Saturday, October 14, 2006

Henry and the Asthma Attack

This week turned out to be pretty crazy. Henry started with a runny nose on Tuesday and Wednesday evening started feeling pretty bad. He woke up several times in the night (very unusual for him) and first thing in the morning I finally realized it was because he was having a hard time breathing. I called the doctor and they listened to his breathing on the phone and told me to come right in. Turns out he was having an asthma attack. They said that it isn’t truly “asthma” as a diagnosis until it has happened many times, so right now, it’s just the same thing as asthma and could happen again several times and then just go away, never happen again, or happen for the rest of his life. He was really bad. They even had the techs coming in to look at his chest that was retracting (collapsing in because he was trying so hard to get a breath. His oxygen saturation was 89% (not good). They gave him a breathing treatment and now he’s on an inhaler and steroids for the next five days. It was pretty scary.

I also had “issues” trying to get a refill for my medication this week. I was getting quite the run-around from the pharmacies on the bases. I finally got through to a pharmacist that I need more medication and I was able to pick up some yesterday. These are times when it is very hard to be in a foreign country. The main problem with my medication, though, is that it costs the military $20 a day. These are times I’m very grateful for our medical benefits.

On a sober note, we were at the BX today (Base Exchange or like Target, sort-of, for you non-militaries out there) and they were collecting items for the wounded soldiers at the hospital. Landstuhl is very close to us and that is where all the wounded soldiers are taken. It is a good perspective for me every time I go in there. For instance, when I went in yesterday to pick up my medication, I passed a guy who had half his face burned. These guys (and their families) are really sacrificing a lot.

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