Monday, March 03, 2008

Take a deep breath

I'm busily working away these days. Got me a new manager (4th one in a year) who is new to the company. I have not yet jumped to another group…waiting for the machine to move according to the rhythms of glacial time.

H sleeps and sleeps - lots of issues with his sleep apnea . Now, Drs. tell us that his apnea is not simple (of course), but is central nervous system apnea. Basically, it means that his brain isn't telling his body to breath. Most likely caused by a combination of the narcotics that he takes for pain and the damage to his nervous system by the virus and PML.

So, H has a new sleep apnea machine that is more like a ventilator than not. It not only pushes air into his lungs, it helps him exhale it too. Sigh. Noisy thing it is, too.

Now, I've noticed him not breathing on his own more and more while awake…almost like he is holding his breath and he's not aware of it, he says. But after a moment or two, he gasps and takes a breath in.

If it isn't one thing….

In the first week or so my new manager was here, I was talking with her about leaving the group. Needless to say, I'm ready to go to another job and my current management is just as ready to see me go.

But I was taken aback by two questions from my new manager about H: 1) how old is he? 2) and what's wrong with him? I was very uncomfortable with this line of questioning, as you can imagine.

Now, I've had a variety of managers in the past 3+ years since H got much sicker, but I've never had anyone ask me those questions. They've asked me how is it going, how's H (for those who know his name). Generally, tho', I don’t get asked by management, which is fine by me.

Within the next week, my manager was standing in the doorway of my office. She asked me loudly about "that short, Asian woman" she saw me with. My office is a megaphone and so the whole hallway heard.

Needless to say, I've contacted the HR department.

1 comment:

Y | O | Y said...

I'm battling apnea myself! My general doctor just recommended I go to a sleep specialist. I, too, find myself now breathing irregularly when I'm awake. I'm opposite of H...I take a deep breath in and then realize I'm holding it before I exhale.

As you say, if it isn't one thing it's another!