Re: Awful News+


I spoke with Suzie Richardson this afternoon.
If you know Suze, she has a joyful spirit and she is not a crybaby. But
right now she is walking into a mudslide of "arrangements" with continuing rain
and without her best buddy beside her. She is holding up about as well as I've
ever seen a wife do. I have read your sentiments here and I would suggest
that at some point when she can sit and think it would do a world of good if she
had a pile of snail mail notes and cards to read. If you have the time,
could you do that for her in memory of Dave? I've seen that simple act do wonders
around this house a time or two.

Doug Humble, can you circulate an address?

She and Dave had been helping their church set up for an event. They came
home with Dave being uncomfortable with "heartburn". They did have some spicy
food for dinner so Dave took something for relief which had not yet worked when
they dropped off to sleep.
Suze was later awakened by an odd sort of snoring/breathing pattern from
Dave. As a tolerant wife will, she poked him. No response. She turned on the
light and called out. No response, but still breathing. She got up, grabbed his
shoulders and shook. No response. Now stymied, his breathing then stopped (at
this point he was probably happily traveling toward the white light at the
end of the tunnel). Suze works in a Doctors office. She called 911 and started
CPR. The equipment arrived PDQ, they got to the hospital where treatment
intensified but without success.

The funeral may happen this weekend.

And now that I have your attention:

Some of you know that my early career, 20 years, was as a Registered
Respiratory Therapist. This is no comment re: Dave R., but I still pay attention to
"breathing" and there is something I want you to know. We have had many
wonderful advances in our culture, but there is a prickly side to it. One is
overweight. When you are asleep at night, that relaxed gut flops against your
diaphragm muscle which in turn leans on your lungs and makes breathing more
difficult. Not normally a problem. Fatty changes in your neck anatomy can
negatively affect your "intake manifold." This often results in snoring. Not normally
a problem. But medical "practice" these days is becoming increasingly aware
of abnormal snoring patterns wherein the snorer stops breathing for a couple
seconds at a time all night. This is called sleep apnea. This causes
fluctuations in blood oxygen saturation and unsatisfying sleep. Normally body organs
don't have a high requirement for oxygen when they are at rest, but that l'il
ol' ticker of yours NEVER takes a break. It don't like fluctuating oxygen
saturation... and over an unknowable period of time it incurs little bits of
damage and sometimes it gets tired of the extra pushing it has to do past those
fatty diet blockages. It just decides to quit. No more flying for you.

So... pay attention to your partner. Yes, some snoring patterns are
hilarious (and I've tape recorded some); you like needling him or her as they protest
that they do not snore at all. Listen for the apnea. In this house we both
have snored. Both of us have been tested. My saturation is fine thru the night
but wife Mary is being treated. So far, so good here and I wish the same for
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