I made it to another birthday! And this year was actually the first time that was truly in doubt.
I know you can get hit by a bus at any time, but the towns I’ve been living in are too small for public transportation so I’ve been effectively dodging that bullet. The end of the world didn’t come when Harold Camping said it would (either time) and the asteroids that were supposed to hit us apparently missed.
So here I am for another year. A few organs shy of a full load, but still mostly functional. And still on my own two feet, though The Scooter Store would be happy to get me a Rascal and bill Medicare without me so much as lifting an arthritic finger.
Things are actually going quite well. In spite of my horror at looking like a steampunk elephant every night (not to mention having morning breath that would make Satan blanch), the breathing machine seems to be working. I’m actually getting more energy back and feeling a bit more like mySELF.
And here are the new equations of my life:
More energy + innate lack of focus = dozens of thrilling new projects
Desire to do a million things + refined sense of mortality = increased impatience with just about everything
More energy + innate lack of focus + desire to do a million things + refined sense of mortality = getting so frustrated at my inability to finish anything that I’m forced to play Bejeweled for hours at a time just to regain my equilibrium.
Because that makes sense.
And he sucks.
Actually, he blows.
He’s a BiPAP machine, and I’m closer to him than I have been to anyone. Ever. Really, really close. Remember when the baby alien latched onto that guy’s face in Alien? That close.
Now imagine that alien baby singing “Every Breath You Take.” Not quite the hotness that Sting was, but with that same creepy stalker-y vibe. Because the damn thing reports on my behavior like the worst playground sneak you ever knew. There’s a computer chip in the back that I have to send in every 30 days to make sure I’m diligently using the machine.
Apparently these things are notoriously unpopular, to the extent that insurance companies got tired of paying for chunks of high-tech plastic that weren’t getting used. If I don’t log in at least four hours a night, Blue Cross/Blue Shield will deny the payment claim. Essentially, I have a suspended sentence of a $5,000 fine. If I don’t check in with my court-appointed officer between midnight and four every stinking night, I’m violating probation and have to cough up the dough.
I hate this thing. However, I love five thousand dollars more. And so on it goes. Every night. For as long as I can stand it.
Most of my whining points about the machine still hold true. It is quieter than I thought it would be but no more comfortable. I have to keep my mouth tightly shut (a challenge for me in the best of times), or I sound like a cat with a hairball. And Velcro straps go with long hair about as well as Kim Kardashian and whomever she’s marrying next: the only way I can make it work is to poke Pippi Longstocking braids through gaps in the straps. Hey, bonus! Wavy hair.
My husband pointed out that the head harness is “just like that braces headgear you told me about.” And in the pit of my soul, I immediately realized he’s right. Thank God I don’t have to wear it to school.