RSS Feed

If not Hypoxia, Then ???

I thought it was the lack of oxygen that was making dad confused. I had my morning conversation with him today and he told me, “My oxygen tester says I’m at 92% even after doing some yard work.” So it is not hypoxia causing confusion, but I’d say still confused.

Dad, “So what’s going on tonight?”

Me, “Oh I don’t know, nothing I guess.”

Dad, “What!? The boys don’t have ball practice tonight? Nobody told me!”

Me, quickly, “Oh no – I don’t know anything about the ball schedule. I was just saying I don’t have anything planned.”

Dad, “Well I guess they don’t have practice. Or I’m wondering if they won’t, probably not.” Sounds like he’s given up.

Me, “You should talk to Aimie (their mother!) about the schedule. I don’t keep track of it dad.”

Dad, “Yeah, they probably won’t have it anyway, I’m guessing it’s called off.” Now sounds like he knows something I don’t.

Me, “Why do you say that, is there rain in the forecast?”

Oh Lord – why did I have to mention the weather. I won’t write the back-and-forth about the forecast, or why he wonders why I thought there may be rain coming when he’s been watching the news since 4:30 this morning and these damn weathermen – or whatever they call themselves – haven’t said a word about it! He was very angry that I knew something he didn’t!

Eventually we discover that there is no weather cover-up and I just assumed he thought the practice was going to be called for weather. Why else would he assume it was cancelled?

I’ll tell you why –


He doesn’t know where practice is – he doesn’t know what field – he doesn’t know if he’s taking them – he’s been left in the dark again! He can’t reach anyone, no one is answering the phone!

After he calms down – he tells me about his plans for the day, “Well I’m gonna shower, feed the squirrels, get the mail, kill some time and then pick up some chicken for the boys at 3:00, I told them I’d get them some chicken and Hawaiian rolls, ha ha ha. Then I’ll pick up Connor from school at 3:40 and feed him, he loves those rolls. Then I’ll take Connor to ball practice and sit and watch until it’s over, I guess Blake will come with us……”

Evidently ball practice has NOT been cancelled.


Battery Life of Oxygen


I thought we were doing so well yesterday with the Oxygen conversation. I thought he was okay with the 24/7 oxygen addiction. I thought we’d finally broken through to an understanding.

And then there was this morning’s conversation:

“I’m done with this oxygen! It’s not working, I’d rather be dead!” My good morning conversation has begun.

“What’s wrong dad? You said that you’re feeling better than you have in years.” That IS what he said 24 hours ago.

“Well yeah! Yesterday I did, but I keep getting this damn thing stuck on the cabinet door and I have a sore under my nose and it about strangles me! So I’ll die of strangulation but I’ll have good oxygen in my blood when I do!! It’s not working I’m telling you NOW.”

Side note: I think Death by strangulation = lack of oxygen. But we’re not exactly trying to make sense of this conversation, just understand why he’s agitated.

I try to explain that we can get a different carrying case, maybe a backpack or we can MacGyver the one he has into something less cumbersome (I have plenty of paperclips and rubber bands). We can treat the sore under his nose, but he’ll have to develop a tolerance for the nasal cannula. I try to get him back to the appreciation of oxygen that he had yesterday. But he’s on a rant –

“I got up this morning and tested my blood oxygen (we purchased him a pulse oximeter to monitor his levels…maybe in hindsight not the greatest gift) and you know what it said?! It said 84% when I didn’t have my oxygen on and then 97% when I had the oxygen on! You see, the oxygen isn’t working.”

Let that sink in. So how do I respond? Slowly.

“Dad. I think that means that the oxygen IS actually working. The oxygen in your blood goes UP when you wear oxygen, as evidenced by the numbers going UP.” Try not to sound like a smart-aleck Kim.

“Well….no. I was only wearing one liter.”

Then he took about five minutes rambling – describing the numbers to me. 2.5 liters at night through the big machine, 2 liters on the portable machine, 1 liter when I test myself, percentages all over the place, trying to wean myself, I can probably do another month if I have to, bottom line he’d rather die than wear oxygen the rest of his life. Then quickly he changes to talking about Aimie and the boys and Hannah and then we get to the weather and the laundry.

After hanging up and digesting the conversation – I think I get it. He thinks that wearing oxygen is going to “fix his lungs” so that eventually he doesn’t have to wear oxygen. Wearing oxygen is just recharging his lungs I guess – like a battery. Holy crap! Am I starting to actually understand his logic???

Give Him a Break & Some Chapstick

Found this old post from 2014 that was never posted….Maybe, just maybe it still applies today!

Dad annoys me lately. Every time he tells me the weather forecast – 15 times a week – I get annoyed. Every time he tells me what Blake & Connor ate for breakfast – every single morning – it annoys me. Every time he tells me what clothes he washed or how he cleaned his bathroom – yes he does laundry about 3 times a week and claims to clean his toilet every day – it annoys me. Every time he licks his lips or smacks his teeth or whatever it is he does with his mouth that sounds like nails on a chalkboard – it annoys me.

I think you get the picture.

So I’m going to try to give him a break. I’ll see the positive. He’s a caring man, who is concerned that I’m going to be out in a storm without an umbrella. He is a generous man who loves to feed his great-grandchildren and watch them eat. He is a self-sufficient man who doesn’t ask ME to do his laundry or clean his toilet (anymore), he’s learned to do it himself.

The crazy lip-smacking thing he’s got going – I suppose I will live with. I did tell him I’d buy him some chap stick. We’ll see how that goes.


Just typing as he talks:

“I know how to get rid of arther-itis” (arthritis)

“Oh?” I’m acting interested as I type.

“I got a book that tells me how to do anything. (Laughs a sort of an- I know more than you do sort of laugh)

Somebody sent a letter in the mail and it tells me all the remedies on all kinds of stuff, so is sent it back and bought the book. I find it quite interesting.

You put raisins in a bowl, cover it with gin, let the gin evaporate into the raisins then eat 9 a day.” Chuckles a bit, “Maybe they figure the gin makes you forget the pain.”

“Probably.” I’m still typing.

“ I get all kinds of email from that Rand Paul. I don’t get none from Trump or that gal. They all send shit.

I’d like to get the stock market on my phone. I got google, but I don’t know how to….” Just got distracted on his phone and he’s whispering something while reading.

Still playing with his phone.

“They’re also plugging vinegar too, they say that vinegar helps everything. I been hearing that for years. I guess they sell a lot of vinegar.”

It’s probably some sort of vinegar conspiracy I’ll hear more about later. They may be in cahoots with the HVAC repair man, or GOD FORBID the weathermen.

Furnace Cleaning 2015

Today is the first day of fall. Naturally my dad starts thinking of his furnace.

Dad, “You know I’ll be turning that furnace on soon, it’s eventually gonna get cold. I wish I could get down there and clean out that squirrel cage – it’s gotta be full of dust and dirt. I just can’t get down on my knees to do it. I’m sure that the furnace is going out this year – it won’t last.”

Me, “Dad, do you want me to call an HVAC company and have them come do maintenance before we turn the furnace on this year?”

Dad, “NO!!! Why the hell would we spend $500 to have someone come out and do that? I change the filters every month it shouldn’t need it.”

Me, “It probably won’t be $500 if it’s just maintenance and a cleaning…right?”

Dad, “Are you kidding? These Colorado sons-a-bitches will screw you over – probably more than $500 by the time they’re done with you. But I’m not even sure it needs to be cleaned out. It hasn’t been cleaned out since I’ve lived here – what 12 years. 12 years is a long time, I’m sure it’s about to go out. It’s probably full of dirt and all kinds of shit!” (getting agitated now) “But NO!! don’t call anyone out here. I bet it’s used to the dirt and if we clean it – that’s when it will go out. And if we don’t clean it, it’s gonna go out eventually, so we’ll have to pay that $500 when we get a new one, but if we do clean it – they may charge us the money it would cost to get a new one….and HELL THEY’LL PROBABLY TELL US WE NEED A NEW ONE ANYWAY!”

By now I’m thoroughly confused and decide to just wait for him to quit rambling.

Dad, “Ya…it’s gonna go out. It won’t make it through the winter. So let’s just wait until it goes out and then we’ll fix it.” Long pause, “Or hell, I don’t know it may make it through, so maybe we need to get it cleaned out, but if we clean it that change in weight and pressure from the dirt leaving may throw it off balance and the ball bearings will mess up and it will go out…so let’s just let it go.”

I’m sure I’ll have this conversation with him again. Many, many times.


Dad has a new habit, and it’s not annoying at all.  While talking on the phone, if I don’t respond constantly with a “wow” “Huh”  “really” “you don’t say” “I know” he yells, in a rather irritating tone, “Hello! Hello!” In rapid succession.


Dad has always had a flare with his use of the English Language.

Paula and I have been trying to repeat what he says in order to remember these grammar lessons, so that we may pass them down to future generations.

A few of our favorites:

Cause something to disappear = Dipissitate (more commonly known as dissipate)

This word is used frequently, for example, “I put water in with that juice to dipissitate the sugar.”

Entangle somebody or something = ME-ier (more commonly known as mire)

Commonly used when the great grandkids spill something, “I gotta clean that up before they Me-ier it into the rug!”

Medical system based on alignment of the bones = Cryopactic (you and I might say chiropractic)

I just heard this one the other day when he was telling my Stan was having trouble with his back, “He went for a cyropactic appointment.”