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Friday, December 5, 2008

I received my asthma hosp. medical records

When I was 15 my asthma was so bad I was shipped to National Jewish Hospital/ National Asthma Center in Denver, Colorado. It ended up taking them six months to stabilize my asthma.

As an adult who withered the battle of living with chronic asthma, I finally decided to send for my medical records from the asthma hospital that is now called National Jewish Health.

The past two weeks I've felt like a little kid longing for those records to arrive. I couldn't wait to read what the physiologists and psychiatrist and social workers I talked with when I was there had to say about me.

Then, as I grabbed the large package from the mailbox, my heart skipped a beat. "Do I really want to do this?" I thought.

Yes. I do. And I did.

I'm going to write about this in greater detail on my asthma blog and right here at the RT Cave in the next couple weeks. But asthma is not all just about the lungs.

Yes, you read that right. And I will go into greater detail about that in the weeks to come. I'd like to write about it now, but patients is a virtue.

But asthma can cause anxiety and social disorders. I'm pretty certain that's what happened to me when I was a kid, and why I ended up being at the asthma hospital so long. And why I needed to see shrinks.

Regardless, I had to read these psychological reports on me. Some of what they said made me angry. Some of what they said made me emotional, especially when the psychologist described...

Okay, I'll leave you in suspense. Still, no person NOT in their right mind should ever read a psychological report on himself. And if I had read this stuff when I was 18, I probably would have jettisoned it out the window of my old rusty Charger while chugging along at 80 miles per hour.

But, since I am now of sound mind and body, it was actually quite enjoyable. And, most important, it was a good way of closing the door on that "difficult and endearing" part of my life.

Stay tuned, because I have some really good and even emotional asthma stories to come. And lessons learned too.


Trauma Junkie said...

I agree that it has a lot to do with anxiety and stress. A lot of the Status Asthmaticus patients we receive have hefty psych issues.

I look forward to your upcoming posts about this.

Amy said...

How old were you when you were at National Jewish? That's a rough experience for a kid, I'm sure. And yeah--I think I'd totally have read the psych stuff if I were in your shoes, too. I'd be too curious not to!

Steve said...

Thank goodness you grew out of it.

I think dyspnea and anxiety go hand in hand. But as far as diagnosing severe asthma goes, I think it's pretty straight forward. Either you have it or you don't.

Also, I wouldn't dwell too much on what's in your medical records. Half the time they're not completely accurate anyway.

Heidi said...

Dont do that to me I wannna know now!!! I too was a serious asthmatic as a child.

I'm sure I had a boatload of stuff written about me too.

Honestly though, how can a young child (around 5 to 10) be overly dramatic and have pych issues regarding their asthma?

I just remember when I was about 8 years old, having my mother hold me close to her chest and using every bit of muscle and energy I had just to was the 1970's. I also remember that horrible liquid medicine that made me feel like I could bounce to the moon and back.

I also remember the horrible-ness of the epi-type shot that had me puking in minutes.

Freadom said...

Heidi: We'll have to get together and share war stories.

Freadom said...

Asthma War Stories.

Anonymous said...

I am a new RRT, soley because of how good the RT's were to my kid (now 20) when she was in your shoes.. Asthma began at 9 mos. and it was hell for a very long time..she's still got it, but well controlled..can't wait to hear what you have to say...