This is a reblog from my Dreaming the World blog.
I am an elder, and as such I am given the task of teaching and supporting the young. On the Medicine Wheel of this lifetime I am in the Northwest, the place of honoring the challenges of my life, understanding them as best as I am able, and sharing what I have learned with others. Perhaps you will share your thoughts about the thoughts I offer below; I would greatly value that. Continue reading
Last week’s post now seems lifetimes ago. The past week has been occupied by an outpatient surgery, and as my surgeon predicted, I have been slow to recover. The surgery lasted about an hour and the effects of the anesthesia and trauma will likely last a couple of weeks. This is day five and the fog remains thick, although it lifts periodically. I have a couple of more surgeries coming up as both wrists need carpel tunnel repair due to overuse, the classic Polio challenge. Luckily they require only regional anesthetic so the recovery should be considerably easier. Continue reading
It has been a while since I last posted. I’ve been focused on managing (and as much as possible, enjoying) the Holidays and winter. The Panic is much reduced, although the underlying anxiety remains a problem. The pressures on my Bi-Pap are now about twice what they were three weeks ago, so I seldom wake up gasping for air.
As I write the temperature has risen to 50 F and rain is falling. Last night the rain froze on contact so the world was briefly once again encased in ice. (We have had a week of frigid weather so the ground temperatures were well below freezing.)
For the past two winters I have been progressively more cold intolerant. Once I become cold I struggle to warm. (Oddly, the effect is to have cold linger at my core so that I warm from the outside in.) One of the strategies suggested to me is the use of an electric blanket. I’ve taken to sitting on the sofa before the wood stove and wrapping myself in an electric blanket, set at 4. The result is I slowly, over the course of an hour or so, begin to feel normal. Continue reading
I’ve had a lesson in breathing this week.
For a couple of months now I have been struggling with Panic. Lately, I’ve been waking up in the early morning, gasping for breath and filled with terror. A few days ago I found myself with an unthinkable longing for the comfort and safety iron lung! Finally this week Jennie and I got in to the sleep clinic. I also called the Pulmonologist. By the time we arrived at the clinic the doctors had conferred. (One of life’s great challenges is getting providers to speak with one, and coordinate, my care.)
The upshot of all this is recognition that the muscles that move my lungs have weakened. Cold weather greatly exacerbates the problem. We are now in the midst of incrementally increasing the flow of Bi-Pap. After the first night I felt much better, although I still awaken short of breath early in the morning. I imagine we will adjust the flow upward. Continue reading
Wednesday we paid our yearly visit to the International Polio Clinic in Framingham, M.A.. This is always an anxiety filled experience for both my wife and me, so much so that it has become the focus of much gallows humor. Continue reading