The gift of friendship

Contributed by Bob Rawlins, oxygen user and consultant to CAIRE Inc. ~

So as we are in the midst of the holiday season, I trust and hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are looking forward to a joyous and merry season with family and friends.

COPD awareness month has ended and I hope those of you coping not only with this ailment but any chronic lung disease took advantage of the many things available to us about caring for others, ourselves, and learning more about the many advances in medicine and mobility equipment to keep us mobile and active.

CAIRE Medical has done a great job not only with this blog, but with the many services and equipment they provide. Always trying to stay on top of and improving technology especially in their portable concentrators. Making them more affordable, light, and convenient to use. Mobility, flexibility was a huge beginning for me, to start and continue living again. Yes, we all need to. Once you receive your diagnosis, correct? Remember, acceptance, denial?

It’s all a choice you make.

Many of my friends ask how I keep a positive attitude. I say, you don’t see me in private, LOL.

We all have our days, sick or not, right, it’s no different, remember that. We move more slowly now, but everyone has their days. The days in which to sit and ponder, be thankful for what we do have, whatever health we do have, whatever friends we can truly call our friends, our family, our faith, that inner strength that we all need to call on, at least I do, every day.

And honestly, having my freedom and independence back is so huge, but only you can make that choice and with the right “tude” you have that freedom. It’s a mind thing, it’s not always about moving around, and it’s about having a clear positive outlook on things.

Whether you have just started your journey or continuing it, you will get to understand and know who your friends are very quickly.

Remember, “Everyone is your friend when the seas are calm, true friends are those that weather the storms with you.”

I am so blessed to have as many friends as I do, and some I guess I never realized before and to the degree I should have, if that makes sense.

When I finally got to a rehab hospital after surviving weeks in ICU on ventilation, and weeks on the hospital pulmonary floor, an old frat brother walked into my room.

I hadn’t seen him in over 30 years, but he made a special trip to see me and we talked about many things and reminisced, prayed and he wished me well.

Friends from high school, college, and sports teams I played on, all reached out. We had community meal plans. Our local soccer association mothers had a fund-raiser for us.

My closest of friends around the area were at the hospital taking care of my kids, wife, and visited me. My doctors and nurses commented that they thought I had more visitors than if the President was in the hospital. Yeah, I did feel pretty special, but more than that, I knew I was loved by them more than I ever knew before.

They wanted nothing in return, just for me to get better.

My one buddy, said it best. “Bob, just keep up the good fight, don’t ever give up, you are one of the strongest people I know, and you got this.”

So, that is my wish for you!

Don’t ever give up!

Call me, write to me!

There is many who will listen. Encouragement is everywhere!

‘Til next time!

Breathe Easy.

– Coach Bob

Bob Rawlins, 59, of Medina, Ohio, is husband to Terese and father to their 13-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.  

CAIRE is a global manufacturer of wearable, portable and at home oxygen therapy solutions. These medical devices come equipped with a variety of pulse and continuous flow options, and sensitive breath detection to ensure peace of mind for the user who depends on supplemental oxygen to maintain a more active lifestyle. CAIRE’s most popular products include the Focus and FreeStyle wearable oxygen concentrators, and the Eclipse 5 portable oxygen concentrator.

When using any oxygen therapy device please consult the applicable product instructions for use for product indications, contraindications, warnings, precautions, and detailed safety information.


To learn more about the CAIRE oxygen therapy solutions speak to an oxygen advisor at 1-877-704-0878 or visit You can also fill out the form* below and a CAIRE oxygen advisor will reach out to you directly. 

*By submitting this information, I authorize CAIRE to contact me including by phone.

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