Slowing Things Down

Slowing Things Down

I need to slow things down in my life. From time to time, I pause to reflect on how I’m doing, and then I take steps to correct any problems. Over the last several days, I have been taking stock and evaluating, and I’ve decided it is time to slow things down and simplify my life.

This is a holistic effort. I’m making sure that I spend more time at home with what I have rather than being on the go. One of my goals is to lose weight, and I can do that by not eating carry-out food. I can prepare meals here at home that is simple and filling.

Taking that step will also help me to save money. One thing that studying and practicing meditation has taught me is that I need to be happy with what I have now and not worry about the future based on material things.

I mentioned losing weight. Hal convinced me to monitor my sugar intake closely. He warned me that this change would be uncomfortable and difficult. I know it is a worthwhile goal, so each morning, I set aside a few cans of diet soda to keep a steady track of what I consume. Once I can manage that comfortably, I will take one less can each subsequent week.

It sounds like a lot to accomplish, and it is. The key to success is my mindset as I begin this journey. Positive thoughts.

Next Round of Appointments

Next Round of Appointments

Later today, I start my next round of medical appointments. I’m not overtly worried, but there is still some concern about what is going on.

I feel like I’ve hit the wall with my recovery, and might have fallen back somewhat. Recovery is hard work, and very tiring even with the best intentions. My main ailment, breathing, remains limited due to COPD. I know that I might be at the apex of my recovery on this issue and I can only maintain it for so long.

I suppose that is one reason I’m awake in the middle of the night, wondering what the news about my health will be.

I’ve finished with my first appointment, my primary doctor says I’m doing well, and that’s a relief to me. Tomorrow is the pulmonary doctor and another waiting game.

Flashbacks

Flashbacks

Saturday was a cold, damp, and all-around miserable day here. We didn’t leave the apartment at all. My sinuses were killing me with congestion and either sneezing or blowing out great gobs of crap when I blew my nose. Things got to the point where I used oxygen for the first time in weeks, other than sleeping. It helps keep my nasal passages open so I can breathe.

I was sitting in my chair, inhaling oxygen, and I remembered not that long ago when just doing this simple task exhausted me. I’ve come a long way, but I know I’m still fragile.

For some reason, I’ve had flashbacks over the last few days about my time in the hospital. I hope this isn’t a precursor of things to come. I’m monitoring my health as best I can, and I’ve been concerned over the last few days that something isn’t quite right. I’m examining my legs and feet daily, and I asked Hal to do so as well. I’m afraid that my kidney function might be decreasing again. I have an appointment with the urologist later in June, but if things go wrong, I’ll try to get there as soon as possible.

Something like this doesn’t scare me anymore. I’ve been through too much to let stress kill me now. When Hal came into the living room, the first words out of his mouth were, “Why are you on Oxygen?” followed by “Why didn’t you say something?” I’m lucky to be with Hal. These 21 years are the best in my life, and I want a lot more years with Hal.

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress” Frederick Douglass

Today’s meditation quote points out another aspect of the idea that we never achieve perfection because, to do so, we lose the struggle that defines us as human beings. I am struggling with stress caused by my health right now, but unless I find the correct way to fight the problem, I won’t get any better.

Too often, we feel like the struggle is pointless. That is nonsense. Some people give up, but they will always be stuck in the situation that causes them to give up in the first place. I was taught to analyze the obstacles facing me and then to find the best way to overcome them and to get to work to overcome those obstacles. Self-pity is for losers because it interferes with the struggle for success.

Changing Times

Most of the time, I deal with my diabetes without too much trouble. I’ve learned through the years how to manage my condition without interrupting my daily life properly.

However, there are times when my diabetes gets the best of me. Earlier today, I forgot my morning dose of medicine, and I felt the impact of that mistake. My neck and shoulders really sore, almost burning sensation, and nothing helps until I take some insulin. The blood sugar was high, and I am waiting for it to come down. The pain and burning have gone away, and even my breathing is better.

Now I have to resist the temptation to do anything except getting my blood sugar level down. This is something that I can not rush, it has to happen after taking the insulin. Until then I must force myself to relax and unwind.

This whole scenario occurs occasionally and that is how I have learned to handle it without difficulty. Just another part of my ever-changing life.

Portable Oxygen Concentrator

Later today I’m meeting someone to possibly purchase a portable oxygen concentrator called an Inogen One G3. I have been checking about acquiring one of these machines through my insurance, but the insane rules and excessive cost make that very unlikely right now. Instead, I will check this machine out for myself. 

The person selling it recently lost a loved one who used the machine and now they want to sell it to someone who can use it. I could certainly use it if it’s in working condition. The person is selling it for a decent price compared to other retailers and private sellers, so it’s worth taking a look. 

I hate lugging an oxygen canister with me when I’m out. The comfort of knowing I have O2 is balanced against the realization that when the O2 runs out, I can be in serious trouble.  I would prefer to have the portable oxygen concentrator to provide oxygen as long as the battery is charged. A place to charge a battery is much easier to find when one is out than a refill station for an O2 canister. 

This is what I have now. You can see the limitations it has. It is bulky and limits mobility when I’m out. It takes up most of a large shopping cart at the grocery store and then the tube limits how far I can move away from that cart. 

The Inogen One G3 has a carrying bag and is much smaller. It makes its own O2 from the surrounding air. I hope that this machine is in working order and worth the asking price. If do, I’m buying it and taking back a degree of freedom that I lost late last year.

Tuesday update

As I prepare to start Tuesday here at home, there are several things that I want to take care of. First of all, I want to walk this morning for exercise. I’m going to try and get back into shape as safely as possible. I’m going to browse for some new comfortable walking shoes later today. I don’t have a lot to spend, but I do want to take care of my feet.

I am not working today because I’m fighting the system to get approval for short-term disability. If I go back to work now, I’ll look be surrendering my chances to qualify for short-term disability unless I am hospitalized again. I definitely don’t want that. Therefore, I’m not returning to work this week as I go through o all of my follow-up medical appointments. I’ll submit all the paperwork after those visits and hope for the best.

I don’t miss work yet. I’m not sure when I will, honestly. I just know that I do need time to recover from all that I’ve gone through recently. I also know that work stress doesn’t help at all.

I decided against shopping for shoes today because that would violate my deliberate plan to avoid crowds of people. I can always order some shoes online and return them if they don’t work out for me. I just want some comfortable hiking shoes so I can start exercising again.

One last thing that is sort of related involves our new method for getting groceries. Placing an order and then picking things up curbside at the store is working out better than planned because it makes us plan more deliberately for what we need rather than just run into the store without a clue. Definitely a win for us.

Migraine

The pain is brutal. The back of my eyes feel like drums that are being pounded by an overly enthusiastic 7-year old with hypertension and a bad attitude. I made it through the day at work without killing anyone, so that’s a good thing. Now, the tv is OFF and I just want peace and quiet as well as several aspirin to try and make this pain stop.

Sleeping for over an hour numbed the pain, but only until I woke up. More aspirin, and more staying quiet with no tv noise, but the pain still lingers. Blood sugar has never gone high, in fact it is probably going to drop soon unless I eat something. I will go to bed as early as possible this evening and desperately hope that this migraine goes away.

Middle Of The Night

Waking up with low blood glucose isn’t a pleasant experience. For the second night in a row, it has happened to me, and I have to take the time to bring my blood glucose back up slowly so I don’t jump too high.

The recovery process is always the same. Take a measurement, then suck on a glucose tablet and let it dissolve in my mouth, then wait a few minutes and measure again. The process repeats until my blood glucose returns to normal. Depending on the severity of the drop in the first place, recovery can take up to 30 minutes, so I know that writing is a good way to pass the time.

At least the week will be halfway over after work ends later today. I’m sure that I’m going to want nothing more than to go to sleep once work is over this afternoon. The only interruption to my schedule might be spaghetti preparation this evening because I plan to make some for dinner.

I sometimes struggle to keep a positive outlook when I’m going through an episode like this. But then I remember the times that have truly been worse in my life, and perspective gives me calmness and peace. This is nothing that should upset me because no amount of worry or stress will make my diabetes magically vanish, it is something that I’ve learned to deal with.

Since I began this post, my blood glucose has just about returned to normal. I’ll wrap this entry up and post it before trying to get back to sleep.

Be Kind to One Another,