Thursday, March 24, 2011

Vero Beach – Allergy attack, 911 to the hospital

The culprit?!
I went out for my usual morning run and came back to the boat to pick up Ann for her morning walk with Hoolie. About half-way through her walk she started to get stuffed up and wanted to return to the boat, quickly. She wanted to sit a bit before breakfast so I got the grapefruit and toast ready and as we were eating, Ann started to cough and wheeze. It became worse and worse to the extent that Ann had trouble taking in any breaths at all. After about 5 minutes of unsuccessful attempts to recover normal breathing, I called 911 on my cellphone. Ann was bent over on the couch in the main cabin taking in small gasps of air. The ambulance came in less than 5 minutes as I went outside to direct them to our dock. There were 5 of them and they all came down the dock to our boat to administer first aid to Ann. By that time Ann was breathing easier but nowhere near normal so she was rushed to the local hospital, an excellent facility, first rate! She was put on a stretcher and wheeled to the emergency ward on an oxygen feed. Upon arriving she was given an nebulizer for three minutes and then a shot of a steroid which was to open up passages for easier breathing.

With the treatments, Ann gradually recovered. She now has two prescriptions for future attacks which I filled later in the day. As to the cause, there are multiple candidates but the most likely are the live oaks. They shed pollen this time of the year and are well known in the area for causing allergy attacks. Ann noticed' a low level of the problem in Key West that disappeared at our first anchorage outside of Key West and was not present in Marathon or the marine stadium anchorage – both areas are without live oaks.

We now have an air purifier with a HEPA filter for the forward cabin and we’ve been running it all day in preparation for a good night's sleep along with the A/C. The experience was scary for both of us since neither one of us had ever experienced such a reaction before. Ann has meds that she’s now taking that will help as we move north and out of live oak range (probably not until we clear South Carolina). The inability to take a full breath can cause problems very quickly! Wish us well.


Thehoc1 said...

Bob and Ann, Sorry to read post,but you were at the right place that gave attention to the problem. Hope all will be ok.
Marty Hoc