“I’m not gonna make it….” (Extremely personal)

The man felt sick. He couldn’t lay down to sleep. He was having trouble breathing. He grabbed his emergency inhaler off the counter and took a puff. He paused. There was no relief…no change. His lungs were tight and he started to panic a little. He took another puff….and again no change. He knew he was under the weather the last couple of days, but this was new. He had never felt his lungs struggle so much. He looked at his phone….

“…should I call 911?”

He called his sister and asked for advice. He could not finish his sentences, he had no air. She yelled into the phone.

“…Dan…go…go…now. I am going to call 911 now if you do not leave. Go to urgent care now. You are scaring me…go now!”

His wife was already on the phone with the doctor. She grabbed their daughter and rushed to the car. The man walked slowly to the car, he had no energy. He opened the car door and tried to sit down, but it made his breathing worse. He sat back down and was gasping for air.

He rolled down the windows and fresh air blew into his face. His wife sped off into the morning sun. The man looked back and saw his daughter’s worried eyes through the mirror. She had no clue what was going on. But, she stayed silent. He could hear his wife talking to her, but it was muffled.

“…what’s wrong with Dad?”

“…it’s an attack baby…an asthma attack.”

He could not focus. Halfway there and his mind raced.

“I’m not gonna make it…i’m so stupid…i’m so stupid…i’m gonna die right here…and my wife and kid are gonna see the whole thing….”

Water filled his eye sockets. He stared into the mirror and saw a 36 year old man fighting for his life.

The car stopped and his wife raced out the car door with the little one. The man mustered whatever strength he had and had a renewed hope. His lips were purple. He walked to the front of the line and spoke with as much clarity as he could.

“…I….I…I’m not gonna make it.”

The receptionist stood up and sent for a wheelchair. And just like that the man was whisked to a backroom with a doctor. He was hazy and his eyes were heavy. But, the doctor kept asking questions.

“Hey…what’s your name? Stay with me here…what’s your name?”

She barked orders to two assistants.

“I need NEB right now….and he needs an injected steroid…now please.”

She turned back to the man.

“Look…you are not getting enough oxygen to your brain.”

A nurse ran in and draped a mask over his head and…….medicine filled his lungs. He could feel the tightness loosen a bit. Another nurse injected a steroid into his arm and he felt loopy. But, he was going to make it.

The doctor smiled and watched the man receive life again. The man was crying through his mask…tears fell down his face.

Two breathing treatments later, the doctor walked in and sat down in front of the man she saved.

“I’m gonna be honest with you Daniel. You were close….close to not leaving this place alive.

He was weak but he could talk.

“…I know…I know. I started to panic…I thought I was gonna die. I thought my family was going to see me die…right in that car. Thank you so much…thank you sooo much.”

The doctor smiled.

“That’s our job. Now, are you taking the right medicine? To prevent these attacks?”

The man shook his head.

“Ok, this is a lesson learned. Asthma is serious….and you need to take every precaution to prevent this from happening again. I’m give you everything you need….”

She walked out the room and left the man to think about everything that happened that morning.

He thought about his wife….and how she sprang into action to get him where he needed to go. He was no help at all, he was already gone…but she grabbed the little one and kept calm while she called doctors and drove him to the doctor that eventually saved his life. He imagined the stress he put her through.He would not have made it if she wasn’t there for him. And while she was waiting for him in the hospital, she was fielding calls from worried relatives and friends. He thought about what his little one was thinking and remembered her saying.

“….is Dad having a heart attack? An attack?”

He remembered her sad eyes through the mirror.

The doctor returned with a bag filled with inhalers….and antibiotics. Everything he needed to prevent this from ever happening again.

“I will be your main doctor now…and I will be checking on you.”

He exited the room and walked into the lobby and saw his wife and daughter. He smiled weakly but he was jumping for joy inside.

The drive home was spent reflecting what happened.

His wife turned to him.

“You scared me…you need to take care of yourself. When you get sick, you can’t avoid it. You need to see a doctor immediately…don’t put it off.”

He knew she was right….and he was stubborn…but she was right.

“You have a few people angry with you right now…call your mom…and your sister.”

He laughed and prepared for the angry words…but it was love…it was all out of love.

“Anak…I am going to punch you when I see you…and so will your sister.”

He laughed.

This happened to me this past monday…and the next day I looked at life differently. I need to live….there is no time to rest. Yes, I need to take care of myself. And it made me realize that my body does have limitations….and that I could leave this world in a minute. I received a new found focus….a focus to make sure that I am on this planet as long as possible to be here for my family.

I’m an idiot….and now this idiot needs to learn to take care of himself.

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32 thoughts on ““I’m not gonna make it….” (Extremely personal)

  1. Danielsan!
    Please take care of yourself!!
    I am so glad you got to the hospital in time but that was cutting it too close. I’m sure your mother has already properly scolded you, so I won’t. Nobody needs 2 moms. lol
    But I will tell you, you would have been missed. You would have left a huge hole in your family’s lives and your readers (me) would have missed you.
    Asthma is nothing to mess around with. Breathing is essential.
    Rest up and feel better. (((hugs)))

    • Yeah, this was a HUGE wake up call. I started to cry just writing this post…sometimes we feel like we are immortal…that we can survive anything..but things like this show us otherwise. I am taking the proper medication now…and now I know my limitations. Thanks for all the kind words! I really appreciate it! No time to rest…need all the time to live!

    • Yeah, two people I know passed away from asthma attacks in the past three years…and they were young…it scares me. I was worried my little one would get asthma…but luckily, she hasn’t developed it. Me and my sis both have it, and it’s still pretty bad. Thank you so much!

  2. Dan,
    As always a great story with a message. While this message hit home and left an immediate impact on you, don’t allow time and better health to blurry the task at hand! You are a vital part of this wonderful community with a nuclear family. There will be more than “holes n your socks” if you fail to manage this illness in your life.
    May God pour out blessings of health in your life.

  3. Oh sure, use a near death experience to avoid responding on my site. 🙂 The things you will do to get a new blog post. Yeah, I nearly let myself die so I had something to write about- now that’s commitment.

    Dude…I have minor issues with asthma, but nothing ever like that. Did a bee sting you and you’re allergic? That sounds more like an allergic reaction. YIKES!

    My tightness/coughing usually is from a windy day and I breath in tree mold spores or something.

    Your poor wife. The responsibility falling on her and trying to keep it all together, saving you, reassuring the kid, calling the family. Having to keep it all together…she’s awesome. Give her an extra hug.

    and Dammit, Dan- take care of yourself! It’s not just about you any longer. You have a wife and kid that need you. (and a blogging family- that will hunt you down and beat you with the keyboard)

    Sandi

  4. Hey Dan,

    Read your blog and I can relate. As a kid, My mom had extreme asthma attacks to the point we had to always carry an asthma machine around. Everyday she had attacks. During that time my brothers and I witnessed her have two strokes trying desperately to get air. First time was a traumatic experience for me and my brothers. Like your daughter we didn’t know what was going on. Lips blue, body lifeless and no response to anything. All we knew was our Mom needed our help so all we could do is call 911. Second time my Mom had a stroke luckily my older brother knew CPR and saved her again.

    What ultimately saved her life was switching her doctors. I saw her start using another kind of inhaler and after that she didn’t have to use that blasted asthma machine again. She told me the dose that was given in her inhaler was adjusted. Can you imagine all these years the doctor gave her the wrong inhaler!!! Life was much better for her.

    Word of advice, find a great doctor that knows what the hell they’re doing. Also prepare your family if it happens again. Your wife is awesome for being brave and jumping into action. You’re truly blessed. Glad you’re still here Dan

    • Chris!!! Thanks for reading man! Yes, it was a crazy experience…and I feel terrible for putting my whole family through it…Lainy’s face was worried…and she had no idea what was going on. i have been doing much better with taking the proper medication, and now the doctor that saved me is my main doctor. Your mom used a nebulizer right? I really need one of those for the scary times. Anna was a rockstar that day…and I don’t know if I would have made it without her. Thank you for sharing with me man.

  5. I too have asthma and honestly I am like you were. I do need to change that after my daughter is born, I too have a lot to live for, I am getting married on the 16th of this month and a new baby. Thank you for sharing this because honestly I have done this myself and never thought about it until now how bad or selfish I was.. hugs please feel better soon.

      • Normally as an every day inhaler, I was using Symbacort, but omg it is so expensive!! I have 2 rescue inhalers, one in the diaper bag and one in the house.. Just in case. I have been doing well lately but also have not been sick. Yes, a blogging community would be a good idea!

      • I use Q-var now…and I have not had an attack for a while now. Yeah, inhalers were costing at least 60.00 each for the rescue…preventative is over a hundred a pop! Not a cheap thing to buy…luckily, I qualify for cheaper medication.

  6. Oh goodness! That is terrifying. I have asthma but my attacks never got that severe. Take care of yourself! I like you! Who else will I read about family and fun stuff and being an awesome dad and coach!!!

    Just, I am glad you are okay.

    • it was so scary…I really can’t believe how close I was to dying. It makes me tear up just thinking about it…are you taking the proper medication? I was only using emergency inhalers…and they were not working. The flu season is especially scary..but I am ready now..got a good doc…you take care of yourself too!!

  7. What a wake-up call! I’m so glad you’re okay now, I have asthma myself, have had it since birth. Luckily it was diagnosed early and I’ve had preventive medicine since then. It was always a part of my life, didn’t know any differently have growing up. You wrote it down beautifully, makes you stop and look back at your own health and how you must take care!

    • Yes it was…a major wake-up call. Im sure you know, asthma medication can be expensive…but now I have a steady place to get good medicine..so I am very happy. And I am soooo glad that my little one does not have it, asthma is a constant struggle…and I would hate for her to experience it.

      • I know, luckily my daughter doesn’t have it either. A good friend of mine in the US has been seriously injured in a fall a couple of months ago, and through them I know all about the cost of American Health care and the coverage in insurances. I feel so lucky that the Netherlands has a very different system. We do pay for insurance of course, but after a set amount I don’t have to pay for the medication. Huge relief!

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