How I Feel for the Week Ending 8.22.14

22 Aug

For the week ending 08.22.14, it still quiet time, my jukebox is back, and when I sit in my office it is blasting, but I am using my wife’s computer because I really hate the keyboard on the laptop. I will continue to use her computer until I get WORD installed on the new computer. 

Since last week the coughing seems to have lessened, as I sit here and coughing up fur ball (that’s a joke folks). The mucus which I am coughing is school paste white, so I don’t believe there is anything further or unusual going on in my lungs.  If you remember last week I thought I was going thru a minor exacerbation and during my appointment with Hospice today, my nurse seemed to confirm that suspicion.  The heat and humidity is taking its toll, but I am not the only one who is suffering.  Normal healthy people are also bending to the will of the continuing summer here in Florida and elsewhere across the country.  To avoid the worst of it I stay inside in the A/C, as I suggest you do as well. 

The Hospice nurse also noted and said she would advise the doctor of my not using the Trazodone any longer for the reasons stated last week.  She went on to say that sometimes Trazodone is ineffective as a sleeping aid.  So I will be staying with the Ambien for the time being.

During today’s appointment I was also going to address how I felt I had been blown off last week, besides forgetting to address it, I believe last week was the aberration which happened as a result of changing personal and a recent “right-sizing” at my Hospice.  I am going to keep my mouth shut, because in retrospect I believe I had a burr up my butt last week.

On Monday I meet with Doc Head, it was a productive meeting and the hour when quickly. I did show her the gift I was given in July and she was extremely impressed.  As I am every time I look at it, and because it sits in front of my monitor I see it often.  I was also supposed to see Doc Lungs Monday, but that didn’t happen, I had too many spoons in the bowl, and I didn’t want the 2:20 appointment because he is generally running behind by that point in the day.  So I will see him this coming Monday (I will also have my INR checked). This change will put off the conversation regarding my rapid respirations, until next Monday.  I did speak briefly with the Hospice nurse regarding this but we didn’t come to any conclusions nor did we agree to any change in current actions. Being honest I have been advised there are other stronger drugs available that can alleviate this, but they come with a price (like; driving while using them), so I will be staying with the morphine for the time being, because in my mind it is the lessor of the evils.

All things considered I am going to rate this week a 2.50 physically, and a 9 on the mental meter.  If it were not for the heat and humidity and the SOB that causes this week could have been a 2.75.   

Let’s get the vitals out-of-the-way for the week ending 08/22/14

  • INR = 2.6 taken 07/28/14 – next INR reading scheduled for 08.25.14

  • O2 level @ 2.5 LPM = 92 taken on 08/15/14

  • Peak Flow = 210 taken 08/21/14

  • BP = 118/80 taken 08/21/14

  • Heart rate = 103 taken 08/21/14

  • Temp = 99.0 taken 08/21/14

  • Weight = 258 taken 08/21/14

So ends the technical aspect of my “How I Feel This Week” report for the week ending 08/22/14, moving now to the word of the week discussion aspect.  This week I want to spend a few of your minutes talking about “Mad.”  As usual I have gone to the internet for an “official” definition.  This weeks’ definition comes to us via I am providing the link because the definition and explanation are so much longer than I anticipated so I will be using the Noun and verb component of the word.

MAD – noun — an angry or ill-tempered period, mood, or spell.

MAD — verb — (used with object), madded, madding. Archaic. to make mad.

MAD – verb — (used without object), madded, madding. Archaic. to be, become, or act mad.

MAD — Idioms — mad as a hatter, completely insane.

A few weeks ago I wrote about angry and anger, those 2 words caused a ton of wonderful thought-provoking comments, dialog and a lot of discussions between myself and blog buddies, as well as, my friends on Daily Strength.  Much more than I expected, which caused me to think that I may have been looking to write about being mad almost as much as I wanted to write about being angry.  Because there is a significant difference between being angry and being mad, but are many times they can be interchangeable.

Mad is unique to the individual, we all get mad, we get mad at all manner of things, incidents, events, individuals, poor driving, spouses, children and the list goes on into infinity.  But what many of the terminally ill people I have shared comments/discussions/thoughts with find is that rarely are we mad about dying. We have reached that point where dying isn’t the issue, it’s a result.  Yes we get emotional about dying, none of us wants to die, but dying isn’t the root problem.  The terminally ill have the same problems/issues as a healthy individual, we all get mad when we see events that makes our blood boil, or see another politically charged commercial pointing out faults rather than offering solutions, or read about a child being abused, or how old folks are such easy prey to scam artists, and how the homeless are treated. We all get mad when we feel poorly treated, or misused, neglected, lied to, cheated on, robbed, accused of (fill in blank) or ignored and this list could go on forever as well. These emotions run deep to the soul of everyone, healthy or terminally ill. 

Our discussions have found that being terminally ill is the act blamed for a lot of the “mad” and angry going on between caregivers and patients, between spouses, between friends or any of the different possible combinations.  It’s a label we can all reach for to excuse “mad” behavior, saying if they weren’t dying then they wouldn’t be acting so mad.  The reality is that we could be mad for any or all of those listed above.  What then happens is that the root cause of the mad (whatever issue it maybe) is never resolved, it is sometimes casted aside only to flare up again and again, each time being deflected by saying “she’s mad because she is dying.”  Or he doesn’t understand because he is sick.  Being terminally ill is not an excuse or an alibi for being mad.  Discussions have led me to think that some, maybe many terminally ill folks just let the blame fall on “dying” because it is the easiest solution.  This way they don’t have to waste the time or energy clearing up why they are mad.  Allowing the “mad” to be tied to “terminally ill” allows both parties to get pass the problem without addressing the problem, and everyone moves on until the next time.  Conversely I have heard stories where the terminally ill were in fact a major PIA and carried their dying like a shield to deflect any reproach  Saying things like, I did it or felt this way because I am dying, and on and on.  It is a two-way street, that both sides try to travel with the least bit of friction.

This post isn’t about pointing fingers, it’s about opening eyes.  Being terminally ill or healthy doesn’t change one’s basic values, it doesn’t change one’s morals, it doesn’t change being right or wrong.  Being terminally ill is not an excuse for being an ass.    But being healthy doesn’t allow arguments to be shifted “X is only mad because she/he is dying.”  Arguments and mad have to be settled on their own merits and not because one of the parties in the argument is terminally ill. 

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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29 responses to “How I Feel for the Week Ending 8.22.14

  1. Emily Grace

    August 22, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    Bill, this is a very important distinction you have made about mad – or having a burr for one reason isn’t acceptable because of another circumstance. I appreciate you bringing this perspective to terminal illness and life in general. This is valuable good work you are doing online here!

    My playlist has Brad Paisley’s “The World” playing. It’s on purpose – I listen to this song when I’m feeling a bit lesser or when my Farmer is out for the day several days in a row and I don’t get a lunch time smile and encouragement. I know, I’m spoiled rotten, but I wouldn’t have in any other way.

    Hope you have a great weekend,
    Emily Grace

    • FlaHam

      August 22, 2014 at 9:42 pm

      Emily, Thank you for your kind words. I am just trying to help someone who is coming behind me, maybe make their path a little easier. Please take care, and it’s okay to be spoiled. I know my wife appreciates it. — Bill

  2. MyDailyMinefield

    August 22, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    Another awesome post! It’s so hot and miserable outside even my cat has stopped bugging me to go out. Take care and stay cool!

    • FlaHam

      August 22, 2014 at 9:54 pm

      Daily, Thanks I am glad you enjoy my posts. And yes it is frigging hot and muggy, it only takes a minute and I am done LOL. Take care, be safe – Bill

  3. huntmode

    August 22, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    Dear Bill, before I forget, I noticed the drop in weight. First for under 260 I think. Hmmm….

    This post is right on the money. I just came from a meeting with an attorney re my “life planning documents” sometimes referred to as estate planning, etc. – Last Will & Testament, Durable Power of Attorney, Heath Directive to Physicians, etc. We spoke clearly about my having COPD and what that means for emergencies and “long term.” We discussed the actual meaning behind being diagnosed “terminally ill.” As he quickly followed up, in one sense, everybody is terminal. In many ways, I avoid all this by living alone and doing what I want to do when I want to do it. Living with someone calls for compromise, gentleness, effort. It calls for effort and that can be exhausting and tempting to blame it all on dying, It so rarely is the real cause. Thank you for shining the Light on this. xxoo Huntie

    • FlaHam

      August 22, 2014 at 10:07 pm

      Hunt, Your way of dealing with the issue (living by yourself) eliminates a lot of the potential fun LOL. But it also reduces the, the, the, as he stutters, BS. This post seems to be the natural progression of the conversation that started a few weeks ago when I wrote about anger. This topic keeps circling and circling, and I realized I wasn’t done with it nor were those that read my posts or your posts or some of the others. To so many mad and angry all almost interchangeable, but I see clear differences, and I tried to express them. Thank you as always for your support and your comments, you do help me along. Take care, Bill xoxo

      • huntmode

        August 22, 2014 at 10:16 pm

        It is a very worthwhile conversation to have, Bill. I have lived and cared for someone who was given 4 hours to four days and my Mom lived two months – my best friend and still stuff came up – whew, did it come up! The caregiver is dealing with nitty gritty details and the upcoming loss; the person dying is coming to grips and hating every tip-toeing conversation with friends and family – or those horrific sessions of “It’s all about me” – as some family members played it. Shudder. Time runs out fast and most cannot grasp that concept. Love, Huntie

        • FlaHam

          August 23, 2014 at 7:40 am

          Huntie, Fortunately for me I have not lived the experience I am going thru. When my mom and dad both passed away I was hundreds of miles away, and didn’t take part in any of those bedside activities. I was advised sometimes consulted, but I wasn’t there to take an active role. But I am sorry you had to experience it. This post seemed to find a better ground than the original post on anger and angry. Sometimes there is a distinction without a difference, but other times there is a very real distinction. And the end does come faster than we expect or want, no matter how bitchy we maybe at the end. As always thank you so very much for your continued support and friendship. Take care, Bill

  4. The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

    August 22, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    What you wrote, it’s about opening eyes not pointing fingers, is so right on! It’s hard to read about the thick white mucus and that the weather is exacerbating the symptoms. I wish I would wish it differently. It’s a relief to read though that you give a 9 on the mental meter and for that I am grateful and once again left admiring your positive and wonderful attitude. Many cyber hugs to you. ❤

    • FlaHam

      August 22, 2014 at 10:15 pm

      Paulette, I didn’t say this in my post and I should have. In defense of the caregiver be it wife, lover, husband, child, Hospice, friend, or whatever other options are available. Blaming anger or arguments or being mad on the act of dying is a defense mechanism, and it is very handy, and it will shut down an argument or fight in a hurry. Rarely have I wished to be in the cold since I moved to Florida, but this summer I sure could have used some days in the 60’s LOL temp and humidity both. LOL But soon late summer will be here, and then 2 weeks of fall followed by a week of winter, then oh joy spring and summer again. The best part of me is my head LOL. That’s a rare thing for me to say about myself. Cyber hugs gladly accepted and returned. Take care, Bill

  5. Chatter Master

    August 23, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    Bill this is an amazing post. Reminding us that “terminal” does not mean the end of who you are. You are not defined by terminal but by who you are and have been. I have to read this again when David isn’t talking to me while I’m trying to read and comment. I can’t tell you strong enough how much of an impact you have. Thank you. ❤

    • FlaHam

      August 23, 2014 at 2:12 pm

      Colleen, There is no doubt in my find that we have fed off each other, we share many similar qualities, and it radiates in what and how we write. I am always pleased when I write something that captures you, god knows the number of times your work had caught my entire being. I hope you have a wonderful Sunday. Take care, Bill

  6. sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

    August 25, 2014 at 11:34 am

    Good Morning Bill, and yes, it is still morning. I woke 5 hours before my regular time thinking about the fact that I hadn’t seen your blog in at least a week and I must go find it as I wanted to read what you were talking about. Something said, your pillow will be safe until your return. I’ve been trying to click on your avitar to get me to your blog but that’s not working so resorted to the old school way of doing things. I typed in your url into my address bar. How’s that for a different approach!
    Your choice of word examination this week was very well done. I do my best to keep a positive out-look around here and must remind myself more often than I want to that Tom’s depression is not my depression.
    Our A/C decided to die the 2nd day of 100 degree heat. Thankfully we didn’t have to go on a long list for repairs or doom day words. The son-in-law of dear friends of ours said he’d take a look at it for us and on the 4th day of no A/C, he had it running for $20! How did we survive as kids without A/C. Actually, how did our parents survive those temperatures. It was darn hot and we survived. My fuzzy little dog suffered more than Tom or I. Take care Bill and stay in as much as possible, okay. Hugs. Sheri

    • FlaHam

      August 25, 2014 at 1:18 pm

      Sheri, As always I appreciate your comments and support. When I do the word of the week, I am not sure how it goes over sometimes. I write from the heart, and sometimes my heart isn’t on the same wave as my readers. It nice to see we were on the same wave. Over the last few years I have wondered time and again how I lived thru the 50-60’s without air conditioning, and all the other comforts that have come over the past 25 years or so. I know if it didn’t exist I wouldn’t be living in Florida. I am sure the comforts we have today and those that will become available in the next few years will set the standard for future generations. Makes me kinda sad to think about it. Anyway, I am glad you got your AC fixed and at the price you did. That sounds so much like a throwback price LOL LOL. Take care and have a great cool day. Bill

      • sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

        August 25, 2014 at 5:52 pm

        Bill – In the days of yore, I thought nothing of competing in 10 mile races on Fort Ord but we always had the ocean breeze. There’s something wonderful to be said about 70 degrees all year round. I do not have a need for 4 seasons. We would never have had that price had the guy not been the son-in-law of Tom’s best friend. The $20 paid for the price of the part. Had we called the commercial guys, it would have been around a 10 day wait just to get them here and diagnose the problem. That would have been $250 minimum. Then we’d still have had to pay for repairs, labor and all that. We are counting ourselves real lucky on this one with the temperatures still in their 100s. Stay cool. Sheri

        • FlaHam

          August 25, 2014 at 6:41 pm

          Sheri, staying cool is good sound advice, make sure you follow it as well. I have been to Fort Ord 4 times, it was while I was attending a conference in Monterey the week before the Oklahoma City bombing in 95. I found the entire area to be wonderful beautiful, and much more expensive than I could image in those day.

          It truly is nice to have friends who have sons or daughters that have those kinds of skills. I am so glad it worked out for you and Tom. Had Steph and I had that issue here you can bet we would have been in a Hotel. Do the best you can at staying cool. Take care, Bill

          • sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

            August 26, 2014 at 3:59 am

            Bill – I still refer to Monterey/Carmel as home. I lived there longer than anywhere else (except my parents home). Tom and I both loved it there and we never intended to leave – never, ever. We loved everything about the lifestyle. If it hadn’t been for keeping my health insurance with the government, I would have probably jumped ship. I had 11 years toward my retirement when I made the move to DC. I knew I’d never be able to get health insurance for Tom at a private company. I was there Dec 1980 to the spring of 1993.

            • FlaHam

              August 26, 2014 at 6:21 am

              Sheri, Sometimes we make our decisions on all the right reasons. I do believe you did yourself, Tom, and the Government a very good term when you gave in and moved from the Monterey/Carmel area. It all worked out for the greater good.

              Take care, Bill

  7. sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

    August 25, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Bill, Didn’t I see something, somewhere that you are now published. Where is the link. Inquiring minds want to know. I’d like to read. I know it’s going to be brilliant. Sheri

    • FlaHam

      August 25, 2014 at 12:01 pm

      Sheri, I am all for helping inquiring minds. Heck I am for helping any mind I can LOL. Thank you for being curious and encouraging. Without my blogging buddies I wouldn’t be here. So here is the link to the 1st article. You make have to go old school and cut and paste. Take care Bill /

      • sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

        August 25, 2014 at 5:43 pm

        It’s a really good article, Bill. I left a comment – it’s amazing the amount of material I’m learning from you.
        I also like the health news letter. I found other subjects of interest and either read or viewed slide shows. I signed up to receive it regularly.

        • FlaHam

          August 25, 2014 at 6:27 pm

          Smiling, I do believe you are exactly the target audience for my posts on HealthCentral. Truly thank you for your wonderful and supportive comments. Take care, Bill

          • sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

            August 26, 2014 at 4:00 am

            Bill – It’s amazing what I learn reading blogs but there’s something about yours that always leaves me with food for thought. That’s what I love about reading with you. It’s as though we are having a conversation and watching the pelicans at play in the bay.

            • FlaHam

              August 26, 2014 at 6:25 am

              Sheri, It’s a down homez style of writing. As far as I am concernted we are indeed just sitting on the porch sipping a cold one (of your choice) and talking about a million potential things. Smiling clearly it makes me comfortable to write without structure. And I am extremely glad it works for you. Take care my friend, Be safe. Bill

  8. Brenda Davis Harsham

    August 25, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    Bill, I am glad your anger is passing, it’s destructive to the angry person, as well as the people around the angry person. I’ve observed in myself and others that being tired or in pain can make people irritable, grumpy or just off-their-game. In that state, angry or mad feelings rise quicker. But you are right, that one should still try to resolve things rather than blow them off. I like that you talk about these issues so frankly. It creates a useful dialogue. I’m glad your number are still fairly high, and I hope the weather eases soon. Hugs, Brenda

    • FlaHam

      August 26, 2014 at 6:18 am

      Brenda, It is a real and continual effort for me to just keep it in check. But I am forever making the effort. I know that the display of anger is of only momentary comfort, that in reality once it flashes your back in the same pile of poop. But having said that, I realize more than anything it is the help I get thru my friends here that allows me control, and some semblance of sanity LOL. Thank you for indulging me. Take care, Bill

  9. benzeknees

    August 30, 2014 at 1:06 am

    I think terminally ill people are just the same as everyone else – we get angry, just like everyone else, we get incensed at injustice, just like everyone else, we get down in the dumps, just like everyone else & we can be happy, just like everyone else.
    I think where people get this mistaken impression of the terminally ill being “mad” is because we may suffer a bit more stress than the average person. We often have money problems due to increased meds & hospitalizations, we may have difficulty adjusting to a lack of independence, we may have increased stress with our spouse or caregiver because they are having to do more for us. There are a number of reasons we may be facing more stress as our bodies change due to our illness. But I don’t think our extra stress is a reason to be hateful or unkind to others. Having a terminal illness is not an excuse for bad behavior.
    Every day I try to remember to thank my hubby for something he has done. He has had to take on an extra load because I am unable to do some things anymore. By the same token, I don’t suffer fools & rude behavior anymore. I don’t have time to put up with other people’s bad behaviors.

    • FlaHam

      August 30, 2014 at 11:00 am

      Benze, I think your approach to showing appreciation to you husband on a daily basis is indeed quite nice. It also allows you to reflect on the positive and not the negative. Benze, we differ slightly on the issue of mad. I truly believe that many caregivers, spouses, love ones, friends, whatever use “well they are mad because they are dying” as an excuse. If the individual can find a way to point the finger at something other than themselves, they feel better. And I believe spouses are notorieties for this. They forget that being mad can come from a million directions, and it becomes easy for them to deflect that mad away from what they may have done to blame in on the dying card. I could write a 1000 more words on the subject of mad, anger and angry, but there is no sense in beating that dead horse. Take care, Bill

      • benzeknees

        August 30, 2014 at 1:46 pm

        I would be very grateful if you would explain what you mean by caregivers blaming the terminally ill for being “mad.”


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