The Next Fifteen Years In Bed

InSeptember, my blood oxygen dropped. I have COPD, so it wasn’t a surprise. But I was caught off guard by how quickly it dropped and how far. I went from a blood oxygen level of 96% to 80%. That’s not enough to stand or be fully cognizant. I lost consciousness and toppled. A friend found me 12 hours later soaked in piss on the floor.

I went to the hospital and then rehab. When I returned home, I used a wheelchair, an oxygenator, and throwaway diapers. Two weeks home, I had a mobile x-ray and blood work done. My results showed my kidney function had plummeted from normal to less than 10%. I went to hospice, which was lovely. I could have all the orange juice I wanted.

Stasis set in. I wasn’t dying, but I wasn’t improving. Medicare rules pushed me from hospice to a nursing home. I have been here since November, a total of six months. I’ve been bedridden throughout that time. My muscles atrophied. I can’t stand or walk.

It’s 50–50 whether rehab can help me. Diastolic heart disease can’t be fixed. COPD is already stage 4. Psoriatic arthritis is uncurable. I’ve decided to ride it out to the end with the best attitude possible.

What do I have to work with?

I can sleep and dream. In my dreams, I can go anywhere and do anything. Sometimes I fly. Often, I cry with grief at the death of my three younger sisters. It is what it is.

I stream movies and YouTube.

I use my computer to research the lives of celebrities. I use it to write for Medium. And I buy food for delivery.

I have no family to visit me. So-called friends stole from me. My grandfather’s two gold coins were pilfered. I’m helpless on my back like a turtle.

It is what it is.

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