The Day I Almost Died

Posted: December 21, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

They surrounded my bed – men and women wearing medical scrubs – some pacing, some sitting on the bed with me. One was rubbing my arm, another was rubbing my back. The respiratory therapist stood next to my bed waiting for the OK to administer the medicine that would open my airways. It had been only two hours since my last treatment and I wasn’t due another one for two more hours, but it was obvious to everyone that I couldn’t wait that long.

I leaned forward on the hospital bed, wondering why I couldn’t get more than a hair’s width of oxygen into my lungs. I was terrified.

The respiratory therapist wasn’t allowed to administer the drug that would save my life without the doctor’s consent and the worried looks on the faces of all those nurses and techs told me that if they couldn’t find the doctor soon, this asthma attack would be my last.

But the doctor wouldn’t respond to their pleas of a return phone call, and my struggle was becoming increasingly life threateningly difficult. By now every nurse on the floor was in my room, by my bed – by me, trying to comfort me, trying to calm me down. I was aware of what they were doing. There were too many of them in my room. Calming an asthma patient is important in helping the asthmatic to breathe.

And yet knowing how concerned they were, and seeing the fear in their eyes served more to frighten me than it did to calm me down. It was the second time in a period of only a couple of days during the same hospital stay when I wondered if this asthma attack would be my last.

Finally, the nurses found the doctor and the respiratory therapist was able to administer the drug my lungs so desperately needed, but I couldn’t breathe it in – my airways were too constricted. I wanted to cry, but I could barely breathe, let alone cry, and my fear increased with each attempt.

But after several tries, I felt some air enter my lungs. I wanted to cry with relief, but I couldn’t cry either. I could still barely breath. And then, finally, a sign of relief. 

I had a lot to be grateful for. I would make it after all. I would live.

  1. Nancy says:

    I remember this time very clearly. So scary.

    • theresawiza says:

      The only other time I was that frightened was when I was driving down I-57 and went temporarily blind for a period of about 8 seconds. I never want to relive either moment again. Merry Christmas, Nancy.

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