How I Feel for the Week Ending 06.06.14…

07 Jun

Good morning folks, it is Friday around noon and I am in the middle of being stood up by the Maytag Repairman.  The original scheduled time was for between 8:30 and 9:30am, when 10am came and when I called the company and had the pleasure of chatting with a snotty receptionist who informed me I was wrong the appointment was scheduled for between 8am and Noon.  Well noon has come and gone, and rather than go ballistic, I thought I would start my weekly report which should be done and in your hands before SundayOn a musical note in the background we are listening to some Stonegarden, which I am sure well be just a few of the songs I report on today.  BTW I did see “A Million Ways to Die in the West,” I loved it; I would pay money to see it again to catch the parts I missed the 1st time thru. 

A fair evaluation of the week would be a solid 2.75.  The things that ail me continue to ail me.  SOB is an ass kicker, which I made worse yesterday standing over the grill cooking some great chicken, hotdogs and hamburgers.   The normal aspects of my life have changed little.  I am sure the progression of the disease continues no matter what I do, but if I stay out of the hospital or avoid an exacerbation, it doesn’t seem to progress as rapidly.  So for me it really is almost impossible to notice any significant decline from week to week.  I will go on to say that when the time comes that I can notice a significant change in my condition from week to week, that the end of retirement is just getting real close.  So be assured, I have noticed no real difference between last week and this week. 

Also last week I spoke of waking almost violently, and having to chill sometimes for as much as 30 or 40 minutes before trying to sleep again.  I spoke of how my wife dropped a dime on me to the Hospice, and that I was given additional bedtime medicine to help resolve that issue.  What I failed to disclose what that the medicine is.  So in an effort to maintain full disclosure I now take 0.25ml Morphine Sulfate orally at bedtime.  This has helped significantly, but has taken some getting used to.  The 1st couple days I took this medicine I felt like my butt was dragging all the next day.  Not so bad now. I had one doctor appointment this week, and that was with Doc Derm, I was given some lotion, and told to use twice a day, and some moisturizer, you know the drill. I am 64 played golf for over 40 years always drove with my left elbow out the window, after you abuse yourself you pay a price.  No fretting allowed!!!  There’s nothing going on here. The only other medical related item was picking up a new pair of glasses.  No hospice visit this week our schedules did not match up. Sidebar we have been listening to AC/DC, Eagles, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Creed, Dixie Chicks, thru this portion of the report, sometimes I get caught up listening and not typing. This upcoming week I have appointments with Doc Head, and my 1st quarterly appointment with Hospice to determine if I remain eligible for Hospice care.

Just like last week, and it is still boring but my general health remains approximately the same from week to week. The coughing is about the same, tiredness seems normal this week; SOB seems no worse except when I was standing over the grill. 

Let get the vitals out-of-the-way for the week ending 06.06.14

  • INR = 2.3 taken 05.19.14 – next test most likely the will be 06.06.14

  • O2 level @ 2.5 LPM = 92 taken moments ago, and has been all over the place this last week, a couple of reading as high as 97, but several in the mid 80’s and one as low as 78 over the past week

  • Peak Flow = 275 taken moments ago, and that is as high as it’s been in weeks, generally I have a 225 – 240 range.  Must be a good day for sitting at my desk.

  • BP = 100/61 taken 05.29.14 – this was the last time BP was taken

  • Heart rate = 101 taken at this moment 101

  • Temp = 98.57 taken 06.05.14

  • Weight = 274 taken 06.06.14 – that was after the feast yesterday, I knew I had no business getting on that damn scale.

So ends the technical aspect of my “How I Feel This Week” report for the week ending 06.06.14, moving now to the word of the week discussion aspect. A very dear friend and someone I respect greatly did not buy in at all (or at least mostly not at all) on my discussion on acceptance.  She spoke to me briefly on denial, and why that worked for her.  So out of respect for her, I decided to speak of DENIAL for just a bit.  As always we will start with a definition of denial.  Our definition is taken from this week.

Denial – de·ni·al – noun 1. A refusal to agree or comply with a statement; contradiction. 2. The rejection of the truth of a proposition, doctrine, etc: a denial of God’s existence.  3. A negative reply; rejection of a request.  4. A refusal to acknowledge; renunciation; disavowal: a denial of one’s leader.  5. See also defense mechanism a psychological process by which painful truths are not admitted into an individual’s consciousness.  6. Abstinence; self-denial

The truth is a lot of folks are in denial. Some folks will stand on a stack of bibles and claim they aren’t ill, will claim their world is perfect, will assert that everything is 100 pct okay, and will do so right up to the very end. They hope thru their denial that it will in fact become reality.  Science, the preacher, the best friend, the spouse, and a teams of doctors and test results, can’t convince them of their situation.  Then at the end some have the “Oh, Shit!” moment. When the reality of their situation hits them dead in the face, some look back and some regret, others don’t, some second guess their choices and then show all manner of regret.  Still others try to cram months and years of preparation into days and weeks. Sometimes denial is done out of fear, that if you don’t accept it, it won’t happen.  I have a good friend who is in denial to a degree that I can’t imagine.  Her mom had breast cancer, and had a double mastectomy, and to date both of her sisters have also had breast cancer, and some level of surgery and other treatments, (all have survived so far) yet my friend (age 63) has never had a mammogram (or hadn’t as of 12 yrs ago).  The only reason I know this is that she admitted to me. At the time of the conversation she wasn’t planning on have a mammogram, for fear that she would find out like her sisters and mom that she also had cancer.  Folks, that’s denial to a degree I can’t even imagine. Please don’t take this route. Sidebar, this has been a good music day, I have just heard Stonegarden again, Eric Clapton, Trace Adkins, 3 Doors Down, Sarah McLachlan, Ronnie Rathers, Match Box 20, Savoy Brown, Rob Zombie, Ray Charles, and Dep Leppard.  Just for my Canadian friends not one song by Nickelback, Yet !

I have another friend who claims she is in denial.  But I think in my friend’s case she isn’t in denial at all (though she claims she is), I believe her to be beyond the acceptance level, and those she is surrounded by understand her plight, understand  her being sick, understand she doesn’t need reminders. She is at a point where she is enjoying life as completely as she can she just refuses to be bothered by the disease anymore.  Maybe that is denial, but she has the love and support of her spouse, and her kids. What more could she need? Why should she worry about something she can’t change?   Why does it need to be a discussion point? Yet she continues to remind herself by maintaining her active membership of the Daily Strength Discussion Group for COPD and Emphysema giving support to others that need it, sharing her strength, giving encouragement when and how she can, and she even shares a bit of her experiences with her disease.  She clearly does not demonstrate a classic case of denial.  She makes me proud, her strength, her character, her caring show that she isn’t denying a thing. She has been a giant supporter since my earliest days being part of the Daily Strength Discussion Group and we continue to share email and hugs on a regular basis.  If I ever slip into denial I truly hope I do so just has she has.

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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28 responses to “How I Feel for the Week Ending 06.06.14…

  1. benzeknees

    June 7, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    Nice to hear no noticeable change in your condition this week! My weeks are filling up with doctor’s appointments – cardiologist, then MIBI test to determine if my heart is damaged; psychiatrist, then home again to face the consequences of changes to my meds; FINALLY the respiratory specialist, been waiting over 6 months for this appt., not looking forward to the tests; counselling intakes, endocrinologist, etc., etc. I am more busy lately than a one-armed paper hanger! Thanks for the referral to Daily Strength, I am enjoying finding out more & more about this disease. This week alone I learned about heightened sense of smell being linked to lung disease!

    • FlaHam

      June 8, 2014 at 12:49 pm

      Benze, Doctor appointments aren’t a bad thing, it’s the friggin billing offices that continue to make you sick. LOL. All kidding aside, you are seeing who you need to see, you are building relationships with your doctors, and that is the important thing. Through these efforts you will better understand why you going thru what you do, and with their help you will find ways to combat it. DS has been a life saver for me, I joined about the time I started my blog, both have given me strength, and both lend me support. You to will find it there. Take care, Bill

      • benzeknees

        June 8, 2014 at 1:53 pm

        We don’t have to worry about the billing here in Canada Bill, just the long wait lists!

  2. Chatter Master

    June 7, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    Bill, you are absolutely amazing. Your ability to look at what “is” and dissect it to see what you are dealing with. What you will be dealing with. And processing all of this information in a way for us to understand what you are going through…. to help US. To help any who may be going through something similar or knows someone going through something similar. This is a real gift for us. I’m glad the week is holding steady at 2.75.

    And I knew NOT to step on my scale this morning after our “Breakfast For Dinner” feast our friends made for us last night.


    • FlaHam

      June 8, 2014 at 12:45 pm

      Colleen, When I started this blog it was my dream that through my words I would reach out and touch others, and my words would help them in some small way, but it was a pipe dream, it was a fantasy. But amazingly it has become reality, I haven’t created a magic potion that makes COPD go away, but I have created a forum from which to speak, and thru the folks like you and many others, I have come to find that my dream is in fact becoming a reality, that my words, my experience, my thoughts, have helped folks deal with COPD or their disease in a better way. I cherish that, and the folks that support my efforts, and those that get support from my efforts. Thank you for contributing to my fantasy becoming a reality. Take care, Bill xo

      • Chatter Master

        June 8, 2014 at 7:23 pm

        You definitely made it that reality Bill. I’m glad I could be part of this. 🙂

        • FlaHam

          June 8, 2014 at 10:17 pm

          Colleen, your encouragement played a major role. Thanks again, Bill

  3. The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

    June 7, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    Very insightful post! Denial is omnipresent and powerful. BTW: we’re getting Maytag products this week as well. Hope you have a great rest of the day and Sunday. Hugs & love, ❤

    • FlaHam

      June 8, 2014 at 12:38 pm

      Paulette, Well make sure you get the extended warranty on your Maytag products LOL LOL. That has saved us a bit of cash so far. Writing about Denial was one of the more difficult posts I have done. I was forced to look at it from a perspective unique to me, and that caused a lot of thinking inside and outside the box. I thought it was a very good post too, and I can only hope that it struck the right cord with some folks. I hope your Sunday is wonderful. We when to Church earlier, and have a funeral this afternoon, so we will experience all of the emotions today. Take care, Bill — hugs and kisses —

      • The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

        June 8, 2014 at 12:58 pm

        Sending an extra special hugs that the not-so-good emotions pass quickly. Holding you in my heart that you’re okay. ❤

        • FlaHam

          June 8, 2014 at 6:30 pm

          Paulette, Thank you. Take care, Bill

  4. sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

    June 8, 2014 at 3:10 am

    Bill, I always love reading your blog. If it weren’t 2 a.m. and I have insomnia, I’d have made myself a latte before reading your blog. I always feel as though I’m having a visit with a good friend. I’m still working on ‘Expectations’ from last week! For me, denial is associated with my favorite nail polish color, ‘The River of Denial.’ I’ll simply have to face my real denial later but I know the list is long.

    • FlaHam

      June 8, 2014 at 5:49 am

      Sheri, Thank you for your continued interest. It tickles me when I see someone say they love my blog. Words I really never expected to see, but have come to truly appreciate. I think the “word or phrase” part of my weekly “How I Feel” post has become the important part of the post. There I seem to touch more folks, make more folks think, or express for some thoughts they may have been holding back. I am beginning to believe this is where I am the most helpful. I am sure in time you will find a way to admit and cope with those things you currently chose not to. Please take care, Bill

  5. DeeDee Granata

    June 8, 2014 at 7:25 am

    Tears in my eyes, and one rolling down my cheek. Love you. Love that we are friends. Thank you.

    • FlaHam

      June 8, 2014 at 12:19 pm

      Dee, I have learned so much from you on so many subjects. You have been an inspiration, and will continue to be. Take care, Bill

  6. DeeDee Granata

    June 8, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    So, love you is easily spoken by me. Love you as the good friend you are. Definitely do not want that taken the wrong way. Glad we are friends. Hope I didn’t say the wrong thing here. Sorry?

    • FlaHam

      June 8, 2014 at 6:27 pm

      DeeDee, If you keep making a todo about it, someone is bound to take it the wrong way. I knew what you meant LOL. Relax, so did they, whomever they are. Take care, Bill

  7. DeeDee Granata

    June 8, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    Probably care about you is a better way to say it.

    • FlaHam

      June 8, 2014 at 6:26 pm

      DeeDee, Now this is something you totally don’t have to worry about. Please I know how you feel. Besides I use Love a lot as well, and to me there are various levels of love, and I love you but not the same as I love my wife. Be safe, Bill xo

  8. Marlyn

    June 10, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    Oh what I wouldn’t give for just a little denial….LMSAO:)

    • FlaHam

      June 10, 2014 at 4:40 pm

      Marlyn, I know, please take care, Bill

  9. huntmode

    June 11, 2014 at 12:30 am

    Hi Bill, I was so hoping I was the last woman you spoke of – sigh, she has kids and a spouse, so clearly not me, but I shall work on becoming like her. There are areas of the COPD where I can’t tell if it is acceptance or denial. Smile. Truly though. And areas where I simply have to kick my butt for not doing more. This post was wonderful. I have met many wonderful people thru your blog, Bill (not to mention how much I enjoy you and your writings). Thanks always for what you are giving to us,Bill. I know you get a lot out of it, but what you are giving to us is an amazing, comforting, kick butt blog. 🙂 ❤

    • FlaHam

      June 11, 2014 at 11:05 am

      Huntie, You have an exceptional amount of courage, and in my view you have made it through the acceptance stage with just the minimal amount of mess and stress. You know that the only thing you do (which I feel is not in your best interest) is your continued smoking, and being only one cigarette away from being addicted again, I know what you’re going through and I refuse to lecture you on smoking. You will stop when it is your time, and not before. I tried to say (probably poorly) there is a level of acceptance even in denial, so it would be safe to remark that there is a level of denial even in acceptance. The words you offer to me in praise, of my writing, of how I have reached out to others and how others respond to me all play a major role in my continued acceptance. Without the strength I gather from others it would be so much more difficult. So I continue to write for me and for you’ll, it helps us both. Please take care, and understand I am here for you for the long haul not just a short trip. Take care, Bill

      • huntmode

        June 11, 2014 at 5:57 pm

        Darl’n Bill, you just busted my public profile wide open on the smoking… I’ve never said one way or another, wrastling with it on my own and with friends’ support. I never feel I have the right to the praise that comes in, especially the bit on being courageous, as I have not let go of the smoking. You better be here for my long haul, Bill or I’ll get cranky…. (!) xxoo Huntie

        • FlaHam

          June 11, 2014 at 7:00 pm

          Huntie, I am so so so sorry I busted you, you realize it was not my intent nor desire to embarrass you. Smiling, If I remember correctly you busted me so big time for not gracefully accepting the praise you reaped upon me for that blue ribbon award. Stopping smoking is the single hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Accepting that I have a terminal disease, and writing about it has been a lot easier that stopping smoking. So as far as I am concerned you have nothing to be ashamed of, and you will stop smoking when you know it is time. And I will be here each and every stop and I will NEVER stop encouraging you or speaking of your courage. And it will be my pleasure to be here as long as possible. Just never give up on yourself, because I won’t. Take care, Bill xoxo

  10. Wanda

    June 15, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    Bill–another wonderful post.

    It seems to me that rational acceptance, even of COPD and all its terrible effects, is part and parcel of who you are. As a caring person, I believe you are committed to ensuring your affairs are in order no matter when or how your “end of retirement” occurs. It seems to me that, in your case, the opposite of acceptance is stubbornness, not denial–you know what you are up against but despite that, you remain determined to fight every inch, every step of the way to retain and maintain your as much of your lifestyle as possible.

    • FlaHam

      June 15, 2014 at 9:18 pm

      Wanda, you are one of my single biggest supporters and have been since day one. You watched me fight back and bowl again, you have seen me every step of the way. It is the encouragement, support and love I get from you and others that make this easier for me, that allows take and maintain the high road. I do the best I can every day. Soft smile that means a lot to me, knowing when I look in the mirror I gave it my best. I did all I could, and I did it for the right reasons. Thank you my lovely friend. Love Bill


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