Life has been pretty slow over the last week as I impatiently await my surgery. Unfortunately, the pain has gotten so severe that I can no longer leave my house anymore unless I have a little energy to go work out at the hospital in the mornings. The cyst has grown larger (+30% in the past 18 weeks) — which means it’s pressing further onto my spinal cord and has also started to impact my breathing. I suppose I would describe it as not being able to get a full breath of air every time I breathe. With that said, I do have one funny story I would like to share with you.
I was having so much trouble breathing yesterday that my neurosurgeon, Dr. Liu, made a house call and brought with him what I can only describe as a canvas pillowcase filled with oxygen. I suppose the pillowcase was lined with some sort of plastic on the inside so the oxygen would not leak out. I cannot help but thinking how relieved I am that my Dad was not in China at the moment smoking a cigar next to me 🙂
This oxygen pillowcase holds about 1 to 2 hours of oxygen, and it can then be re-filled at the hospital to take it home again. I am pretty sure, due to the fact that oxygen is so flammable, that these pillowcases may be illegal in the United States. My caregivers have been going back to the hospital every day to refill the pillowcase for me so I can breathe a little easier in the afternoons.
I suppose this oxygen pillowcase could be a popular new accessory in certain Chinese cities (thankfully not inclusing Kunming) as the air quality continues to deteriorate. I can somehow imagine the Chinese lining up in the near future to get their pillows filled with oxygen after a bad dust storm, just as Americans wait in line to get their gas cans filled after a hurricane. 🙂