Contributed by Bob Rawlins, oxygen user and consultant to CAIRE Inc. ~ Yes, I know it may be hard to dance like we use to, but you can move a little.
I always introduce my SeQual, eQuinox portable oxygen concentrator, as my dancing partner. “This is my Ginger Rogers,” and I do have some pictures to prove it, go ahead ask me. 🙂
We can find so many reasons to not celebrate our accomplishments. The best I heard was, “it seems so silly,” not as silly as the hose in my nose…
“I’m too tired to celebrate.”
We can rest when we are 6 feet deep.
“No one cares.”
You aren’t hanging with the right people. Get out and find yourself new friends, and surround yourself with positive vibes.
Did you join any support groups?
“No matter how beautiful and well-crafted a coffin might look, it will not make anyone wish for death.” ~ Old African Proverb
Think about that for a minute.
While we are here, we have to live, we have to find the best way to breathe easy, smell the roses, and CELEBRATE our good fortunes and successes every single day.
This keeps us strong mentally, and focused.
I use to pray every day for the Lord to give me strength to get through the next day in the very beginning of my journey. And now, he has provided me even more to be thankful for and reasons to help others.
About a little over a year ago as I started to gain some of my strength back and could begin to get into a routine with my lung disease and see signs of the slow recovery journey I was on. We made a promise that we would start to save for a big Celebration.
A Celebration of Life, my young age of 60, my wife reaching her celebration milestone of 50, that she put on hold when I got sick, our kids turning into teenagers and our 25th wedding anniversary.
We decided to take a Disney Cruise, to take us to Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Cozumel and Bahamas. It was also a Star Wars adventure cruise, and her sister, husband and our niece and nephew would also join us. My brother and sister-in-law flew in from Florida when I was very sick so it was perfect that they would join us.
Perfect it was, weather, adventure, memories, and we talked about how far things have come. I didn’t see another person on that cruise with oxygen therapy, however.
Made me sad, why? Many other types of disabilities and the crew members were absolutely delightful. Disney does it right anyway, but they care about people, especially those that might need a little more. I couldn’t help but wonder why?
I know people with oxygen therapy do cruise, they have what they call “Puffer” cruises. Which I bet are great as well. But I hope they don’t stay away because of the embarrassment. Believe me, I saw so many other embarrassing moments that had nothing to do with oxygen, LOL … “The Mouse” does it right!!!
BTW, I got special seating everywhere, shows, stages, etc. Sometimes it pays to be special, you know what I mean, wink, wink …
So, I had the chance to talk to so many people, share stories, be involved, never once did I feel out of place. I was more tired than the average cruiser, but there were more places to lounge than you can imagine.
So, when we got to Castaway Cay, they had a 5K, run/walk. My 13-year-old son was all up for it. “Come on Dad, you can do this,” he said. Now, I was a bit hesitant to say the least right? But, I decided I could walk, take my time, and take some pictures.
So, glad I did. As I was walking, there were people that I had met during the week on the cruise and as they ran by me they said, “Bob, nice job, keep going,” “You are doing great, man.” My son stopped by on his second loop and said, “Pretty cool, huh dad?” It took all I had left to not burst out in a tearful tsunami, so we hugged.
At the end of the race, it took me almost 2 hours, me and “Ginger Rogers” crossed the line, my family and friends waiting and cheering. A new goal accomplished and visiting the Cayman Islands was something I could cross off of my bucket list.
So what did we do next, WE CELEBRATED!
‘Til next time!
– Coach Bob
Bob Rawlins, 60, 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 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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