Friday, August 27, 2010

Respiratory Check-Up

Yesterday I went to the public hospital for my six-monthly respiratory check-up. Before I left my caregiver Susanna said ‘they’ll find your oxygen levels are OK though your muscles are getting weaker.’ Prescient woman!

I enjoyed the taxi drive over. Spring! First kowhai, japonica galore and quite a bit of cherry blossom. With the walker I made good progress in to the waiting room. They weighed me – weight the same as last time. Blood test, two go’s to locate a vein. They should hire a vampire. Then a puff machine – at least this time I did not need to enter the time machine to blow into it. They examined the data on my CPAP machine. The apnea is still concerning them. They gave me a new mask.

Then a long wait to see the specialist. He looked exhausted as it was the end of the day. Good system - overworked people. Susanna was right- the oxygen levels were high. He decided to alter the CPAP settings. A technician lowered the pressure. This will decrease the possibility of leaks. Suits me. I was fed up at night waking up to the mask blurting air everywhere.

In our haste to get away we left the machine in its bag in the doctor’s office. The taxi had to reverse direction after we’d gone less than a quarter of the way home. Safely back, Anne reassembled the mask and machine before pouring a glass of wine to join me in my stiff whiskey. It had been a draining afternoon. I felt exhausted. I admit it - being a bear of a very nervous disposition turns such afternoons into harrowing events. Not for the first time I wish I were less anxious on such occasions.

I had an early night. Twice I woke up with a start. Had the machine stopped? It was so quiet and peaceful. But no, the machine was still working away and out in the hall the oxygen converter carried on its merry way. This morning, denying the weather forecast's predicition, there was full sunshine.

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