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Ever use one of these?

Early in the frosty morn, I’m going to get up, take a bus to the hospital and have a chest x-ray.

Or I won’t. It’s a walk-in clinic so I’m under no obligation if it’s really frosty. But my doctor suggested it on account of I’m in Week 9 of the Hacking Cough.

I’m not too worried. I was such a heavy smoker for such a long time, I always hang on to coughs weeks after the virus has gone. Takes me forever to get my stamina back.

I’m thinking of asking Santa for one of these, charmingly called an incentive spirometer. You blow on the thing and up go the balls, I gather. It’s for lung rehab. Doctors sometimes send pneumonia patients home with them to recoup some lung function.

Now is the time when the old people talk about their operations.


Comment from p2
Time: December 3, 2019, 10:19 pm

Back in the good old bad old 1970’s I was a semi talented avid brass player. I used the 70’s version of one of those to help build up the muscle strength needed to increase my lung capacity. Because your lungs aren’t muscles. They inflate by vacuum created when your chest expands and your diaphragm drops. Likewise, the amount of force you can expel is directly proportional to the amount of force those muscles can generate on the exhaust stroke. Stronger muscles equals more breath out which equals pitch range and volume when required. It even worked….sorta.

Comment from QuasiModo
Time: December 3, 2019, 11:26 pm

I had a blood clot in my lung and pneumonia in 2012…after it was over they gave me a gadget like that to get me to breathe more…I don’t breathe deeply enough, apparently. I think it’s a self defense mechanism to keep out the air pollution, frankly.

I get a pneumonia shot every 5 years now…stuff is called ‘pneumovax’…I’ve had pneumonia 4 times…I can feel your pain.

I also smoked for 30 years and that episode in 2012 ended it…wish I’d quit a lot sooner.

I find the best thing for runny lungs is lots of fresh dry air…open your windows often and air the place out.

Comment from Armybrat
Time: December 4, 2019, 12:55 am

I teach my patients to use them. You actually inhale, not exhale. And to do it right, you inhale long and slow. Keep your shoulders down and no quick, shoulder-shrugging breaths. You want to imagine you’re looking at a cake with a hundred candles on it. You have to take in a breath big enough to blow out all those candles with one breath. Long, slow breath in, when you think you’ve filled your lungs, suck in some more air.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: December 4, 2019, 1:15 am

“ You actually inhale… And to do it right, you inhale long and slow. Keep your shoulders down and no quick, shoulder-shrugging breaths. “

This exactly how I teach people who are new to Texas to drink a frozen Margarita through a straw…

Comment from Mrs. Peel
Time: December 4, 2019, 2:12 am

I’ve never smoked in my life, but I have a recurring dream that I’m a smoker. Go figure.

I had to get the pneumonia vaccines (pneumovax and prevnar) after I had my cochlear implant surgery, because apparently pneumonia and foreign objects in your skull near your sinus cavities are a very bad combination. I got a lot of side-eye at Walgreens bc they don’t like giving the vaccines to generally healthy people in their 30s for some reason. But I had a prescription, so…

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 4, 2019, 7:42 am

You inhale! That makes sense!

On the bus. My, it’s dark at 7.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 4, 2019, 7:45 am

p.s. yes, the bus has WiFi. And contactless. What a time to be alive.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 4, 2019, 8:50 am

The hospital also has WiFi. Huh.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 4, 2019, 9:15 am

Done. Fifty minutes until the next bus.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: December 4, 2019, 11:22 am

I do love the growing ubiquity of open WiFi. With my smart phone (4G/LTE, no data cap) it doesn’t matter so much, but with high probability of finding a Wi-Fi connection I can also use my laptop, tablet, or Kindle away from home. Add to that the proliferation of craft breweries and distilleries, and Yes! What a time to be alive.

Comment from Zoomyn
Time: December 4, 2019, 1:34 pm

A ‘Kee’ test & exercise … One note, singy song, how long can you sustain a fortissimo ‘Kee’ — repeat, repeat until dizzy and flushed, be earnest and embarrass the cats…

Something about phonetic anatomy and physics, Kees coordinate the battle of coarse & fine control against atrophied or lazy muscle/nerve groups…

Not just something to kee you busy, it’s work.

Comment from DurnedYankee
Time: December 4, 2019, 3:27 pm

We can take it – you went – despite the frost.

My son – short one lobe in the left lung – used one of those.
Thing is a bear.

Hereabouts the Durned males regularly shout at our computers to build up lung capacity.
The results of the “Study to determine if using curse words during shouting exercises increases lung capacity more quickly” haven’t been released yet.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: December 4, 2019, 7:07 pm

@Some Vegetable. This exactly how I teach people who are new to Texas to drink a frozen Margarita through a straw…
Precisely. You do not want to get a brain freeze from your Margarita.

I hope you feel better soon, Stoaty. If you need something fruity and medicinal, I’m sure you can find a recipe for Margaritas on the innertubes, using fresh limes. I drink mine frozen, without salt. Sometimes I just slowly spoon the slush into my mouth. I have often thought Gin and Tonic would be good frozen to slush 🙂

Comment from Jon
Time: December 4, 2019, 7:16 pm

I’m still giggling inside about “up go the balls” because my sense of humor crystallized around 13 years of age.
Anyways, I do hope your coughing situation improves. The last bad one I had, I was prescribed a mild painkiller for the throat so that the coughing reflex would be reduced. Little gel capsules that easily rupture, so the throat gets ’em. Can’t recall the medicine’s name but I hope you can get it. Not only did it help the throat pain, but it did the trick for less coughing.

Comment from Anonymous
Time: December 4, 2019, 7:40 pm


I’d gotten a glancing case of six week (just shy of pertussis/whooping) cough a few years back – found rich & bitter dark chocolate (active ingredient theobromine) as lozenges helped a lot, some have caffeine style kick though.

Something to it, calms the vagus nerve?

Comment from DurnedYankee
Time: December 4, 2019, 11:57 pm

The Vegas nerve?

Come on!

You throw that kind of thing over the plate, SOMEONE has to swing at it!

For those who do not know – the frozen margarita machine was invented in Texas!
Drink up!

Comment from Oldcat
Time: December 5, 2019, 8:47 pm

I get persistent coughs myself after colds and fevers, though I was never a smoker. I found that cinnamon hard candy is a better supressant than menthol or medical drops and always keep a jar around and some in my pockets.

You might want to try that and see if it helps with the hacks, if they are in the throat and not down in the lungs like mine.

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