Tag Archive | Delta Health


Best of all, little Wren is allowed to attend respiratory therapy with me! She makes herself right at home. She’s also been welcomed at physical therapy, and just got permission to come see the chiropractor and the massage therapist also. Amazing! What a great health network we are blessed with in this valley.

I’m grateful for breathing. I’ve been on night oxygen for around a month, and that’s helped a lot with my energy level during the day. For various bureaucratic reasons, Medicaid, Medicare, and any other type of insurance won’t pay for the portable oxygen concentrator I require for various logistical reasons associated with living off the grid. But I’m grateful that I was able to afford to buy the unit from savings, and that it has been performing as advertised. The battery charges in around four hours during the day, and then it lasts for about nine hours overnight–just long enough for me to turn it on, put in the nasal cannula, and read for an hour or so, then roll over and sleep through the night. I’m grateful for this extra oxygen overnight which has improved the quality of my days. There’s a little discomfort with the tubes across my cheeks, catching my arm in the tubing when I roll over, and a persistent sensation of pressure under my nose during the day when there’s nothing there anymore, but these are all minor inconveniences compared to the benefits.

As much as for the nighttime oxygen, I’m grateful for the respiratory therapy provided by our local hospital network. Dear Marla, who has helped with therapy for both wrists, is also a breathing expert. I get to see her once a week for awhile, to learn a basic functional breath, and increasingly demanding exercises to improve lung capacity, oxygen absorption, and CO2 expulsion. I’ve mentioned before how grateful I am to the various physical therapists I’ve seen over the past few years through the Delta Health system. This poor, challenged body continues to benefit from all those past visits, and now derives great comfort and resilience from the tender ministrations of a warm, compassionate, and skillful breathing coach.

I’m also grateful today for another grocery delivery, and for the beauty of beans. This batch was cooked with onions, orange jalapeƱos, garlic, cumin, coriander, and oregano, and will go into a batch of burritos to freeze for quick and easy meals.

Diagnostic Imaging

Amy reminded me that I may not have mentioned popcorn yet: I’m grateful for popcorn!

I’m so grateful for all the X-rays, sonograms, mammograms, echocardiograms, CT scans, MRIs, and other diagnostic imaging I’ve had in my life; grateful for the technicians who performed them, the radiologists who interpreted them, the medical schools and personnel who taught these people how to make these images and read them; the doctors and nurse practitioners who’ve shared my results with me. I’m grateful for the various machines, and all their tiny, complicated components, and the decades, centuries, of scientific investigation by thousands of humans whose names I’ll never know, that led to these machines being invented and improved.

And I’m grateful for the nameless lives of various creatures, maybe humans, lost ‘in the interest of science’ as these inventions evolved. This doesn’t mean that I condone testing on animals; simply that I accept that it has been done in the past (and there may be occasions when it’s still necessary, but certainly we’ve come far enough that most of it can be avoided), and I appreciate the sacrifices, willing or unwilling, that test ‘subjects’ have made through centuries. I can feel sorry that some things have happened, and still be grateful for the ramifications of the outcomes.

Anyway, back to the list: I’m grateful for the specific people that work in the Delta Hospital radiology department (and I know I’m not the only one) who consistently show such professionalism, efficiency, and compassion in their work. I’m grateful that my recent brain MRIs show only average signs of ‘aging.’ And I’m grateful that my cervical spine MRIs don’t show anything imminently life-threatening. I could whinge about the catastrophic evidence of: degeneration in the vertebral facets, “reversal of the normal cervical lordosis,” “moderate to severe left foraminal narrowing due to left-sided arthropathy and hypertrophy,” and “central canal stenosis with ventral cord flattening.” It doesn’t sound good, and certainly is enough words to explain this ongoing, worsening neck pain.

Oh well. It is what it is. Accepting this, now I can move forward taking into consideration options, making informed choices on the best ways to minimize physical and mental suffering, adapting my lifestyle with diet, appropriate postural adjustments, exercises, and therapies to improve my health. Yeah, it wasn’t great news, but it was more information than I had before, and reassuring in some respects: I don’t need surgery right now, for example, and there’s no cancer. While my brain may be a little older than the years allotted me so far, my spine might be fifty years older than that. One thing, though: my heart keeps getting lighter and younger every step of the way. Too bad they don’t yet have diagnostic imaging to evaluate consciousness; mine would show I’m getting better every day.