Thursday, April 22, 2010

Asthma Army Conscription

Every time my asthma flares up in a bad way, I get a little hyper. Just look at this blog.

In 2006, I tried to come with a strategy to better manage my impaired judgment and poor communication skills when ill. I tried to think about what I could have done differently to change my experience in the ER.

I thought about typing up a note that could speak for me, but felt that wouldn't be well received.

Then, I tried to coach the hubby on how to advocate for me. Except he's just not medically oriented. I could lose a limb and I don't think he would notice. It's not that he doesn't care, he does, but health anything is just not on his radar.

So nothing happened other than I made sure I stayed current with my pulmonologist. And I lapsed into complacency, believing I would never get sick again like that.

Then this latest episode hit and I can't be complacent any longer. I have to find a way to mitigate my own stupidity when I'm sick so that I don't delay care and end up in the hospital again. It costs too much money. It means that the toddler doesn't get the attention she needs. I can't work. These kinds of episodes are not limited in scope, they effect everyone in the family as well as everyone in my social and work circles.

I need to manage this better. It is not optional.

The hubby is going to have to step it up and help me help myself when I'm sick.

As a result, he'll be coming with me to the asthma education appointment. He needs to know asthma like I do.

I hope it will end up being as simple as him saying "Do you think you're getting better?" And if I say no, him pushing me to go to the ER. But I can't count on being aware enough to say no, so he's going to have to know about peak flows and objective measures that indicate an ER visit is necessary.

The obvious one is going to be if I've already done 5 days of steroids and nebulizer treatments at home and still don't feel well, I just need to go to the ER already. It's a no brainer. I mean, I look back at that and I just want to slap myself. HOW could I have been so dumb and not realized this????

I compounded my own misery and there has to be a way to ensure that doesn't happen again.

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