Blegh. Today has wiped me out.
Start with a new baby keeping everyone up all night. Alarm goes off @ 2 a.m. Can’t find my glasses. Becky finds my glasses for me. High-tail it to the warehouse to bag and deliver newspapers. Out of the gate on time. Construction and road resurfacing really do a number on my delivery. Rest of route is uneventful, save for finishing 9 min over deadline. Believe it or not, customers do call in and complain of undelivered papers while demanding redelivery if you are just ONE minute late. Oh, and a guy called in TWICE yesterday over the same complaint. It wasn’t even my paper that he had the problem with! It was some free rag that was indiscriminately delivered door to door which he confused with the paid paper he actually signed up for. Great.
In a rush to second job by 7. I keep my uniform in the car for such situations. Kinda like a superhero and their uniform. Haven’t eaten yet.
Begin opening. Snag small sandwich. Oven broken, but functional. It’ll heat, but the fan doesn’t turn off when you open the door. I’ll be dealing with hot air blowing in my face all summer day. Busiest Friday ever. One batch of bacon burns and grease spills on the bottom. This produces smoke blowing my face due to aforementioned fan. I continue anyway, with no complaint.
Then my chest hurts. Bad. Welcome to life with a reactive airway. The smoke only aggravates it. Take two puffs on inhaler and return to working. Still hurts, now worse. It’s only been this bad once before, and the first time I thought I was having a heart attack. Two more puffs. Back to work. Gotta push through. Now I’ve broken my record for the worst chest pain I’ve ever experienced. Two more puffs. Normally, I would have been fine after the first two, but the high physical activity level (you’d be surprised the workout grill will put you through) causes my body to demand more oxygen. Oxygen my pained lungs cannot provide. I have trouble breathing. My chest feels tight. It feels like a semi is parked on it. I am hyperventilating. Things have slowed. Lunch rush has subsided. Find nearby manager. Can barely tell him that I need air. He is concerned. Asks if I need ambulance. I have him take over grill while I head out back door to walled area. Manager tells me to take all the time I need. Trash can to my right, empty bun racks to my left, and empty boxes before me as they await transfer to the recycle dumpster. I slump down the brick wall to the ground and catch my breath. It is slow going. Pain lessens to ache. Breathing eventually comes closer to, but not quite normal. The hyperventilation leaves me dizzy. I see spots. I lose the sandwich to one of the boxes. I return to the kitchen. I look, sound, and walk as bad as I feel. I state that I vomited and that I am going home early. Manager concurs. I clock out and take the box to the trash dumpster. I return home.
I call the doctor. I’m still queasy. I’ve been needing to follow up over the inhaler anyway. Before I mention today’s incident, the receptionist notes how out of breath I sound. She recommends that I come in right away. I get an immediate appointment. As my doctor is unavailable, the appointment is with one of the others in his practice. By the end of the appointment, I feel better. Turns out, there was inflammation in my lungs beyond the usual airway problem. I think it was in the lining of the lungs. Huh. Didn’t know lungs had lining. Prescribed refill on inhaler and a five day course of meds to address the new inflammation.
I am doing fine now. I don’t need an encore.