Don’t Help Me


I love people.  I love my friends.  But, everyone drives me crazy.

Mornings are never good for me.  Even sleeping on a slant (so that my lungs fill up less), I have to spend a bit of time walking around clearing out my lungs.  Yes, it’s gross.  Yes, it’s unpleasant for me, too.

Take that show on the road, sleeping flat vs. on a slant, and the congestion will be aggravating.  That’s just how it goes.  And another reason why I don’t sleep in a hospital bed, or have a “slant” pillow when I travel.  It doesn’t help.  The only thing that helps, marginally, is sleeping sitting up in a chair, or on a slant.  Way too much hassle to deal with or even consider dealing with when it comes to having a few simple days of being “normal” and ignoring my “best solutions” to settle for “good enough” solutions.

But, I know what I’m doing.  I’m monitoring everything for infection or loss of functioning, and I’m doing what I can to ensure that I can remain as able as possible so that I can continue to go on adventures and not simply sit in a chair, waiting to die.

Medicine images

The above image was my daily start.

– Theodur 24 (breathing)

– Hydrochlorothiazide (high blood pressure, aggravated by the breathing meds)

– Vitamin E (to offset the side effects of the breathing meds on my eyes)

– Vitamin D3 (to offset the exhaustion caused by COPD and simply trying to breathe)

– Metformin (now 3 pills, as they don’t feel it’s having the benefits it should)

– Atavastin (cholesterol meds – a new joy in this game for staying healthy)

– Fenugeek (to regulate blood sugars)

– Marshmallow root (to aid in breathing, and to help the lungs fight congestion)

– Cinnamon (to regulate blood sugars)

– Tumeric (to fight inflammation, believed to be a root cause of systemic ill health)

– Milk Thistle (to fight liver damage / failure)

– Maca Root (to fight the hot flashes from menopause)

Then, as I struggled, because I was leaving a warm / dry climate and going to the woods, water, and higher altitudes:

– Allegra decongestant

– Xopenex (inhaler, which often causes more problems than it solves, longer term)

– Aspirin (aches and pains from arthritis and related medicine-caused side effects)

While I had way too many soda’s to keep my energy up, I monitored the output and also brought water with me to ensure that I protected my liver and stayed hydrated.  Adjustments have to be made to simply live without hassle, and when you’re traveling more adjustments have to be made.  Nothing major.  But, every adjustment impacts my state of congestion or wellness on a daily basis.

So, it was wonderful to have a friend here.  But, it was also a lot of work.  And a heck of a lot of explanations about how I’m doing everything I can to stay healthy.  And to hold my temper as I’m challenged / prompted to take even more meds, like there was some magic bullet that would fix my COPD and make me healthier for the trip.

More is not necessarily better, despite what our consumer-driven economy might make you believe.

More can be toxic, or self-defeating, as it triggers yet more complications with the base problem you’re trying to figure out how to fight to the best of your ability.

As we were driving around, I was subject to other people’s colds, perfumes, etc., any time we shared space with others.  Not a problem for me, as I refuse to become a militant.  I accept the fact that the real world contains germs, and that the real world doesn’t agree with me that zero perfume or added scents is anything but a marvelous idea.

I behaved.

When we went on a boat ride, I knew that it was 52 degrees, and that it would be a good idea to be indoors enjoying the view from behind glass walls vs. outside enjoying the breeze.  So, I did it, despite my wish to enjoy the day fully.

I know what I’m supposed to be doing to remain as healthy as possible, even while simply enjoying a day runs the risk of making me sick.

So, it makes me insane to have someone hovering.

Prompting me to take my meds.

Challenging me on whether or not I’ve taken “enough”.

Please.  Don’t hover.  Don’t help me.

I am on my best behavior in public, fighting my aggravation every minute of every day, trying to remain invisible as a sick person.  That’s my call, and the only way I know how to live.  Hiding in plain sight.

But, I’m fighting bone-deep aggravation and irritability 24x7x365.  I don’t need someone asking me the same question again and again so that THEY will feel better.

I don’t need prompting to get a handicapped license plate as an entitlement.  Trust me, my remaining active by NOT having that plate is a negotiable issue.  As is my laziness.  If I have to keep moving to remain as healthy as possible, then let’s leave the handicapped plates for people who are in pain and have trouble walking.  While I may be in pain and tired, my view is that a handicapped license plate means that I (specifically) shouldn’t be behind the wheel as I’m too tired to be able to do all involved.

Tired driving is similar to drunk driving, and I feel that I just shouldn’t be doing it.  I’m also hoping that an automated, self-driving car will be an affordable reality in my lifetime so that I don’t have to give up my independence.  Until we get to that point, my doc hasn’t taken my licenses, and I try and use common sense about when to be out and about.

I had a wonderful time going to Lake Tahoe, Yosemite and San Simeon.  Yes, I was pushing myself and risking my health.  But…

This constant coughing is my life.

This is as good as it gets.

Don’t “help” me, as you just don’t know how hard I’m working trying to keep up, blend in, and have a good time passing for normal.




2 thoughts on “Don’t Help Me

  1. That muffin looks delicious any way….. and good on you for getting out there and going on adventures despite having to hide in plain sight. Your friend meant well I’m sure….but I ‘get’ it (and I’m guilty of it too)..the repeated asking of “Are you okay? Do you need *insert whatever I feel they need* etc etc to elder or chronically ill friends of mine. Good take on a kind way to tell them to f*ck off and leave you alone (metaphorically).


  2. I probably wouldn’t have minded so much, if we weren’t on an active trip and couldn’t get away from each other for any period of time. I know she meant well, but I also hate it when I put that “snap” in my voice which says, ‘Don’t push it’ as a way to get someone to stop.

    There’s a fine line between being helpful and being oblivious. We tread that line a lot. Hopefully, it was ok, and she’ll be willing to come for another visit in the future. My goal is to never hurt my friend’s feelings, but sometimes you just can’t ensure the outcome.

    I hope you’re doing better and are getting out of pain. Your headcold sounds like a major hassle, so I’ll hope you feel better soon.


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