So, back in August a year ago after I posted the “whole grain is not an ingredient” posting, I was working on a furniture project I was excited about. Then, I started having breathing issues. I ended up taking myself to the emergency room twice in the period of a couple of weeks because my breathing felt labored/not right. I also noticed how eager I was to spend time with the emergency nurse. In the moment it felt as if he cared about me more than anyone else in the world and wanted to know I was ok. I felt embarrassed. Where were my friends? Don’t I have friends? At the moment I didn’t have a job or a career. I thought that I must not have any friends who cared about me because the only company I got was hanging out with the emergency room nurse.
I went to my primary care doctor, got treatment for asthma and was thinking about posting a blog here to warn about watching too many home renovation shows without thinking about the impact of the products they are using on your health. Just spray paint this old vase, and voila, a new vase! No one says, do it in a ventilated area and preferably use a ventilator. And, if you use a ventilator, make sure that you replace the charcoal filter after each use because it loses it’s activation and isn’t much better than just breathing in all the fumes. Because, you know, when you are wearing a ventilator and thinking it’s working, you breathe through it. Well for me, it turns out I was breathing through the ventilator but not getting any of the benefits of filtering out the fumes.
So, I got to experience asthma first hand. I had bronchitis seasonally as a kid exercise-induced asthma as a young adult, but now I had caused myself asthma. This along with living alone caused me to panic. Just so you know, the upside of panic – the oxytocin and adrenalin create a fight, flight or freeze response. Right? But did you know, part of the purpose of oxytocin is to get you to go be with people. The emergency room nurse, remember? And, then the shame of the emergency room nurse now becoming my best friend motivated me to get out and spend time with other people. Which brings to mind my friend Veronica who thankfully walked to me to the registration table at my church and stood there until I had filled out the paperwork and paid the down payment to go to church camp in August 2018. Also, at this time, the fires were burning in the Washington Cascade Mountains and the sky was filling with smoke. Asthmatics are supposed to avoid all breathing contaminants – chemicals, fumes, smoke, etc.
Yes, as you imagined, it was a challenging time. But out of it blossomed something beautiful. I unexpectedly connected with my old friend, Noam, and we spent a lovely next few months getting to know each other better, dancing contact improv and being invited to all sorts of activities that I hadn’t participated in before – house concerts, clown jams, contact improv retreats, etc. My fears of not-enoughness were wearing off. I also started a beautiful new job at a Montessori on Capitol Hill that had a reputation for being a kind, magical place to develop children, families and teachers.
I am now grateful for the many blessings that came from this experience. Things are continuing to unfold in my life. God is always there looking out for me.