It seems that each breath I pull in lately is halting, reminding me of the harshness of my mother’s machine driven pulse. It scares me. My chest locks up, pulls down, and I shudder to breathe, worrying each time that this time will be the one that keeps me from breathing forever, this is the one that doesn’t just end in stars behind my eyes, but with a cosmos, a big bang, one that casts me out and aside.
The thought of living with this for the rest of my life is, frankly, enough to make me not live the rest of my life.
Every moment lately has been spent worrying about my breathing. Or knowing that I should go to the ER, but that they’ll dismiss me as having something I’ve already been tested for (asthma-nope, heart problems-all good, blood pressure-perfection,chest issues-all clear, anxiety-I’ve taken enough Ativan to know it’s NOT anxiety. Plus, panic attacks don’t last for weeks)
Even worse is having to go as an overweight person, since most doctors seem to get giddy when faced with a fatty-AWESOME! There’s the reason! Why do further testing? It MUST be that weight! That weight which has never bothered me in the past 5 years. The weight that doesn’t keep me from doing anything. It’s a convenient excuse, a box to check off on a form.
It terrifies me, keeps me up at night, thinking that they don’t look close enough because I’m fat. And now, without a family doctor again, I have to rely on the ER, rely on over worked EMERGENCY doctors for a chronic condition. Sit in a waiting room for hours listening to an old lady with gas pain complaining about the wait. Feel the judgement. Hell is the full hospital waiting room in a town with no doctors.
There’s the what if’s as well. What if it’s something bad? Something the missed? What if they never figure it out, and I have to live the rest of my live struggling to breathe? Since my oxygen levels are ok, the figure it’s nothing harmful.
Feel like you are being suffocated. Now imagine that all day long-when you finally get a breath, it starts all over again. Is that something to dismiss as “I’m sure it’s just anxiety” or “I think I saw a spot on the X-Ray, must be bronchitis!”
Tell you the truth, it scares me, and it saddens me. Because I have no advocate in my health care system, and I pay for it. Because this could be anything.