What do all of these things have in common?
They all tried to KILL ME DEAD in London.
I’ve never had any problems with breathing or using my lungs – they’ve always been top notch. Air goes in, air goes out. I have a system, and it’s never failed me before.
At night, while trying to sleep, I noticed my chest rattling a little like it does at the tail end of a cold. I didn’t have a cold or cough, so I thought maybe it was the pollution in the air and tried to ignore it. After all, everything was fine! Nothing to worry about!
.. except for that Thursday night I COULDN’T BREATHE. I couldn’t take a full breath, and when I lay down on the bed, my chest would rattle like a car 20 years past the replacement date. I wasn’t getting enough air, the sound coming from my air hole was terrifying, and my lungs were full of fluid. I tried multiple times to relax and ignore it, but the instant I was horizontal, the game began again: no breathing. Bad noises. Fluid. Panic.
After an hour of this, I woke Ed up. I was in full blown freak out, and couldn’t calm down (which didn’t help the breathing thing). I didn’t necessarily think that Ed was going to be able to dry up all the extra fluid in my lungs, but it helped to have someone else awake and making sure I was still alive. He could hear my chest rattle from across the room, and we tried a number of different things to ease the pressure on my chest .. no go. Eventually, we drugged me up with Benedryl, which eased the symptoms somewhat and I passed out. I managed to sleep until morning, but the same can’t be said for Ed who stayed up all night to make sure I didn’t stop breathing. Aww!
The following day, everything seemed fine. I knew something was going on though, and Heather and Renee forced me to track down a doctor. I’ve never had to look for a doctor overseas, and was pretty resistant to the idea – the only way they could get me to go was to promise I could visit the Greenwich Market after my lungs were looked at. We walked all over Greenwich trying to find a pharmacist (who couldn’t help me because I’ve never had an inhaler or any kind of breathing issues before) and eventually a clinic of sorts – a Polish medical office that was the most Polish thing ever. The doctor I saw had to ask me to repeat my air saga multiple times, because I talked too fast and had a weird accent. She listened to me breathe for a long time, but couldn’t hear anything because my lungs are fucking jerks – but I was obviously in distress, so she wrote me a prescription for an inhaler and sent me to the pharmacy. Success! The visit cost me £70, which wasn’t nearly as bad as I had feared (plus we have insurance so I’ll get reimbursed eventually), and the inhaler was £8. I would pay that much to be able to breathe.
Things never got nearly as bad as that night I had to wake Ed up, but I still needed to use the inhaler a bunch of times throughout the trip. This was my first trip to London in the summer, and all those wildflower gardens I love so much generate an IMPERIAL SHIT TONNE of pollen. Throw in the increased air pollution, and .. Kimli can’t breathe. Hooray! I got asthma for my birthday! Second worst present ever.
I was hoping that once I got home to Vancouver I’d be free from breathing problems, but yesterday I had to use the inhaler: I couldn’t breathe. And umm I coughed up pink stuff in the shower. I should *probably* go to the doctor to find out what the fuck .. but I survived London trying to kill me, just as Ed survived a death attempt by the Eiffel Tower (heatstroke is a biiiiiiiitch).
I’m still going back to London, though. Pollen will not stop me from moving there.
Oh, and the Mona Lisa tried to kill me with crowds of idiots taking selfies – I was getting crushed and panicky, and had to be rescued by museum staff. And in the Tate, an old lady tried to glare me to death when she thought I was trying to take a free seat at the counter. I wasn’t – I just wanted to take a picture of the epic view. I’m a survivor!