When I published my last post, I was feeling lost. Conflicted. Scared. Usually if I need advice on something, I turn to my mom...but this time I couldn't. This time I was scared for her, scared I'd hurt her. And I was afraid, even, to press "publish" on that post. But I am so glad that I did.
Thank you all for your words, each and every one of you. For your support, for your advice, for your emails...for reaching out even though you didn't have to. I don't have time yet to respond to all of them, but I read each response multiple times, and words cannot describe how much they meant to me.
Before I continue, I think I ought to catch you up to speed on what's happened since I wrote that post. I'm so sick of this drama. Sunday night marked the fourth night in a row that I was forced to leave my room in search of some fresh air to breathe. And friends? You're going to sigh at me...I know I shouldn't have done this...but I went alone. My best friend, who also happens to live next door, had fallen asleep early and I couldn't bring myself to wake her. My independent streak has been so helpful when it comes to dealing with my cerebral palsy, but it also can be dangerous in situations like these.
I know I shouldn't have gone alone. I think someone might have called a campus safety officer to help me, though (at this point, I think I have met, like, seven of them? Maybe eight?), because after I had been trying to catch my breath for fifteen minutes, an officer appeared out of nowhere and stayed with me until my breathing was regular again. At this point, it was about one in the morning, and I had used my inhaler twice, so I had the shakes, and I had to get up at 6:30 for a chemistry test the next morning!!
I laid in bed until about three in the morning before the shaking stopped enough for me to fall asleep. And then, to top it all off? When my alarm went off, I looked out the window and it was hailing, and a sheet of ice coated the ground. Campus delayed classes until about 10am, but I got a message from my chemistry professor stating that our exam was still happening at 7:30.
So, still coughing, running on about three and a half hours of sleep, I pulled on some clothes and boots. My friend was begging me to skip my exam; "Chemistry is not worth risking your life for!" she messaged in a final desperate attempt.
I ventured outside anyway, but after a few steps, I realized that she was right. I couldn't physically walk on the icy pavement, and worse still, the cold assaulted my lungs to the point where I could hardly breathe.
So I trudged back inside and emailed my professor, explaining my situation. He agreed to reschedule my test for 2:30...but the drama was only just beginning, friends.
I climbed back into bed and slept until 9:45, at which point I got up and made my way to biology class. On the way to class, though, I was forced to pass by a row of trucks that were pumping out exhaust fumes. At this point I didn't know whether to cry or laugh at the universe....I rushed inside and sat down until I could catch my breath again, and then continued on my way.
For the entire duration of my biology class, though, my breathing never seemed to fully recover. I used my inhaler once in the beginning of class, and that helped, although it didn't fully put a stop to my coughing. At the end of class, though, I reached down for my inhaler and realized that I couldn't find the albuterol part -- the medicine.
My lab instructor realized that I was struggling and rushed down to help.
"Are you okay?" she asked, as I rifled through my backpack in a panic. I shook my head no, breathlessly explaining that I couldn't find part of my inhaler. My professor came over too, and they tried to help me find it to no avail. They took me outside in the hopes that fresh air would help, and it did, a little.
Once I felt a bit better, we went back down and I searched my bag again....jackpot! There it was, the other piece. They sat with me as I inhaled, and then my professor insisted that I go to the campus health center. I was reluctant, but he was right. I probably should have gone even sooner than today, anyway.
He called a campus safety officer to bring me there, and at the health center I was given some steroids to ease my breathing.
My biology professor emailed my chemistry professor explaining what had happened and asking if I could postpone my test further, because the medicine would make me shaky. I ended up taking it anyway, though, shakes and all, because I just wanted to get it out of the way.
And then tonight, my mom messaged me asking about my cough. I paused, considering my options.
"Was it bad over the weekend?" she wrote.
I thought back to your replies urging me to tell her what happened, and I hesitated. But you know what, friends? You were right. She deserves to know. I didn't include every excruciating detail, but I mentioned that I almost passed out on Thursday, and explained that I had trouble on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday too. I told her, too, in great detail, about the incident that occurred most recently.
She was scared, worried, questioning, as I knew she would be. All the same, though, I feel a sense of relief now that she knows.
And tonight, because of the steroid medicine, I feel so much better...who knows? If I'm lucky, maybe I won't have to sit out in the hallway at 12:30am! ;-)
Thank you again for all of your advice; it meant the world to me. Hugs!