author at rest

Maybe get up and shave now

Three or four years ago I thought I was dying. Just walking up the driveway took away my breath. I’d wake up at 3:00 a.m. unable to breathe unless I got up and walked around until I felt stable enough to google all the horrible shit that might be wrong with me. Bought an oximeter and scared myself silly. On my usual four mile hike I’d run out of gas on the upgrades and panic about making it back to the car. The main thing though was waking up at night and feeling like I couldn’t get enough air. Bloated you see. Gas in my stomach that crowded the lungs. Burp like a sonofabitch, sleep, wake up and die… Most of this I kept hidden so I’d be free to keep worrying about everything else.

Yes of course I went to my doctor. I hardly ever do but both of us are cool with that. He wondered if I was lactose intolerant. Me the biggest milk drinker on the planet my whole goddamn life. I freaking love milk. My whole diet was predicated on what I could wash down with great gulping glasses of ice-cold milk. My body knew best and my body said milk. Come on man. So naturally I thought he was wrong.


No testing no nothing. Haven’t seen the guy for a couple of years. Remember I had more googling to do. After all my lungs might be damaged. My heart might be failing. My ears certainly were and a few other things so don’t take this lightly right? Watch me wear out MayoClinic.com.

Then a couple of weeks ago I made a bad face and sloshed my wife’s almond milk over my cereal like she’d been telling me to. We must have been all out of milk is all I can figure ’cause almond milk Jesus. Probably make me grow titties and leaves in my crotch. It tasted pathetic but I didn’t swell up.

We did buy more milk but I stopped drinking it at night and then tapered off altogether. What the hell would I eat now much less drink. I still don’t know what I’m doing but I’m not drinking milk. Cheese and yogurt for sure but no leche and I’m watching the cheese. Jesus the doctor was right. Not one instance of bloating and belching for 14 days now and it seems like my lungs are still clearing from mucous and crap.

When I test my blood oxygen now the percentage is several points higher than it’s ever been here at 7,000 feet. Did you hear? Several points higher. For two weeks I haven’t awakened at night not even to pee. Just sitting here typing it feels like my lungs have doubled in size. There’s less sinus congestion as well. I breathe in and there’s nothing but space in my nose as the air pours into my lungs which are huge healthy and fine. All the damn oxygen all the damn time.

Oxygen, oxygen.

Come here you’re mine.

Sign up for email delivery of JHFARR.COM posts via Substack! Same content sooner with bigger photos! ⬇︎

John Hamilton Farr lives at 7,000 feet in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, U.S.A. As New York Times best-selling author James C. Moore tells it, John is “a man attuned to the world who sees it differently than you and I and writes about it with a language and a vision of life that is impossible to ignore.” This JHFARR.COM site is the master writing archive. To email John, please see CONTACT INFO on About page. For a complete list of all John’s writing, photography, NFTs, and social media links, please visit JHFARR.ART  

  • Catherine Naylor October 18, 2019, 5:35 PM

    Whew! You had me there. But I kept saying this was 4 years ago … and he’s still here.

  • JudyinBoston October 20, 2019, 9:40 AM

    I got used to almond milk when my doctor advised “no dairy, no gluten.” Lost 15 pounds and kept all by 2 off. Hard diet, but almond milk on cereal is not bad. Bad using to mash potatoes. Anyway, good for you for being willing to try something and glad it worked.

  • Katy George October 21, 2019, 12:21 PM

    cids sells lactose free dairy products. i used the half and half and tasted no difference..you can have your milk again!

  • Judyinboston October 21, 2019, 7:49 PM

    Try Lactaid milk. Think it’s a national brand. I bought for my house guest. The choices were low-fat (1%) and non-fat. Low fat looked blue. Non-fat probably tastes like water. Not a member of the lipophobes.
    They do make whole milk!

Previous post:

Next post:



Latest Posts

Discover more from JHFARR.COM

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading