My New Best Friends

   I came home from the hospital with two  new buddies in tow.  I’d like you to meet them.  That’s Stephie on the right and Phil on the left.  Stephie is named after a girl I remember from grade school who used to imitate Marilyn Monroe’s breathy voice, complete with quivering lip. We all thought she was sooo grown up. Stephie does a pretty good Marilyn imitation too, with a low steady hum punctuated by a rhythmic huff-chuff.

Stephie is my oxygen concentrator.  She pulls oxygen from the surrounding air, concentrates it to 93+% pure and sends it flying down a 60-foot clear plastic tube to my grateful lungs. The lengthy tube allows me to wander almost anywhere in the house.  It even reaches to the laundry room door, but, unfortunately, it’s not long enough to reach the washer and dryer.  Bummer (heh heh).

Phil is my home fill unit.  He pumps fresh oxygen into my pony bottles for Os on the Go.  They’re actually called portable oxygen canisters, but I think pony bottle sounds much cooler. And believe me, you need help with the cool factor when you’re wandering around with a rather unstylish black nylon shoulder bag and a cannula strapped to your face. I’m grateful for the portable supply though.  The house is beginning to feel quite small, so I look forward to my daily walks around the neighborhood, as well as trips to the doctor and the occasional restaurant.

At this point, my excursions leave me pretty fatigued.  But my doctor reminded me during my appointment last week that I still have a good two weeks of healing ahead of me.  He also says I probably won’t need supplemental oxygen once I’m completely healed from the biopsy. Yay! I was afraid Stephie and Phil were my new BFFS; instead it looks like they’re just TBFs (temporary best friends).  I know at some point they’ll be back for good.  But I’d like to hold that off as long as possible.

I’m also glad to know that this is not the new normal.  I had a pretty tough weekend.  Any activity left me short of breath, made even more uncomfortable by lots of wheezing and coughing. I’m back on prednisone for the time being.  Please, God, please, heal me fast.

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