Some personal background: I have been afflicted with the curse of asthma for over 55 years. To the point where I have ended up in emergency rooms as a teen. I've tried to deal with it as best as I could, perhaps in some way it has inspired me to constantly go beyond my fears, to push myself. It is what has made me a 62 year old long distance biker. I have to admit, that it wasn't until I started living here in France and dealing with the French medical system that I felt it was actually under control. For me, it's pretty easy...a daily dose of cortisone and the use of salbutamol inhaler when I need it. I have another prescription, an inhalable powder called formoterol which I use occasionally. I dealt with some very bad doctors in the USA and the medicine I used had some very nasty side effects. It was very expensive. Here in France, I spend about 120 Euros a year out of pocket, but through my Mutual program, almost all of it is reimbursed. My doctor tells me that I am much better than when he started treating me and I know he is right, because I simply am. I run, I swim, I am a long distance biker and in pretty good shape these days.
For you information, the salbutamol inhaler is a lot less dangerous than the old style ephedrine inhalers sold ovder the counter in the USA. The ephedrine inhalers caused had many side effects and abuse could cause heart problems. Salbutamol is used regularly by asthmatic athletes as a precompetition treatment. You cannot "get high" from a Salbutamol inhaler, but in most cases it will give immediate relief from a severe attack.
But, as I said at the beginning of this piece, I have experienced severe life threatening asthma attacks in the past. I know what it is like to be practically unconscious, semi coherent, unable to breathe.
So I read this story today, about an incident that occurred in a Deltona, Florida Public High School on Monday. A 17 year old kid, Michael Rudi had a severe asthma attack in school. He asked to go to the school nurse because his prescrption Salbutomol inhaler had been consficated from his locker in a security search a few days earlier. The inhaler was in it's original packaging, with his name on the prescription. It was given to the nurse for safe keeping. He was supposed to have his parents sign a form that allowed him to use it in the school. He hadn't returned the form yet.
So Michael goes to the nurse as his attack gets worse. The nurse refuses to let him have the inhaler. He begs and begins to collapse. The nurse, who is being protected by the Deltona School Authorities, closes and locks the door of her office and watches him from behind a window. What did the school authorities do? Did they even call 911 so trained professionals could deal with a real medical emergency? No. They called Michaels mother, who drove to the school and found her son collapsed, semi conscious on the floor of the school hallway outside the nurses office.
Michael stated later that he felt he was dying. The school had his medical records and knew of his condition. Mrs' Rudi said that she tried to press child endangerment charges with the police, but the school is trying to stonewall it because of the lack of the signed form. But, the bottom line, the kid could have died and they didn't even call 911. I believe that the so called nurse betrayed the trust to carry out even the most basic resposiblities of her purported role. I believe that if Michael Rudi wasn't Hispanic in the so called Rick Scott unreality George Zimmerman show state of Florida and had gone to a school in a wealthy neighborhood, this could have never happened. Right now, I have absolutely no sympathy for the so called nurse. I would like to see her lose her job and be prosecuted for her negligence for not calling medical authorities at the very least. Actually, I'd like to know if her professional equipement includes a taser, because you know, in Florida, this could have easily turned into a case of, "Well, yer honor, the perp started to behave in a erratically violent irrational manner and started to demand his drugs, so I just had to do away with him...you understand..."
I could say that I wished the so called nurse could have the experience of knowing what a full blown asthma attack is like, but frankly, I'm not that nasty........