|A chapter on cough from my Dad's medical textbook, circa 1950|
|A puff of this'll do ya!|
The anesthetic for his three minute EGD** was uneventful, and he tolerated the procedure well. However, as I'd predicted, his post-endoscopy course was complicated by coughing that came in paroxysmal volleys, bombarding the recovery room's airspace with decibel-shattering blasts, drowning out ambient conversation, beeping monitors, and even the telephone. His nurse shook her head. "How can she live with that?" she wondered aloud, observing as his wife sat quietly at his bedside, seemingly indifferent to the hacking clamor. "I don't know," I responded, lying through my teeth.
|Rory using his vibrating lung-cleaning vest (2003).|
|An incomplete sampling of routine CF medications.|
Yes, coughing certainly can precipitate crazy. The first symptom of schizophrenia experienced by a friend of my sons' father was a cough. George had enlisted in the Navy after high school, and at some point during his early twenties was stationed on a submarine, training to become a SEAL. Out of nowhere, he started hearing a cough. It was random at first, a low-pitched cough that sounded like someone trying to clear his throat. No one else could hear it. That auditory hallucination, a simple cough, heralded his descent into madness.
|Nick giving himself a nebulizer treatment (2003)|
|Rory and Nick, looking & feeling good, December 2012|
I've also learned that Fate is impartial, not unfair. I don't believe in a God who doesn't give us more than we can handle, but I do have faith in the way things are. In that faith lies the balance between hope and fear, the stoutheartedness which drives me to support and encourage my sons no matter what, to continue playing my hand instead of folding, to roll with the punches, to keep on keepin' on even when the going gets rough. I accept flux, not the status quo. Problems only seem insurmountable to those who are inflexible, and baselines are neither rigid nor absolute. Like the concept of normal, they're really just a reference point.
Liam Neeson's epic "very particular set of skills" scene from "Taken."
**EGD: esophagogastroduodenoscopy. A procedure which uses a small tubular camera to examine the esophagus, stomach, and first part of the small intestine.
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