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Adventures in Asthma OR How I Ended Up Running Through A Dark Parking Lot in the Pouring Rain at 2AM

Last night we had some excitement, as you may have already deduced from the title of this post.

Earlier in the day, around 4pm, Patrick had insisted on cleaning the shower and tub himself. I'd kept offering to do it, but he gallantly refused me and went ahead. He used a Tilex mold and mildew spray that was supposed to soak into the stuff for a bit and then be rinsed off, along with Comet for the tub.

Unbeknownst to us (because we were stupid and didn't look), that Tilex spray is not supposed to be used by someone with chronic asthma problems, like my darling spouse. The fumes were nasty, as fumes usually are, but he seemed okay afterward when he headed off to his recording session.

As the session progressed, he found himself more and more short of breath. The gig lasted until 10, and he got home about 10:30. He and I had a bite to eat, and then I began getting ready for bed around 11. For me, this includes taking my nightly pills, among which is Ambien.

Around 11:15, Patrick began having real issues with his breathing. Albuterol was not helping, despite taking a LOT if it, and the attack was steadily getting worse. We decided not to wait any longer (these things can kill you if they get bad enough), and threw on some street clothes before heading to the ER.

When we got there, it was fortunately pretty quiet, so we were seen right away. I had dropped Patrick off at the entrance to the ER while I looked for parking, as the tiny lot in front of the entrance was full, mostly with cop cars.

The doctor checked Patrick out, doing a peak flow reading and listening to the wheezing in his lungs, and got him breathing from a nebulizer that administered some medicine into him better than his inhaler could. He used that until it ran dry, and started feeling better. They also gave him some steroid pills, and he has to take a few more of those to ensure it doesn't come back. He's also supposed to go see his doctor about getting on a new maintenance drug for his asthma, because he's having to use his inhaler way too often.

I had a feeling that I'd be having a panic attack after we left the hospital, since that's my usual MO, so I took half a Klonopin, and I'm pleased to report that the only panic attack I had was in a dream last night. So I guess it does work. I tend to hold myself together really well while something traumatic is happening, but then about half an hour later I'll freak out when it dawns on me what exactly just happened. I figured it was better to prevent that before it got started.

After Patrick was given the all clear to go home, we went outside and surveyed the weather with dismay. While we'd been inside, it had begun pouring, and there were big puddles everywhere. Since Patrick couldn't run out to the car, I got him to hold my purse and scarf while I rolled up my pants and made a dash for it. Definitely a surreal experience running through the dark in pounding rain for your car while on Ambien and Klonopin, let me tell you.

I couldn't remember exactly where it was at first, since the entire parking lot basically looks the same (and has bunches of trees here and there blocking your view, along with it being the middle of the night and pouring rain), so I went down one way, stopped, looked around and got my bearings, then took off another way and there it was. Whew.

Anyway, I was fine to drive (surprisingly), so I went back and picked him up at the entrance as soon as I'd fetched the car, and we went home, getting back about 2:30am. I was out basically as soon as my head hit the pillow, and I think he was too. He's got pills to get today and has to see his doctor ASAP about those new meds, so we are still in a flurry around here.

I'm so glad he's okay. It was quite the adventure. Needless to say, he will never be cleaning the shower again. Or at least not unless we find some sort of product that is okay for asthmatics, which seems kind of unlikely...
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