a year ago today

A year ago today

I surfaced at work after being gone for over a week because I couldn’t move. I’d been getting sicker and sicker for months and I couldn’t keep up anymore.

I went back to school to start Spring term, and right before class got a call from my doctor’s office telling me I needed to go to the ER because my hemoglobin was 54.

Today marks a year since my first blood transfusion of 2013—three units from amazing donors that kept me alive, to be followed by another seven in the next four months.

it’s been a bombs and guns and fire kind of season
oh, i need a reason for all of my bleeding tonight.
i’m going to break it out, i’m going to make a scene if i’m right

Day before I got sent to the ER. Note that there’s basically no colour in my face/lips. [I felt like I had energy, but in reality my body probably had just adjusted to being super depleted of hemoglobin that I was able to sit up again.]

A year ago yesterday.

 

World Asthma Day 2013 [May 7th] 365 days ago today.

About 36 hours later, after three units of blood and a bunch of saline.

(And the friggen Lasix. I still don’t understand this combination of saline and Lasix.)

Yesterday.

let the revival rattle me
and open my eyes
it’s so good.
revival, the rocket summer

And today—365 days later.

World Asthma Day 2014. Wearing the same t-shirt I got my mom to bring to the hospital before heading to work early in the morning.

Donald, Mike, Sam and I gave out over a hundred Asthma Society of Canada resources for World Asthma Day.

…Then went to Wal-Mart with the intention of playing Marco Polo. Because that’s badass, right?

I thought about where I was this time last year today—purposefully at some times, fleetingly at others.

Thankful that it won’t be every year that these two days are the same day so I can reflect on each for its own reason. Thankful for the people who choose to spend their time with me—the people who stick by me.

Simply: thankful I’m still alive.

world asthma day 2013: catch my breath and go for it

World Asthma Day was last Tuesday, and I am extremely frustrated that I missed it being in the hospital. I missed my five-year asthma-versary being sick. As for my World Asthma Day post, here it is. Late and without the buzz surrounding World Asthma Day.

But you know what? The first Tuesday in May or not, it still matters. It matters as much as it did on the day that it was created, and it will matter as much as it does until this stupid disease is cured. I feel asthma as both a blessing and a curse, but the reality is, I would probably be a different person without it–and I honestly don’t think i would be a better person without it.  And I certainly would be missing a lot of amazing friends without it.

On World Asthma Day, though, at 3 AM PDT (5 AM CDT), from hospital rooms 3,035 kilometers apart in two different countries, through e-mails my friend Steve and I decreased the distance for moments at a time, as he dealt with a lot of hardcore shit at the same time as he was hospitalized yet again because of his asthma.  Steve is not only the guy who is half responsible for my perspective on living with asthma being how it is, because of all he’s taught me and all he’s walked through with me . . . but because it’s when he gets sick, it’s also when I get the angriest about this stupid disease and the reality of the impact it can have on people. Yet, Steve’s story also contains a lot of positivity. As does mine.

There are echoes of conversations I’ve had with many people in this video–with Steve, with Jay, with Natasha and Elisheva and many others.  And now, I’ll share them here.

Because I have the ability to change my own world. And having asthma doesn’t change that.

The guest posts will resume this week, and I am really excited to share them with everybody. Have an asthma story to share? E-mail me at kerriontheprairies [at] gmail [dot] com.

world asthma day 2012

First, there will be more road trip pictures eventually. But because I do things non-sequentially, we’re gonna roll on.

The mirror mantra for this week [because, dang it, I forgot to leave a mantra for the housekeeping staff in Watrous, SK last Monday]:

Winnipeg-20120430-00913.jpg

The above mirror mantra may have to be a permanent addition to my bathroom, unless my mom gets rid of it like she has some other ones after a few weeks [she actually is responding rather positively to the mantras. Win!]. Once again, thanks to Jay for that piece of focus, and Dia for being my teammate in the crazy journey of asthma, perspective, #kinwin and keeping me accountable to it all.

Today is World Asthma Day.

Winnipeg-20120501-00922.jpg

[Good picture there, right? #sarcasm. You get the deodorant and the ID bracelet and some med boxes.

Also the intended World Asthma Day tree tee I designed a couple years ago.]

My Facebook status, Facebook page status and earlier tweets today have been variations on this same theme:

NewImage

Okay, so I can’t go down on my own encouragement to kick ass and get active. Because “k-i-c-k-a-s-s, that’s the way we spell success”! [Thank you Giant by Matthew Good].

Really, the only ass I am kicking, or plan to kick, is my asthma’s [and my own].  I am pretty sure I picked something up on the road and am getting sick, because the three day mild sore throat has gone but turned into some increased sinus issues, dyspnea and coughing. Obviously the asthma finds the need to make itself known on World Asthma Day.

So what do I do? Well, my lungs feel like shit anyway, so might as well go take some meds and do a breathing treatment and give the neb an “eff you, asthma” finger for some perspective, strap the Garmin on it and ride that new bike, right?

Winnipeg-20120501-00932.jpg

If the right answer today was to sit around because of the asthma . . . I’d rather be wrong. [The professionals would say I’m wrong. I’m not practicing what I preach either]. Come on, what is more appropriate than riding the bike called INSPIRE on World Asthma Day with the mantra of Being Intentional? Answer: not a lot.

So . . . I was intentional at kicking my own ass. Good enough, right? Also why is it not possible to not look like a total dork when protecting my brain? [The other part of my helmet is pink with flowers, but of course you can’t see the awesome half, right?].

Winnipeg-20120501-00930.jpg

Representing for the Asthma Society of Canada.

So I got out there for my first bike ride in . . . years. [I am not very good at riding straight again yet. I can’t do sharp turns. Also when I met up with a lady with a stroller on the sidewalk I totally just pushed my bike along so as to not, you know, ride into them.]

Was it coughtastic and breathless? Yep. Will I pay for it later? Probably. Am I exhausted? Totally. Do I wanna go out there again? You bet.

Was it worth it? You know it.

Winnipeg-20120501-00933.jpg

World Asthma Day or not, “We breathe it in, the highs and lows.” [Needle and Haystack Life, Switchfoot].

The goal? Do Good Things. Make a person or two think differently. Kick my own ass. And keep on doing it. And the disease? Kick it even harder.

Having chronic disease isn’t a choice. Perspective? It is. What I’m going to continue in regard to the asthma. I’ve made those choices:

Owning it. Being intentional.