Last night was one of the more terrifying nights I’ve had. I’ve told y’all about my throat problems, but I haven’t really gone into detail on how it flairs up sometimes. It doesn’t do it very often (Thank God) but when it does it’s quite scary.
Last night I started sneezing quite a bit, which is typically what gets my flairs started. When I sneeze, I think the quick rush of air through my trachea irritates and inflames the scare tissue around my throat. This is just a guess based on what it feels like. I’m not exactly sure how to describe it, except maybe it’s like having a bite that’s a little swollen then you scratch it and it swells up to double its size. Well, when my throat gets inflamed it swells which causes my airway to close off more. When my airway starts closing off more, my body thinks there’s something lodged in my throat and the coughing starts. I do my best not to cough, but the body does what it wants sometimes. The coughing adds another layer of irritation and my trachea closes up even more. Mind you, I’m not even sure what set the sneezing off. But the whole thing is a vicious cycle that feeds on itself.
This happened right as we went to bed. My mother is staying with us for the week so I know she heard me coughing and sounded horrid, but thankfully she wasn’t in the room to witness the whole thing. I could NOT catch my breath. When I laid down it felt like someone sat on my chest, so I sat up. When I sat up my body wanted to cough more and sometimes that coughing caused me to gag. Usually if I can just get myself to calm down, be still, and think of something else the swelling will go down and I’ll be able to breathe better. That didn’t help last night.
I couldn’t talk, I couldn’t hardly breathe and I was starting to panic. Mike asked me if I wanted to go to the ER. I just shook my head no…it’ll go away in a bit. Well, after an hour of breathing through what felt like a coffee stirrer, I started thinking I might have to go to the ER. I didn’t want to go. #1, my mother was with us and I didn’t want her to have to deal with this because she was already having to deal with my Grandmother being very sick; #2, if I went to the ER they would do 1 of 2 things, intebate me or put in a trache. More than likely they would intebate, which would help in the short term but more than likely cause more damage to my throat causing problems down the road. But, just to hopefully help you understand how it fells think of someone choking you to where you were only getting enough air not to pass out completely and holding you like that for an hour or longer. Your throat is constricted, you can’t pull the hands off your neck, and you’re getting slowly more tired and start hoping that you will pass out because maybe then everything would relax and you’d get the oxygen you need.
So, I sat up in bed taking in slow, long, deliberate breaths while petting my dog. The act of petting the dog was comforting and helped me try to take my mind off of what was happening. Eventually I was able to get a little more air in…then a little more. When I was finally able to lay on my side without too much pressure I tried to go to sleep. Thankfully, I slept like the dead from 12:30-5.
This morning I was getting ready for work when Mike asked me how I felt. I told him I was ok. I was tired and my throat was very sore, but I was breathing much better than the night before. Then he said “I thought you were going to die.” I smiled and said “me too”.