Contributed by Bob Rawlins, oxygen user and consultant to CAIRE Inc. ~ So, a question, do you celebrate your accomplishments? Not to boast, mind you, but to celebrate.
I remember when I was working and as I started to accomplish some of my personal goals I would have some kind of reward I would try and shoot for. Sometimes it was a material thing like a golf club, tied to a financial goal. Shared a dinner with my family when it was a family-type goal, whatever … you get the idea.
But, honestly, for me, the best celebrations at work took place with my co-workers. When I managed people we use to set goals together. We worked hard and played hard. When we fell short we fell short together, no finger-pointing. No, it wasn’t always perfect, but you have to have a plan and work that plan together.
So, is it any different today in your retirement, or your journey with chronic lung disease?
I say, No!
You have to have a plan for yourself, your family and your friends. We talk about getting others involved. We need other people to be successful.
We need doctors, we need their nurses and assistants. We need good facilities. Good institutes of proper medical knowledge. But, we have to trust those resources, it’s okay to question, but ultimately you have to have trust.
Set the plan, but celebrate the achievements along the way. No matter how small.
When I first got very sick almost two years ago, now. I wasn’t sure I was ever going to get off the bed I was in. My lungs seemed so damaged and being on a ventilator for so long had all the reason to believe the worst. But my family, my doctors, nurses, and all the prayers they kept saying, and their words of encouragement for me to keep trying —made all the difference.
Baby steps! Every day. I remember celebrating with my therapists, when I could sit up without my oxygen dropping into the 70’s. High fives, smiles, and hugs…
Then walking 10 feet, for more hugs, my family crying with excitement. I use to walk for those hugs and tears. I was so happy inside. Celebrating the things we take for granted every day.
Getting over the panic of not being able to breath every time I moved or tried to do just about anything. I taught myself how to adapt and make the proper adjustments. Celebrate, to say the least, I was beaming inside and out. I was going to get better or at least to the point in which I could get out of the hospital and see my kids grow up.
So, when you are struggling in your journey and things are tough, celebrate the things you do today that were so much easier before you had this condition.
I remember saying to one of my aides, “What condition do I have to be in for you to get me into a wheelchair and take me up to the observation floor so I can see and breathe the air outside?”
First, she says, “We need a nice day. 🙂 Next, we have to make sure you get clearance from your therapist and doctor.” So for the next two to three sessions I told my therapist what I wanted to do. Teamwork, we had a plan, and after the second session. Mission accomplished! With my family alongside and my aide as well we took the journey. I hadn’t been outside in over seven to eight weeks and it seemed like an eternity. The sky was gray, the clouds were low and the air was chilly, but I was warmer than warm inside. Celebrate the small things!
You get a good progress report from your doctor, celebrate it, go out and have fun with your friends, family, whomever. If I stay stable, I celebrate. 🙂
Maybe you reached a new level in your pulmonary workout, celebrate it!
You are important. You are the one that knows how you feel. You have to do the things that keep you positive. Oxygen therapy is not a life sentence, it’s a new way of life, and you’re special!
My family and I decided that if I continued to improve we would have a big celebration together as a family. Celebrate Life, Celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary, and Celebrate my 60th birthday, her 50th birthday, and our kids becoming teenagers. This is when I was 58 and when I initially got sick. Well, we made it. I have lots to share next time when I will share tales from our trip and all the people I met who were celebrating as well.
‘Til next time!
– 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.
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.
*By submitting this information, I authorize CAIRE to contact me including by phone.