This is going to be a short one, but an urgent one, an important one, and a personal one.
I woke up today to a message from my daughter, who has had to hear me awake at 6am multiple times over the last year having asthma attacks. She sent me this video and begged me to watch it.
I watched, I felt, I cried, and I needed to share.
This is what life looks like for someone who has asthma, post Covid. And it’s exhausting, isolating, frustrating, debilitating, and scary. And it isn’t going away.
I got sick in February of 2020. I denied the likelihood of Covid for all of 2020 and most of 2021. But the continued lung issues are not a coincidence. I have avoided talking to my Doctor about them, but he called me out on the fact that I am suddenly blowing through more Ventolin inhalers than I ever have before last time we had a phone appointment and I asked for another refill. I have yet to see him in person, but all those drugs in this video, that’s my future when I get my second shot of Moderna and finally have to face the Doc.
On average, I probably wake up nearly every morning in the early morning hours, occasionally I may have a week where it is mild enough to sleep through, having an asthma attack. It’s gross. It’s unpleasant. I am drowning and it often makes me vomit as my body is working so hard to expel fluid from my lungs. We don’t talk about it, but anyone who lives with someone going through this knows… they know those awful sounds, those scary, “I am worried this person may die” sounds…
It is bad. And it doesn’t end. After a mild week, sometimes I think I am through, and then it returns. I have managed to hide it from anyone not living with me, and I avoid eye contact with those that do because it is embarrassing. Even though I know, it is not my fault. It is embarrassing not just because I can’t hide it but because I am helpless to it and don’t know how to make it stop. And I don’t want to see the concern in their eyes because I am already scared enough on my own. Can we just act like this isn’t happening? And anyone who knows me will tell you, I am not one to avoid things. But this I avoid. I don’t want this to be real. I don’t want it.
This video is shocking for those that don’t know, and damned near triggering for those who do. And everyone should watch it.
Those early mornings, after I am done coughing and vomiting in the bathroom, it takes roughly 30 minutes to an hour for my lungs to feel okay again. To be able to breath without feeling like there is a weight on my chest. In the 15 minutes leading up to the bathroom, I am coughing, wheezing, shaking, and wondering if this is the time my lungs collapse, they give out, or I don’t get enough oxygen to my brain and I pass out and die. It wasn’t like this pre-2020. One inhaler would last me for a year, if not longer. Now I am going through one every 3 months. Covid has destroyed my already weak lungs. And it isn’t getting better.
I have adamantly advocated for masking, I have adamantly advocated for staying home, for getting vaccinated, for shut downs at peak outbreak, etc, etc, etc, and this, 100%, is why. Because it was never JUST about the deaths, it was about that AND the quality of life for the survivors.
Just fucking do it. For us. Please.