Tuesday, February 3, 2015

This "Old Bean"

While waiting for the Ides Of March to come around again this year, my birthday gotten in the way. Shortly both will have arrived and be over in the wink of an eye. That is, if my body remains able to take in air as it's done these last eighty years. Of course, the inability to breath properly is a struggle for many my age and, for younger people, it's an affliction felt for the rest of their lives. 

Sure, I have been doctoring for asthma for a number of years but; even though, we are awash, surrounded by breathable atmosphere, a problem within our lungs reduces them in their physical ability to assimilate oxygen for the body to use. My lungs seem to accumulate phlegm which reduces the proper transfer of oxygen from air for bodily use. Gasping rather than breathing while a distinctive gurgling is felt and audibly heard emanates from my chest cavity. After a while constant coughing and hacking causes a real hurt inside the damned chest cavity. 

I haven't smoked in more than fifty years but my inability to walk, the best form of exercise for most, is a bummer. Most people can expel phlegm during normal exercise which I seemingly can't. I get to sleep now by inhaling from a nebulizer the fluid, albuterol, that the nebulizer atomizes into a mist which seems to sooth the lungs and loosens phlegm. The problem is that this inhaling only lasts a few hours; like last night, I awoke at 3AM wheezing terribly but was able to expel some spittle, as it turned out, enough for me to sleep till 5 when I had to turn the light on and get up. I went through preparing the nebulizer: filling the globe with albuterol and readying the breathing apparatus for puffing. In about ten minutes I could tell there was movement of phlegm in my lungs so I coughed it up, turned off the machine, and laid back down to sleep two more hours. 

Next Monday I go to my pulmonary doctor for my six month check up. Winter doctor's appointments are a chance for me to get out of the house. I was at the river New Year's Day, once again in late January for the foot doctor, and now this coming Monday for Dr. Pham, three times in just over a month. Someday my body won't recover enough for the process of this life to continue. All the problems with diabetes, the ills of asthma, the excesses brought on by living a life filled past the tipping point will have run its course. Eighty years of living, though some of these last years have been less than stellar, is enough for this "old bean".

Ronald C.Downie

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