Harder to Breathe

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Another day of not being able to breathe very well led to another trip to the doctor. Not to mention throwing up maroon clots of blood; this was not a new issue for me, but new this time around. I had to take Diego’s little brother who has Down syndrome and autism from his behavioral therapies to his dad at the farm, where Diego’s dad works. It was something I couldn’t get out of because both parents were working and couldn’t leave and so was Diego and his sister.

I came 10 minutes early to his therapist’s office and she went over with me how he did in his session. Pablo is mostly non-verbal which means he does not speak in either English or Spanish. He says a couple words in English, but has a hard time enunciating things. He is 11 and is about as tall as me (maybe he’s 4’11” whereas I am 5’1″). He’s a big kid for someone who is special needs, but has a very distinct personality and communicates in other ways besides verbally to get his point across.

The therapist said his session went well and that he was learning how to ask for more time with certain toys or games. At first, he didn’t get the concept that he had to ask for something, but after three attempts, he figured it out to either use sign language for “more” or point to his word sheet, which has pictures of words he wants to say or communicate. He moved on into the larger room with more toys and was content with using the more age appropriate toys and didn’t get mad when it was time to be done.

I was very impressed with the work that they did at the therapy office. It must be hard work, but well worth it. I gave Pablo an abrazo (hug) and he was excited to see me. He knew who I was otherwise he would have been very shy. We walked down the stairs and he showed me the way out. He was very chatty after therapy. We held hands as we walked across the parking lot and we looked for cars before crossing. He buckled himself in my backseat and I made sure the door was child locked so he wouldn’t open the door while I was driving.

I turned up his favorite music and we sang together. As crappy as I felt, spending time with Pablo was always great. I called Maria, his and Diego’s mom and asked if I needed to stop by her work before dropping off Pablo at his dad’s. She said no and we were on our way. We took some cute selfies together and I asked him some yes or no questions which I knew he would answer because he was chatty and those are really the only words he knew how to say.

“Pablo, do you love Jesus?”

“Yuuuuuuup!”

“Pablo, do you love and miss Diego?”

“Yuuuuuup.”

“Do you wish you saw him more?”

“Yuuuup!”

“El bano, Pablo?”

“Dohhhhhh.” (His pronunciation of ‘no’)

“Are you excited to see the animals at the farm?”

“Yeahhhh!”

By that point, I was almost to the farm, so I called his dad, Manuel and made sure he was ready to pick up Pablo. Once I pulled in, Manuel was standing outside the barn and he quickly greeted me and then his son and got him out of the backseat. I got out of the car and gave him Pablo’s belongings. I told him he would probably have to use the bathroom because he didn’t go at therapy or with me. He was recently potty trained, so I didn’t think he would have an accident in my car, but was appreciative when he didn’t. I asked how Manuel was and he said good, but that it was too cold and I said, “Oh I bet!” Manuel thanked me for doing the favor and I said no problem and left.

I then went to the pharmacy and saw Diego at work. I had sent the selfie of Pablo and I to Diego and he said it was his two favorite people. Awwww! I went to grab a Redbull before my doctor’s appointment and told Diego what Pablo said about loving Jesus and missing him. He said he wasn’t surprised since Pablo goes to church every Saturday for the Spanish Catholic session with their parents and he said he just saw Pablo and I said well you need to see him more; he misses playing with you. I think he realized the Pablo isn’t going to be small forever and needed to cherish these moments.

I went to the doctor and told her of my symptoms and she sent me to the ER because she thought a multitude of things were the matter. She sent me to a local hospital with good gastrointestinal doctors for the vomiting. She did a COVID-19 test just in case and after the hospital, I was asked to quarantine until I got my results back.

I arrive 30 minutes later to the ER and was immediately triaged. They had no available beds so I was asked to wait in the waiting room. They called me back in with the doctor and I told him about the vomiting blood, shortness of breath, aches and pains, no fever, etc. He said I probably had a Mallory Weiss tear in my esophagus because that’s what would make sense with the forceful coughing and vomiting.

It frankly pissed me off because I would have known this six months ago and would have avoided so many ER visits had I been able to get my upper GI endoscopy in March when this all started, but couldn’t due to the COVID pandemic. Back then, there was a shortage on medical supplies and to think if I had the procedure, they could have properly diagnosed and repaired the issues at hand and I wouldn’t be here.

As far as my lung pain and shortness of breath, he was going to give me a steroid to open up my lungs, more anti nausea medication, a medicine I already had for my reflux disease (which is ironic because I have no pain or acid reflux to need this medication, but it should help for the vomiting needlessly as well). He prescribed my Tylenol for pain, which I thought was funny because that won’t do shit. And he gave me tessalon pearls for my cough.

Right after I was going to be discharged, he asked me if I was still on Lithium and I said yes. He had to then check my lithium and blood count levels, which both ended up being normal. Another few hours of my life wasted, along with thousands of dollars. I was then discharged with a viral infection, the only difference between yesterday and today was the vomiting blood part and now I had a steroid to help clear my lungs.

I took my medicine a couple hours ago and it does feel a lot better already so hopefully I start to feel better in a couple of days. We shall see what happens, I suppose.

Til next time,

Dani

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