Well, it happened. After two years staying away, I ended up in the hospital for a tune-up. Four days and four nights kind of makes it sound like a vacation or resort reservation, but it wasn’t that fun. This time it was fairly simple, just good old asthma without other complications.
They did all kinds of blood tests to see if any clues came up as to the cause of my exacerbation. IgE levels were about 3x as high as usual so it was determined allergies were the culprit, of which I’ve been complaining for the past couple months. It was a lot of sitting around, neb treatments, IV steroids, and an occasional walk around the hospital floor. I was put into a double-occupancy room but spent almost the entire time by myself.
As usual, my first RT was Scott the sci-fi fan. For some reason every time I’m admitted he is on duty, remembers me, and we talk about the latest in science fiction shows and movies. I recognized a few other respiratory therapists, but none of the nurses. My local lung doctor came by every morning around 7:30 to check in with me and update notes. The hospitalist team quickly decided I had a “complicated and very advanced case of lung disease” and was going to let my lung doctor call the shots. I was glad because doctors unfamiliar with me tend to cut me loose early and I quickly relapse.
While there I got the usual questions and comments:
- How many years did it take to grow your beard?
- Are you always this chill?
- Whoa, your water bottle is HUGE.
- I LOVE your backpack!
I think my biggest fans were the nurse/tech pair who stuck me 9x before calling a phlebotomist in to draw blood. The phlebotomist walked in, drew the blood immediately, and then trash-talked the other nurses. It was pretty hilarious.
After a few days the hospitalist came by to update me and dispense some advice:
- We have determined your severe asthma exacerbation was caused by your allergic asthma
- Be sure to take your medicine when you go home
- Maybe stay inside with the windows shut cause there are allergies outside
I could have stayed longer, but asked to go. The first day out is always tough, but I’m hoping to bounce back soon.