Monday, January 28, 2008

Gerry, Get Off The Bed

My breathing's been bad for about a week now - VERY bad in the last few days - and I'd chalked it up to all the running around for Max's party and my 'date' with Gerry on Saturday.

But last night I couldn't pretend any longer. It was seriously difficult to get a breath.

So this morning - after the kids went to school - we made an appt with a pullmanologist here in St. Paul for tomorrow (FINALLY!)

But still, my breathing was rough and shallow and all the things we're warned to watch for.

So our regular doc suggested I go to the ER, which I did, and after 4 nebulizer treatments and some xrays (no pneumonia!) I'm feeling shaky.

This was the first time I'd visited an ER for asthma and had to WAIT (how odd...)

Usually if breathing is bad, you're triaged immediately and go in first at an ER.

By the time I was called in (after a wait of an hour) my breathing was REALLY ratty. I think I had to have so many neb treatments because of the wait. I felt dizzy - at the point of passing out. Scary.

I've only passed out with this once before - a long time ago. It wasn't great for Gerry to have to see it, either. He has enough to worry about without me having 'episodes.'

Of course, I knitted all the time I was waiting - it helps to calm me, and keeps my breathing rhythmic. I got the feeling some of the folks thought I must not be terribly serious if I were able to knit (St st, which I could do blindfolded, is so taxing, you know...)

I think I'm going to take a few days to rest and not worry about doing stuff.

Yes, I was stupid and ignored warning signs, but the party was so important to Max, and Gerry had been so looking forward to the Blue State Ball. And both were important to me, too.

On a side note, during a Q&A I raised my hand to ask Steph a question and she called me "Sir" - and everyone laughed - and I was so embarrassed / ashamed that I told her "Never mind..."

Which made me sound like Emily Latella, and even more folks laughed.

I'm a tall woman with short hair, I should be used to being called "Sir" by now (especially when folks are trying to see me through stage lighting) but I felt so exposed - so gargantuan.

It was brief time travel trip back to Jr. High when I was taller than many teachers and just about all the students, and I learned that society will forgive a woman a lot - but not taking up too much space. It's changing. Slowly.

And I'm a head taller than my husband now. A couple masquerading as a sight gag.

There's nothing coming up in the immediate future so I'll be sleeping and resting. It will be very good to see the lung doc tomorrow and get myself on a regime that may be able to take me through Winter.

The problem, as I see it, is the "warmer" weather (high 30's) we've been having, and my lungs reacting to the new humidity. (Humidity & cold are evil hard for my lungs, the warm air raised the humidity, and - well - yes it's ALL cold here...)

So I'll see you in a few days. I'll be doing a lot of 'sitting-up-sleeping' and coughing up many lungs - just call me Mimi (I don't know why...)

I'll leave you with two thoughts that invaded my half awake mind at 3:00 am when I was up, surfing channels and trying to breathe.
1) I wonder if it was intentional to have Cheerio's be a sponsor of "Serial Mom?"

2) It seemed an unsettling juxtaposition to have the Sheer Cover Makeup infomercial (total ripoff of Bare Escentuals) right after Forensic Files on TRU TV.
Food for thought.
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posted by Annie at


Blogger sjmercure said...

I can empathize. I'm an asthmatic with terrible allergies and I've spent many a night in the emergency room waiting for someone to help me breathe. Cold and humidity are about the worst things you could do for asthma. Hang in there and take it easy and remember not to panic, it always makes it worse!

I read that you're coming to Atlanta in a few months. Can't wait to meet you there!

January 28, 2008 6:55 PM  
Blogger Kathy in San Jose said...

We've recently been through the nebulizer thing with my husband. And, he often gets called "Ma'am" (slight build, shoulder-length hair). Take it easy and take care of yourself!

January 28, 2008 7:19 PM  
Blogger Annie said...

Obviously there's a secret element in Albuterol which brings out the androgeny in Asthma sufferers. Odd.

January 28, 2008 7:24 PM  
Anonymous knitme23 said...

Aw shoot. Just what you need, yes? But I admire your steadfast knittingness through it all. Hope you get some good meds and that in--out--in--out thing starts working again. Peace!

January 28, 2008 7:34 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

I hope you rbreathing clears up! I had to take my hubby to the ER a couple of weeks ago and saw people being brought in before him that were in NO distress at all. I am a pharmacist and pretty good at triaging. A 12 year old walking normally and holding an icepack on her ankle is not more serious than a grown man crying because he hurts so bad due to something on his bottom. (an abscess as it turned out)(which IS an ER call) Arghj!!

January 28, 2008 8:12 PM  
Blogger Renee said...

Annie I hope you feel better soon. As an asthmatic I can relate to the desire suppress the need to go to the doctor in favor of more fun activities. Been there, done that and thankfully lived to tell about it. I was in Pennsylvania on vacation and went to the doctor upon returning to Michigan. The conversation went like this after she listened to me breathe...

DOC - You drove?
me - Yes.
DOC - By yourself?
me - Yes.
DOC - How far?
me - 350 miles or so. 6 hours.
DOC - I can't believe you're walking and talking.
me - Why not?
DOC - I don't hear anything.

She immediately prescribed a double dose of Prednisone. The doc made me promise not to wait so long the next time.


P.S. When I had a very short afro I got called Sir all the time. In Home Depot with my coat on I could let it go. At work with no coat on, I didn't understand. I mean, aren't the DDD boobs a pretty good clue I'm a girl? Guess not.

January 28, 2008 9:16 PM  
Blogger Milly said...

You've been awarded the "You Make my Day" award for having such a wonderful blog that I find inspiring, educational and makes me smile.

January 29, 2008 6:59 AM  
Anonymous KERaven said...

Annie, I hope you're feeling better in no time and that you remember to take care of yourself! Many happy breaths.

January 29, 2008 7:06 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

Oh Annie - I so hope you are feeling better - the one time I went to the ER with my Asthma, I was in the waiting room for over an hour and it wasn't getting any better. I finally walked up to a police officer and asked, while gasping for air, if I had to die first to be seen. I was immediately brought into a room and treated. Please take care of yourself and I look forward to meeting you in February at Knitty City :-)

January 29, 2008 9:07 AM  
Blogger Kathleen C. said...

I know you know... but take care of yourself too!

I'm pretty lucky. Though prone to respiratory colds I've only had real breathing trouble once... when my summer job included cleaning out and reorganizing a costume stock (can you say dusty, moldy fabrics) in an old warehouse building (again dusty, moldy).
It was scary. I empathize.

January 29, 2008 9:16 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

Annie, just pretend you are a Star Trek officer and it is perfectly okay for them to call you sir or m'am. You are definitely officer caliber!

Take a good rest and feel better soon!

January 29, 2008 9:29 AM  
Blogger Helen said...

I've nominated you in my list of knitting bloggers who make me smile. Apparently, this means you should "give the award to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel happy about blogland. Let them know by posting a comment on their blog so they can pass it on. Beware you may get the award several times."

But if you don't do this you won't actually have anything bad happen, so in the circumstances I think you can be excused: just enjoy the award.

January 29, 2008 9:35 AM  
Blogger Eve said...

Hi Annie, Rest up and get well soon. I hope you get to knit lots and lots.

January 29, 2008 10:10 AM  
Blogger datatech57 said...

I am living with cancer. One time I answered the door without my wig on (hey, you come to my house, you take your chances!) and was called "sir" by the young man trying to sell me something. I was wearing a skirt at the time. I guess I gotta give him credit, I guess. The first thing he looked at was my face, not my other "attributes." I am also a tall, large woman. I don't go in for makeup, either. Under the circumstances, being called "sir" is, I suppose, the least of my problems!

Knit on!


January 29, 2008 10:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Be sure to wear a scarf over your mouth when you go outside in cold air. It warms the air a bit before it gets to your lungs.

January 29, 2008 10:34 AM  
Blogger . . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

Mimi was quite the fiber artist as well.

And Look! You can download OPERA KARAOKE!!!!

Sounds like Franklin over at The Panopticon would like this, too.

January 29, 2008 11:36 AM  
Blogger susanc said...


I hope you're feeling better today.

I, too, think that Sheer Cover is a total ripoff of Bare Escentuals, which I use every day and LOVE.

January 29, 2008 1:08 PM  
Blogger Dkswife said...

I certainly hope you get to feeling much better soon!

January 29, 2008 3:09 PM  
Blogger projektleiterin said...

Keep warm and take care of yourself! I had to check with a doctor last year, because of a horrible cough and he diagnosed a light asthma, so since then I'm a bit more careful (the lack of sleep I suffered because of the cough was bad enough to serve me as a warning).

January 29, 2008 4:06 PM  
Anonymous ana said...

I was tipped off to your blog thanks to Brenda's latest podcast and was both surprised and touched by your asthma story -- its a total drag, isn't it? Keep that albuterol handy and a stash of the dreaded prednisone and know that there are people cheering you on from the stands.

January 29, 2008 5:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the Deva of Healing speaking: "Rest, rest, rest. Sleep.
Knit. Take a nice hot shower. Knit.
Get out the primo chocolate. Don't forget the vitamins, too."

All your fans (& that Deva of Healing) would be happy knowing you are taking care of yourself, even if it means we have to wait for your new blog posts for more than a week!
May health & balance be yours.

January 29, 2008 7:01 PM  
Blogger Carina said...

Grrr to that ER! I wish I could've been there and gone all bitchy doctor's wife on their asses. I only use that for people I love. ;) Oxygen's freakin' important, people! Gah. Don't get me started.

I hope they figure out a good change in your regimen. We're thinking of adding Advair to mine. I hate all this mucking around with meds and reactions and side effects. I hope the new doctor hits on the right treatment and it doesn't have any side effects. :hug:

January 29, 2008 8:25 PM  
Blogger Isabel said...

Oh sweetie, I wish I knew what to say. Unf. all I've got is "stiff upper lip" and "pip pip". Damn my British childhood! Seriously, you are too much of a sweetheart to be down: virtual hugs via the intertubes for ya!

January 31, 2008 5:27 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

I hope that today is finding you feeling better and that you're getting plenty of rest!

January 31, 2008 11:07 AM  
Blogger Cynthia said...

Make sure you do rest Annie! I completely empathize with the asthma, the ER visits and the doing too much even when you know you shouldn' is hard not to for your kid when you know how much it means to them. Next time get thee to a hospital faster and complain more to in there quicker!

P.S. Knitting works the same way for me regarding my asthma and particularly well in managing my pain.

February 01, 2008 6:47 AM  
Blogger YTT said...

Hope you're feeling better.

I've gotten "Sir" even when I was wearing full evening makeup. Sometimes people just judge by the outline not by actually looking at you. They see something 6 feet tall in front of them, it gets a "sir." (Followed by a really embarrassed, OH! EXCUSE ME!)

But my husband gets "Ma'am" quite a bit when he's sitting down because of his mop of white hair, even though he's a hunky 6'2".

The basic lesson is that people are unobservant. It's like that saying that people only hear 40% of any given conversation. Don't take it personally.

February 01, 2008 9:19 AM  
Blogger Pickles & Dimes said...

Hi, I found your site while searching for "circular knitting." (And I've seen your name on Crazy Aunt Purl's site a few times.)

I love your designs. Right now I'm trying to work up the nerve to do your sweater from Stitch 'n Bitch.

Also, I live in Minneapolis, and this cold winter air has been absolutely horrendous on my ashtma.

February 01, 2008 10:00 AM  
Blogger MaryBeth said...

Happy Birthday Max! I have a daughter Molly turning 10 in 20 days. Seems like yesterday she was a baby. The grow too fast!

Look forward to meeting you in Saratoga Springs.

February 01, 2008 11:59 AM  
Blogger PICAdrienne said...

Next time you are feeling 'too' tall or big, find a girls Volleyball tournament to go to. My 12 year old daughter's team has a 6'1" redheaded 13 year old. A coach of another team (I have known that person's twin for over 20 years) asked how old she was, we were at a tournament for older girls, when I told her, she smiled and said, 'yes, I thought she was young.'

February 01, 2008 5:08 PM  
Blogger Ms. P said...

I hope your lungs are behaving themselves. BTW, I'm often the only one to notice subtle changes in air systems, too - don't even get me started on the different chemistry in personal fragrance products...

Like susanc, I totally agree that Bare Escentuals is the one true makeup. Sheer Cover is a mere Stepford makeup (soul-less eyes and all).

February 12, 2008 9:27 PM  

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