Friday, December 28, 2007

So Long, R2D2

Today is my favorite day (normally on Thursdays)of the week.....garbage day! It's kind of like mini-dumpster day once a week as I run through the house, picking up as much garbage as I can in every room, and throw it out on the curb to get the maximum use out of our monthly Waste Management bill. Extra bonus today because it is also recycling day. Bob still has 1/2 garage filled with empty boxes from 25,000 Christmas lights and an uncountable number of cords. Guess who gets to break those down? I have already completed this project twice this season, and just have not quite had the motivation to tackle it a third time. Today, I had an excuse not to since all of the Christmas gift boxes for the kids were enough on their own to fill up our canister and 2 extra large boxes worth of recyclables. Triple bonus today was Courage Center coming to pick up 2 boxes of donatable clothing and bedding. My house is beginning to feel a bit lighter!

Quadruple bonus today was the ridding and returning of my oxygen tanks. Nothing has made me feel older this year than being in the hospital with a PE, and then following up at home with oxygen therapy for the remainder of the summer. Something about being hooked up by your nose to that massive noisy machine that is supplying your body with the vital oxygen it needs to survive just makes one feel a little bit wimpy and vulnerable...not quite so strong. To quote Melissa today as she said, "I'm too young to be old!"

The huge metal tank, we affectionately referred to as R2D2, contained the liquid oxygen necessary to fill the little portable tank with an eight hour supply when travelling. It went places with me like to my brother-in-law's wedding in May and visits to friends and relatives in June. The medium sized gray contraption provided my nighttime oxygen in my room. Pulling the oxygen directly out of the room air and through filters in the machine, it made very loud humming sounds and sounded like a breathing ventilator machine that even though hidden in a closet to mute it's sound, was still very disturbing to wake up and hear in the middle of the night....sounded like being back in an ICU room. It did, however, serve its purpose well, and most certainly made breathing easier in those recovery months. It was especially comforting to me when I was lucky enough to get Shingles at the end of May along the same nerve line that my PE and lung pain had been. All 60 pounds of the bulky machine even accompanied me to Colorado when Pam and I took our spontaneous vacation in July with the kids. In and out of hotel rooms every night, I'll admit I was happy to have it along being at nearly an elevation of 10,000 feet where the oxygen level is reduced to begin with!

I have not used any of these machines for more than 3 months now, yet they have remained in my daily pathway as a constant reminder of the most frightening event of 2007. With the discontinuation of Coumadin in November, I would be lying to say I am not nervous about another event occurring. Unfortunately, there is no way at this point to predict it, and also no real reason to expect it, yet there is also no surprise in repeating it. I guess this will be another area in my life to just take the jump with faith and trust God's will to lead me through whatever it might be, good or bad....just as we have seemingly frequently done so in the most recent years. So as of today, I am moving on.....So long, R2D2! Goodbye, at least for now!!!

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