As far as being a burden, yes, yes I am. I've cut most of the people out of my life who treated me like one. And I took a LOT of activities and independence off my calendars so I don't go out and become a burden to unsuspecting strangers. I put the responsibility of my breathing on myself as much as I possibly can.
I'm reading something now that talks about living more fearlessly. Or living in such a way that fear is there, but suggests to just do the opposite of whatever it wants.
And I feel the need to defend myself. Which is probably another indication that I should be in mental therapy counseling or whatever.
I have gone to the hospital to have lung tests done. The last one resulted in the tech calling the code team. Part of the reason is that she had no idea what else to do as my respiratory attack WOULD NOT STOP. Her job, the actual thing she does for a living (I'm assuming here, because I'd like to think the hospital didn't ask a receptionist to "cover" the respiratory lab or something), for which she must have had some kind of training, includes dealing with people who have breathing issues. This test isn't done on healthy people. They only whip this phone-booth sized coffin with a tube that cuts off your air supply for people who are having real problems. Which means she wasn't an UNSUSPECTING stranger. She was freaking trained to deal with this situation, and I caused her to freak the fuck out.
This is not the only instance where I've had medical people, ones with letters after their names, sitting there wide-eyed without a clue as to how to keep Death from taking me.
So when I say that I would be overwhelmed with guilt if I put a regular person, some mall-dweller or whatever, in the position to decide between trying to help me or fleeing the scene, this is what I mean. The odds of a random person knowing what to do aren't good. People with decades of training and experience stand there going, "uhh... what?" Yeah, I have instructions on my medical ID bracelet and phone saying to get me to cool air. What if they don't look? What if that time it isn't enough?
What if I die and someone ends up with guilt because they couldn't save a stranger, and they never even find out that the odds were stacked heavily against them? I'm just some asshole who got it in her head to go do a thing one day, and then couldn't breathe, and now they fucked up CPR or whatever and had to watch me die. And THAT goes through my head EVERY time I plan to walk out my door. EVERY time.
It's a little easier with friends and certain family members. They at least know to dump ice or other frozen products on my airway and chest and then shove an inhaler in my mouth once the cold had a chance to work. And they know how bad it is, so they know if that doesn't work and I end up dying, it really is despite their best efforts and there really wasn't something more they could do. I'm not forcing them into a guilt situation as much. Yeah, they'd still be sad and all, but these are rational people who would come to the conclusion there really wasn't something else to do.
Yes, I'm more afraid of saddling a stranger with guilt than I am of staying home in my air conditioning with some control over things.
And that probably isn't mentally healthy. Or physically. But it IS what I've got.