As we get older, we are reminded of our mortality more frequently. I don’t dwell on it, fear it or deny it because it is a simple fact of human life, and from my point of view there really are things worse than death.

Over the past six months my big strapping, can-do-anything husband’s health has declined. He has kept pushing on, enjoying his gardening and his small orchard last summer, but he found himself to be increasingly tired and short of breath. So during the past 3 months he has embarked on a journey to find out what is causing it.

The first was to address his life-long sleep apnea.  Over the years,  I knew that he stopped breathing at times, but I just got used to that unless it went on for too long and then I would shake him and he would start again. Tests showed that it was happening more than 320 times a night. He was diagnosed years ago and bought a machine, but it was noisy and cumbersome and he ditched it after a few months. Now he has a new one and technology has made vast improvements.  I still don’t envy him when he has to put it on at night, but it is mercifully silent and he doesn’t have to wear a full face mask now.

Then we went through the treadmill and ECG tests.  Not satisfied, the doctor sent him to Kamloops Hospital for another, more in-depth heart test.  They found nothing that concerned them.

But still his blood oxygen levels stayed at about 88% , which is concerning.  The doctor and respiratory therapist ordered home oxygen. The day it was installed, Lloyd was out working in his landscaping planting two Maple trees–shoveling dirt and setting the trees. When the respiratory therapist who installed the oxygen took his oxygen level it remained at 88%.

On Tuesday (Nov 3rd) we went to see a Respiratory Specialist in Kelowna (6 hour drive one way). He had reviewed all of Lloyds test results and concluded that the level of asthma and CPOD that he might have would not cause the significant lowering of oxygen in his blood. He told him to use the oxygen 24 hours a day and now we are back to square one.

More blood tests, more lung scans and more heart tests. When Lloyd asked him what he was looking for he said possibly a blood clot in the lung or weakening of the heart’s ability to pump, resulting in fluid build up around the lungs.

We will be both happy to finally know what we are dealing with and take it from there.

When we were traveling we were listening to Willies Roadhouse on Sirius Radio and the song “If Tomorrow Never Comes” played. I was reminded again how important it is to tell and show all those who mean so much in our lives how we feel–in case tomorrow never comes.