I woke up on Saturday feeling it would be a good day. Very seldom have I experienced a day that started out good turning as bad as yesterday turned out to be--it may be about as sick as I've been through this entire illness. I was looking forward to getting out to the kids' birthday party, which was scheduled to begin at two o'clock. But at some point in the late morning I was lying in bed and it suddenly became extremely hard to breathe. I was gasping and struggling for each breath--I asked Florence, who was sitting with me, to give me the mask for the bi-pap machine, and with the machine on, things eased up a bit, but I was still extremely weak and tired, and it quickly became clear that I wasn't going to the party, or anywhere else.
Florence left with Julie, Jim and the kids to the church hall which Julie rents almost every year to hold this party--it's an ideal set-up, a huge room where lots of kids can run around and play without bumping into anything, and Marty left for awhile to pick up Julie's father and deliver him to the party, and then came back home to be with me. I slept most of the afternoon and early evening, with the mask on. At one point I took it off and went on just my regular oxygen because I had to go to the bathroom, but as soon as I got back to bed I wanted it on again. Having the air pushed into my lungs, rather than having to fight to get it in, makes an enormous difference.
By evening, I was feeling a little better (my best times usually are evenings). Julie said she was ordering Chinese food and they would be giving Evelyn her presents (Kyle and Viv got theirs on their actual birthdays, which are in January). It was a struggle, but I managed to make it up the stairs and to eat a little food, and to watch Evelyn be surprised with a new guitar, which was her major present, but I wanted to go back down shortly after that, put the mask back on, and fell asleep again. Even after sleeping most of the day, I had no trouble sleeping all night.
Today is quite a different story. I feel much stronger and Marty and I went out for breakfast with Florence. We had wanted to go to a fabulous Chinese Sunday brunch, but she said her stomach wasn't feeling up to it (we've been eating Chinese food almost every day), so we went to a nearby diner that serves a wonderful veggie omelette. I knew I'd eat only part of it (it's enormous); I took the leftovers home and will find out tomorrow morning if they reheat successfully.
Friday was also a pretty good day. In the afternoon, Nancy, the hospice chaplain, stopped by, and she visited with Marty, Florence, and me for more than an hour. Earlier, Florence and I had worked together (she doing most of the work) on the noodle pudding that I'd been craving, and it came out fabulous. We started by reading a bunch of different recipes, then more or less combined the best features of each. Marty, Florence, and I all ate some practically as soon as it came out of the oven. We offered some to Nancy, which got us into a long discussion of various ethnic foods and memories from each of our childhoods. Food really is a very emotional subject; I can see that especially clearly now, when I'm having so many food cravings, most of them linked to things I ate as a child.
Florence is leaving tomorrow morning; I will be very sad to see her go, but she's promised to come for another visit soon. I'm hoping I feel strong enough to go to acupuncture tomorrow.