Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Note from a Grumpy Guy

Grumpy? Yeah, that’s me.

Paul, his staff, and the oxygen—lots of oxygen—arrived on time this morning. The portable bottles are in the spare bedroom; a new oxygen concentrator, to which I am attached by a 50-foot clear plastic line, is in my bedroom.

Skipping details until I am less, uh, grumpy, I received a ninety-minute lesson from Paul on how to utilize all of this stuff, signed a half-dozen papers saying the stuff had been delivered, I had received instructions on proper use, and that if I burn/blow myself up from improper use of the oxygen, I—and only I—am responsible.

Ok, all is well. I am learning to walk around and function with his hose attached my nose. Hey, I think I like that: I have a nose-hose! All the oxygen in the bottles (see photograph that I meant to take this afternoon but didn’t) is for when I desire to go beyond the tethering of my nose-hose. I ain’t been there yet.

O-kkkkkkkkkkk—if all is well, why am I so grumpy? Why did I yell at Alex for playing with my nose-hose and sticking his claws into my hip? Why did I curse at the computer for doing the kinds of screwy things it always does? Why do I feel angry at being tethered to a machine by a 50-foot line of plastic?

I do not know! I have been able to breath better today than I have in years, even though it is at an oxygen level three times higher than what I was prescribed when I got the CPAP thingie a bit more than 20 years ago. I seem not to tire as fast. I have not smoked anything—cigarette, cigar, pipe—since yesterday morning. I…uh...I...

I think these are philosophical questions that I must ruminate over. When, and if, I come up with answers I shall let you know.

In the meantime, I thank you for your comments from yesterday and in advance for your comments on today’s post. I have a new book of Beat poetry and I am going to meditate upon it while Alex curls in my arms, happily batting my new nose-hose with his paws.


  1. I wonder if the lack of cigarette, cigar and/or pipe might be a contributing factor to the grumpiness. Hang in there, it goes away (eventually).

    enjoy your book and your new breath.

  2. Yep, I was right! Me trying to make you laugh would have been much more useful today, than yesterday! (^_^)

    Hang in there Nick. It'll get better. Not sure what, exactly, will get better. But here's hoping it'll be the good that gets better - and the bad that just gets lost!

  3. It probably is the nicotine, Nick -

    I was a grouch for I don't know how long after I quit - not continuously, just on & off...

    You can do it! Our will is stronger than addictive chemicals...

    & I hope Alex takes it easy around the equipment...

    Going to go read your other posts.

  4. You went through a lot yesterday. Even spending half an hour with "medical" stuff ticks me off...and you dealt with a lot more. Then of course, not having nicotine in your system, I ain't a smoker but I do know that much!

    Take care of yourself Nick and enjoy your book. If I didn't have so many books sitting waiting to be read I think I'd reread my copies of "on the road" and "junkie" after hearing you mention the "beats".

  5. Congrats Nick! Do you know even after such a short period without the cigs, your body is beginning to heal :o)

    Well done!!

  6. Ah hah! Withdrawal symptoms, that what it is. And Nick, think how much better you'll feel soon...with no risk of blowing yourself off the planet.

    Congratulations, anyway and believe me, the grumps will go...take it from one who's been there.

    Keep on going, Nick, you can do it!

  7. nose-hose! good one LOL... you
    grumpy? can't believe it... eat a cookie and feel better ((hugs))

  8. Wow ! you've had a couple of very busy days ! My mom has respitory ailments as well. When she showed up at the doctor with an oxygen level of 80% the whole office started rushing around and they sent her off to the hospital for two days !!! I have tried to talk her into getting oxygen tanks, to at least have for emergencies, but she refuses.

    I think you've had enough adventure for one week. Now that your home, hopefully, Alex will settle back into a less mischeivious routine.

    Take care,

  9. I can only respond by smiling, Rev Saint.

  10. As long as Alex and I are awake and he’s busy playing “Herd of Thundering Wildebeests Stampeding Across the Plains of the Serengeti,” I’m respond to your comments:

    RIMSHOT: Yeah, the lack of nicotine may be a big part of my grumpiness. However, I have one of my 30 or so pipes in my mouth, unlighted and without tobacco in it, and from the taste of the stem I’m getting plenty of nicotine into my system at the moment.

    ETERNALY CURIOUS: Thank you: I did laugh at your yesterday’s comment. Laughing, especially at then absurdities of life, is one of the blessings I’ve developed through the years.

    RHAPSODY: As Mark Twain so accurately stated: “I can always stop smoking. I’ve already done it a thousand times.” Thus far, Alex’s attacks on my nose-hose have been gentle; his attacks on my body have not. I have new claw scratches on my rump and hand. Damned cat!

    SILVER NEUROTIC: You are so right. The waiting at the clinic and hospital seemed endless. Thankfully I was bright enough to bring the book to read.

  11. MICHELLE: Thank you, Michelle. I am not sure about my lungs healing: I have read that the damage to them is not reversible. Of course, the VA rule against smoking is not related to healing. It is related to preventing self-immolation to the fire god of me and the expensive equipment they have supplied.

    PUSS-IN-BOOTS: I shall keep going—and laughing at myself and the furball.

    SWEETASS RSA: That’s wonderful advice! I had Tasha purchase a box of Famous Amos Chocolate Chip Cookies at the store today. I shall remember them—and try not to eat the whole box at one sitting.

    AUBURB HAIRED ARTIST: Tell you mom to get the oxygen! BTW, I found out from Paul that at the hospital my blood oxygen level tested out at 42% after the exercise. No wonder I was exhausted.

    AZSONOFAGUN: OK, Rex, as long as you’re smiling with me and not at me.

  12. I had to tell you, I finally inhaled my first box of Famous Amos Chocolate Chip Cookies. Boy I certainly have been missing a treat. Now I need to forget that they exist.

    Glad you have the oxygen now. 42 percent, not good at all. 80 percent was not that good either. In the end you will be much better off. Just be careful with that smoking. You hear so many times were someone was not careful and smoked with the oxygen. The results are not good.

    I hope the case of the grumpies starts to subside and that you are feeling better now that you are on the oxygen. Take care of yourself.

  13. I think your lungs do heal, even after years of smoking. They won't return to the healthy pink lungs of a non-smoker, but they improve in their ability to beat back bronchial infections and pneumonia. That's worth something.

    I think you're probably grumpy from nicotine withdrawal, but it's also possible you're getting too much oxygen. I remember things got kind of freaky when you set the CPAP machine too high that time a couple of years ago. You might mention it to your doctor the next time you see him.

  14. Smoking and oxygen - mmmmmm not good. Anyway it sounds to me like you're giving up the smoking so that's good!

  15. Alright, you know i pretty much shoot strait from teh hip. But i will try to refrain from being too overly blunt.

    But dude. You are breathing from a tank. Of COURSE you are grumpy! It's like taking your license away or taking signing authority away from your checking account. You can't breath well without this thing. It has made it impossible to do the things you enjoy (like puff on a pipe, no matter how bad that is for you). And you have to depend on it where before in your life you could just breathe.

    I would be shocked if you weren't grumpy over this quite frankly.

    But to the bright side of things, You can breathe better. And in that you will live longer and get to cuddle Alex a little longer. :)
    And blog to the rest of us. :)

    So take it easy, and embrace the grumpy. You desirve it once in awhile!

  16. A nose hose? Whatever flows, man. Whatever flows.

    Keep breathing. In. And out.

  17. i'd say being tethered to the tank is what's bringing you down. but look at this way (and yes, i know it's much easier for me to say this and think this since i'm not the one going through it): what's bringing you down now is what will be bringing you up, once you start get all that lovely oxygen moving through you! hoping it gets better and better for you every day! and i believe you will become quite handy and adept at handling those tanks!

  18. I'd say you have a right to be grumpy so just go on with your grumpy self. We'll listen if you must! I don't know that much about the apparatus but it must be quite an adjustment for you. Hmmmm.....what to do to cheer you up...what to do.....I know! A meme! Everybody who knows anything knows a meme is just what you need.

    Or not.

    Seriously, feel better. Sending good vibes. I'll think of something better than a meme soon. Cookies?

  19. You have never been grumpy in the 40 years I've known you! I'm sure you are smiling on the inside, just as you do when Alex claws you.

    Glad you that the oxygen. I would hate to lose you.

  20. Grumpy? You? I thought that was impossible!!!