Saturday, October 24, 2015
NYC Day 5, Monday, October 12
Sunday night I was in bed and asleep by 10, only to wake up at 3 because I was coughing so hard. Trying to avoid waking Mom (ha!) I got up and made a bed on the sofa where I could sleep upright. Well, I managed the upright, but not the sleeping. Mom slept a bit, but mostly didn't because I was noisy and she was worried about me. When it got light, she got dressed and went to two different drugstores looking for an expectorant. All of my effort was going to getting oxygen into my body. At this point I was pretty sure that the chest cold had deepened into bronchitis, and all I wanted to do was get home.
What I experienced was a combination of asthma attack and panic attack. I was gasping for air and not getting it and my brain was doing panicked little rodent dashes in every direction. Not something I want to experience again.
After some discussion between all four of us, we decided to leave for the airport in time to put the early flyers (both Bookworm and Anabel) on their planes, since Mom and I would have to move very slowly. However, that plan went out the window when I lost all my breath walking the ten or so steps from our room door to the elevator. I told Mom I was going downstairs and have the clerk call 911, which I did.
After a short wait time, during which my sisters-in-law agreed to go to the airport so they didn't miss their planes, an ambulance and two nice EMTs arrived. They asked some questions, listened to my lungs and my heart and told me they needed to take me to ER. So we left my carry-on and both of our suitcases at the hotel and got in the ambulance. The EMTs gave me a breathing treatment in the ambulance, and somehow it was vanilla-scented.
Everyone at Mount Sinai Roosevelt was very nice. I saw a nurse, the attending physician, the X-ray tech and two residents and they all worked very hard to help me get home. I had an additional two breathing treatments and an order to see my primary physician (who I don't have) and got the news that although the ER docs did not want to make an official diagnosis, all three are pretty sure I have COPD. A warning--that link has a very unpretty picture right at the top of the page. The hospital discharged me in time to take a cab back to the hotel for our bags and out to the airport. Fortunately, the line for security was very light and the gate was close-ish to security.
Getting out of the airplane at Cleveland turned out to be more of a task. Climbing up the ramp exhausted me to the point where all I could do was collapse into a chair. Fortunately, Cleveland Hopkins has some exceptional special employees who help customers who need assistance, and one of them got me into a wheelchair and all the way down to baggage and then to the park and fly shuttle. I know Mom tipped her, but I really wish I could remember her name.
Anyway, yes, the elephant in the blog--am I going to quit smoking? I already have, thanks to Monday, the only question is whether or not I can make it stick.