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We Left it At Home
I thought it would be fun. What wouldn’t be fun about going to a farm? All of the animals, foods, events, nothing could go wrong.
When I was 8 years old, my parents, sister and I visited our close family friends in Goshen, CT. The small, homey town was hosting its annual fair.
The two-hour car ride with my exotic family and our tiny, crammed car was almost no fun, but we finally got to our destination. It was a sunny day, perfect for being outside. In the parking lot, Jon and Marty greeted us while walking down the hill to the large tents. I had always thought farms would be small, but this place seemed more like an empire; acres and acres of perfectly cut, green grass, roaming horses, cows and many other animals.
“Lets go over there, to the goats first,” my mom requested. We entered the first, massive tent and peered around. The inside was filled with stacks of hay, and had rows of goats along the sides of the tent. It wasn’t too crowded, but I immediately felt something hit me. As soon as I had stepped foot near all of the people, the hay, the animals and the smells, some force hit my body. It was small and I started to cough.
“Are you alright?” my mom asked. Whenever I start coughing, my mom automatically gets this feeling that I’m about to die, gets worried, and asks me if I’m, “alright.”
“Fine,” I replied back. It was one cough. No big deal. We all stayed in the goat tent, but split up amongst ourselves to do whatever we wanted. A couple minutes past by of me just standing there being somewhat scared, but I finally convinced myself to go and pet one. I took a deep breath in and approached the goat, but couldn’t get there all the way. Instead I coughed loudly, a gross, barky cough. The force of it shot me down onto a small stool in the corner. When I breathed back in, my throat felt hot. The pain of the cough went all the way up into my jaw.
“Maybe I should use my inhaler,” I thought. “Nah.” It was just one cough. No big deal. A couple more minutes past by of walking over to goats and petting, eating, talking etc. The cough came back, and this time worse than ever. I sounded like a barking dog, and by the end of my one-minute Coughing spree, I had tears in my eyes and my face was all red.
“You need your inhaler.,” my dad said. If we had the inhaler that would have been a great idea, but apparently we had left it at home. Great. Just great. We had left the inhaler at home, a two hour drive from Goshen. My cough kept getting worse and worse. Panic struck everyone, especially when I started, “wheezing.”
“He needs an inhaler Joe!” my mom yelled at my dad. I could tell he was both ticked off at me as well as nervous for me. Now that I think about it, he was probably thinking in his head, “O great, I drove down here to see my friend and now I’ll have to drive back after 10 minutes of relaxing. And my back is killing me.”
“Does anyone have a cell phone?”
“No. You’ll just have to drive home and get the inhaler for him.”
While walking to the car, everyone became more and more nervous. How could this have happened? Out of all of the days of the year, I was given this one to have an asthma problem, as well as not have any medicine for it. The coughing continued and got worse and worse. I had to stop more than once to catch my breath and my eyes were to blurred to see anything.
My asthma was diagnosed about a year prior to this event. The doctor said it was, “mild,” but this was obviously not the case.
Dad started up the small black car and we drove away from the farm, our family, and our friends. The trees swayed in the wind and the sun shined down at a perfect place. Today was supposed to be such a fun day, why was it such a terrible one?
Ten minutes later, breaths were hard to come by. And when I could breathe, they were more like desperate gasps for air. My coughs were disgusting and loud enough to give me a headache. The street signs and signs in shops were hard to read with my blurry eyes, and I was so dizzy all I wanted to do was lie down. I was weak and tired, and a knot had formed in my stomach.
“What we can’t get home in time?” Kept running through my head.
My dad was getting more and more tense as well, and I could sense it. His face was all red, and his temper short. We got to an intersection at the end of town that was fairly busy. The stop-light turned red, and if it hadn’t, I don’t know where I would have been today. It gave me just enough time to evaluate our surroundings. On my right was a small church, the left a gas station, and across the street a small school building. On the street we could have turned right onto, there was an ambulance. An ambulance! If only I could get their attention. My voice was so hoarse from coughing for the last 20 minutes that I could barely speak, and breathing was difficult in the first place, but I had to try. All I could do was unbuckle my seat belt, point, and make strange loud noises at my dad to look at the ambulance. His face turned all red and he started yelling at me.
“Get back in your seat! What are you doing!?”
I continued making the loud noises and I could tell he was getting furious, but he needed to understand what I was trying to say. I could hardly breathe. Almost right as the ambulance’s light turned green, my dad spotted them. He leaned on the horn and swerved out into the road getting their attention. They probably thought he was insane at first, but must have quickly got the message after that. The ambulance driver pulled into the school parking lot on his right and we followed it. A combination of shock, fear, and asthma kept me from breathing for a while, but it was okay. I was with the ambulance now, and quickly brought to the hospital.
Years after, I always carry around my inhaler wherever I go, no matter what. It was a miracle that the ambulance was next to us on that day.