Battery Life of Oxygen

I thought we were doing so well yesterday with the Oxygen conversation. I thought he was okay with the 24/7 oxygen addiction. I thought we’d finally broken through to an understanding.

And then there was this morning’s conversation:

“I’m done with this oxygen! It’s not working, I’d rather be dead!” My good morning conversation has begun.

“What’s wrong dad? You said that you’re feeling better than you have in years.” That IS what he said 24 hours ago.

“Well yeah! Yesterday I did, but I keep getting this damn thing stuck on the cabinet door and I have a sore under my nose and it about strangles me! So I’ll die of strangulation but I’ll have good oxygen in my blood when I do!! It’s not working I’m telling you NOW.”

Side note: I think Death by strangulation = lack of oxygen. But we’re not exactly trying to make sense of this conversation, just understand why he’s agitated.

I try to explain that we can get a different carrying case, maybe a backpack or we can MacGyver the one he has into something less cumbersome (I have plenty of paperclips and rubber bands). We can treat the sore under his nose, but he’ll have to develop a tolerance for the nasal cannula. I try to get him back to the appreciation of oxygen that he had yesterday. But he’s on a rant –

“I got up this morning and tested my blood oxygen (we purchased him a pulse oximeter to monitor his levels…maybe in hindsight not the greatest gift) and you know what it said?! It said 84% when I didn’t have my oxygen on and then 97% when I had the oxygen on! You see, the oxygen isn’t working.”

Let that sink in. So how do I respond? Slowly.

“Dad. I think that means that the oxygen IS actually working. The oxygen in your blood goes UP when you wear oxygen, as evidenced by the numbers going UP.” Try not to sound like a smart-aleck Kim.

“Well….no. I was only wearing one liter.”

Then he took about five minutes rambling – describing the numbers to me. 2.5 liters at night through the big machine, 2 liters on the portable machine, 1 liter when I test myself, percentages all over the place, trying to wean myself, I can probably do another month if I have to, bottom line he’d rather die than wear oxygen the rest of his life. Then quickly he changes to talking about Aimie and the boys and Hannah and then we get to the weather and the laundry.

After hanging up and digesting the conversation – I think I get it. He thinks that wearing oxygen is going to “fix his lungs” so that eventually he doesn’t have to wear oxygen. Wearing oxygen is just recharging his lungs I guess – like a battery. Holy crap! Am I starting to actually understand his logic???


Dad went to see the doctor a few weeks ago. He’s having trouble breathing. I could write an entire Chapter on this fact, but let’s just celebrate the fact that he has finally decided that it’s okay to be addicted to oxygen.
He’s wearing oxygen 24/7 now. He told me today that he is breathing better than he has in years, he’s sleeping better, he’s staying up later and he’s more active. He thinks he’ll keep the oxygen.
My comment, “It’s amazing how different life is when you can breath, huh?”
There are still a few issues we’re dealing with related to his lungs, but I think we are on the right track.

Priorities. Breathing is right up there at the top.

Sometimes I have to remind myself to “just breathe” too. More metaphorical than physical, but just as important I think.

Nothing I Can Do

Sunday. New church, new people to sit by, new songs – that I don’t know or sing yet (hate this the most), but the same ol’ me. The same issues that I’ve been trying to work through for 4 years. Why is Bob still sick, why is life still hard, why do I still feel sad?
Then the message is preached – and it’s like a light in the darkness. What do I do when there’s nothing I can do?
God knows. God cares. God isn’t absent in the quietness. God isn’t angry with me for struggling. God isn’t apathetic toward my plight. God loves me. God is big enough to handle my doubts. I will be blessed if I do not mis-interpret Him during this time.
I’ve prayed, I’ve believed, I’ve cried and turned away. I’ve been confused, angry and I’ve been apathetic toward Him. I’ve tried everything. And guess what? Sometimes, it’s not about what I can do or what I can say or how I can feel. I’ve done it all, all that I can do. The situation remains.
“Pray – God will fix it!” Not fixed yet. “Fast – you’re not praying ‘good enough’.” Not fixed yet. “Sometimes God wants this so you have the ‘thorn in your side’ to remind you.” That doesn’t help at all.
There is just nothing I can do. Control-freak me is still wondering, “Is there REALLY nothing I can do here??”.

So what I can control is ME.
I need to focus on the fact that God loves me, He understands me and what I’m going through, and I cannot stumble/mis-interpret HIM during this time.
Conflict remains – I still believe that if I PRAY & BELIEVE – anything I ask for….
BUT now I’m submitting to – there is nothing I can do, that I haven’t already done. So chill.
Life is hard. God is still good.
And at least I’m starting to hear Him again.

Finding Myself Lost

I’ve been searching for God lately. I know He’s not lost, but maybe I’m coming to realize that I was. So I have enlisted some drastic measures to get found.
I am a loyal church attender. I feel safe in a church body. I need that corporate fellowship. However, about 6 weeks ago I started attending new churches. A very hard thing to do after attending the same church for close to 20 years. Felt like a breakup; a breakup that I initiated. Not because they had done anything wrong, not because of anything they had done or not done. It was all about me, I was not getting my needs met. Sounds selfish. If this was a relationship with another person I would be giving myself the advice, “stay, don’t give up, get counseling, maybe it’s you.” For awhile that advice kept me there, but I wasn’t finding God. I decided it was more important to fix my relationship with Him than to be loyal to a church. This was a hard decision to make! (Truth – not sure it was the right decision yet…)
So as I venture out in search of a closer relationship with God I wonder if I will feel safe. Will I feel fellowship with strangers in a strange church, singing new songs that I don’t know? Or will I want to slip in unnoticed and enjoy the anonymity in it all?
We shall see.
One thing I know – I’ve stepped out of the boat, with my hands held out toward Him. And if this is where I am found, alone with the one who sees me and knows me and understands me, I’m good with that right now.

Time Flies

Facebook reminded me of where I was 4 years ago this week with a picture of Bob receiving platelets, we were one week into bone marrow transplant #2.
We’ve come a long way. Time flies when you’re having … fun?
Discussing life with Rusty – it’s best to enjoy every moment you can. When things aren’t bad – THEY’RE GOOD!! Enjoy the good! Time flies either way, we may as well enjoy every ounce that we can squeeze out of life.


The G-Bus

My sister Nikki bought a bus.  She’s going to travel the country to tell people about God.
I’m still a bit confused about her plan, even after the hour long conversation we had last night.
If this is God, and He is telling her to go…who am I to question her choices?
Just seems a bit like drifting though, something she admittedly is happy doing.  Drifting,  as in avoiding responsibility and any accountability.  Sounds like a good gig for her.
Again, if this is her divine calling I say “woo hoo”!  But I think I’ll not jump on board this bus just yet.


p.s.  Years ago Rusty bought a bus.  When he flew to California to pick his bus up, I joined him on the trip.  Met Bob.  Not all busses are bad.

Is the Grass Greener?

I helped Bob tile our bathroom, it took longer that I remember it taking to tile.  Next tile job, I may hire someone.  The repetitive bending, stooping, twisting, spreading thin-set, placing tile over my head, etc. Lead to a pulled muscle in my back.  I’ve been in pain for almost two weeks.  This past weekend I spent flat on my back, on muscle relaxers.  I do not like laying around when I have so much to do! 
Hmmm, two weekends ago when I was painting the basement I may have said, “I hate having so much more to do…wish I could just lay around all weekend.”
Grass greener?  Or, be careful what you ask for?
Maybe just-learn to be content in any circumstance.  Busy or flat on your back.

Stormy Rides & Red Lights

i spent a lot of time with dad over the past few days.  He, Paula and I drove to Teresa’s grandpas funeral in New Mexico.  The drive was nice, barring the rain, fog and blizzard like snow.  Dad shared some wisdom with us, stories from his past and a bit of frustration/anger.  I don’t know why he’s so mad.  Everything angers him.  I sometimes wonder if the anger is from greif over mom…but I don’t think so.  I think he’s always been a ‘glass half empty, or not even half…I bet it’s two thirds and some silly son of a so-and-so is trying to convince him it’s actually half!…instead of half full sort of guy.

When pressed, he would comment on the beauty of the scenery.  So he CAN see good.

I would hate to live like this.  I asked him yesterday – when he starting cussing about traffic, construction on the road and then doctors-why he was so mad at everything.  He had no answer.  We were sitting at a red light and he told me he was going to run it, “these lights are the stupidest things, I don’t know who set these, somebody’s making money off of this and I don’t understand it…” 

I tried to stop him, “Dad!!!  You can’t do this, you’re breaking the law!” 

“I’ve been around awhile! Don’t you worry about me, I can see when it’s safe to go!” And go he did.  Grumbling and cussing the whole time.  Speeding up a bit to beat the cars coming our way, you know the ones that had the green light.  Jerks!

Why is he so angry?  Certainly can’t be because he was stopped at a red light.  We were in no hurry.  Was it that red light telling him what to do?  Heaven forbid anyone or THiNG tell him what he can and can’t do!  No red light is going to stop him!!!

Lord, give me patience, I think I’m going to need it.


Cavities & I-Pads

We, my sister Paula, daughter Aimie, and I, started a blog after mom died entitled
Not that we think he’s crazy, ummmm well….anyway it was meant as a way for his kids and grand kids (me, since I’m the only one posting) to share “funny, annoying, frustrating” things about dad with each other.  Personally, it helps me to get it written down, read it back, then have a bit of compassion for the old crazy one. 
This post should be on that blog, but maybe they’ve merged in my head (crazy dad, good fight of faith-seem to go together) so they’ll merge in the blogosphere.
These kids is gonna have bad eyes and cavities from these ipads!”  He’s now convinced that Blake’s recent visit to the dentist revealed cavities from ipad usage.  He swears he saw it on the news.  It has nothing to do with the fact that dad gives Blake cookies and ice cream after every meal. Breakfast and lunch dessert at G-Pa’s house! Not cavity forming.  Video games are the culprit.


Stopped by dad’s house on way to work, dropped off some leftovers, listened to Him recite his morning routine, went to work.
Driving home from work, phone rings, it’s Him;
“Well where the hell have you been? Where are you now?!” He sounds rather agitated.
“I was at work today, I’m driving home now.”
He laughs, “Oh. Well let me tell you a funny story about my day.”
He proceeds to tell me detail upon detail of his day. 
One of those details, “I tested my oxygen today and it said 76 or 79…I think it’s broken.  I’ll test one of the boys tomorrow and see what they read, maybe I need batteries.”
How do you convince that man to wear oxygen?
Maybe if his oxygen levels were normal he’d remember I work.