June 24, 2013


I tackled the hardest hills first, figuring even if I had to turn around after a mile, I'd have made them two very good miles.

Unfortuantely, I'd lingered indoors too long and a summer spot shower drenched the area without cooling it off, so my little hike Sunday was 3.85 miles of hot, humid walking up and over the hills surrounding Green-Wood Cemetery.  (No, it is not lost on me the irony of using exercise to try to survive though the route literally circles a cemetery.  It just happens to be the hilliest route near me.) 

Once I got out, though, and started up the hills, I discovered I had to put the oxygen pulse setting at six - the maximum this device can deliver.  Even at that, I never saw saturations above 93.  I'd be worried except that I generally felt fine.  I coughed a lot - a LOT.  I guess that's the point.  Anyway, I struggled up the three big hills and finally came to the highest point in Brooklyn.  As I checked my oxygen supply and blood ox levels, three somewhat lost girls turned away from the gate that's on that side of the cemetery and asked me where the main gate was on 5th avenue.  I was easily able to give them directions.  Just follow the fence.  It'll jog left and right a couple times.  About 3/4 mile down, you'll find the entrance.  I guess they were going for a tour.

I continued my hike dowhill, then around the third side of the large pentagon-shaped route and tackled the milder uphill toward the D train stop I know is on the south side of the cemetery.  Got there and double-check oxygen supply.  Fine.  Did the last mile home in good time. 

So what's the point of this?  Well...I haven't been getting much exercise except for the bicycle since September.  And honestly, I desat pretty quickly on the bike, especially hills.  And the oxygen tank can't compensate fast enough for that.  Also, there's the Boomer run next month.  I will have to walk it.  Hopefully the finish line will still be there for me when I get there.   And so I sweat.  It was nice not to have work things to worry about and soon I can devote even more time to daily exercise.  I don't think my lung function will improve much, nor my saturations magically improve on their own or require less oxygen, but perhaps I'll be able to use what oxygen my lungs do absorb more efficiently and I won't be so tired all the time.

Now, if only I could start to get my interpersonal relationships back on track.  As my energy to tackle everyday things has declined, maintaining relationships has been one of the
first things to fall by the wayside.  With some people, it's a relief to just say "fuck it".  But with others, it isn't so good to let the relationship dissolve.  And though I don't feel the need to be the center of attention of a thousand people, I also don't necessarily want to die alone.  And that's a real risk here.