping for air and coughing the most dry, horrendous cough ever, I tried to explain that I had found the car and was on my way home. I could barely speak and she begged me to go back upstairs and ask those people to help me, give me an inhaler, "for crying out loud they have samples!", she said.

I was sweating profusely, barely breathing and feeling like I was pretty close to passing out, but I went back upstairs, walked over to the receptionist and managed to ask her to please help me. Apparently, I wasn't a very pretty sight since one look at me was all it took for them to sit me down on a wheel chair and get that entire office in motion. Something tells me I'm not their "average" patient.

My body oxygen level was at 86% which is low since apparently 92% and higher is considered normal. My blood pressure was 165 over 100, and I've never had issues with high blood pressure. So needless to say they immediately hooked me up to an oxygen machine, gave me a breathing treatment, took a couple chest X-Rays and gave me a steroid shot to open up my airways. One of their doctors saw me and a while later I walked out with two different inhalers and a prescription for some additional steroid pills. Scott arrived right before I was seen by the doctor and was there to make sure I was feeling OK and was able to drive myself back home. Trust me after all those drugs, I was feeling just fine. Very tired physically, but my breathing was no problem.

The bottom line: Asthma. That darn bronchitis messed me up pretty good, don't you think? Now that I'm feeling much better, we've managed to have a good laugh at me and my craziness. Thank goodness I wasn't a total ass to the receptionist when she told me that I showed up on the wrong day and offered to reschedule me for May 20th. Imagine what that poor man in the parking lot must have thought of me. Also, thank goodness I didn't actually call the police,... could you imagine? How embarrassing!

Scott seems to think that maybe the low oxygen levels had me somewhat confused and disoriented. I'm just glad that everything worked out OK in the end.

So tell me, what was your morning like?


Christie Padawer said...

Ok I went from laughing my butt off to being panicked and concerned!! I am so glad you are better now!!!

Jennifer said...

oh goodness, you poor thing. I am glad you are better. :)

Liz Butler said...

Thanks guys! I can honestly laugh about it now that I'm all doped up on some serious meds.

Lynn B. said...

ohmygoodnessgracious!!!!!!!!! You seriously had me laughing out loud...only because I knew you were obviously well enough to blog about it!