asthma, Journaling, Lessons Learned, Life, Life At Home, Me, Pain, Prayer

…just breathe…

The first time I watched the movie “Signs”, I was totally captivated by this scene.

My mind still rattled by the scary moment just before it, my heart was struck by the raw desperation of a child that can not breathe and the devoted calm of a father who could do nothing more than talk him thru it. A child actor who didn’t really have asthma and an adult man who, in reality, had nothing to lose.  Yet together, these actors…this father and son…one battling faith and the other physics…they completely took over my heart.

For me, this was the most chilling moment of the movie.

For me, this is totally ironic now because when I watched this movie, I didn’t have asthma.

Now I do.

I am gonna be honest…I don’t really think there are words an asthmatic can use to describe the sheer agony of a body that can’t do what it was made to do…lungs that were just fine a few seconds before, now suddenly cold, frozen and unresponsive.  The panic, mingled with traces of intense pain, is beyond words.  And yet, we do what we have to when “it” happens…we step up and fight back when the world tries to fade to black.


Last night, I was settled into a hot bath and a good book.

Stretched out and as comfortable as I could be in my tub, “it” hit me.

A tickle…a twinge…just a little nagging from somewhere inside that whispered into a bullhorn “Get. Out. Now.”

I dropped my book and grabbed a towel. “Faster. Must go faster.”

I dropped the towel and grabbed my clothes. “In…out…in…out…breathe, breathe, breathe…”

I fumbled with the bathroom lock as my mind started to flicker thru the events of today, mentally using GPS, locating my inhaler. “…breathe…wheeze…breathe…wheeze…God help me…”

I made it to the end of the hallway before I realized I was beyond inhaler now. “…wheeze in….wheeze out…fight the dizzy…fight the panic…BREATHE!!”

Our youngest saw me grabbing my “bag” and asked if I was ok.

I didn’t mean to ignore her. I promise, we never mean it…but the thought of forming words in the midst of the mental drill sergeant’s “BREATHE!!!” is totally irrational.

Landing on my bed, digging thru the pieces of my nebulizer machine, I focused on the task at hand. “plug this in…attach this…unscrew the lid…faster…”


focus on words

“…go tell….Daddy….can’t breathe…”

Little feet running on raised foundation towards the family room.

“…good…now get the medicine from the baggie…girl, you have got to move faster…

The room began to spin and shadow out a bit as my husband ran in, “Come on, baby. Get the medicine in there.  You gotta get the machine on.”

God bless that man for knowing that he can’t help me.  Focusing on putting this contraption together is what keeps me focused at all.

“…FINALLY…open your mouth…breathe in…”

That’s it, baby. Breathe. Just breathe.”

“…it hurts…oh God, it hurts so bad…in…out…cough…cough…oh, please God…cough…”

Don’t fight it. Let it in. Relax. Focus.”

“…I can’t, don’t you know that I can’t….ouch…OUCH…cough…”

Baby. You are gonna be ok. JUST BREATHE.”

…just breathe…

Don’t stop.”

…just breathe…

“…just get every last drop of the meds before you let go…”

Just breathe.”

“…please, Lord, please…”

…just breathe…

Just. Breathe.

Such simplicity and yet…not.

As a side note, this attack was uglier than normal.

It took 2 home treatments and 2 ER “cocktail” treatments,

plus a nice dose of steroids to settle me back to “stable”…

…to settle me back to a place where “just breathe” is possible again.

And for THAT…I am thankful tonight.

Looking up, as always…



2 thoughts on “…just breathe…”

  1. Clicking on “Like” seemed all wrong. The writing style was amazing. I’ll bet my heart was pounding as hard while I read as yours was while this episode took place. The leader of our dance team had an asthma attack on Christmas Eve of 2005. Despite her meds, she’s kicking it with Jesus now.

    Glad you’re okay.


  2. Ok, I didn’t realize I had comments!!! haha

    Thank you for this comment. People often ask me what it feels like when I can’t breathe…and how do you put that into words? It feels like sheer panic…but it hurts…but I don’t have a chance to be afraid…but…yeah. It’s funny (not haha, but…) that I didn’t even realize I was as bad as I was in the ER until I was home and it was all over. The drs, nurses, orders being yelled, chaos…and me just wanting to breathe.

    Sending you a hug today…and a prayer too. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s