Posted November 18th, 2008 by justBcoz in Kids, Medical []
Tags: , , ,

Pffft …

It all started off with my damn house alarm screaming at me non-stop from about midnight. Bloody hell … I was annoyed. Eventually I turned the thing off – I just HAD to get some sleep!

And then, at about 2am, just as I’d drifted off again, Son#1 came into my room to tell me that he was having an asthma attack!! He’d found 5 inhalers around the house but every single one of them was empty and he was REALLY struggling. Shit, I’ve never seen him that bad.

So I called my pharmacy, but they were closed. Aaaargh! The next thing I could think of was to call my Mom – she spent many years working in a pharmacy and knows just about every chemist in Cape Town. So she and I called a few more places, but no luck!! Can you believe that there isn’t a SINGLE 24 hour pharmacy in Cape Town’s Southern Suburbs?

Next plan – whip Son#1 off to the emergency room … my Mom (who lives just around the corner) came over to keep an eye on things while we were out. Son#2 was dead to the world, but I didn’t want to leave him alone, especially seeing as the alarm was not working!

Thanks you so so much for helping me out last night, Mom. And for this morning – coming through early to get the boys ready for school so I could sleep a bit. I’m REALLY sorry I woke you up at that insane hour … THANK YOU!

The hospital fixed up my boy within half an hour but dammit, the bastards wouldn’t let me in! Grrrr … So I sat alone, as patiently as I could, in their miserable little waiting room, in that horrible hospital stench. Blegh.

The reason for his attack? Smoking combined with stress.

And get this … this just about killed me, I’m distraught about it: the doctors told Son#1 that if he doesn’t stop smoking immediately, he will be dead before he is 30. That’s 13 years away …


I hope he takes their warning seriously. Yes, I feel like a hypocrite – I am a smoker myself BUT he is just one of those few people who simply CANNOT smoke. His poor lungs are dying already, his breathing is laboured all the time and he has a constant cough.

He has recently told me that he wants to quit, but he doesn’t know how … I’m the last person who can advise him – I have tried and failed so many times!

Anyway, he’s ok. For now …

  1. Amod Munga says:

    Damn. That’s harsh.
    Hope Son1 takes the warning to heart.
    Quitting ain’t easy.
    Maybe he should do a lifestyle switch like take up a sport where smoking is a hindrance.
    Used to have the same scares with my boet. Not cool.
    He “grew out of it” but I think it had a lot to do with the fact that an older relative recommended
    that he take up swimming.
    Anyway…just glad Son1 is ok. And you get some rest ok?

  2. justB[coz] says:

    @Amod … I hope he does too phr0ggi … I really hope so.

    The irony is that he is an UNBELIEVABLY talented sportsman! Seriously … cricket, football, hockey, squash, ANYTHING he tries … just imagine how far he could get if he didn’t have his breathing problems. He’s often expressed a desire to play professional football or make a living from sport in some way. Perhaps this wake up call is just what he needs to quit smoking and actually make that happen?

    I managed to get some sleep … thanks to my Mom, I could sleep in till about 9 this morning, so I’m not too shattered today!

  3. Amod Munga says:

    Like you said, here’s hoping.

    I read your bio of him in “THE CAST”. He sounds like a real all-rounder.
    Maybe he should coach younger kids. Get him out in the open and running around.
    Working that lung tissue. I would hate for him to waste his talents.
    Just a suggestion.
    (Sorry. I’m a complete guy: solutions, solutions, solutions.)
    Another thought: maybe the fact that he supports Liverpool could be the source of his difficulties.
    Perhaps he should make the switch to a healthier team like…oh, I dunno…Man United?

  4. justB[coz] says:

    Excellent suggestion!!! The coaching thing, that is … trying to get him to support another team ain’t gonna fly … ESPECIALLY Manyoo WAHA!

  5. StevenMcD says:

    I have asthma, speak to the doctors about maybe smoking Hookha (Hubley). I cannot smoke a cigarette but hubley isn’t a problem for me. 2 hubley’s a week and I’m perfect! But obviously speak to your doctor first.

    Glad to hear he’s ok though, when an asthma attack starts and you can’t find an asthma pump, it is bloody terrifying!

  6. Dad says:

    Why don’t you use this as a challenge to both of you to try and quit. It really is a mind over matter thing but there are meds that help out. Speak to Dr P and see what he says would be best. The 1st rule could be absolutely no smoking in the house as it takes the Habit to an Effort and makes you aware of every smoke you have.

  7. BigFriendly says:

    I can identify with the asthma and hospital at 2/3/4 in the morning. Mom also had to do the dash with me a few times when I was but a lad. This, however, didn’t stop me from taking up that very cool and hip pastime of smoking ….. Lexington. Even though my asthma stopped for some reason in my late 30′s I still smoke. I’ve tried almost all the stopping smoking methods with little or no luck.

    The most effective one was SmokeEnders ( and gym/swimming. I stopped for 3 years and if it wasn’t for that one damn beer and my thinking “One can’t harm me” I’d probably still be free. Trying to quite again now.

    I think a combo of NA/AA methods, swimming and SmokeEnders is the best thing to try. It is an addiction and it has to be done one day at a time.

  8. Jeanette says:

    Hectic!! I think the only pharmacies that are 24 hours around here are in hospitals too.
    Can’t help, I’ve never smoked. Hope he gets the message

  9. justB[coz] says:

    @StevenMcD … Terrifying indeed! I had one hectic asthma attack as a kid, sheesh, it’s horrific!

    @Dad … hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm < – that’s me pondering

    @BigFriendly … “cool and hip” … yeah :-(

    I’ll have a look at SmokeEnders – that’s one option I haven’t tried yet.

    @Jeanette … I guess cost and security issues mean that they can’t stay open all night. And yes, I really, REALLY hope that he stops. It breaks my heart.

  10. Glugster says:

    I hope you get some sleep tonight!

    In my mind Son#1 has shown that he is able to overcome adversity so if he puts his mind to it, he should be able to quit smoking.

  11. justB[coz] says:

    Thanks Glugster … planning to be in bed at about 7!!! Soooooooooo tired :-(

    And you’re right, Son#1 is a winner!

  12. Son #1 should swap one addiction for another. When I quit smoking, I switched to drinking copious amounts of coffee instead. Then I eased down to drinking tea, before finally settling on spring water.

    Sure, it makes me pee religiously, but it still beats the nicotine fix.

  13. justB[coz] says:

    Wow CT’sFavSon … I’m impressed! From cancer sticks to water …. SJOE! That’s brilliant, well done!!

    And you know what they say, hey?
    If you’re not running off to squeeze a lemon every 30 minutes, you’re not drinking enough water :-)

  14. Craig says:

    Huh, it’s a good lesson to learn when you are still young. Nothing helps beat an vice than death staring one in the face – oh, and Bellville has a couple of 24hr pharmacies sprinkled around – I know ’cause we’ve used them quite a couple of times already – but mostly to buy late night sweets and chocolates!

    (it’s a toss up to see who rips you off the most – 24hr pharmacies or 24hr service stations!)

  15. justB[coz] says:

    We’re spoiled hey Craig? I mean, what the hell did we do before 24 hour service stations? We made sure we had everything we needed or we just damn well went without! Convenience is turning us into lazy brats …

  16. Charl says:

    See this post for a list of late night pharmacies. Hope it can help somebody.