Tuesday, January 10, 2006


She can't breathe now, again. Every attempt at oxygen begins and quickly ends with an inefficient wheeze. Draining whatever strength is left.

She is pounding the cement sidewalk flopping about like a fish out of water, the crowd gathers around her. She is slowly choking. Her fingers turn into various shades of blue. No oxygen. The execution has begun.

We are all praying for air.

Once again, her life is threatened by this monster that lives inside. The noose around her neck tightens, the future is questioned and slowly she drifts into the darkness. This vision now fades, slowly to black. She stares in her daughters' eyes.

She is only four now, she is panicked. "Mommy is in trouble", she thinks to herself. But she cannot speak. She cannot hold her daughter and calm her now. No air.

Again she tires the pump in her hand to no avail. Nothing helps! and the cold frigid air leaves no sign of the good fight. She feels herself slipping away now. The rumbling of an ambulance shakes the ground, slowly nearing. Benevolent in its intentions.

I admitted her tonight.

She was extubated in the emergency room and is doing well. My admitting diagnosis was “asthma exacerbation”.

I'm constantly amazed at the serenenity of our "admitting diagnosis" when compared with what actually happened. Or what could have.


Blogger Kim said...

I lost a 52-year-old aunt to asthma because she would not allow her kids to call an ambulance. Instead, she coded in the car on the freeway.

Asthma exacerbation sounds so neat and clean but, as you noted, can be deadly.

2:39 PM  
Blogger Echo Mouse said...

thanks for this post. I'm not there yet but worry about it happening.

3:47 PM  
Blogger Jo said...

Diagnosed with Asthma just 2 years ago at the age of 28, It's stories like this that made me go out and buy a Peak Flow Meter.
You can't be too careful with the body's adaptation. Thank-you for writing this.

1:14 PM  
Blogger delphine said...

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5:38 AM  
Blogger delphine said...

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Asthma has to be diagnosed as early as possible

5:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am amazed by people who don't take their preventative asthma meds that could stop this...they just don't get it.

7:29 AM  
Anonymous About Medicine Blog said...

She is slowly choking. Her fingers
turn into various shades of blue.

2:47 AM  

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