Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Last year a pair of thrushes nested in the scarlet camellia just outside my window. They dive-bombed at tui coming to seek nectar. To my surprise they were successful, driving them away – the power of parent-love and the survival of the species. This morning September began with a tui content in the tree when I pulled back the curtsins. Underneath it the daphne is out in all its scented glory. Not a thrush in sight.

Last week’s hospital check-up of my CPAP machine [to help regulate and control my breathing] revealed that my apnoea was causing some problems. On Monday evening Bowen Hospital’s sleep unit lent me a more sophisticated machine to record sleep patterns. The nurse arrived early yesterday morning to take it away.

Bowen rang at the bog end of the afternoon. They’d like me to come in for an evening’s sleep in their laboratory. I probably need a smarter machine. The booking is for 16 September. It is not something I look forward to. Indeed, it is all rather despondency-making .

The powers-that-be suspect that my two major health problems, the musucular degeneration and apnoea are connected. But there is no conclusive evidence. Either way they certainly interact.

The danger of the apnoea is that I stop breathing for periods while I sleep. This increases risk of stroke or heart attack. Every morning is a moment of amazement when I wake up. Accepting it would be a hell of a shock for Anne if I died in my sleep it would not be a bad way to go. But the strong likelihood is I’d be more disabled thus increasing the burden upon her (and myself).

The frustrating thing about this health problem is its hidden nature. Mentally, I can cope better with the neurological issue. Cause and effect are understandable. The other is beyond my conscious control. Damn!

And the winter chill has given me a chilblain in my right little toe. Anne’s brought new shoes home for me to try on. They fit fine. Some things work. The romantic will add ‘but not for long.’ But the realist says ‘for the present’. I watch the tui enjoy his nectar. While I wait for my caregiver to arrive I continue. reading ‘The Long Song’ a crackerjack novel by Andrea Levy. My birthday’s coming up before the Bowen visit. A treat of whitebait! New books! And an ascending sun!

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