Well, time has shown that it is possible to get used to all kinds of inconveniences.
When I was at boarding school, I became, over-sensitised to a high-pitched whine made by the boiler down in the cellar. My study-bedroom was one of the old servant's rooms in the attic of the Victorian house that we lived in, and the head of my bed was against the chimney which acted as the flue for the boiler. It would wake me at 5am every morning, and then I would be driven almost to tears by the persistent noise. I remember padding round the corridors in the dark until finally I found somewhere where I couldn't hear it, and curled up in a chair in the common room desperate to catch up on a few more hours' sleep.
However, we are winning over the oxygen machine. It has been in place for just over a week, and we are both beginning to sleep right through.
It has a bass motor hum, and then a couple of ostinato sounds; the click of the relay as it switches between a gentle hissing inhale and exhale, and a steady mid-register change up and down a minor third, like a soft, slow-motion fire-engine neeeeeee-naaaaaaw. The most disconcerting thing is that the tempo of this "music" is just too fast for breathing in time.
I have been listening to audio books on my mp3 player through headphones as I know that this always sends me to sleep. It makes for quite a traffic jam around my ears; ear-plugs, the ends of my glasses if I am still wearing them, and the thin plastic tubing, which wraps round my ears to hold the tube in place in my nostrils.
I thought the plastic tube would be dreadful, horrible, but actually no, not too bad. The main problem of the tube pressing uncomfortably against the bony part of my skull just behind my ears was solved by choosing a softer pillow. The other fear, of having the tube wrap itself round my neck, has only has happened just the once, and the tube is stiff enough to stay loose.
I may well dispense with the audio books soon; I am listening to Chesterton's "Father Brown" stories at the moment. Last night I only heard maybe half of one story, so must have dropped off to sleep quite quickly.
It seems that time and time again, what has looked like being a dreadful, terrible thing, has turned out to be much less worse that I feared. The first Cardiac Catheter that I had filled me with real fear and apprehension, but - hey - it's not that bad. Root canal fillings at the dentist were - not much worse than an ordinary filling. Not a great experience, but by no means unendurable. I am learning not to meet trouble halfway; it may never happen, and when/if it does, it may well not be such a great trouble as I might have imagined.