Welcome to my little ol' blog. I'll be upfront about it: I don't blog very often any more. If you found your way here because you read my book "Trailer Life," have a gander! But it's easier to keep up with me on Instagram or on my Facebook page. I have this long, drawn out theory on why I'm a terrible blogger, but that is a story for another day. Enjoy the ramblings of my life from the last 8 years or so.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Heck of a Day

I posted about this on my Facebook, because most of the people in my life already knew about it first hand. This retelling is for my kids, who might be a little traumatized with this memory, and years from now, when we are sitting around and they bring it up, we can have some FACTS, fresh from my memory! Here goes:

So, yesterday I had an asthma attack and a panic attack and took a ride in the ambulance while my kids stayed with the firemen on the side of the road. 

That's the condensed version.

Here's the story:

I have a history of bronchial asthma, and then after a viral infection my senior year in high school, exercised induced asthma as well. On my to-do list was to call my DR. and get a different inhaler, because my new one wasn't working when I ran. (Xopenex, an inhaler that doesn't give you the shakes.) Monday night I was feeling like I couldn't breathe, and I had a slight fever. Took my inhaler, two advil, and went to bed. Got up the next day and went to the laundromat with Will, Ed, and Jessie. Will still had a bit of a fever, so he was home again. Used my inhaler again in the morning, and after the laundry was done we loaded up and started driving home. Left my favorite desert town, and about 10 miles from city life, I started feeling weird. I was hoping to just make it home. I called Ryan several times on different phones, but couldn't get a hold of him. Still not catching a full breath... I pulled over 5 miles later, and got a hold of friend Marcie. By then I was fairly incoherent because I was feeling like passing out (why I pulled over... better to faint on the side of the road parked, right?) Marcie said she was coming. I called Ryan one more time, got a hold of him, and he very firmly told me to call 911 if I couldn't breathe. So I did. Why hesitate, you ask? I'm in the desert, with my three kids. Who would take care of them? My car is a mess. (Lame, I know.) Ambulance rides are EXPENSIVE and NOT COOL. I told the dispatch what was going on, and by this time I couldn't keep my eyes open, and my arms were numb. Turns out in my efforts to catch my breath, I started hyperventilating. This, coupled with my neurotic fear of smothering AND then not knowing what was going to happen with my kids, induced a panic attack. I had no idea that could happen! I later looked it up on the internet while trying to decide if I was indeed mental... and it seems I was a little mental, with a for reals physiological response to a carbon dioxide issue. GOOD TO KNOW.

While we were waiting for the ambulance, Ryan was racing over the mountain to me, driving approximately 120 mph (that's an estimate. It could've been 70mph... I'll let you decide.) On the way up the hill, his truck blew up something, and he was spewing smoke. He said like a smoke screen- it was bad. He made it up and over the mountain, to the kids.

And actually, Marcie called our old Bishop, who lives closest to us, so he could maybe go get Ryan at the house... and he called 911 for me, I think. When I was one the phone with dispatch, they said my husband called it in.

And when help finally came, and pretty fast, too, one of the firemen was a friend's husband from church. He's one of our primary teachers. I was so glad to see him, and he told me he would stay with the kids until Ryan came. Thanks a heap, Nick! Grateful! I'm a little embarrassed, because by this time I was also crying, shivering, numb arms, and incoherent. A SPAS-MATIC. Get it? It's funny today. Not so much yesterday.

So, the ambulance guys gave me oxygen and an IV. Took me to the ER where my numb arms got really, really bad, especially when the blood pressure cuff was on, and my hand seized up. Such a weird feeling. The nurse looked at me and said, "Karrie, I think you are having a panic attack." Really? So now I'm mental, too? Fabulous!

Got all taken care of in the ER- chest x-rays, breathing treatment, and some steroids. After they wheeled me out of x-ray, I came around the corner and saw the family: Ryan, Ed, Will, and Jessie. Ryan said he had never seen the kids so obedient and timely when he got to the car and told them to buckle up so we could go get mom. Ed was the most concerned, asking me if I felt okay, touching my arm. Will and Jessie were just smiling huge smiles, not really sure what to do. Not too much later, Marcie, Jayda, and Krissy came in. They came and took the kids out to lunch and then home. They also picked up Kacy from school. What lifesavers! I owe them big time! (Even though I thought I called Marcie back after I got a hold of Ryan and told he was coming, and to never mind... I think I did that. I'm not sure, and if I did, she came anyway!)

After a relatively short four hour stay in the ER, I was discharged and feeling great! Tired, but great! We got prescriptions filled, grabbed some lunch, and then met Ryan's parents where he left his truck. They came with a trailer, and Cherie and I watched as the wonder-fixers managed to get Ryan's dually on the trailer. The process involved a bit of trial and error, and finally ended with using rock and spare tires and four wheel drive. Amazing. We made it home, Marcie brought the kids home, and things are back to normal.

I went to the DR today, he gave me an Advair inhaler to try, told me to finish the low dose prednisone steroid from the hospital, and to use my Proventil inhaler as needed. I used it once today, and IT WORKS! He wants to do a test in two weeks to measure my breathing.

All in all, the kids had a great day at Marcie's house, and Ryan's and my day went nothing according to plan. (Plan: Clean up house for inspector so he doesn't break his neck on anything.) I teased Ryan while we were eating lunch (waiting for prescriptions), "Is this what I have to do to get you to take me out on a date?"

Lessons learned: people will take care of your kids on the side of the road in an emergency. I have great friends, and a wide circle of help. Wear clean clothes, do your hair, and wear some make-up even if you think the laundromat and Walmart don't deserve it. They do. Because you never know. I got to keep my clothes on, but the old adage of your mother telling you to wear clean underwear came to mind.


  1. So glad you are OK! It's amazing to me also when things go crazy how great my friends are and how willing people are to help.

  2. Aren't friends great? Glad everything turned out okay. You know a couple posts ago when you said you weren't sure how you would handle a real emergency? Now you know, and it sounds like you did just what you needed to, took care of the kids and yourself, and everything turned out.