I have been thinking a lot lately of the Ingrid Michaelson lyric, "I want to change the world, instead I sleep." I suppose that is how it always feels. I am lucky enough to be getting a world-class education in a colorful city that holds countless adventures, and there are so many organizations I want to be volunteering with and activities I want to participate in and friends I want to surprise with sweet gestures, yet when I consider all of the possibilities my body reminds me that my only real option is sleep.
I woke up unintentionally around 5 a.m. on Sunday morning and could not breathe. I grabbed my inhaler and took several more doses than I am technically supposed to when the first one did not work, trying not to panic. My chest still felt tight and painful. I woke up my parents back home, and for a few minutes I was ready to toss some clothes on and call an Uber to take me to urgent care, but I was literally too tired and my knees were killing me so instead I took a few more puffs of the inhaler, added some pillows so that I could sleep upright, and tried desperately to fall asleep despite the tightness in my chest. When I woke up again a few hours later, I was nauseous and running a slight fever, but I did feel capable of breathing again, even though it was uncomfortable. The nausea was no surprise, because I have been dealing with that acutely for several days now, but it is frustrating to no end and the unpredictability of it seriously stresses me out.
|Receiving my twenty-minute breathing treatment|
The nurse who gave me my steroid shot and breathing treatment remarked that I am "probably used to being poked and prodded." Truer words have never been spoken. She was also very understanding when the breathing treatment made me all jittery and nervous, a fairly common side effect. Despite the downsides of both the breathing treatment and the steroid shot, I am glad to breathing better this afternoon and to have regained some lung capacity. I even got to keep the tube as a souvenir (I'm supposed to bring it back for my appointment on Wednesday so I do not have to pay for two separate tubes if I get another breathing treatment). I am still feeling pretty sick, but today is definitely better than yesterday, and I am grateful for providers who offer their very best care, even early on a Monday morning.
"All that I know is I'm breathing. All I can do is keep breathing."