Glamor and glitz were what I was anticipating on the five hour plane ride from New York City to Las Vegas, Nevada. I was expecting hotels towering over the strip, illuminating the sky with all their florescent magic. I was not expecting to have three asthma attacks in three consecutive days at our stay in the Imperial Palace.
Five of my closest girlfriends and I strolled into the hotel, luggage rolling behind us, checked in, and went to our rooms. We ignored the initial warning signs that something was wrong with our room: the clogged bathtub that resulted in a half-shower/half-bath each night, the cigarette burn in the carpet next to the bed in our non-smoking room, and the random strand of hair in the sink when we first entered the bathroom. When I began to feel light-headed while getting ready for our first night in town, I chalked it up to the altitude from the flight.
The next morning, the chest pains were back, and it became very hard to breathe in deeply. By that afternoon, I resorted to taking slow, shallow breaths constantly just to get oxygen into my system. I was diagnosed as a teenager with exercise-induced asthma, and happened to carry my inhaler with me on the trip. I began to feel better after that, but the next night was the worst. I was in tears, and one of my friends helped me crawl out the window onto our balcony in nothing but a towel so I could breathe in fresh air. We were able to switch rooms for the last night of our trip, which did help considerably. But I will never stay in that hotel again.