My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Thursday, May 25

Life on Oxygen

Life with a trailing oxygen line. Well, it beats the alternative, so, yes, living with oxygen is better than dying without it. I’m a newbie in the oxygen club, so I haven’t yet discovered all the plusses and minuses that go with this lifestyle. Here’s a bit of what I’ve learned so far. The green plastic tube that trails after me isn’t as cumbersome as I thought it would be. I don’t step on it; I don’t stumble from a coil around my ankle; I don’t pinch it in a closed bathroom door. But oh how Tuffy loves to chew on it. At first I thought it was too tough for a cat to do any damage. Wrong. He has very sharp little teeth. Tiger and Charlie don’t find it tasty, only Tuffy. A week or so ago I realized around 3:00 a.m. that nothing was coming through. I got up and checked the line—tiny little tooth holes close to where the line attaches to the oxygenator were emitting tiny little streams of oxygen, four such holes in all. I got out a roll of packing tape and taped the holes. Success, at least until he decides he also likes the taste of packing tape. The next day we tried to think of anything that would be noxious to a cat that we could rub on the line. By “noxious” I don’t mean deadly. I simply wanted to find something that would really turn him off. So my wife dipped a cloth in white vinegar and rubbed it on the line. That seemed to deter him at least temporarily. But I don’t want her to have to apply the vinegar on a frequent basis. I went on-line to see what others may have said about such a problem (and, yes, one can find answers to almost any question one can come up with). Some suggested solutions: 1. Slit open lengthwise thirty or forty plastic straws to protect the line. 2. Go to a hardware store and buy a length of flex line big enough to run the oxygen line through. 3. Make a paste of flour and water mixed with cayenne pepper and slather it on the line. 4. Suspend the entire line from hooks in the ceiling. Now, I ask you, are any of these suggestions practical? No. If not ridiculous (the straws), or messy (the paste), or way too cumbersome (the flex line), then totally unworkable (the ceiling hooks). One would need a separate line for each location that needed to be visited since a line suspended from hooks wouldn’t allow for any change in direction. That would give me about five or six separate lines with the need to reconnect to the oxygenator whichever line would take me to a new location. Whoa! That would never work. I guess the only practical solution is to give Tuffy away, and that ain’t about to happen. Better a few little air leaks than an absent Tuffy. I also learned that the cannulas need to be sanitized on a frequent basis, like every three days. One needs to wash it in warm sudsy water, then soak it in a solution of warm water and vinegar for an hour or so. Why is that necessary? Well, plastic cannulas, especially the two nasal prongs, are susceptible to bacteria that can so easily give the wearer a sinus infection. That’s all I’d need—an infection that might disallow my taking in any oxygen. There is, then, the unsatisfactory hauling of an oxygen tank whenever one wants to leave home. The tank sits on something like a tiny golf cart and is pulled behind.
It’s awkward to put it in the car, awkward to take out of the car, awkward to enter restaurant or movie theater or grocery story with this silver tank, like some cantankerous child attached to an impatient parent.

That about all I’ve learned so far, but I’m sure there will be other issues to deal with down the yellow-brick oxygen road.
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