25 Jul

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.

6 Responses to “Breathe”

  1. flutter July 26, 2008 at 12:44 am #

    Thank you for this, it is so frustrating. I can relate to it, walking in and seeing the judgment and the assumption that you would be just fine only if….

  2. charmingdriver July 26, 2008 at 4:05 am #

    Dang, T. I am so sorry you’re dealing with this and OMG I KNOW the ”judgement” of having the gall to present yourself to an MD being fat. Horrid, just fucking horrid and dehumanizing.

  3. cinnamon gurl July 26, 2008 at 7:44 am #

    It’s awful to have to advocate so strongly for yourself. My grandma’s doctor kept dismissing her symptoms because she was old, of course she felt like shit. My mom kept pushing for her and she eventually got referred to a specialist and got a diagnosis.

    You know your body better than anyone… it sucks, but you just have to advocating for yourself. Some doctors have such God complexes, it really interferes with their care. Take care!

  4. niobe July 27, 2008 at 11:18 am #

    Once doctors get the idea that “it’s all in your head” or “it’s just because of X” it’s almost impossible to make them take you seriously. I’m not really familiar with the Canadian system, but one thing I’ve done with some success is to look up my symptoms on the internet and try and diagnose myself, then go into the doctor asking to be tested for whatever it is that I think I have. And, of course, I’ve often been absolutely right.

    Anyway, I’m very sympathetic on the inability-to-breathe thing. I had something kind of like that as a child (though, in my case, unlike yours, I think it actually was anxiety-related). I remember all too well the terrifying feeling of struggling for each breath.

  5. Bon July 27, 2008 at 6:06 pm #

    i have nothing useful, only this low, loose feeling of sadness because i know what it is to have docs not take you seriously, and it is wounding and deflating and leads to despair…and i do not like to see you there, friend.

  6. Sara July 29, 2008 at 11:55 am #

    I’ve been through something similar, was morbidly obese at the time and got the run around that lose the fat and you’ll be fine. I ended up not being fine at all. Please keep begging and pleading and driving them crazy, until your satisfied with diagnosis. I’m sorry your having to go through this.

    Have they checked your tonsils and adenoids? Even if they were removed they told me when my sons were removed that the adenoids could grow back over time. read that and do some other research on Apnea (doesn’t always occure only when sleeping) can’t hurt.

    Another thing, though I don’t think that what your going through is anxiety. I can tell you from experience that you can have long term anxiety attacks that last months even. Specially if you have an anxiety disorder.

    I wish you luck.

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