We all spent the night at my mom's house on Christmas Eve. I was breathing fine. Christmas morning we woke up, my younger brother came home from his friend's house, and the kids started opening presents. I have no idea what started it, but my chest tightened up. Literally dh went to change the baby's diaper and I was fine, when he came back I was getting ready to pass out from lack of oxygen.
My mom fixed the nebulizer and I took two treatments. They did nothing. I was lightheaded, disembodied. It was horrible. I wanted so bad to watch the kids open their gifts but I was concentrating on not passing out. DH put my shoes on me, got the baby in the carseat, and raced us to the ER. We were all wearing our pajamas.
The ER doctor hears my history (ventilator twice, pneumothorax once) and immediately orders Solumedrol, which is an IV steroid. She tells me it's contraindicated for breastfeeding. By this time I've had a couple of neb treatments and can talk. I ask her for how long, because my ds has never had a bottle. She said 24 hours. The head nurse shakes his head, calls the LC at home on Christmas (how kick ass was that?) She says that Solumedrol is only a problem in high doses, as only a small amount passes through to breast milk.
So I'm breathing better, but my heart rate was holding steady at 150. The RT didn't seem too concerned, as my heart rate has topped over 200 bpm after an attack, but the ER doctor insisted on admitting me because of it.
They send me upstairs to a double room (I'm incredibly lucky to have always had single rooms). The other woman was about 500 lbs, 70 years old, with a horrific case of pneumonia. It was a nightmare. The bathroom was covered in piss. I used to work in a nursing home and it was a horrible flashback.
The nurse told me that as soon as the on-call doctor (who, coincidentally, was my pulmonologist) saw me I could go home. He would come in sometime during the afternoon. So we wait. And wait. Keep in mind we got to the ER at about 9 am. We waited some more. We ask if there is any medication that I need for my heart. They say no. I'm just stuck laying in this stupid bed, missing Christmas. Now, if I was receiving treatments I would have been fine. If I was on heart meds that the docs needed to make sure were effective I wouldn't have minded. But to just lay there all day was so frustrating. Plus the lady next to me was either hacking up a lung all day or harrassing the techs for a bedpan.
Finally at about 8 pm the doc came in, asked if I wanted to go home, and left. We got home a little bit after nine to finish opening presents. It has to have been the worst Christmas ever. I tried to count my blessings, that at least I got to go home on Christmas and everything, but that doesn't erase the fact that it was a shitty day.
To top it all off we have no idea what caused the asthma attack, and I've never had one come on that fast with so little warning. Now I'm so worried that it will happen again. It's my biggest fear to die of this stupid disease, to suffocate when there is so much available air.