Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The cold that lingered.

Since December, I have had the cold that lingered. As you know, I went to my Britain’s got Talent Audition, which went quite badly, but after that, things took a turn for the worst. I thought, after the first two weeks in December, I was over the worst of the chest infection, as my breathing had returned to normal. The antibiotics I had been given, had helped. This however, was not to be the case. I suddenly developed pain in my larynx. I could not speak, or swallow properly. This was the start, of viral laryngitis. A singer’s nightmare. On strict vocal rest, I was not to sing for at least four or five weeks. I could deal with that. That was fine, but what happened next, was one of the most frightening experiences, I will ever deal with. The nebuliser experience. Welcome to the world of an asthmatic. Saturday fourth January 2015. I got up that morning, with a slight cough. It had been brewing for a while, and I was hoping against hope, that it would not be the cold returning. It sadly was. That day I developed a slight irritable throat, and I knew what was to come, but knew nothing of how bad it would be. Sunday fifth January 2015. Morning, and I go to take my Epilim. Afterwards, I head back to bed. A coughing spasm takes hold, and I can do nothing to stop it. I could feel everything rattling around in the area between my back and shoulderBlades, my chest vibrating with every breath. This, was not a good sign, as what would come, would lead to me either dry retching, or bringing back my Epilim. In distress, I tried to suppress the urges, but they became increasingly more violent. I needed to get rid of what was there, but with every attempt to breathe in, I could feel it catching on my breath, stopping me getting a decent breath. Gasping for air, and crying out in distress, I carried on dealing with the situation as best I could, trying to tell myself to relax, to try and breathe through my nose. This wasn’t working. Eventually, I retched, and felt everything move, but still, could not get rid of it. This, was how it ended up all day. Breathless, I carried on with my day, eating what little I could without coughing, drinking what I could, and going for a bath, to inhale steam. Monday morning; 02:20 hours; I suddenly awaken, struggling for breath. Literally gasping for air, I tried to shout out to the next room, even just a cry of distress, but all that came out was a violent cough, then, a huge coughing spasm. I could not get a breath between coughs. In the end, I gasped for air, and had to take short laboured breaths. I texted my friend in America, and told him: “I can’t breathe!” his response was short, and rapid. “Tell Nan, and consider calling an ambulance!” With that, sweating, and distressed, I went to Nana, and told her quite calmly, “I can’t breathe” Helping me to the bed, she went downstairs, and called for an ambulance. The paramedics came, and checked my sats, (saturation levels) which were dropping from 96 percent, to 93. I was taken to the hospital, where I was assessed. The doctor was Spanish. Immediately, I began to cough. “Come on, I can hear it Samantha. It’s there. You need to get it up. Come on.” he encouraged. Scared I would choke on my own phlegm, I kept trying to suppress it. I knew I was in the right place should anything kick off, but I’d had enough. My back, diaphragm, chest, and shoulders hurt. “No! No! I don’t want too! I can’t! I’ll be sick if I do!” his response was calm. “So what?” In the end, I had to get help. It was time for me to experience a nebuliser. It’s a little bit like an inhaler, but more powerful, and contains oxygen, as well as saline solution. They gave me it, and I breathed in the vapour. It got rid of most of it, but my heart rate was still rather fast, in sinus tachycardia, (fast, but nothing to worry about.) Although, my experience was not over. I had to use the oxygen a second time, as I had yet another attack. Coughing, and retching, I was gasping for air, my eyes streaming. Finally, after a long and terrifying 6 hours or so, I was sent home, with an inhaler, and antibiotics again. Now, my GP has put me on a steroid inhaler, Pulmicort, to prevent me from going into coughing spasms. Should it work this winter, I will be placed on it next year,should I develop the same respiratory difficulties, as my lungs will always be my weakest area, due to me being born so premature. I wish to point out though, that I am not asthmatic.