Thursday, August 16, 2012

Strapped in, Ready for Launch

I've been advised by my physican to get a sleep study done and of course, procrasinator in all things medical, I told the doctor I would handle it and promptly moved on with my life. I didn't get to move fast or very far for within two days my doctor had left my number with a sleep study agency and they were on the phone wanting to know when I wanted to schedule the study. For 1900.00 per day times two days, you get to get hooked up to wires leading to monitors while humans sit in a room and watch you sleep on the monitors installed around the room. I've heard the rooms are as nice an Holiday Inn. I'm not buyin it. Literally. Instead of the nice room with all the bells and whistles, I've chosen to have an "at home" study.  
For 395.00 for two days of monitoring, I clip a small monitor to my thorax held in place by a band that encircles my body, plug in a few wires to it, wear a pulse ox and a nasal cannula and swallow an Ambien to count the times my oxygen drops to an unacceptable level. Are we havin fun yet?

The thought of being tied to a contraption  each night that gives me a shot of oxygen when needed gives me  a trapped feeling. 

It never once occurred to me a few years ago that the reason the aged stick close to home is getting too far from their doctors can leave one in fear of one's life being lost. I'm there. 
Medications, breathin treatments and a sleep machine to to travel with takes away from the romanticism of a backpack and a few bucks for some freedom travel. I have my doctor on speed dial which is a sure sign that the golden years are here.
It's all a matter of coping skills and a little patience. Gone are those days of unadulterated health. I should have ran around more, stayed out later and worked less. 

My sister in law has asthma. She never slows down and works a full time job. Very seldom does she complain. She deals with it because she has to. Being the main bread winner in her family, she watches closely her body for the first signs of an asthma attack. She quicklly medicates herself and slows down to let her body cope with the lack of oxygen. She has learned to avoid the outdoors when pollen counts are high and when the neighbors mow their lawns. She takes all this in stride and thinks nothing of having to be this cautious. I totally admire her strength and her vigilance to stay as healthy as possible. I'm going to have to learn to read the signs I'm getting and monitor my surroundings. Did I meniiton, I have NO patience? Slowing down wasn't on my agenda and I don't know how to be ill. Ill makes me angry. 

Just recently I was being grateful that I didn't have arthiritis or back problems as so many of my friends. I listen to how painful it is for them when the weather changes and quietly I breath a few words of thanks that I have no pain. Degeneative diseases that come with aging bones can change a person's body at any time causing a painful conditon within days. For right now, I'm good. I might have to carry an inhaler and move a little slower when my lungs won't cooperate with my oxygen needs. It could be worse. 

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