A favourite quote and a way by which to approach life.

Today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday.

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

The octophant and the elepus

When I was ill recently I had a period of 4 days and 4 ½ nights of no sleep whilst fighting for breath. This, along with starvation through sickness, is an excellent combination for becoming somewhat delirious, so I found. Now then, while I was lying/sitting there in bed I had two drips going into me and an oxygen mask that was delivering high-flow humidified oxygen. When oxygen is being humidified they have to use a different kind of tubing connecting the mask to the O2 point, so that the tube's diameter allows the passage of the water vapour through it. The tubing is about an inch wide, is stiff plastic, ribbed and called elephant tubing.

During the last ½ night of no sleep, when the lungs were finally settling a bit, but I was not very lucid due to sheer exhaustion, it suddenly occurred to me that I had a trunk and tentacles, and then I became overwhelmed by the idea that I was a hybrid of two animals. I couldn't decide whether I was an octophant or an elepus. In fact, the inability to make this decision bothered me so much that it contributed to my insomnia. In the end I worked through the dilemma logically - I counted my appendages and discovered that I didn't have quite enough to be able to consider myself and octophant, and as I'd never heard of a septaphant then I couldn't be that (don't you just love delirious logic?), hence my ultimate conclusion that I was an elepus. I'm not keen on the tentacles and the trunk, but I do like the word 'elepus' so I'm quite okay with being one. Oddly enough, once I'd settled this with myself I was finally able to sleep ... and I slept for 3 days (apparently through various spells of breathing difficulty that I was just too exhausted to wake up for).

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