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9 March 2022

There's an old saying that advises it's better to apologize than ask permission. But the wisdom of that presumes you know what you're doing and where you're doing it.

Oxygen. iPhone 6 Plus capture edited in Adobe Camera Raw.

Taking photos in medical facilities can violate patients' rights. So if you ask someone in a white coat if you can take photos, they're likely to prudently ask you to curb your ambition due to privacy concerns.

On the other hand, people often taken photos of their loved ones in medical facilities. Sometimes it marks a medical milestone. Other times just a more conventional special moment.

We witnessed something of a milestone the other day. Joyce's first hyperbaric oxygen therapy session.

She spends two hours in a sealed but transparent capsule filled with pure oxygen that has been pressurized to saturate her blood. The therapy aids healing of wounds that otherwise resist improvement. Which is, apparently, common after radiation exposure.

The therapy aids healing of wounds that otherwise resist improvement. Which is, apparently, common after radiation exposure.

Even, we were told, 30 years after exposure.

There is nothing exotic about the therapy, it turns out. Private individuals buy their own Sechrist hyperbaric chambers or an equivalent. LeBron James, for example. Michael Jackson, too.

We're just renting.

Without any optional cryonics, in case you were wondering.

There are four chambers in the facility we visit daily five times a week. Staff keeps the lights low because to pass the time patients watch a TV mounted just outside and on top of the chamber. And, then too, some of them simultaneously snooze.

It can be, when you get used to it, rather spa like. We're told. By the staff.

Pure oxygen at pressure is a fire hazard. So patients can only wear a cotton hospital gown, removing all jewelry and wearing a grounding strap on their wrist. You must refrain from using any electronics. The TV remote, sitting outside the chamber, is operated by a nurse upon request.

Imagine two hours without tweeting anyone.

Anyway, we liked the lighting we saw from our chair in the waiting room. So we snapped a photo. No one observed us. But no one's privacy was violated either. You wouldn't know who this was if we didn't tell you and we told you because we've mentioned you to Joyce enough times before that she probably feels like she knows you.

Her medical coverage has approved 20 treatments but we're told that's probably to see if the therapy is any help. A full course runs between 40 and 60 treatments. At five times a week and 20 times a month, that's about three months max.

It's an hour commute for us, plus the two hours therapy and another hour prep, pressurizing and depressurizing. Four hours a day, in short.

But you aren't getting rid of us that easily. We'll be around.

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