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Medically-Oriented News from Hayward

           I hate things that remind me of my own mortality. Like all 20-something year olds, I’m gonna live forever, damn it! So when I get blindsided by something like the epic asthma attack I’ve been struggling with for the better part of this last week, it’s especially annoying/upsetting/whatever/(insert grumblecakes here).

            It started because I was stubborn, and maybe also because I wasn’t thinking too clearly. I’d run out of Allegra, and I was too broke to buy more until payday. That was last Wednesday…or maybe Tuesday. I don’t actually remember. Either way, after three days of not taking my daily allergy med, I was basically dying. And then on Saturday, I went to my writer’s group for dinner and fiction, and we sat around a cheery fire the whole evening, and that probably made things way worse. Fire places are not my friends.

            And then I died at work on Sunday and had to be shaken back to life by my coworker reminding me that, “Karen, I don’t know the alarm code, but you do, so be a dear and engage it so we can go home.” And even though I was dead and stuff, I was still kind of alive enough to mumble, “It’s Karin, Karin, Karin….”

            Monday was total bad news bears. I called in sick, which NEVER happens, and it must have been bad, because the coworker I talked to on the phone didn’t recognize my voice at all. I’d like to think I now sound like a cross between an alligator and Right Said Fred, because I’m a martyr, if you know what I mean, and I shake my little tush on the catwalk.

            And then the mother came over, because I was too decrepit to take care of myself anymore. And when Tuesday rolled around, and I found myself lying in bed weighing the pros and cons of seeking out emergency medical care, I figured it was time to see a doctor…which my mother also took me to, since I was too out of my mind to drive.

            In a nutshell: my lungs sounded ok, but there was definite congestion in my upper chest. I was running a low-grade fever, which explained why my eyeballs felt like they were on fire (my eyeballs don’t like temperature changes EVER!). Thank God it wasn’t early onset of stigmata, as I’d originally suspected. She put me on antibiotics, since things kind of seemed to be leaning toward bronchitis (and I guess that happens a lot with epic asthma attacks, too), and she gave me a new allergy medicine that supposedly works way better than Allegra. And then, because she was feeling generous, she renewed my prescription inhaler for me.

            There was some debate last night over whether the ER was still necessary—mainly it was a moment of despair on my part. I was sorting laundry, looking for a lost earring, because for crying out loud, why would I actually sort my laundry? It made me feel faint, and instead of stopping, I decided that it’d be better to continue from the floor. That way, if I passed out, there’d be a way shorter distance between my skull and the carpet. Matt caught onto my tactic pretty quickly and insisted I either let him help me or let him take me to the local hospital. This was followed by hours of once again pondering the pros and cons of handing myself over to the nuns at the Catholic hospital down the street. But, due to more stubbornness, a genuine fear of nuns, and the wonders of Proventil, I made it through the night and am actually feeling ok today.

            Moral of the story: when you run out of Allegra, do whatever the hell you have to do to get more!

            Second moral of the story: asthma sucks. Before this, I just had it in direct relation to allergies. Now I’m basically one of those people who has to pack my inhaler everywhere I go, least I die a gasping death.

            Conclusion to the stupid story: eh, I got nothing.  

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