This morning at 1:15 am my 9 year-old daughter came stumbling into my bedroom gasping for breath. She had panic infused in her eyes and terror written all over her face as she struggled with out success to draw air into her lungs.
She couldn't even speak, with all the effort it took for her to fill her lungs with life-giving oxygen. She was in the midst of a full-blown asthma attack. We hadn't seen one this bad in over five years. We rushed to find her inhalers and prayed she could draw enough of it into her lungs to buy some us some time.
Time to get her to the emergency room. It only took us 7 minutes to get there, but every breath was a struggle. Thankfully, the albuterol began to slowly work and she could get more air moving in her restricted airways. Still, getting to the hospital was at a high urgency.
Once in the ER, the doctors flew to her giving her oral meds, setting up IVs, hooking her to monitors that took careful watch of her oxygen levels and her racing hear rate. A heart rate that sped along at 165 bpm while she was laying down on the bed as doctors put epinephrine in her body to get her to breathe and stop the attack on her ravaged lungs. Turning the O2 levels up as high as possible, the purple dragon oxygen mask delivered much the much needed pure oxygen that gave sweet relief.
And then they heard it.
The doctors and nurses stopped what they were doing and looked at each other puzzled.
A barky cough. But she was too old for that early-childhood illness of croup.
Frantically, they ran around the ER, realizing that all the meds they had just pumped into her body were not going to be effective and rushed to find and administer the ones that would ease her breathing and calm her racing heart. Then because of conflicting meds warring against each other inside of her body, we were in for a long wait as her body responded to all that was being done to help her return to the vivacious, carefree, playful 9 year-old she normally was.
It took 6 1/2 hours for her heart to slow to under 100 beats per minute. While in deep sleep, it still sped along, bouncing between 111 and 120 bpm (the heart rate of a moderate workout). Finally, her heart stayed below 100 bpm for a sustained period of time, and we knew we were home free.
Until she woke up and her hear jumped to 145 bpm with an irratic beat, for the next 45 minutes more tests were done, x-rays of her lungs taken, and evaluations on EKG stressors checked to see how she would respond with out the assist of extra oxygen and simple walking. Only then, even still a bit hesitant, the doctor let us take her home, under careful watch in case she should have a relapse, with the promise that we would take her to the doctor's in the morning to be re-evaluated, and have her progress checked.
In sharing this hair-raising event I wanted to send a simple reminder that health is a precious gift, that we far too often take for granted, or feel it is too inconvenient to bother with. But all too soon and faster than imagined it can be snatched away if you are not careful, and guard it with faithful diligence.
So make a promise to yourself that everyday you will find ways to be more healthy.Whether it is in increased exercise, watching what you eat, or stopping a life-threatening habit, commit to yourself not to take your health for granted.
Commit to yourself that you will take small measured steps to increase the level that you care for yourself. Then guard it carefully, because we only get one body to take us through our adventures in this life and we want to be sure that we can have our greatest adventures still to come. And if we take care of ourselves, we will find it less likely that our health will be fleeting in our next steps into life.
Bill Phillips once said," If you wait until things are "perfect" before you begin something healthy, challenging, and new, you'll be waiting forever. Set a deadline for when to begin."
So take a moment, breathe in deep and fill your lungs to capacity with oxygen infused air and let it out. Realize how wonderful it truly is to feel them move freely as they fill your blood stream and then your body with energy enriched oxygen and be grateful for good health and the ability to build strong bodies.
Here is a yummy fall treat to try out to help you along the way to good health!
Crank Up Your Crockpots!This applesauce recipe is a serious time saver"One of my favorite fall treats is fresh applesauce," says Cheryl Forberg, RD, The Biggest Loser nutritionist. "It can be a hassle to cook but store-bought varieties are usually loaded with added sugar. The recipe below, which employs a crockpot, is a real time-saver; you don't need to monitor the sauce as it simmers on the stovetop, or stir it to prevent sticking. Plus, this recipe has no added sugar."Chunky Crock Pot Applesauce This makes a great topping for hot cereal or the perfect addition to stir into yogurt.Yield: About three cups (six 1/2-cup servings)
8 unpeeled medium-size apples (about 3 1/2 pounds of Gala, Delicious or Fuji), cored and cut into one-inch pieces
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Place all ingredients in crockpot. Toss to coat apples. Cover and cook on low setting for 4 hours. Cool slightly. Serve warm or cold.Note: Granny Smith or other tart apples may be used, though sweetener may be needed.
Recipe from The Biggest Loser Nutrition Facts per 1/2-Cup Serving:Calories 145Calories from Fat 0Sodium 0mgDietary Fiber 7gSugar 28g
Make this week awesome, ask yourself how you can change your life so that good health is not something to be taken for granted. Write out how you are going to make each breath you take worth living!
See you in the water!
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