Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Scared and panicky

I'm feeling a little better now, but for a few hours this morning I felt like my life was slipping away. Again yesterday, I slept most of the evening and then all through the night, and even when I thought I was awake I kept drifting off to sleep again. Once I was up for good, I felt really awful. It was hard to breathe; I took off the bi-pap mask to go to the bathroom, but quickly came back to bed and put the mask back on. I felt a lot of pressure in my chest, was incredibly weak, scared, and not sure what to do.

Marty made me some tea and toast (I need to eat something before I can take my meds), and I just took the absolutely necessary meds before putting the mask back on (Celebrex for my arthritis, prednisone, and morphine). I was trying to distract myself (TV, newspapers, doing the crossword puzzle with Marty), but I continued to feel panicky, and eventually I called Kathy, who said she'd stop by later in the afternoon. In the meantime she told me to do a nebulizer treatment, which I'm always resistant to (I hate the way it makes me feel), but I promised her I would, and I did.

By the time she arrived, I was beginning to feel better. I had asked Marty to make me a grilled cheese sandwich (another one of my comfort foods), and I was no longer feeling the chest pressure. Kathy was extremely reassuring, saying that she certainly understood why I had felt so panicky, and that I should never hesitate to call. She said she'd stop in again tomorrow--once again, making me feel so good about hospice care.

My bi-pap machine got fixed yesterday--the respiratory guy called in mid-afternoon and I told him to come to the back door, but he forgot and rang the doorbell in the front, meaning I had to take the long walk to the front door. He checked out the machine, determined one of the modules was damaged, and want out to his truck to get a new one, which popped right in. These machines are amazing, because each component can be replaced individually. He also said he could double the length of the air hose by linking two of them together, so now I have about a six-foot long tether which is a lot more comfortable (there've been times I've pulled the machine down by rolling over in bed with the hose somehow getting wrapped around me).

I had to make another hike to the front door when the guy who delivers medicines for hospice arrived with some meds Kathy had ordered earlier. Marty was out all afternoon, and then called me early in the evening to say he was going to a meeting, and asked if I'd be able to manage putting something together for dinner, and I assured him I could. I checked out the freezer and browned some frozen blintzes, which were easy and delicious. Marty didn't get back until pretty late in the evening, when I was already semi-asleep, although I woke up for a bit before going to sleep for the night.

One of the ways I've been distracting myself today is watching the AIG hearings and enjoying the various congresspeople (including Massachusetts's own Barney Frank and Michael Capuano) making AIG's Liddy squirm!

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