Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Come on Lungs!


“Courage is not having the strength to go on; it is going on when you don't have the strength.”― Theodore Roosevelt 
You know have a chronic illness when all you have to say to a friend is 'guess where I ended up last night?' and they automatically know it was the hospital. Unlike most people my age my Friday night was spent in the Emergency Department. Music was substituted with groans and moans, the closest I got to alcohol was the swab on my arm before my blood test and dancing was replaced with watching my heart rate racing up and down to it's own beat.

Not long after my last post I noticed myself going downhill. My inhaler began to give me no relief and getting air into my lungs became exhausting. 'Liv you are okay!', 'Come on just breathe', 'Relax' no matter how much I tried to deny it I knew I was in trouble.

My parents had left that morning to visit my very sick Nanna six hours away. The thought dawned on me that for the first time in my life I was going to have to do this without them. A scary thought when your parents have been there through every hospital visit since the age of three. Honestly at the time I didn't even think about this thought I just knew I needed relief and to be able to breathe.

My partner Dan arrives home from work (he's a chef) to find me wheezing and struggling. I can only imagine how unsettling that must have been for him. The dreaded question was asked 'do you need to go to hospital?' My immediate answer was 'no!', although my lungs told a very different story. I did not want to go to hospital but the fact was i needed to go. That's the thing when you are chronically unwell you will continue to fight. You are so used to fighting to function that sometimes its not until someone else sees you that you realize how truly unwell you are.

As soon as I said yes my body breathed a sigh of relief, it was time to get help. Thankfully I only live about two minutes from the hospital so the ride there was quick but it was an anxious drive for Dan who gets around on his scooter not my car. Not the ideal time to have a driving lesson with your partner wheezing away, it raining and being pitch black. But he handled it so calmly and drove perfectly!

'Dan i'm scared!' 
'Its okay I'm here and I'm not going anywhere'

Thankfully at 1.30 am ED was very quiet and I was triaged quickly and taken to a bed where I received the works; an IV line, bloods tests, ECG and was hooked up to have my oxygen saturation levels and pulse continuously monitored. Due to being on beta blockers for having constant tachycardia (high heart rate) the nurse was concerned about giving me a nebuliser without seeing the doctor first. Nebulisers often make your heart rate increase. So the wait began....thankfully as hard as it was to breathe my observations showed my oxygen levels were stable.

As time ticked by though I began to get tired of struggling to keep up with my breathing. Dan became worried when my heart rate began to rise 120, 130, 135, 140, my body had had enough. The nurse came and gave the some oxygen to help and went and found the doctor. One look at me and a listen to my lungs and next thing I know I'm hooked up to a nebuliser to relax and open up my airways. After two nebulisers breathing was a lot easier and my wheeze had diminished. The doctor returned with a smile on his face stating I looked and sounded a lot better and that I had him worried. Finally at 6.30am I was stable and able to return home to my own bed for a much needed sleep.

My lungs have still decided to play up and on Monday ended up at my doctors needing two nebulisers again and narrowly avoided having to go back to hospital. The fight continues....but I am extremely blessed to have someone there who will hold my hand, wipe away my tears and make me laugh no matter how hard things get. "Liv we will get through this together, your fight is my fight".

So we continue to fight....together!