Monday, April 18, 2016

The Journey - Got Oxygen?

Have you ever passed wheel-chaired folks at the mall or in Sprouts? A significant fraction of the time, these same folks may have been hooked up to a canister of Oxygen. I try not to stare. After all it wasn't by choice these folks are strapped to all those tubes and nose-gear. They're just trying to breath.

Some are hooked up permanent--we're talking OCP, maybe lung cancer, maybe damaged their lungs in some fashion and are need all the help they can get.

Or, maybe  they're like me. Need some help while they're recovering from some surgery. Eventually, they can wean themselves off the pure stuff and go back good old air.

Soooooo, here's a little education about Oxygen delivery systems. First of all, some terminology.

The nose piece - you know, that attractive two-pronged dealie the fits into your nostrils. Looks uncomfortable huh? It's not so bad.

Terminology - Cannula

How does one wear such a thing you ask. I will give you a quick lesson in the cowboy hat method.

1. Insert prongs into nostrils - prong down
2. Come straight away from the nose and over the ear (obviously on each side).
3. Cinch little plastic bead under chin to keep cannula in place

Oxygen Delivery Systems.

Hospital - Basically the entire hospital is a delivery system. Just plug into a wall.

Compressor- This is what I'm hooked up to even as we speak. From my cannula I have fifty feet of tubing leading to this gray box that sucks in air and condenses it and feeds me a continuous stream (4l/min) of o2. Unless this guy breaks down I will pump o2 into my nose 'til the cows come home.

But, you ask, how did you get from the hospital to home and what will you use on errands?

Glad you asked.

Along with my compressor, LifeCare Solutions delivered six rolly canisters. When I came home from the hospital, I connected to one of these for the ride. At 4l/min these bad boys will last about and hour and a half. Doing the math, that makes each one hold 6 liters of 02.

Okay that enough for today. Be well. Keep breathing. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Journey - Hey! That's mine.

When I was a kid I carried around a desiccated lizard in my pocket. All dried out. Flat as a—well, a tire-flattened reptile.
That is to say I carried it around until my mother knew I was carrying it around and took it away from me. Thus began a lifetime of having things taken away that were patently mine but were considered too icky to remain property.
After all, who would want that?

I would doggonnit!
It was part of  me. As were all the cysts, polyps, and other assorted flotsam and jetsam that doctors, teachers, parents felt fit to toss into a lab trashcan.
But this guy was even more special. This was my entire ascending colon. The tumor itself was about three inches long, much darker than the supposed pinky colon flesh on either side. Then Doctor David Brown (in my humble opinion one of the best surgeons in the business) snipped away a few inches of healthy colon on either side. This piece was substantial. I wanted it.

I wanted to hold it, poke it (was it hard like a beetle's exoskeleton'; soft, bordering on insubstantial and would fall apart in my hand?).

I would keep the darn thing in a fancy bottle and look at it from time to time as I lived my extraordinarily long life made possible  by my surgery and chemo. Those of you who know me can probably visualize me greeting it most mornings with arousing,
"Howdy pardner!!"

Regardless of my plans, I wanted to be the one to make that decision.
Soooooooooo, am I the only weirdo who feels this way? Who has separation anxiety? Who wants the rules changed?
Let me know blog and tumor fans.

The Journey - Who's stuff is that?

It's official. I have spent a buttload of time walking the carpet between my comfy chair and the bathroom. Which means I have spent a lot of time looking down - looking down at feet, ankles, knees, thighs and whatnot.

All swollen.

Since I began to hang around pregnant women (we're not talking preggers stalking here, just my wives, pregnant friends and relatives), I have long regarded this aspect of their ordeal as underrated. This shit has always seemed just icky and difficult to me 

Feet like hospital gloves all blown up to the point where the toes become little nubbins protruding from fat feet. Feet that actually get convex on the bottom so you roll with each step.

But now let's talk about what I thought when I first witnessed this tragic comedy

"Whose shit is that?" I asked in the deep reaches of my soul. Not one of these so-called parts of  my body seemed to belong to me.

Thighs - I have long been a hiker. I don't have thighs like some hang-around-the-house-eating-cookies layabout.

Knees - where's the hell these rubbery looking nodes come from?

Ankles - All folded and weird.

And don't get me even started on these traitor chubby feet.

Today I do something about it. Went to the internet and found out that organic apple cider vinegar - with the mother - helps eliminate excess water from the system.

I'm all over that shit.

If you hadn't heard  about this use for Apple Cider Vinegar, you're welcome.

Well, time to go again. Got a body to whip into shape. There's a lot of hiking trails waitin'.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Journey--Killer Hiccups

I just got diagnosed wit a bit of cancer, had a portion of my colon removed, spent the better part of a week at the Saint Francis Hospital up north on Powers and Woodman (nicest people on the entire planet, if you have a chance, turn them on to this blog), am seeing my surgeon and oncologist this week, and will more than likely start chemo this month. Busy time for Bob.

Since I have this stuff going on, I thought I would share with everyone some of the lesser known facets of this situation.

First of all, my ascending colon and my appendix are gone. Just found out about this last bit when my surgeon addressed a tad of hypochondria I was voicing. "You can't be also experiencing Appendicitus. You have no appendix anymore"

I was astonished.

Anyway, to say I was having some discomfort would be an understatement. But I never expected a childhood ailment would piss me off so much and be so recalcitrant. Now, I got somewhere around twenty two staples on my belly. They are achy and then there's the transection of my colon. Achy again.

Along comes this are-you-kidding-me hiccups shit. Just when you get all the stupid aches somewhat settled down along comes a massive shaking of the abdomen. What is up with that? It's like a clown with rainbow hair and big shoes that comes barging into your room just when you thought you might get to sleep.

Well, fuck you hiccups.

Don't even get me started on shotgun hiccups that come ten in a row.

Got to go. Some new indignity is ringing my doorbell. Have a nice day.