Almost Bit

Ever since I retired September 30, 2011, I haven’t changed my clocks. I’ve been so sure I could keep everything straight that I’ve bragged about it. Beware the bragging. It gets a person in trouble. (Take note, Donald Trump.)

Dali ClockNight before last, I knew I would need to be up in time to get ready before Cuz got here at 10. That was 10 her time. Setting the timer for eight hours, I went to bed. During the last hour, I woke off and on and checked the timer. I wanted to get my full allotment so I’d close my eyes and snooze. The last few minutes, it suddenly occurred to me that I’d set it for eight hours based on TT, not Cuz time. Uh-oh. I bounded out of bed as best I could and started rushing around as much as Ralph would let me.

My quiet time was anything but. I read the lesson for Monday and that had to be that. I fed the Catz.

There was no way I was going to do my body test. I started the bath water running and laid out my clothes. Normally, I don’t shampoo my hair in the bathtub but it’s so short now, it doesn’t matter. I’d hoped to trim my nails. No time for that. I got clean and got out.

Breakfast was the last heel from the last loaf of Six Grain Four Seed bread from Niedlov’s. I toasted it and smeared half an avocado on it. Gulping down the last bit, I went in and brushed my teeth.

I was dressed and ready to go when Cuz came over to get me set up with the dratted oxygen tanks. She got one outfitted for me to “wear” and brought two extras along.

We got to the Mother Ship and Cuz let me out while she went to park. She brought back a fresh tank of oxygen since I was on the fumes. We waited to ride in the golf cart since my stamina is in the toilet. I managed the walk from the golf cart to the elevator.

My appointment was at 11:45. I signed in at 11:38. It was much later when I was called back to be weighed. I knew I’d lost some since I was there last so I asked the NP to check. She looked at the chart and read the numbers off for the two most recent dates. The one on February 4 was 15 lubs more than the current.

She did the quizzing and checked my O2 sat and pulse rate. The former was 98% and my pulse rate was 76. BP was 116/76. She commented that I’m in very good health other than…

The pulmonologist came in and launched into what he’d learned from my bronchoscopy. The type of IPF I have won’t respond to steroids. In fact, steroids would do more harm than good. I inwardly cheered that news. I didn’t want to go on steroids unless they would cure me and that wasn’t likely. He hadn’t done a biopsy so the pathology report was from the cells he’d washed from my lungs.

Asking what meds I take, I told him and said I was still taking multi-vitamins and NAC. He said, “Stop taking the NAC. It hasn’t been shown to do any good.” Later, the NP told me to keep taking it if I thought it helped. “You know your body better than anyone else.”

He talked to me about going to Vanderbilt and I agreed to doing that. He wants me to go to pulmonary rehab, too, so I asked if it wasn’t available closer to me than going to Chattanooga three times a week. They’d check.

Flipping through the chart, he looked up and said, “I want you to gain weight.” Then the NP suggested Ensure or Boost. Cuz spoke up. “She’s vegan and they have dairy.” The doctor asked, “Carnation Instant Breakfast?” Cuz answered again. “It has dairy, too.” That surprised him. He didn’t know that. “I’m a vegetarian and I sometimes have a hard time…” He pulled out his phone and started surfing the web. “Oh, yes! There are vegan supplements. You can go online and order them.”

He continued looking through the chart and started flagging pages to be copied to go with his cover letter to the doctors at Vanderbilt.

Turning to go, I called out and stopped him. I told him in no uncertain terms that I want a portable concentrator. I was surprised when he immediately agreed and said he’d get me something better than what I have. Last time, he’d kind of pooh-poohed it but maybe he’d educated himself in the meantime. I gave the phone numbers for the DME supplier to the NP and she wrote them down. The person who takes care of such came in and I told her it had to be ordered as a rental, according to my case manager.

When we were alone with the NP, she basically told me to get my house in order. She said IPF can go downhill very fast so I needed to make sure those closest to me know exactly what I want. I told her I have an Advance Directive and a Durable Power of Attorney who is DD. She knows I don’t want any heroic measures unless they will improve my quality of life. I don’t want to be a vegetable and kept alive for someone else’s benefit.

Before we left, Cuz went to the van and got the last oxygen tank. Since I’m not able to inhale as much, it stays on “continuous” so it runs out more quickly. She got me suited up and we were off.

Back on the first floor, we made use of the golf cart again. I sat and waited while Cuz brought the van around.

Being on the last tank of oxygen was unsettling. We’d planned to go by Niedlov’s but I was wilted. Cuz will pick up what I need when she’s down there next. The man from the DME supplier had told me, sort of, how to get to the business. I told Cuz and she pulled into the area beside a gas station, then spied the building off in the distance.

While I waited in the van, she took the two empties in. The man had told me we could get all we wanted if we stopped by. Not quite. Full ones are swapped straight across for empties. The lady had mercy on her and gave her three full ones.

ALDI was the next stop. I gave Cuz my list and she did the shopping for both of us. I’d been quite specific on my list but she ended up without tortillas. No biggie. She would be at Walmart later.

Between there and the next stop, the sky opened up and poured. It wasn’t the hardest rain I’ve ever seen but it was certainly close. It had moved on through before we got to where we were going.

Next was the Dollar Tree where Cuz picked up my case of facial tissue. I’d given her the printout and my driver license so she had no problem.

I’d checked my tank and, once again, it was empty. I laid it in the driver’s seat. Cuz said she had been wondering about that. She got me going and we were off to Walmart.

There was one prescription for sure and one without refills I’d called in the night before. I figured it would take several days for a new scrip. I was kicking myself for not giving Cuz my credit card. I fished out my phone which hadn’t been on the charger for weeks. It came on and I was able to get Cuz’ voice mail. I told her to come back to the van and get the card. Then I called again to see if she’d answer. She did and I told her in person. She objected but said she might.

I turned the phone off and put it back in my purse. It wasn’t long until Cuz came bustin’ out to the van. She was only supposed to pick up one prescription but there were two!! She’d had the lady write down what they were. The first one was the generic name for my thyroid med — levothyroxine and then there was the other one she knew she was supposed to pick up. GOOD! Both were ready! I gave her my credit card and she went back to finish up.

The fourth tank got me home. There was still some juice left, for a wonder.

Unloading me and everything else, Cuz got me in the house then set about emptying compost and taking out trash. She sat down for a few minutes and we talked. She urged me to call DD and DS1, at least, and tell them what is going on. I didn’t say I would because I was beyond tired.

Going to Amazon I found some vegan drinks to help increase the calories. Later, I found some more at VitaCost. This morning, I realized I had a 10% coupon off my next order so I chatted with a rep and she refunded the 10% to my credit card. WHEW!!

I did email DD and gave her a brief synopsis (I really can do that if I put my mind to it) and told her what was in the works. She emailed back (miracles still happen!) and asked a couple of questions. Yes, I’m signed up with Genesis and I’m also an organ donor. One doesn’t rule out the other.

Trying to be a pig at supper didn’t work. I was just too tired to eat much so I had some leftovers and let that be it.

There was no way I wasn’t going to sleep last night. I did sleep and I slept well.

When I opened the front door this morning, Black Tom didn’t come running. I looked around and saw why. He was piled up in the chair next to the door and I guess I woke him. He and whatever aunts came were fed and petted.

My Mii fussed at me for not being around yesterday. I’d lost .4 lub. When I set my goal again, I’ll have to set it to gain and not to lose.

Today has been a recuperation day. I felt bad about not working on the lessons so I knocked out less05m. I’m glad I checked the lessons because 04m had the test style sheet specified and it looked very strange. I corrected it and uploaded — again.

I’ve eaten enough I feel downright intemperate. Part of my order will be here tomorrow and then I won’t have to try to push the food so much. I’m getting some Ayr gel, too, that the NP recommended for “oxygen nose”.

This is more than enough. If you don’t read every word, I’ll understand. If you do, you’re a glutton for punishment. And now, if I had a mic, I’d drop it.

11 Responses to Almost Bit

  1. Alice Fontana June 29, 2016 at 9:06 am #

    Oh Tommie! You do have a way with words! I admire your wit …. Thank you so much for sharing so much of your adventure.
    I’ll be praying for you and praying that God will bring your visit to Vanderbilt to an expedited and successful fruition. Blessings to you and all those that are there for you, human and otherwise …. especially Black Tom…

    • Tommie June 29, 2016 at 10:47 am #

      I appreciate the prayers, Alice. I have no idea when I’ll be going to Vanderbilt. I’m playing the waiting game now.

  2. Lila June 29, 2016 at 9:46 am #

    Tommie, this is very unsettling. I need both my sisters, so take as good care of yourself as possible, and do the things that make life as enjoyable as possible for you. Sending lots of love and prayers your way!

    • Tommie June 29, 2016 at 10:49 am #

      There’s not a lot I can do any more. Petting the Catz is about as much as I can handle. Thanks for the love and prayers and remember I love you, too!

  3. Mary Jane June 29, 2016 at 1:29 pm #

    I hope there is a place for rehab closer than Chattanooga and that it will really help.

    I’m confused about your weight. Surely you haven’t gained 15 lbs. since Feb.

    If I didn’t change my clocks when the time changes I’d always either be an hour early (unlikely) or an hour late (likely) like my grandfather-in-law was years ago when he wouldn’t change. At least we can pray no matter what time it is, and lots of prayers are going up for you in different time zones.

    • Tommie June 29, 2016 at 1:39 pm #

      I’ve checked and there’s pulmonary rehab where I used to work. It started up since I left so I wasn’t absolutely sure but I knew it was a prospect when I retired.

      No. I was confused when I wrote it and put “less” when it should have been “more”. I’ve changed it.

      Up until THAT day, I was okay with not changing my clocks. I hope I won’t have another snafu.

  4. merry June 29, 2016 at 9:12 pm #

    Dear Tommie,
    thank you for sharing your faith walk with us. I’m praying healing mercies for you, lung transplant or another miracle… which ever journey the Lord leads you on, to give you strength to be strong.
    I must be a Pollyanna too. I always plan good days. Don’t always happen…but I plan them.
    I served in CC today, wiped out this evening…

    • Tommie June 29, 2016 at 9:16 pm #

      Keep praying, Merry! My good days are mostly in the past, I’m afraid.

      CC? Don’t overdo!

  5. merry June 29, 2016 at 9:23 pm #

    After your day to see the doctor, I would have been wiped out too.
    Just going to see the hematologist in FT Smith, Arkansas wipes me out. I’m too tired to go shopping.

    • merry June 29, 2016 at 9:32 pm #


      My Pollyanna attitude kicks in…good days a head for you.

      Clothes Closet…at our church.

      • Tommie June 29, 2016 at 9:35 pm #

        My sister works Sunday mornings at the one at her church. She gets pretty tired, too.

        Pollyanna on!!

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