Monday, May 16, 2011

Depressed to the Point of Tears – And THEN...

Back in '77 when I got out of the hospital from a particularly vicious combination asthma attack and respiratory infection, I thought I was going to die. And I almost did – twice.

A couple of weeks prior to Mother's Day this year I developed another asthma attack, this time combined with bronchitis and pneumonia. I'll admit it – this illness had thrown me into a state of depression so deep I wondered if I'd ever get out of it. I was so upset about it, in fact, I was frightened by the thought that I might never show any improvement.

The asthma, bronchitis, and pneumonia were so pervasive, it infiltrated every pore in my body. And it affected my psyche too. I even threw myself a little pity party with this blog, Who Will Miss Me When I'm Gone?

After days of taking Singulair, Advair, Atrovent, Prednisone, Albuterol (in my nebulizer), and up until yesterday, Ciproflaxacin, I couldn't help but ask why none of these drugs were working.

And then, guess what! Last night – finally – a change took place. One of the exercises the doctor sent home with me involves using a device that holds three balls inside. The goal is to inhale, and by inhaling, bring all three balls to the top and hold them there for several seconds.

The first two weeks I could barely get the first ball up to the top and it immediately went back down. I was so upset by the fact that, day after day after day, I showed no improvement whatsoever, I set it aside and refused to even try anymore. The frustration was unbearable.

But I couldn't give up and in the past couple of days, I resolved to pick it up again. Last night the second ball rose to the top and stayed there for one full second! TWICE! This morning I was able – for the first time ever to raise the third ball! It happened only once, but it gives me hope.

I can't tell you how excited I am to know that my lung function has improved! I was terrified that I would be incapable of holding a conversation or walking without losing my breath. But now? Now I know I'll be able to breathe.

I still have a long way to go – two more weeks of a full regimen of drugs and breathing treatments, and I still get winded when I talk or walk, but for the first time in over two weeks, I KNOW I'm going to get better.

So many of you contacted me as a result of that blog, and I want to thank all of you who wrote to me, offered your prayers, your thoughts, and your support. I treasure all of you, and I sincerely believe that your prayers contributed to my improvement. By this time next month I hope to breathe, talk, and walk all at the same time.

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  1. YAY!!! How incredible! Congratulations to you--every tiny glimpse of improvement is such an encouragement to keep at it!

    Glad to hear of your success today. =)

  2. Wow! I'm so happy for you! This is wonderful progress. I'd also like to say that you are a very good writer - the way you told your story was engrossing and suspenseful. Wishing you continue improvement and joy.