How I Feel for the Week Ending 08.08.14

07 Aug

I missed posting last week, because I was busy and was putting it off, and didn’t really have anything of substance to address. Hell I don’t know why that stopped me, there are lots of weeks I don’t have anything of substance to report but I do anyway.  Today’s music selections start with Toby Keith’s “Blue Bedroom,” and yes you will get a running commentary of the music during this report.  My last reported dated 7.25.14 spoke of the upcoming invasion of my wife’s good friends.  Well they have come and gone, and a wonderful time was had by all.  It wasn’t as difficult as it could have been, and I wouldn’t have missed their visit for any reason.

It has been a particularly trying 2 weeks since my last report breathing.  The heat, the humidity, has caused a constant issue with SOB.  As for breathing the only time I really have felt comfortable at all is just sitting on my ass, but I refuse to do that.  I have managed to keep up with (my self-imposed) chores, and I have stopped and taken breaks when I needed them, which really has been often.  There has only been a very slight increase in coughing the last couple days.  But that cough has been for the most part very unproductive.  The IPod random selector has been in strange mode today, I started off country, and have had 3 selections from Lewis Black (my favorite comedian) intermixed with Jimi Hendrix, Journey, CSN and Aretha Franklin.  These shifts in music really change the pace of my head LOL. Yet at the end of the day when I am brushing my teeth I will have a massive coughing spasm, which is extremely productive.  It’s almost like a pre precursor to an exacerbation, and while I am not down playing the significance of the words, I am not ready to race around shouting the warning.  But I am keeping a very sharp watch.   The only other ongoing medical issue is that I have had a super low grade headache for what seems like weeks.  It is more an annoyance than anything.  It doesn’t worsen in the bright sunlight, and being in the dark makes no difference and playing my music loud has no impact.  It’s just there.  Yes I have advised Hospice and my team of doctors, no one seems overly concerned because by my own admission other than a tiny bit of annoyance it’s not a problem.

I had only one medical appointment this week which was with Doc Head. Without going into a single detail, we talked, and it was good.  Oh what the heck, we talked about my Blog. Last week I was stood up by Hospice.  The nurse that comes to my home weekly and checks me had advised me that she wouldn’t be coming last Thursday, BUT I would be visited by Hospice.  Well that didn’t happen.  So after a stern talking to this morning I was advised that in the future, if I haven’t been contacted by Hospice in a timely fashion regarding an upcoming “scheduled” visit to call them and put them on the spot.  I am quite capable of doing that, and in the future I will abide to this unless circumstances beyond my control prevail. 

I will also admit I am relying on the Morphine for the relief it gives for my SOB.  I have yet to use the maximum of 6 doses on any given day, but will admit that there are times I look forward to that next dose. 

Considering everything available to me, I am going to rank myself as 2.5 for the week.  Of course this rating doesn’t include the normal aches and pains of everyday life. Sidebar; we have been listening to Billie Holiday, Moody Blues, Montgomery Gentry, Nickelback, Cream, Eric Clapton (playing blues), Ray Charles and Muddy Waters during this session. As for my mental attitude I am a 9 this week.  I woke up each day so far, and have found more reasons to smile than frown.  It is difficult to be better than that.

So to wrap up week ending 08.08.14, we are ranking the week an overall 2.5, with a 9 on the attitude scale.  So we can move on to the vitals for the week ending 08.08.14

  • INR = 2.6 taken 07.28.14 – no change in meds

  • O2 level @ 2.5 LPM = 95 taken 8.07.14 — but during the last 2 weeks I have found myself to be as low as 79 pct a few times.  A few deep breaths and some afrin seem to clear things up and my O2 level jumps back into the 90’s

  • Peak Flow = 210 taken 8.07.14

  • BP = 110/64 taken 8.07.14

  • Heart rate = 95 taken 8.07.14

  • Temp = 98.5 taken 08.07.14

  • Weight = 263 taken 08.07.14

So ends the technical aspect of my “How I Feel This Week” report for the week ending 08.08.14, moving now to the word of the week discussion aspect. This week I will be giving my 2nd official report on the Hospice “experience.”

On June 1, 2014 I posted my 1st official report on being under the care of Hospice.  At the time I advised that it wouldn’t be a regular weekly report but one that I would share from time to time. Going into my 6th month under the care of Hospice I thought I should provide a view from the front row.  Since my involvement with Hospice there has been only 2 weeks where someone from Hospice did not visit my home.  One was planned, the other I fell thru the cracks.  I am sure if I were displaying serious signs of illness I wouldn’t dropped thru the crack.   Folks shit happens and sometimes the best laid plans don’t work.  I was busy last Thursday and them not visiting allowed me to get other things done.    That is my biggest gripe.  Not bad for a 6 month period.  Now on to the nuts and bolts of this report.  Each week I can expect to be contacted by Hospice at least twice.  One is a call that comes in around 930am each Thursday.  This call is a medicine check.  I am called by a cheerful volunteer that gathers the needed info and passes it on.  The reason for the Thursday morning call is that allows Hospice time to fill the medicine, and deliver it to my home by 5pm on Friday.  They make 2 attempts to deliver each Friday then they will call you until they contact you, and then make the delivery.  I know this because I am so anal and I will call for a prescription refill before it is needed. I will make the refill request even if I have plenty to get thru the weekend.  So getting the delivery is not an issue as long as I have it by Monday or Tuesday at the latest. While it may not be an issue to me, it sure is to them.  If I say I need meds it becomes their mission to get me the medicines before COB (close of business) on Friday.  They are always supper polite, and I have never been asked if I can wait until Monday.  There is only one place I get better service that’s my Publix Pharmacy, but Publix makes me pay, and they don’t deliver so it becomes a push.  The 2nd call is my nurse scheduling my weekly visit.  This visit consists of my nurse taking my vitals, and “chatting” with me, I am sure part of the chat is to check the status of my head.  Clearly (at least to me) they are checking for signs of depression, or negative drug reactions, making sure I haven’t fallen, that my mobility isn’t an issue, and probably several more little things I haven’t quite figured out.

Each month I am also called and visited by a counselor, again to check me out.  Offering to have volunteers come in to do chores around the house, to do some grocery shopping for me, or just to sit and visit.  So far I have passed on these offers.  As I have stated before I can still manage my chores they take far longer, but I still get them done.  I go to the grocery store 3 or 4 times a week to pick up odd and ends, and to flirt.  I also use the aisles as my exercise area, pushing the shopping cart up and down up and down up and down. I can only walk by the ladies hygiene area so many times before management watches LOL LOL. JUST KIDDING!!!.  But those trips to Publix are therapeutic.  My best buddy Art comes over at least twice a week to BS and play cribbage.  While I appreciate the offered services, until I absolutely need them I will manage on my own and with the support of my wife, family and friends.  Sidebar; it has been an extremely interesting day of music, with some comedy thrown in.  I am especially tuned to the head banging music of Marlyn Manson followed immediately by Reba McIntire, that may account for why some of my post seems disjointed.

I have yet to use all the offered services that are available to me from Hospice, but as time passes and my condition changes I am sure I will have my opportunities.    So far I have only spoke to those things I have 1st hand knowledge of, if you have a question please feel free to ask.  I will find out and let you know how it would be handled by these folks if or when I need that service.

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


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35 responses to “How I Feel for the Week Ending 08.08.14

  1. MyDailyMinefield

    August 7, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    With your eclectic taste in music, you for sure need some Pearl Jam on your IPad. Stay feeling good!

    • FlaHam

      August 8, 2014 at 7:08 am

      My Daily; You are 100 percent correct I should have some Pearl Jam somewhere on my IPod, but I don’t and I will fix that today. But in my defense, I wasn’t a Pearl Jam fan the decades ago they were the biggest band in Rock, and my tastes and likes have changed since then. So in honor of you I have just added Jeremy and Black to my IPod this morning. I am sure they will be will be springing up at unexpected times as I write. Take care. Thank you, Bill

  2. Emily Grace

    August 8, 2014 at 8:34 am

    Bill, going from Manson to Reba is an earful! 🙂

    I think your candid discussion of hospice is just great. People need to know it’s a big factor in QUALITY of life. I’m so glad to hear you are being checked on and cared for regularly (excepting last Thursday:).

    • FlaHam

      August 8, 2014 at 9:41 am

      Emily, That’s the chance I take everytime I put my IPod on random play. I get some of the strangest music swings in history. It is enough to make my head spin. But then the good part is, I hear a song I forgot was there. That makes me smile. Take care, have a wonderful day. Bill

  3. The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

    August 8, 2014 at 9:36 am

    It’s hard to read that the weather is causing you greater distress and then I get to the part with the ladies hygiene area with the lol and… your incredible good attitude inspires and amazes me. I wish I lived closer and could come and lol with you. After a very hot humid spell here, it’s cooling down and I sure do hope the same is happening out your way to help ease the breathing. Always hoping for your comfort, my friend. Always holding you in my heart. Hugs & love to you. ❤

    • FlaHam

      August 8, 2014 at 9:46 am

      Paulette, I would love to have you come shopping with me, hell I would love it you just visiting. This is Florida, we really have to seasons, 49 weeks of hot and humid and 3 weeks of just hot. LOL LOL. It’s not quite that bad but it is damn close LOL. I have been fortunate in that my good attitude was something I think I was born with, and it has carried me thru many a rough spot my entire life. Now even more so, but again I was blessed with it. Having friends like you makes it easier to have a good attitude as well. So thank you for your participation. Love Bill xoxo

      • The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

        August 8, 2014 at 10:20 am

        Shopping with you would be so much fun, especially when you leave the goodies for the supermarket workers. Smiles all over on that. 🙂

        • FlaHam

          August 8, 2014 at 12:31 pm

          Paulette, You are such a sweetheart. Take care, Bill

  4. DeeDee Granata

    August 8, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    You leave goodies for supermarket workers? I’m intrigued. I love Lewis Black. He’s smart-funny. My father-in-law walks through Raley’s a couple of times a day for his exercise. Holy smokes they love him there. When I write a check they say “Are you related to Frank?” “I love Frank.” They even called his son-in-law (lives in the same town) and the ambulance when he went down one day in their parking lot. I could write a whole book about that man. He’s very colorful. Anyways, this is your story, not his, so sorry about that. Glad your attitude is a 9. You inspire me to at least try to be nice. Ha.

    • FlaHam

      August 8, 2014 at 12:38 pm

      Dee, Your comments reflect you, and if you want to talk about Frank, your love for him, and the kind of human being he is, and what he means to you, I am proud that you chose my blog to do so. And if in doing so it gives you one of the good things for the please do so. Smiling, yes I have been buying cookies and little cakes for the grocery staff for years. It’s my effort at a random act of kindness. I have seen countless times these wonderful folks be treated like crap for no reason. Which is all the reason I need to be nice. Besides I love flirting with the checkout ladies. Take care and have a great day. Bill

  5. Chatter Master

    August 8, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    I notice the weight dropping? On purpose or just happening?

    I was going to say maybe you SHOULD take it easy and sit on your ass when the breathing is hard. BUT I would NOT want someone to tell ME to sit still if I didn’t want to sit still!!!!! So get those chores done Buddy! 😉

    • FlaHam

      August 9, 2014 at 5:58 am

      Yes Ma’am, I will get my chores done LOL LOL. It’s comforting to know I am not the only stubborn one among us. I have fought tooth and nail to not accommodate this disease, that for me it is essential that I do these things. Right or wrong, whether it does me good or not. Giving in is always my last option. As for the weight, it is a combination of on purpose and just happening. I am eating less which is the easiest way to lose weight and that is working. But the further along this goes the harder it is to just eat. Strange as it may sound it’s a lot of work to eat a big meal. LMAO I wish it had been this difficult a million years ago, maybe I wouldn’t gotten so over weight. I hope you have a great weekend. Take care, Bill

  6. huntmode

    August 9, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Dear Bill, I echo everyone’s concern re your SOB these past two weeks. On the weight issue, I truly do understand how much energy it takes to eat, which until these last two years I didn’t have a clue. I do remember one of my doctors cautioning about that. I’m with Colleen – I’d tell you, but I sure as heck don’t want anybody telling me, so nix that! About the cough, why do you supposed it always strikes at coming up on bedtime – mine does the same. Last night was a doozy – had the cough, restless leg syndrome – heck! full out drumming of feet and unable to go to sleep – thank God that doesn’t happen often! Love you, Huntie

    • FlaHam

      August 10, 2014 at 6:34 am

      Huntie, I could lie and say that the SOB is something I can just deal with and blow it off, but the reality is that SOB is my single driving force. SOB determines what I can do, when I can do it, and at what level. But it is also part of the disease, a significant symptom that there is on escaping. So while I can’t ignore it, I can and still do work around it. Things take longer to do, so I budget more time. LMAO COPD is not a diet plan I would offer to anyone. But losing weight is a byproduct. My eating habits have changed purely because of my COPD. I eat less, and there is more time between meals. I try to have a good breakfast everyday, then I generally don’t eat again until dinner. For the most part lunch is a forgotten meal. If I do eat lunch then rarely do I have a significant dinner. And as I have said the “act” of eating, and as you have affirmed, takes a lot energy than most folks would ever consider. Late (for me) last night I posted a note in your chat box. From the moment I wake thru out the day my lungs remain in an upright position, I even sit in a leaning forward position for comfort. The result is that the crap that accumulates in my lungs during the day gathers in the bottom. I believe that when I first lay down in bed at night the crap in the bottom of my lungs shifts, thereby causing me try and cough it up. The next time you visit your doc, I would talk to him about the cough. His explanation will probably be a damn sight more accurate than mine LOL. Just so you know I also cough in the morning, again I think it is regards the shift in body position. The AM cough is not nearly as bad as the PM cough. Huntie, I hope this helps. Take care and be safe. Bill

      • huntmode

        August 10, 2014 at 2:01 pm

        Dear Bill, thank you for your hard earned wisdom and sage advice. As always, you help me.

        • FlaHam

          August 10, 2014 at 4:57 pm

          Hunt, Soft smile you have been with me a long way, and I know we will continue the journey together. I am so glad that you continue to find the value of my blog. I am truly glad that I have helped you, but please understand that sometimes wisdom and sage advice come from mistakes made LOL.. Take care, Bill

          • huntmode

            August 10, 2014 at 8:46 pm

            Well, all of mine do, Bill! 🙂

  7. sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

    August 9, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    Hi Bill – I’ve missed you. That’s my fault and not yours. It’s so good to read your blog and know you are pushing along and dealing with life. Honestly, at times I want to throw something at the wall but then I’d have to clean up the mess. You have so much courage and btw, Tom wants to know if you listen to The Squirrel Nut Zippers. I had to tell him about the mix of music! BTW, what have you decided about doing the short stories? Do you want me to have Russ e-mail you or do you want to talk first? Take good care of yourself and have a wonderful weekend. Sheri

    • FlaHam

      August 9, 2014 at 11:30 pm

      Sheri, Soft smile, it’s all good as they used to say. I can honestly say I don’t ever remember hearing “The Squirrel Nut Zippers,” that title alone would stick in my mind forever. I am glad you like that random grouping of songs, it was one of the stranger days. 5 minutes of Lewis Black between songs by Reba and anyone makes for a strange day. You do realize that sometimes it’s worth it to say F… it, and deal with the mess later. I know I have. If Russ thinks those stories I shared with you is somewhat close to what he is looking for sure, have him email me. I also think my weekly report is a good slice of life, it is a slice of mine that’s for sure. As always, thank you for your continued support, it really does help. Take care, Bill

      • sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

        August 10, 2014 at 12:54 am

        Tom tells me you are missing out on some fab music without The Squirrel’s. The other day I was going on and on about Bill this and Bill that. Tom thought I was talking about a friend of ours who lives here in town. We had a good laugh and Tom suggested if I wanted to share something regarding you, I’m now to call you Florida Bill. The state identifier started because I have 3 friends with the Name of Mary. Tom said I was having too much fun! I offered to help him set up his own blog but he’s not interested.

        • FlaHam

          August 10, 2014 at 6:10 am

          Sheri, LOL I don’t mind being “Florida Bill” at all, especially when you think of all the other things I have been called over the years. Tell Tom I will go to the ITunes store and see if I can scare up some “Squirrel’s” tunes and give them a test drive. I was informed by a reader that I didn’t seem to have any Pearl Jam (he was right) so I did go add a couple of Pearl Jams. I am just saying that if the Squirrels work out they will end up on my IPod. You can tell Tom that my wife browbeat and abused me for 2 years before I caved in and started my blog, and I am grateful each day since I started that she did. I am very sure Tom has some worth while stories to share in how he has dealt with his COPD. Take care, Bill

          • sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

            August 10, 2014 at 7:29 pm

            Bill – if Tom had his way, the two of you would be headed to LV to see a Blue Man production or something equally entertaining. Unfortunately for Tom, the squirrels no longer perform live. The last time he saw them was in NC in 2002. He went to the concert with 4 women I worked with and they all professed to have a great time. He had the beads from the concert hanging from his rear-view mirror for at least 5 years.
            Tom’s Bipolar. We asked the doc about possible formation of COPD and so far the first doctor we asked said no. However, I have 4 more doctors to raise the question to. Have a great weekend, what’s left of it. Sheri

            • FlaHam

              August 10, 2014 at 10:22 pm

              Sheri, Tom sounds like a hell of a guy, and I am sure we would have a great time on a roadtrip. And if his last concert experience was with 4 woman. My dreams don’t even work to that level. LOL LOL Sheri, what symptoms does he show, what is medical history like, are there any underlining illnesses that could be having an impact. My COPD developed over a 20 year period before it was “officially diagnosed” and some of the circumstances leading up to it, I might still be unaware. I would think Tom has enough on his plate being bipolar. What would you do if you found Tom to have COPD? I am just curious. All my best, Bill

              • sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

                August 11, 2014 at 12:07 pm

                Bill, without a doubt you and Tom would have a rip-roaring good time. You both have the quick wit and fun loving spirit. He’s been sick the past 4 years and I’m going to blog about that soon because it didn’t have to be that way. The only reason I’m asking about COPD for him is that I read everything you, Huntie and others write and Tom smoked a little over 20 years (1 1/2 paks) and he stopped cold turkey the night we met. I stopped Jack Daniel’s the night we met.
                Tom is seeing an allergist tomorrow and yes his sinus have been serious for several years (as in since I’ve known him). Then when we saw the Otolaryngologist last week, he offered up that much of Tom’s cough and morning issues had to do with gastric reflux and problems in is esophagus. The week after we see the allergy specialist, we see the gastroenterologist for him to have a ph Probe. Then it’s back to his internist. In the meantime he’s doing well with cardio rehab.
                The poor guy has literally been to hell and back and I’m still tearing down doors to get him the best help possible. Thanks for your care and concern. Sheri

                • FlaHam

                  August 11, 2014 at 6:37 pm

                  Sheri, From your description of Tom, I suspect we would have been good running mates. I truly believe that. There is no doubt that Tom is a hell of a guy. His having to run the gauntlet of Doc’s to resolve the many issues is pure hell. For both of your sakes I pray that Tom doesn’t have COPD because that is a good one to take off the table. With issues he has dealt with, and those he is still dealing with knowing COPD isn’t on the plate will be a very large emotional lift. You take care and we will chat soon. Bill

                  • sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

                    August 12, 2014 at 3:54 pm

                    Loved the chat. Some are unnerved when Tom jumps in on my telephone conversations. Consider yourself one of the great guys. Tom doesn’t do it with everyone but he also knows how much I like and respect you.

                  • FlaHam

                    August 13, 2014 at 8:11 am

                    Sheri, Loved the conversation as well, and Tom can jump in with his 2 or 4 cents anytime he wants. Heck he doesn’t need 2 cents to jump in. Sheri the like and respect is a mutual feeling. I have enjoyed getting to know you. Take care, Bill

  8. Bruce McVey

    August 12, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    Hi Bill,

    We’ve met at church a time or two, I’m sure. I’m the guy who had his leg amputated last year. Anyway, I’ve enjoyed reading your posts and admire your courage! I have nearly 2000 songs on my iPod ranging from Beethoven, to Patsy Cline, to Tupac Shakur, to Elvis, to Guns N Roses, to Miley Cyrus. If you’re ever looking for some new tunes, hit me up and I’ll be happy to send you some!

    All the best.

    • FlaHam

      August 12, 2014 at 8:22 pm

      Bruce, I normally go to the 830a service, if your there I will meet up with you to properly introduce myself. It will be a pleasure to meet you. Thank you for you kind words, I truly appreciate them. I know you have had your own health struggles and sometimes it can be a … well you know. I am looking for some G&R “Welcome to my Nightmare” for one. Would have to think further on that. Beethoven’s Fifth and Ninth wouldn’t be bad to have either. We can compare notes on music taste sometime. Take care, Bill

  9. benzeknees

    August 13, 2014 at 3:32 am

    I get my exercise running to doctor’s appts. & going to physio for my damaged shoulder. So far, there have been very few weeks where I haven’t had to see some doctor or go for some test. There’s a long walk to the elevator, then through underground parking. Luckily I have a disabled parking pass so I can park close to the doors of wherever I’m going – then do the whole thing in reverse.

  10. Clowie

    August 13, 2014 at 8:58 am

    There’s some interesting music in that mix!

    • FlaHam

      August 13, 2014 at 10:33 am

      Clowie, LMBO that’s what happens when you put it on random, it truly becomes random. Sometimes my head explodes, and I have to switch it off random. Thank you for the comment, it did make me smile. Take care, Bill

      • Clowie

        August 13, 2014 at 11:14 am

        There could be some very strange combinations if my bipeds’ music collection was put on random!

        • FlaHam

          August 13, 2014 at 11:52 am

          Smiling, without a doubt Clowie. Take care Biped Bill


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