Thursday, September 09, 2010

To pee or to breathe, that is the question

So yesterday I wrote about the asthma conundrum. Well here's another asthma conundrum. What do you do if you just arrived at home, your asthma is really, really bad, and you also have to pee like a horse? What do you do? Do you take a treatment first, or do you take care of your breathing?

The wise person says take care of the ABCs of resuscitation first: Airway, breathing, circulation. Yet when I was a kid faced with this dilemma once upon a time, it was a race to the toilet. I hovered over it, braced the back lid to support my high shoulders, and whizzed for an agonizingly long time. Tears flushed my eyes, my chest burned, air was hardly available, yet there was a job to be done.

I think of this every time we have a difficult breather come in who says, "I have to pee real bad," and we say, "Just let it go. Once we get you breathing better we can clean it up."

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