Two HBO events happened this week. Both were two days ago on Friday.
I didn’t begin the hyperbaric oxygen treatment on Tuesday as I had planned. I began Friday. That was the first HBO event. Had to get the ears cleaned first, but really, it was all about the time commitment, and fitting that into the right slot. When originally presented with the HBO treatment option, I was told how easy it was to pass the time, watching TV, reading, or sleeping. So the time commitment wasn’t so bad if I could catch up on reading that had been shelved.
But, I found out after going there that whoever told me I could read was wrong. You can’t read. You can’t have anything with you. It’s two hours & 15 minutes slouched in a pressurized tank. Your options are: sleep, watch TV, meditate, or be bored out of your mind.
Was actually excited about the chance for forced focused reading time. When they told me I could not read, that changed everything. I’m just not a good meditator yet. To get into a transcendental state with a plastic helmut in a slouched position under pressure is not the ideal way to practice. So I didn’t.
The first session on Friday was super boring. The challenge without being able to read is when, during the day, is the best time to invest, or loose, four hours. It’s 2.25 hours inside the tank. But, you’ve got to get there early, change into scrubs, wait for the assistants to get the stuff ready. They need to check your ears, blood pressure, listen to the heart, and then hook you up with leads and wires so that this same monitoring can go on while you are in the tank. Bottom line, you need to be there at least 20 minutes prior. Once out, they check again, you change back into your street clothes so it’s at least another 10 minutes. Add commute time and it’s a 4 hour daily commitment.
I know I’m lucky, and grateful, that the HBO tank is not a further commute than it is. But as it is, it’s a full-part-time job. Twenty hours per week. If you could read, it wouldn’t be so bad. But without reading, what the hell, over. What time of the day can you give into four hours of boredom, or sleep, or watching TV? The last time slot is 5 p.m. and seems most ideal but it’s not available for a couple of weeks. In fact, their schedule is fairly booked so I can’t be too picky. The only current open slot is 7 a.m. Not a bad time either. But to get in a workout before hand, I’ve got to get up by 4:30 a.m., and take a drinkable breakfast with me. At least, I’m thinking, I can watch some morning news program.
The TV wouldn’t be so bad, but the commercials are brutal. There’s always been tons of pharmaceutical commercials. Now there are commercials for cancer centers across the U.S. (“come to our cancer center, we are the best, we care”). It’s all about the numbers, and good marketing. It’s a big business. It’s just not the kind of thing you want to see and hear (over and over) while you are sitting in a tank trying to cure something you got from another cure. Let’s face it, TV in your face without control of the remote is entrapment.
And I swear on a stack of pancakes that I didn’t try this. For years I was downloading movies from two file sharing sites. But recently the sites have shut down. Normally the TV is merely a monitor for watching downloaded movies. Now no more movies — without commercials. Hence, I relented and on Friday called the cable company and ordered HBO. Now, at least a few channels of commercial free movies. It’s one vice satisfied, movies on a weekend evening since I rarely go out at night.
HyperBaricOxygen and Home Box Office. Both called HBO in their worlds. If there was only a way to combine them.