Well...That Was Fun!

Did you know that an asthma attack can trigger a panic attack? I DIDN'T. Found out the hard way, today. On the way home from getting the kids I started to have an asthma attack. I pulled out my rescue inhaler, took two puffs and continued on my merry way. Ten minutes later it's worse and I'm started to cough and wheeze audibly. The Imp is freaking out in the back seat and I'm trying not to lose my cool. I call my doctor, they say to take slow, deep breaths (HAH!) because if I hyperventilate it will make it worse. They tell me to wait ten minutes after my initial dose of the rescue inhaler and then dose again on my way in to the office. Okie dokie!

About two blocks down my vision starts to tunnel and my fingers and toes are going numb and are startingh to tingle. Now I'm REALLY freaking the hell out thinking I'm having a damn heart attack at 30. I attempt to drive to the hospital, since the clinic is now closed, and make it about 2 miles when I decide enough is enough and I pull over. I'm sitting in the parking lot of a school trying to breathe and calling my family to come help me. Hubby dashes out of work to meet me and my dad drives from his house to come drive my car (with me and the kids in the back) to the hospital.

About this time I'm starting to feel a little better. I don't feel like I'm drowning in mucous, and the tingling in my hands and feet has gone away a little. But I'm still having a hard time catching my breath and I'm shaking pretty bad so I opt for the hospital. We get there, I tell the triage nurse I'm having an asthma attack and he takes a listen to my lungs.

I'm fine, he says. He tells me I'm moving air well and that my oxygenation is normal. He sends me back anyway to get checked out a little bit further and all I'm thinking is "Fantastic. I went to the ER for nothing when we're in between insurance coverage." The nurse in the back checks me out and gives me a bit of information. Something that's good to know, it turns out, if you have asthma:

Asthma attacks can cause a panic attack and the panic attack makes the asthma attack worse. 

Why didn't anyone tell me this?! What the hell?! The dude goes on to inform me that my rescue inhaler (Albuterol) has side effects that can actually cause the same symptoms as a panic attack! So, that's just great. I took a double dose of heart palpitations, bronchospasms, dizziness, and tremors. Fan-frickin'-tastic.

On the up side...I didn't get charged for seeing the nurse.