How I feel for the week ending 05.23.14

24 May

I am getting a late start on this, only because I have been lazy, played cards did some shopping, some games, now as evening approaches I decided to commence work on my weekly status.  Most likely this will be completed sometime tomorrow, because most of the chores are done for the weekend already.  My only doctor appointment this week has been with Doc Head.  As always I find the sessions to be extremely helpful and because I never have an agenda when I walk into her office I never really know how we will spend the 45 minutes.  I can say in all honesty that I have never left her office feeling worse than when I when in.  I also had (so they think) the final conversation with the billing folks at Doc Infectious office.  To say that Doc Infectious billing is FUBAR is really giving them way more credit than they deserve.  I know there is a post there and I will address it separately.  I am rating the week 2.5 for the following reasons, the SOB (shortness of breath), is eating my lunch.  Even inside in an air-conditioned space with minimal activity makes me stop to gasp.  Couple that with the early summer heat and humidity which is on the rise, and is for the next several week, is an unwanted burden on the lungs.  Also sleeping has been a recent issue, I am normally good for 5 or 6 hours a night, of course I do get up a couple of times because nature is screaming in my ear, but recently I have been waking up gasping, and quite short of breath. Because I wake so violently I am tending to stay away longer before falling back to sleep.  All of these elements make the grade a 2.5 for the week. But it is a happy 2.5.  Also you need to understand that I am doing the best I can to keep my head out of my weekly score.  If I were to grade my week mentally I would give it a solid 4.75 out of 5.  The head has been and continues to be great.  Sure there are hiccups, but even healthy folks have hiccups. 

What I said last week regarding my general health still applies Health wise very little has changed, the coughing is about the same, tiredness above normal, SOB seems to be progressively worse than last week, and my energy level seems to be less than what I would consider normal. Also, my respirations are still running at a rate over 20 breathes a minute. I suspect the time of my respirations being less than 20 a minute are gone.

Let get the vitals out-of-the-way for the week ending 05.23.14

  • INR = 2.3 taken 05.19.14 – next test 3 or 4 weeks

  • O2 level @ 2.5 LPM = 93 taken on 05.19.14

  • Peak Flow = 218 taken 05.19.14

  • BP = 100/70 taken 05.19.14

  • Heart rate = 104 taken 05.19.14

  • Temp = 98.6 taken 05.19.14

  • Weight = 268 taken 05.19.14

So ends the technical aspect of my “How I Feel This Week” report for the week ending 05.23.14, moving now to the word of the week discussion aspect.  This week’s word come at the request of Doc Head, she suggested I write about “ACCEPTANCE.” Back in my high school days I would have blown off this homework assignment, but I no longer go to high school, and I have matured a tiny bit since then.  So this week I will talk about “ACCEPTANCE.”  As per usual we will start with the web dictionary definition of the word:

Sidebar, we have been listening to the likes of the Dixie Chicks, Garth Brooks, AC/DC, Creed, 3 Doors Down, CSN and the Wallflowers so far, this portion of my weekly report has been quite easy….

ac·cep·tance  noun : the act of accepting something or someone; or the quality or state of being accepted or acceptable

Full Definition of ACCEPTANCE  1:  an agreeing either expressly or by conduct to the act or offer of another so that a contract is concluded and the parties become legally bound. 2:  the quality or state of being accepted or acceptable. 3:  the act of accepting :  the fact of being accepted :  approval 4 a :  the act of accepting a time draft or bill of exchange for payment when due according to the specified terms.  b:  an accepted draft or bill of exchange  

First Known Use of ACCEPTANCE – 1574

Acceptance, of all the thoughts that have run through my mind since I was first diagnosed with COPD, and realized the reality that it is a terminal disease. I have accepted that fact. For the 1st few weeks I probably pouted a lot, but I don’t ever remember having the “why me’s” or looking to shift the blame, I have complete acceptance of my outcome.  I had been a heavy smoker (and I mean Heavy), I was probably more surprised to find out that COPD was going to kill me and not cancer.  But (yeah, another one) acceptance does not equal quitting, acceptance does not equal giving up, acceptance does not mean hiding away until it happens, acceptance does not mean stop living. BTW acceptance does not mean go out and max out your credit cards either.  Acceptance really is just an understanding that for whatever reason your life is shorter than you wanted. It also means that you should look at each morning when you wake as a gift, and then thank God for giving you another day to share with those you love.

As anyone who has read more than one of my posts, you know I am never at a loss for words and that I talk about my illness endlessly. I am forever sharing the fact that I suffer from a terminal disease, and that I am dying.  I stand (sit actually) here at my pulpit, and I share with you what I am going thru.  I share my vitals, my symptoms, the medical advice, and hopefully some wisdom as well.  This folks is part of my acceptance, but acceptance goes beyond the just accepting you’re pending end.   Sidebar: we have had a vast selection of music today, breaks, just thinking and other interruptions have led to songs by Seether, Theory of a Deadman, 3 Doors Down, Matchbox 20, Jimi Hendrix, being added to the mix.   

From my own perspective I truly believe it is much easier for the sick one to except their situation, accept they will die much sooner than they wanted or expected.  I am not saying this is a universal truth, it just me I am talking about.  But and it is a large one, accepting that you have a terminal disease is one thing, accepting all that comes with it is a completely different thing.  This acceptance is a much coarser grain to swallow.  While I have accepted my pending end, there are so many other aspects between now and that point that I have not accepted, that I have not embraced, that I still fight.  COPD has robbed me of so many things that if asked I would try to deny it before admitting it conversationally, but I won’t admit to myself.  My physical capabilities have diminished greatly (but I still have some), I am now a 90 pound weakling hidden in a 265 pound body (but I can still carry 8 or 9 bags of groceries), and my stamina all but gone (but I still find ways to get it done, it just takes a lot longer).  But if you watch me pull into the garage, you would see me grab up 8 or 9 shopping bags of groceries and carry them into the house as the garage door closed, you would go WOW! Bill’s doing great.  But you wouldn’t see the struggle, you wouldn’t see me pant for breath, you wouldn’t see my head bowed in submission.  Only a very few very close friends get to see that, hell I did the best I could to hide it from my brothers while they visited. Folks, that’s the part of acceptance I haven’t accepted.  Also, I haven’t accepted the assumption that I may be less of a man.  No matter when the end comes there will just be things I haven’t and don’t intend on accepting. 

Each of us has to go thru the acceptance process, we will make stops along the way, we will forego some steps entirely, and other steps we will embrace.   Each of us has a comfort level, a need level, a desire level, a want level.  At each of these points we will also be faced with an acceptance level. We will come to a point that we know we must accept help when we never expected to, accept care when we thought we would always be the caregiver, and accept the fact that our body  has changed, and does not function as we think it does. And as we reach total acceptance, we will most likely learn that we must also accept a lot more before we reach the end.

As always if you have any questions, concerns, or comments please feel free to bring to my attention, I will answer as completely and honestly as possible. Please take care, Bill


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41 responses to “How I feel for the week ending 05.23.14

  1. rebecca2000

    May 24, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    You are not less of a man so I’m glad you haven’t accepted that. Accept that you have made great connections with many of us out there and with out your COPD you’d never have. 🙂 We are blessed to know you.

    • FlaHam

      May 25, 2014 at 12:37 pm

      Rebecca, I will be forever grateful for the connections and friends I have made since I have begun writing this blog. Without your support, your carrying, and your encouragement, there really is no telling where my head would be. But thru you all my head is great. Thank you so much for your kind words, and continuous support. Bill

  2. The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

    May 24, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    I think Rebecca said it for me as well with emphasis on “we are blessed to know you.” Love & hugs, ❤

    • FlaHam

      May 25, 2014 at 12:39 pm

      Paulette, And my comments to Rebecca especially hold true for you. You immediately accepted me, and supported me and my efforts. I could not thank you enough. Thank you for your ever continuing support caring and love. Take care, Bill

  3. haddyism

    May 24, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    I wish I could give you a great big bear hug. I just do.

    • FlaHam

      May 24, 2014 at 10:34 pm

      Haddy, you do all the time with your words. And I appreciate it greatly. Take care, Bill

  4. haddyism

    May 24, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    I don’t want to offend you, in any way, but I believe that Jesus can raise the dead still just as he used to. If that is his will for a particular person. I’d be happy to pray for you, even afterward should it come to that. Most people once they are back with God don’t seem to want to come back, but if you pray about it and feel you would like to I’d be honored to ask God to do it for you. In the meantime I’ll ask him to just heal you.

    • FlaHam

      May 25, 2014 at 12:45 pm

      Haddy, I can’t help but feel God has a very good reason why I am in the position I am in. I am not going to question that. I will also say if I am graced to be with Jesus when it is said and done, I doubt if I would want to come back, but would only if directed. I gladly accept your prayers and it is so kind of you to offer. Please take care, Bill

      • haddyism

        May 25, 2014 at 12:55 pm

        Anytime, I know He is able, so I thought to make the offer. Dearest Bill, you will be graced to be with Jesus. I will be too:)

        • FlaHam

          May 25, 2014 at 12:58 pm

          Haddy, thank you so much for such a sweet and lovely offer. Take care, Bill

    • vickie

      May 27, 2014 at 11:22 pm

      This is my first time blogging, hope I.m not doing something wrong,I saw your comment to Bill, and I would love it if you prayed for me, I have COPD and use oxygen all the time, rarely leave the house, but I know all things are possible with God!

      • haddyism

        May 27, 2014 at 11:27 pm

        Yes, They truly are, and I would be happy to pray for you. I have seen God do some pretty amazing things. God bless you.

        • FlaHam

          May 28, 2014 at 7:19 am

          Haddy, God works in so many ways that would surprise me and at the same time not surprised me at all. Prayers are always welcome. Take care, Bill

      • FlaHam

        May 28, 2014 at 7:27 am

        Vickie, Haddy is a very nice lady and I am forwarding your request directly to her. I can say though from what I know of Haddy there is no doubt in my mind she will indeed pray for you. My dear, I too will pray for you. I hope you have an opportunity to read some of my other posts. Like you I suffer from COPD, and have spent some time writing about it. If there is any question you wish to ask please feel free. Take care, Bill

  5. johncoyote

    May 25, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    “We will come to a point that we know we must accept help when we never expected to, accept care when we thought we would always be the caregiver, and accept the fact that our body has changed, and does not function as we think it does”
    This is true. I have good health today but we don’t know what the future can hold for us. I have memory lost thanks to many shots received in the Army.. I read 500 poems a week and story. At least one book. to keep mind strong. It is good to meet you. I hope you are having a good day.

    • FlaHam

      May 26, 2014 at 7:30 am

      John, Yes acceptance is probably my Achilles heel. But even as I say that I find I am not only accepting help but seeking it out more and more often. It appears John, that you are doing what you can, and the best you can given your situation. I love reading as well, but don’t to the level you do. It is indeed a good exercise for the mind. Take care, Bill

      • johncoyote

        May 26, 2014 at 9:18 am

        My Grandfather taught me reading was important. He read for 96 years of life. He kept his mind healthy and strong. I hope to do the same.

        • FlaHam

          May 26, 2014 at 7:15 pm

          John, He did you a great service, and I am sure it will pay you dividends. Take care, Bill

  6. Chatter Master

    May 25, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    Bill you amaze me with your mental scale. Talk about health, that’s the best kind of health. I’m sorry you’re so fatigued. I hope it does improve. Every time I read one of your posts I learn. Not just about you, but about me. You are a blessing.

    • FlaHam

      May 26, 2014 at 7:44 am

      Colleen, Smiling oh I can be very amazing LOL LOL. I still got a lot of kick in these bones. If your learning about both you and I, you’re probably getting the message that I hope I am broadcasting. Even in the darkest of times you can find a reasons to live. I hope that I am conveying to folks that just because you ill doesn’t allow you to give up. Take care, Bill

      • Chatter Master

        May 26, 2014 at 6:55 pm

        You are doing an excellent job Bill. I hope you are having a wonderful day. ❤

        • FlaHam

          May 26, 2014 at 9:44 pm

          Colleen, thank you for your remark, sometimes we need to be told, we need to hear the words. Thank you. Bill

  7. benzeknees

    May 25, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    Perhaps you are right Bill, acceptance may come easier for the person who is dying (whether it be slowly or rapidly). I know I had to accept my physical limitations a lot sooner than I had hoped because of some accompanying problems, like my bad knee & because I’m walking funny with the bad knee, now my feet are becoming a problem. My weight is another issue causing physical limitations for me because of the huge stress it puts on my back. But there is a little glimmer of good news for me – my appt. with the psychiatrist last week netted a fact unknown to me previously, 2 of the medications I have to take daily have a strong side effect of causing weight gain! And there is another medication I can probably take which does not have this side effect if my body will tolerate it. No wonder I have been struggling & struggling to lose weight with no effect!

    • FlaHam

      May 26, 2014 at 7:52 am

      Benze, that was a good catch on the medicines adding to your weight problems. With that issue solved on to other issues. We take them one at a time, always works towards the best. I want to thank you for your continued support and caring. You have been a sweet blessing. Please take care, Bill

  8. Clanmother

    May 27, 2014 at 3:12 am

    The thought that came to mind when I was reading your post was gratitude for living each day to the fullest.

    “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
    Melody Beattie

    • FlaHam

      May 27, 2014 at 4:30 am

      Clan, Your comments are better than the original post. Thank you. They may come back in a future post. As I write about these words and phrases thoughts come to mind, all honest, all deep, but sometimes when I see a comment clarity arrives. Thank you for helping and supporting me, please take care, Bill

  9. huntmode

    May 27, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    Bill, I am sorry to hear of the SOB and the loss of strength and fatigue. I’ve been feeling those recently as well. It brings you up short, no matter what the mind or the will wants to portray, especially in front of others. Acceptance of this COPD seems to come in levels or steps as you have so well written here. You are choreographing the dance for us, Bill and thanks to you, we will be better able to accept what comes. Perhaps with as much grace as you do. Take care, Bill. xxoo Huntie ❤

    • FlaHam

      May 27, 2014 at 9:16 pm

      Hunt, Smiling I am sorry too, but I choose not to dwell on it, but embrace it and see how I can push it. I still manage to get a lot accomplished each day, yes some days are better than others, but that just makes me the same as everyone else. Take care, Bill

  10. vickie

    May 27, 2014 at 11:06 pm

    This is my first visit; I have had COPD for 5 years, I have to have oxygen all the time, and even with the O2 I still get breathless just walking across the room. Still I never thought of it as a death sentence. I don’t really think of it at all. I just try to live with it. My biggest problem is being lonely.
    I am only 54 and most people I know are working and never have time ti visit. I wish I could accomplish something during the day! Maybe now that I have found your blog. we can be friends!

    • FlaHam

      May 28, 2014 at 7:37 am

      Vickie, Welcome to my blog which is a running commentary on how I deal with my COPD. Please feel free to read what you wish and question anything you read. I would suggest you consider joining a support group, I am a member of the Daily Strength and from there maybe consider joining this support group. These folks all suffer as you do, and thru their combined strength can help you in many ways Maybe thru the friendships you develop you can get some relief from a touch of the loneliness you feel. Take care, Bill

      • benzeknees

        May 28, 2014 at 1:28 pm

        Thank you for the link to Daily Strength Bill! I have been looking for a support group & nothing seemed to be the right fit. But this one did & so I joined today! See you in the discussion threads!

        • FlaHam

          May 28, 2014 at 1:38 pm

          Benze, Benze, you will indeed see me there, I contribute to the discussion treads a lot, not every day but still I manage to get a word in edge wise from time to time. This is a good solid group of folks that are smarter than hell, and just as caring. You will find a ton of great support here. Take care, Bill

  11. Wanda

    June 1, 2014 at 9:23 am

    Bill, your self-wisdom and personal strength are amazing. And, speaking of amazing, I am once again impressed by the outreach you have through your blog and your other on-line activities. You truly are an inspiration.

    • FlaHam

      June 1, 2014 at 3:59 pm

      Wanda, You and Steph are to blame for the monster I have become, Steph for pushing and you for showing. I thank both of you, and I have appreciated all the help and support you have given me since Day 1. So when you are handing me an attaboy, look in the mirror and give yourself one. You truly deserve it. Take care, Bill

  12. sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

    June 1, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    Bill – For today, I’m putting acceptance on the back burner. I’ll think about it another day! Sheri

    • FlaHam

      June 2, 2014 at 12:18 pm

      Sheri, You do what you need to do, Doc Head had me write about acceptance, and I poured myself into it. I am sure there was a lesson there someplace in her suggestion, and I know I am still working thru the various aspects of acceptance myself. Take care, Bill

      • sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

        June 2, 2014 at 6:42 pm

        Bill – I’ve had more writing assignments over the years than I can remember. Some have been good and some not so good. The best writing assignment is one I keep myself. I keep a daily journal and that’s where I pour out my heart. I mine those journals from time to time and am always amazed at what I’ve learned over the years.

        • FlaHam

          June 2, 2014 at 8:47 pm

          Sheri, I won’t lie, I was brow beat into starting this blog, my wife was after me to start for almost 2 yrs before I got up off my ass and started. It has helped me greatly. It has given me a forum from which to speak, and try and make sense to what is happening to me. It has allowed me to be compassionate, and to receive compassion. These are gifts that can never be repaid. And I have folks like you to thank for accepting me into your worlds. I say all of this to say writing will do the soul some good. Keep at it. Take care, Bill

          • sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

            June 8, 2014 at 2:34 am

            Bill, I couldn’t agree with you more. I’ve been keeping a journal since my grandmother gave me one for my tenth birthday. I consider the discipline that came with that gift to be invaluable. In a way, my blog has become an extension of my journal.

            • FlaHam

              June 8, 2014 at 6:04 am

              Sheri, I am coming up on my second anniversary of writing my blog, I wish I had been a writer before I started. Heck it took almost a year of writing the blog before I realized how much I enjoyed it, and how much I needed it. Take care, Bill


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