Contributed by Bob Rawlins, consultant to CAIRE Inc.
~ So, I thought this might be a good subject of conversation. It might bring back some unpleasant memories for you, but I thought this might help others who might be going through it as we speak.
How did you feel when you were first told or prescribed oxygen therapy by your doctor?
“You are going to need oxygen therapy,” he or she might have said to you as you sat on the examination table.
“What’s that?” you might have said, and other questions.
“For how long?”
“Is it permanent?”
The experience is alarming to say the least, right?
For me, it didn’t register until they told me they were trying to get me into a rehab place that would accept a patient with “high” oxygen needs. Oh boy, I thought.
I for one, have never had lung problems, so it kind of hit me like a ton of bricks.
Whether you did or did not have lung issues before the therapy was prescribed it is still an eye opener, don’t you think?
Maybe you can share a story about your experience as well.
I personally was very anxious. I do have an A+ personality, so I’m told. 🙂
Being on a ventilator for 14 days and then on a rebreather mask afterward, pretty much “rocked” my world.
When 15 liters of oxygen is flowing into your body it makes you think.
Am I going to be able to get out of this bed anytime soon? After eight weeks in the hospital, this “doubting Thomas” was clearly getting more attention than ever before.
But, after awhile I did see my oxygen needs start to come down, and I started to realize I can do this. I consider this the first phase of what I call “Oxygen Therapy Attitude.”
You need to develop and find your own “’tude,” so to speak.
It takes time, you can probably relate I’m sure.
As I started to talk to more and more people on oxygen, it became apparent. It doesn’t matter how much oxygen flow is necessary per patient, just the fact that you are on it.
Things like your lifestyle, activities you enjoy, and work will all change, no doubt. How do you start to embrace it? Unfortunately, some never do. 🙁
My faith helped me to embrace it and I wanted to do more to help others, if I could. But how you ask?
Great question, it took me many, many and many more months to try and figure it out and it continues to evolve daily.
Every day is a gift, whether they are good or bad, it is a new day!
With oxygen therapy each day can have its challenges.
Too cold, too humid, watch for this, don’t do that. Careful who you shake hands with, sanitize, sanitize, and sanitize again. Really?
Yes, lifestyle change, right away, in or out of the hospital. Lung tissue is so precious and complicated.
I’ve learned your own thoughts can be your own worst enemy. Learn what you can, ask tons of questions, ask how others cope. Share, listen and learn has been my new motto. In my own defense, I have always tried to practice this in all I’ve done.
However, this has been so important now for my own personal therapy.
You are not alone, at times I swore I was.
Flashing back to when I was in ICU, waking up in the middle of the night. No one around, quiet, and only the sounds around you come from the machines in your room.
What were they for and how do they all work. Simple, they keep you alive and kicking dummy, says the invisible being in the room.
I chuckled a bit to myself, but then things started to come to mind.
How long is this going to take and how long will I be in ICU?
Will I be able to get out of this bed and walk down the hall soon?
How about moving to the chair less than 5 feet away without setting off any alarms? Not allowed yet.
What is that beeping noise?
What is that howling of wind sound?
You can almost hear your heartbeat, it’s so quiet.
Did anyone else have similar thoughts or feeling going through your head?
Please share a story or two, invite others to participate.
As we continue our journey, we know family, friends, and quality of life are so important to our lives and how we cope.
The CAIRE Medical blog is such a great place to share experiences.
“Laugh every day,” ‘til next time, 🙂 Coach Bob
Bob Rawlins, 59, of Medina, Ohio, is husband to Terese and father to their 12-year-old triplets, a soccer coach, a hospital volunteer, and marketing guru. He has been on oxygen therapy for more than a year. He enjoys skiing and golfing with his SeQual eQuinox portable oxygen concentrator.
If you have been prescribed oxygen therapy, learn more about CAIRE wearable, portable and stationary oxygen concentrators by visiting www.cairemedical.com or calling 1-877-704-0878 to talk to an oxygen advisor.
When using any oxygen therapy device please consult the applicable product instructions for use for product indications, contraindications, warnings, precautions, and detailed safety information.
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