Blogging Laryngitis


nicole bullock thinking
You know that feeling when you have laryngitis? Straining to make noises, a sore/achy throat, and feeling the effects of vocal fatigue? You know that you should probably rest your voice, even though you have a lot to say? That’s how I’ve felt lately with my blogging. I have said so many things on my blog over so many years, and I continue to think of so many things to write about. Even though I technically have a voice, I feel like a bit of vocal rest is best right now.

Micro-posts on social media have been just what the doctor ordered lately. I’m doing so much in my personal, professional, and private life, so blogging has been on the back burner. When I do write, my posts end up being saved unfinished in my draft folder. I have spent over 12 hours writing about a topic really close to my heart this month, but when it came down to hitting publish…I couldn’t do it. I did not feel ready to open myself up to the possible criticism and necessary explanations that it would begin. You have to have a thick skin to write about anything potentially controversial, and my skin is eerily thin right now.

The past 6 months since my move to Detroit have been a thrilling, fast-paced, up-down-and-sideways, and sometimes horrifying experience. With my professional career being Internet-based, the appeal of blogging has waned over the last year.  Knowing that business decisions can be influenced by the things that I publish, I have grown extremely cautious.

It’s weird that I feel like this right now, because I living in Detroit gives me SO much to talk about. I am falling in love with my new city, and I want to “say nice things about Detroit.” I love the history, architecture, and culture that have made the Motor City so interesting and appealing to me. I’ve been toying about starting another offshoot blog dedicated to all things Detroit (because I have an addiction to registering domains, and already have purchased a few for this purpose). But again, social media feels like the right place to share it.

Bear with me as I figure out my place in the blogosphere. I’m going to sip my icy drink and listen for a while.

I’m Moving to Michigan

detroit map pinLast night I updated my Facebook status, and mentioned our family’s move to Michigan at the end of the post. The general reply?

“Whaaaat? No! You’re Moving? Did I miss your announcement?!?”

Although I’ve been talking about our upcoming move for several months, I guess it’s never been official because I didn’t make a big to-do on social media.

So here’s the official announcement. Through the months of November and December, our family is moving back to the Detroit area. Taylor and I are driving out one car full of stuff on November 3rd, and the moving truck will probably come the first week of December once we’ve found a place to live. In the mean time, I’m going to stay with a family from our old ward for the days I’m in town. I’ll be in Salt Lake at various times through the next 5 weeks, but it’s going to be pretty busy with packing and moving preparation.

michigan mitten map print

To address the fact that it’s DETROIT I’m moving to: Yes, I know the city is bankrupt. Yes, I know the winters are cold. Yes, I know that it’s far away from Utah. Yes, I know you don’t like X sports team. But I’m okay with it. Our family needs this. And we’ve lived in Michigan before, so we know what to expect.

Taylor was transferred to Detroit back in March. He’s been commuting to Memphis for the last 4 years, but it hasn’t been too terrible because he could jumpseat on FedEx flights. Since he’s been based at DTW, he’s been dealing with two big stressors: living in a crashpad and commuting back and forth on standby. Both Detroit and Salt Lake City are Delta hubs, which means that a lot of passenger traffic gets rerouted at the last minute. He thinks he has a way home, then gets bumped. Or has to route through another city. It’s enough to take his 2-4 days home down to 1-3, and sometimes he’s home less than 24 hours before he’s gone another week. He’s hating crashpad life: 15-25 pilots sharing a hotel room full of crappy bunkbeds and one bathroom. Seven months of that torture has been enough to consider a career change. I don’t want him to quit his dream without giving life in Detroit another try.

michigan leavesRight now I’m being considered for a few different jobs, and will be flying out to Detroit for interviews in a few days. I’ve been job hunting for months, but earlier in the year didn’t turn out to be the right time to move. Now it is, and we’re being proactive. It’s scary to put moving expenses on a credit card and not know when I’ll have work, but sometimes a leap of faith is necessary.

It’s going to be difficult to leave Utah. We have such a strong support network for friends, family, neighbors, and former coworkers. We’ve been back in Utah 4 years, and it’s feeling harder to leave than when we left in 2006. But don’t you fret…we’ll still be back to visit. We’re planning to come back from Christmas.

Want to see us before we leave? On Saturday, November 16th, I’m going to hold a going away party open house. The location will be determined soon, but you can keep tabs on the event on the Facebook event. Hope to see you there!

 

Not Myself

nicole bullock melancholySuppose I said
I am on my best behavior
And there are times
I lose my worried mind

Would you want me when I’m not myself?
Wait it out while I am someone else?

Suppose I said
Colors change for no good reason
And words will go
From poetry to prose 

And I, in time, will come around
I always do for you 

- “Not Myself” by John Mayer

The past year has been full of awesome highs and awful lows. I’ve had 6 months of physical struggle that’s been unlike any period of my life. I didn’t know when things would get better…but I’m finally feeling like I’m back on my way up. Here’s the recap.

For the first 5 months of 2013, I felt like I was on top of the world. I had lost over 120 pounds and had regained a zest for life that had been dormant for a long time. My professional life was on fire and I was getting opportunities to be in the media, to speak at events, and recognition for my career that I’d worked for most of my adult life to achieve. I was feeling fulfilled, lively, creative, and happy. But I began pushing myself far too hard.

smcslc board ladiesWhen people describe me, they often say that I am “dependable” because I show up at so many events. I am guilty of  FOMO (fear of missing out) to my detriment. Working as a social media professional, I feel the responsibility to be everywhere possible to connect, network, gain knowledge, and have fun. Between work, serving on the Social Media Club of Salt Lake City board, church responsibilities, family time, and keeping an active lifestyle, many days I was on the go for 18 hours straight.

In April, Taylor was transferred to Detroit. After 4 years of commuting to SLC, we decided it was time to relocate our family to Detroit. On top of all my work and social obligations, I threw myself into a very dedicated job hunt. For the first month, I was getting a lot of responses, interviews, and positive feedback. I had a feeling I’d be accepting an offer soon, and made tentative plans to move to Detroit during the summer. Now it’s October and I’ve had no offers. And we still live in Utah.

Within a few weeks of my job hunt, with a pretty enthusiastic response, I suddenly felt like the life had been sucked out of me. I felt fatigue and anxiety beyond any other time in my life. I started cutting things out of my life trying to desperately hang on to what was important – my job, my family, and my health. But no matter what I did, I never seemed to be able to tackle my health. I went from being completely diligent to hardly functional. It was hard to make it through an 8 hour work day, and I often went straight to bed when I went home. I didn’t feel creative and I felt like a failure. But I kept pushing along. And I got better at saying “no.”

Most of the summer, I felt depleted. I gained a few pounds back, and it was frustrating. I tried to jumpstart my metabolism by more sessions at the gym, and would feel dizzy within 10 minutes. I saw several doctors, had lots of lab work done, and no sense could really be made out of my fatigue. I had a feeling that I was suffering from mono, but my “mono-spot” lab test came back negative.

I was struggling, but not in a way that a typical “depressed summer” goes for me. I know the point when I need to see a therapist, and I never got to that point. I looked to alternative means to handle my stress and anxiety. The last week of August, I went to a yoga class with some of my neighbors. It was my first time doing yoga, and I ended the class feeling strange. By the next morning, a gland in my neck swelled up so big that it was difficult to swallow. The sore throat persisted for days, and I eventually went to urgent care to find out what was wrong. I was diagnosed with a peritonsillar abscess, was given IV antibiotics and steroids, and was told to return to my doctor if it hadn’t improved in a few days.

And it didn’t improve. I spent the better part of the month of September suffering, seeing my primary care and ENT physicians, missing work, sleeping, mixing up medications, and trying to get the pain and discomfort under control. As the abscesses were under control, I developed the worse sinus infection of my life. As the sinus infection improved, I developed viral tonsillitis and tested positive for infectious mononucleosis. The tests indicated that I’d had an active round of Epstein-Barr virus for 5 months, and it was causing all of the throat issues. I finally had an answer for why I was so freaking exhausted – I DO have mono. And because the infections were viral, antibiotics would not help, only a tonsillectomy.

At this point, I was laid off from my job. As if 5 months of illness wasn’t enough, one more major stressor was added to the list.

I had two conferences on my calendar, and decided that I didn’t want to miss them and lose out on the money invested. I went to Atlanta for Type-A Parent conference, where I was nursing a recurrence of another peritonsillar abscess. I went to urgent care in Atlanta and was told by the doctor that my “throat looks like a horror movie,” and I needed my tonsils out ASAP. But immediately after Type-A, I had a paid speaking gig at the ObesityHelp National Convention in Anaheim.

tonsillectomy preopI scheduled the tonsillectomy for the first date my surgeon had available, and tried to not push myself too hard on my travels. I returned from California on Tuesday, and went under the knife for the adenotonsillectomy on Thursday. Today I’m on post-op day 2, and it’s been pretty brutal. I knew that the recovery from an adult tonsillectomy is much more difficult than on a younger person, but it had to happen. I’ve been surviving on ice packs, sipping icy drinks, cool mist humidifiers, sleep, Lortab, and limited soft foods.

The plus side of unemployment is that I have endless time to recover. I don’t know how soon I’ll feel like I could survive at day at the office, but it’s nice to not have to hurry back. I’ve thrown out another batch of resumes for open positions in Detroit, and am hoping to catch the eye of a potential employer soon. Once I’m feeling ready, it will be time to fly out to Detroit, look at neighborhoods, house hunt, go to networking events, and prepare for the next move for our family. After 7 months of job hunting from Salt Lake City, it’s hard to know if I’ll get a job without moving there. We’re going to make a leap, we may move before I have a job, and are running on faith.

It’s going to be difficult, especially after not feeling like myself for so long. But I think I feel ready to give the next chapter of life a try. I am confident that now that my tonsils are out, the viral infections will subside and I’ll be back to myself again. The optimistic side of me things it will only take a week or two to bounce back. I hope I’m right.

Summertime Lull

jordan river lehi utEvery summer, I feel myself pulling back a bit.

For most of the year, I am used to having a crazy busy manic life, jam packed with every possible activity and obligation imaginable. But once the weather heats up,  I feel like my natural extroversion pulls back and my introvert comes out. I don’t feel like getting out as much. I feel like I need more time for relaxation, regrouping, and seclusion. The heat sucks the life out of my soul, and I want to reside in a cool dark room.

In past summers, I’ve felt the weight of very heavy clinical depression. Two of these years felt so dark that I struggled with despair to the point that suicidal thoughts crept in. I am grateful that I was able to work through those dark periods, and haven’t experienced any blackness of that magnitude since. But with the track record I’ve had the last 6 years, it’s not surprising that I struggle in the summer months.

This year I have felt tugs of the summertime blues, but nothing to the point that I am worried or fearful. I am so much healthier than I’ve been in past years, which I know has made a difference in my disposition. There are some major life changes on deck, which have taken up a lot of my mental resources to prepare for. I crave time away from the noise, to read a book, and withdraw from the constant yammering of social media. As a social media manager, it seems funny to say that. But in my time away from work, I have been enjoying my time away from laptop screen. Sometimes a week will go by without me opening up my laptop at home.

I am fortunate to live less than a block from the Jordan River Parkway. I spend a lot of my evenings walking or riding my bike along the river. The water flows at a pace that I crave for my life’s balance. I try to time my outings so I can see the sun set over the Oquirrh Mountains. That’s something that I rarely do during the wintertime.

I’ve done some traveling in the last month. I went to California for a friend’s wedding, to Bryce Canyon and Cedar Breaks for a weekend family getaway, and I just returned from Portland for FitBloggin. Each place I go, I spend time enjoying the natural beauty. It is good for my soul.

If I don’t post as often this summer, don’t be alarmed. I’m just taking some time for myself. As much as I love to write, and I take pride in my blogs, it’s good to get away sometimes.

June Update

Last weekend I went to a blogging conference, passed out business cards, and hung my head in shame that I had not updated my blog in SIX WEEKS (what kind of blogger am I??) So now I am writing to rectify this.

In my defense, I have posted at Beauty and the Bypass a few times since posting on Cute Culture Chick. And I’ve had a heckuva month and a half. Here’s the run down.

New Job: I started a new job as a social media manager. I get to blog, curate content and strategy, and keep things updated on several social channels, such as Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter. After being online all day at work, I rarely feel like hopping on my laptop to spend more time doing it for myself.

We Moved: At the beginning of June, we moved out of our ridiculously overpriced apartment and into my parents’ basement in Lehi (t’s a great opportunity for us to tackle our debt, you know?) After a week and a half of mad packing, we finally had everything moved. The day after we moved in, there was a sewage backup in the bathroom next to our bedroom. The flooding wasn’t terribly expansive, and most of our belongings were spared, but it still sucked. We had to stay in a hotel for 4 days while the crews ripped out carpet, disinfected things, and dried out all the excess moisture. Two weeks later, we still haven’t unpacked because we’re waiting for the rooms to be recarpeted. We’ll have to repack and move everything out for the carpet guys to do their thing. Almost a month of living out of boxes, and I’m ready to unpack and settle.

Rosie’s Play: Rosie was in Murray Arts Council’s production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. She had rehearsals and performances six nights a week this month, some nights going till 11:00 pm. It’s fun to see how she’s picked up acting and performing like I used to do. But after moving to Lehi, all that chauffeuring took up my life.

Type A Parent Conference: The last weekend of June, I was in Charlotte, NC for the Type A Parent Conference. I had so much fun, and so much to say that I plan to do another post about it. The standby travel was tough though – I ended up flying to NC by way of Rapid City, SD and Minneapolis, and home though Memphis and Vegas.

Keane Concert: Keane is one of my very favorite bands, and I saw them in concert for the 5th time this week. They performed at the Gallivan Center in Salt Lake City, and it was the first time I saw them play outdoors. My friend Esther recently had back surgery, but refused to miss the concert. She came in a wheelchair and I enjoyed the show from the ADA-accessible seats. If you’re a fan of Keane, and haven’t seen them live, I strongly suggest you make that happen.

So, that’s been my June. What have you been up to?

Beauty and the Bypass

beauty and the bypass

I’m excited to announce two things:

I’ve been approved for weight loss surgery, and will be undergoing laparoscopic roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery on February 7th.

I’ve decided to share my weight loss journey publicly, and have launched a dedicated blog to document the process. It is called “Beauty and the Bypass.”

If you’re curious to know why I’ve decided to have gastric bypass surgery, or what the surgery approval process is like, I’ve already blogged about those topics. The blog will include video blog posts, food diaries, and a detailed account of what my surgery and recover process is like. If you’d like to get updates about the process, you can like my Beauty and the Bypass Facebook page,  or you can subscribe to the Beauty and the Bypass feed on Feedburner.

If you’ve read my blog for any amount of time, you know that I’ve had a long time struggle with chronic health conditions, and I have a difficult time losing weight. If I have breathing problems, I go on steroids and gain more weight. It’s taken a few years to know that surgery is the right move for me, and it took over a year to get my insurance to authorize it. I’m excited for my “new life” to start, a life where I am not perpetually bound by hunger and food addiction. I know it will be a difficult process, but I’m ready for it. And I hope that you will join along with me.

One Month, One Year

It’s been almost one month since my last blog post, and it’s the one year anniversary of me moving back to Utah.

Both seem hard for me to believe.

Dates and anniversaries are significant to me. I have a strangely accurate recollection of dates from the past. 3/15/1995 brings a chill to my spine. 7/10/2004 was a very happy day. Flag Day always reminds me of the birthday of a boy I had a crush on in elementary school. Realizing this afternoon that I arrived in Utah last June 27th felt prosaic. Despite my exhaustion from a whirlwind of activities over the last week or so, I felt that blogging tonight was important.

This year has felt like an out-of-body experience in many ways. Cross-country relocation, serious injuries and health problems, unemployment, weight gain, financial difficulties, and I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and soul searching. I’ve actually been doing a lot of writing…working through some anger, pain, frustration, and insecurities. It’s been incredibly therapeutic….and I’m realizing how helpful it can be. Writing helps me actualize reality. And for a long time, my only writing happened publicly on my blog. I hid and ignored many deep feelings I was experiencing…and lately I’m feeling the weigh of many things I’ve repressed or refused to acknowledge that were in existence.

So over this month, I’ve been writing…but I’m not sure I’m ready to share most of it here. Yet.

This weekend I attended the EVO Conference in Park City, UT. I took the “scenic” drive up through Provo Canyon and Heber to Park City, instead of the usual way I take through Parley’s Canyon. I know that I’ve taken that road before…but I don’t think I’ve ever realized how beautiful it was. As I visited with out-of-state guests of the conference, so many remarked how beautiful Utah is. I have lived in Utah a total of 12 years, and I think I’ve just gotten used to the way it looks. Arriving in Utah last June, in the circumstances I was experiencing, made Utah seem like a punishment. I felt “Banished to Spanish” (Fork). But over the weekend, I’ve contemplated many elements of the beauty that surrounds me…and I feel like I’ve been taking so many things in my life for granted.

I am a daughter of God. I have a devoted husband who loves me and works hard to support the family. I have a daughter who brings me so much joy and love. I have a plethora of family members and friends who are loyal and caring, would drop everything to help me out when needed. I have a roof over my head, a car that works, access to good healthcare, the Gospel,  and air conditioning! My life is abounding in blessings…yet I feel dark, twisty and sad feelings every day.

Depression really stinks…I can acknowledge the good things in life and be surrounded by amazing people, yet still feel lonely, abandoned, overwhelmed, scared, and unloved. I think the reason that I feel unloved…is because I don’t love myself much these days. I look in the mirror and see an image that only slightly resembles the mental image I default to in my head. I don’t like the way I physically feel. I don’t like the scarce selection of clothing that I settle for because the cute styles aren’t made in my size. And I don’t want to feel like this anymore. I need to proactively set goals and reach for the stars. I’ve already started to make some changes in my life over the last few weeks, and I’m trying to bask in the happiness of the little successes.

I’m working on me, inside and out.

Doing my Best

The last few months have really put me through the wringer, emotionally and physically. It has been incredibly difficult to go from an able-bodied, overzealous DO-er, to someone who has to accept help from others, and be satisfied with myself when I accomplish less than my usual best.

My mother has dealt with chronic pain for nearly 17 years, over half of my life. When she wasn’t able to do all that she needed to, I stepped in. I spent most of my teenage years being a nurturer, a teacher, a chauffeur, a cook, and serving my family whenever necessary. It was frustrating and overwhelming at times, but I was happy that I was able to serve. Although I never really understood my mother’s physical pain, I trusted that she was doing the best she could. I knew I had the ability to help…and I did. And still do.

Since I injured my back in December, my life has been like a parallel universe. I have little endurance and mobility. I am dependent on several medications to function AT ALL. I keep ice packs, heating pads, and “granny pillows” at hand. I go to physical therapy 3 times a week. The entire office staff at my doctor’s office know me by name. I’m on the phone sorting out bills with my insurance, hospitals, urgent care clinics, imaging centers, and medical supply companies nearly every day. I deal with symptoms that sometimes cripple my mobility, such as limb numbness from hip to toe, for hours at a time. I got my first bedsore this week. Sometimes I lose bladder/bowel function. Sometimes the cerebrospinal fluid pressure changes from the cysts in my back cause mindblowing headaches. Some days, I barely make it out of bed at all.

And this life does not suit me. At all.

I pray daily for the patience to endure my pain. I pray for the patience of my friends and family members, who are affected by my illnesses. I pray for the understanding of others, that although they may not know the particulars…they don’t judge me harshly for the things I’m not able to do. I pray that my husband doesn’t give up on me, and understands that I’m truly doing my best.

Did you hear that, world? I’M DOING MY BEST.

Please don’t give up on me. Please be patient with me. Please do not judge me for the things you don’t understand. And I’ll do the same for you.

Depressed Bloggers Anonymous

Over the last few weeks, I have been catching up on my Google Reader. As I’ve skimmed and soaked in 1000+ blog posts over the last 3 months, I’ve found a common theme: depression. I read posts on Mormon Women Project, Blog Segullah, Mormon Mommy Blogs, FMHMelancholy Smile, and other sites I love. I felt like these authors were speaking my language. Depression is my disease.

According to the DSM-IV, the following symptoms may occur with depression:

  • Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective report (e.g., feels sad or empty) or observation made by others (e.g., appears tearful). (In children and adolescents, this may be characterized as an irritable mood.)
  • Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day
  • Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain (e.g., a change of more than 5 of body weight in a month), or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day.
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day
  • Psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day
  • Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day
  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day
  • Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day
  • Recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide.

For as long as I can remember, I have struggled with feelings of worthlessness, sadness, inadequacy, and poor self image. I had an extremely hard time making friends as a child, preferring to spend time alone rather than try to fit in. In 1992, the song “Creep” by Radiohead was released. I felt the lyrics so passionately:

I want a perfect body
I want a perfect soul
I want you to notice
when I’m not around
You’re so very* special
I wish I was special
But I’m a creep
I’m a weirdo
What the hell am I doin’ here?
I don’t belong here

I have struggled with diagnosed clinical depression since I was 16.  I have always been an emotional and empathetic person. I am a moral perfectionist, always wanting to the right thing and to singlehandedly solve the world’s problems. I feel others’ pain and sadness. Even when my circumstances aren’t dire, I tend to feel so deeply of others’ struggles that I felt drained of my happiness. Sometimes my depressive episodes are are more cataclysmic than others, but usually I am able to function.

My first depressive episode spawned from qualifying for the state drama meet my sophomore year of HS, but having my drama teacher tell me that I couldn’t go. The principal wanted to limit attendees to one bus. It made me cry uncontrollably to the point I had to go home from school. And then I cried for the better part of a month, feeling so out of control. I met with my doctor, who said that my emotional state was more than an “episodic depression,” it was clinical depression.

Then throw in the times that I was depressed while pregnant, depressed post-partum, depressed when my ex-husband abused me for 4 years, depressed after my divorce, etc. Last summer the depression was so bad that I lost my job because I couldn’t function at work. I spent two months in bed, trying to overcome the dark void that I perceived my life to be. Then I got a new counselor, got on the right meds, made small attainable goals, and pulled myself out slowly. I still struggle everyday, but I’ve learned some wonderful coping mechanisms for getting by on a day-to-day basis.

Other than pills and counseling, my greatest relief comes from spending time with friends and loved ones. When I’m alone, I get down on myself. When I’m with others, I feel like I’ve got the whole world to give away to others. I treat myself to “happy-cations” where I plan out activities for myself where bad thoughts are not allowed. Whether it be time with a BFF,  snuggling up with a good book in a quiet house, or treating myself to a cupcake with a neighbor, my “happy-cations”  make such a big difference.

I’m grateful that others are willing to put out their depression struggles and stories in their blogs. It seems like blogging about depression is like a 12-step meeting…even through depression is not an addictive choice. Would anyone like to join my chapter of Depressed Bloggers Anonymous?

The First ER visit of my 30s

First off, I had an awesome birthday. And an awesome time Saturday at the #SLCTweetup. Sunday was a tough day.

The morning started out in a wheezing coughing fit. I went to urgent care as soon as they opened. After a quick exam, a listen to my lungs, chest x-ray, and review of my health history, the doctor diagnosed me with “bronchitis with reactive airway inflammation.” He gave me some narcotic cough syrup for the cough, and Advair to restart my maintenance asthma regimen. I spent the day in bed, coughing and wheezing. It felt like my chest was on fire.In the early evening, Taylor and I were laying down and talking. To ease my shortness of breath, I took another puff of Albuterol, which set me off in a coughing fit. After coughing so hard that I couldn’t control bodily functions, my breathing was sporadic enough that Taylor hauled me off to the ER. 15 minutes later, I stumbled into the Mountain View Hospital ER waiting room, with feet numb from lack of oxygen. The ER staff pulled themselves from the Super Bowl, plopped me into a wheelchair, bypassed triage, and took me to bed. They helped me peel off my clothes, dressed me in a gown, and started my examination. My pulse-ox was at 91 and I had a fever of 102.5*. Within 45 minutes, chest x-rays and nasal cultures were done, breathing treatments and steroids administered, and I was finally feeling some relief. They confirmed that my illness was not caused by influenza or H1N1, and concurred with the earlier diagnosis of bronchitis. They gave me a prescription for Z-pak, and told me to get lots of rest. I was in and out in 2 hours. That’s the way an ER visit should be.

Sounds dramatic? To be honest, I’m used to all the lung drama. I’ve mentioned my “organ recital” of medical history in a previous post. I’ve talked about how I got pneumonia after an accidental spray paint inhalation. I’ve talked about how I was “poisoned” at work from inhaling an industrial strength aerosol chemical. If something you can breathe in exists that can make you sick, I’m susceptible to it. This nasty Utah inversion air? Makes me sick. When I say I’m dealing with “SOB,” I mean shortness of breath.
I’ve had asthma since I was 11. I have sleep apnea. I’ve seen pulmonologists in 4 states. I have tried most of the inhalers on the following chart:
But as I went through my old posts, I realized that I never blogged about my biggest lung condition of all, Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. ARDS is a life-threatening lung condition that prevents enough oxygen from getting into the blood, typically resulting from trauma or sepsis. I survived it after three weeks on a ventilator. Would anyone like to hear my story?

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