Print Story I understand that you can't win all day, every day
By lm (Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 07:10:25 PM EST) (all tags)
But sometimes it sure would feel nice to not be getting kicked in the balls.

Pathetic, self-absorption, whine and whinge follow. Don't say you weren't warned.

So I've this cough for most of this year. It started in early spring. It started in March and continued through April, May, June, July, August, September, and now most of October. Most days it isn't so bad. Some days it's bad. Other days it's really bad. Some days I cough until I puke. Some nights I can't sleep for the coughing.

The computer in the allergist's office diagnosed early stage COPD. My primary care physician offered that as a possibility but wants to rule out other things. Allergies look like a no-go. Granted, they didn't test me for everything under the sun. But the only reaction I had for the allergy test was to the histamines they use to verify that you do indeed have reactions. The chest X-Ray came back clean, which was a huge relief after the allergy testing found nothing. But there are a zillion other things to rule out: asthma, some sort of odd infection, tiny blue men building an invisible colony in my bronchial tubes because the star that their minuscule little planet orbits is dying.

The hardest part is that coughing uses up a lot of energy. Most days, at least the ones that aren't the pretty good ones, I come home and it's all I can do to watch the dodo box until I fall asleep.  The nights I have class, I find myself struggling for breath while trying to pay attention to the lecture and keep the coughs quiet. I'm not the only person trying to pay attention.

And then there are the days that I feel myself coming down with a cold. I get that feverish feeling. I get that feeling of my nasal passages clogging up a bit. I get a touch of malaise. I wonder, seriously, if this cold is going to be the death of me. I know, with no doubt, that this is going to suck and suck real bad. I'm going to have more coughing fits, especially in the evening and nighttime. I'm going to lose sleep when I need it the most. I'm not going to have the energy to finish that which needs to be done at home, at work, at school.

So here I am struggling for breath and I see the kids at the university lighting up their cancer sticks. I go to my family reunion and see my cousins lighting up their cancer sticks. It takes a good deal of restraint not to give them a lecture. Or, more honestly, it takes most of my restraint not to give them what-for and threaten to kick their fucking asses. Sometimes, it would seem, I lack that restraint.

The only thing left to do is to save myself from despair. I pour a decent martini. I turn on the Pandora station that I seeded with Ella Fitzgerald and Peggy Lee. Tomorrow will bring a new day. It may be a bad day. It may be a good day. It might be the day that my doctor finally figures out the source of my symptoms. It may be another day of facing this faceless beast. What the future holds, I do not know. What I do know is that I have this present moment and what I do with this present moment is the most precious thing that I have.

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I understand that you can't win all day, every day | 10 comments (10 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Not that it's in any way comparable... by ana (4.00 / 1) #1 Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 07:32:21 PM EST
but it's an amusing story nonetheless.

A few years ago, when Teh Dawg was still minding our little herd, I developed a cough. I was sitting on the couch, coughing, having a terrible time trying to catch my breath.

Sensing distress, Sadie (Teh Dawg; she was an Australian Shepherd) came running to the rescue, and began licking me in the face to make it all better.

Which made me laugh. Which in turn made me cough harder. 

I now know what the noise that is usually spelled "lolwhut" sounds like. --Kellnerin

that is a great story by lm (4.00 / 1) #3 Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 07:57:16 PM EST
My mother is training a service dog. It's a border collie. Every time he looks at me, in my head he talks like Dug from Up.

'There is that man. I remember him. He is a strange man. I wonder if he needs help. I would like to help him but I do not know how to help him. I would help him if I knew how to help him."

I suspect that there is a reason that we anthropormorphicize some animals.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
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Breath is the least appreciated gift of the gods by clover kicker (4.00 / 2) #2 Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 07:34:09 PM EST
None  sing hymns to it, praising the good  air, breathed  by king and beggar,  master and dog alike. But, oh to be without  it!

I've had asthma all my life, it comes and goes but I've certainly spent months in a row fighting for air. It's no fun.

Not for me .... by Oberon (4.00 / 2) #4 Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 10:31:15 PM EST
.... I sing and cycle, sometimes simultaneously. I am very aware of my breathing, and grateful that I can breathe easily*.

* In the absence of felines, anyway.

How now, mad spirit?
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As a fellow asthmatic by ucblockhead (4.00 / 3) #5 Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 11:16:37 PM EST
I'll never take it for granted.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
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Bad asthma by johnny (2.00 / 0) #6 Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 09:44:42 AM EST
I don't have it. My wife does.

It is a bitch-bastard from hell.

I'm not diagnosing you, lm, but the symptoms sound very similar.

You have my deepest sympathies. Hope they come up with a diagnosis & effective treatment soon.

She has effectively checked out. She's an un-person of her own making. So it falls to me.--ad hoc (in the hole)

I hope it gets better by nathan (2.00 / 0) #7 Mon Oct 24, 2011 at 06:23:09 PM EST
Do but consider what an excellent thing sleep is: it is so inestimable a jewel that, if a tyrant would give his crown for an hour’s slumber, it cannot be bought: of so beautiful a shape is it, that though a man lie with an Empress, his heart cannot beat quiet till he leaves her embracements to be at rest with the other: yea, so greatly indebted are we to this kinsman of death, that we owe the better tributary, half of our life to him: and there is good cause why we should do so: for sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.


Sorry to hear you're so ill, and I hope you get well soon.

That blows dude by duxup (2.00 / 0) #8 Sun Nov 06, 2011 at 12:53:29 PM EST
pun intended, I hope by lm (2.00 / 0) #9 Sun Nov 06, 2011 at 02:51:05 PM EST
If not, no worries.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
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Dang by duxup (2.00 / 0) #10 Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 09:53:20 AM EST
I'm a poet and didn't know it. 
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I understand that you can't win all day, every day | 10 comments (10 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback