Lately, I’ve been dealing with what I’m calling my New Normal. And, as with so many other things, there are several phases to go through to get to the acceptance level of my New Normal. And I’m not really sure I’m there yet.
My New Normal life includes things like COPD, asthma, arthritis in both knees and moving up to my shoulders, a sciatic hip, and now, I have issues with my wrist from using the computer mouse wrong. (Insert heavy sigh here.) I’ve been dealing with the asthma for about 25 years, or so I thought. Seems I was diagnosed with it when I was 12, but my Mom and my Doctor decided it wasn’t something I needed to know cause it was “low grade” asthma and it wasn’t really giving me much trouble. I now understand why my Doctor would always tell me, “You know that stuff you had before? Well, you’ve got it again.” when I’d go in because I wasn’t feeling very well and was a little short of breath. Was not pleased to learn this. It means I have had asthma for 48 years, give or take. Oh, yea.
My arthritis is the result of “if I’d known I was going to live this long I’d have taken better care of myself…” Too many twisted, popped, tweaked knee injuries over the course of my life. I always was an accident looking for a place to happen. But I can deal with the arthritis, as long as the barometer isn’t falling, or already in the cellar, then I have issues. The sciatica, though, is another story completely. I have yet to figure out what sets that off. I can go for weeks before it flares up. Then I can hardly walk. Sometimes even sitting is difficult. The same goes for my wrist. Fortunately, when it starts up, if I just take a few minutes and let my arm hang down for a bit, everything goes away and I can go back to work. Oh well…
The one I’m having the hardest time with is the COPD. I’m having a real hard time dealing with the prospect of being on oxygen 24/7 for The Rest Of My Life. I get so angry and frustrated with the stupid tanks. I keep trying to stay off it, but I always have to give in and put the stupid nose hose on and breath the oxygen. Oh, and I get a lot of “How long did you smoke?” remarks. I have NEVER smoked. The only thing I can think of is that when I was born, my lungs and sinuses were filled with mucus and not functioning very well, the Doctors put me in an oxygen tent for a week. PURE oxygen. For a week. So many things get explained by that. None of this stuff is due to anything I did. It isn’t my fault, but I get to deal with it. I know that having hernia surgery with the anesthesia that they used, so I wouldn’t have any problems, added to the crap with my lungs. It was probably the straw that broke the camel’s back. I suppose, eventually, I would have ended up on oxygen, but before I hit 60 kind of sucked.
I still try to get away with not using the oxygen all the time, like I should, and then rush to put it on when I get winded. So, like I said, not quite at the accepted level, still at the frustration level. Still pretty unhappy and feeling that it’s just not fair. But there’s a small, little voice that creeps in from time to time to remind me that the option is far less acceptable.