Challenge accepted

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

So, when it comes to your chronic lung disease journey, what concerns you the most?

Is it that different from what healthier people face? Or are their concerns, worries, and struggles, just different right now?

I realize there may be several things, especially if you are new to your journey.

However, as I have progressed into my second year and have learned to adjust my lifestyle a bit to the cards that have been dealt to me, new struggles appear.

Again, is that much different than others?

I think not, to a point.

It’s ATTITUDE. We’ve talked about that before. And I don’t mean the snotty, full of yourself attitudes, or the egotistical type either.

It’s the sure of yourself, helpful type. A really smart person told me once, “that you may feel smart but there is always someone out there, smarter, maybe, but you can learn from anyone. If you are open and willing to listen.”

Thanks Mom, 🙂

It’s all about the psych. YOURS. How you accept any challenge.

Yeah, it does stink that those of us with disabilities may have different struggles, but the way we go about it is very similar to the struggles we faced before we were sick.

So, what concerns you the most? Really think about it before you answer yourself.

And I suggest you ask those questions of yourself first and then share. It gives you the much-needed emotional feelings. But I totally encourage you to share, with your family, with a friend, with your support group, even your doctor.

When I was working and was faced with some tough challenges, I did something like this. Thought through the scenarios, outcomes, directions, etc. Then shared with my team. Made for very productive conversations and ideas that I never thought of initially.

That is why I say, share. There are many going through similar situations and some may have experience and others that are new to their journey will benefit from that knowledge.

I worried about seeing my kids and grandkids grow up. I was obsessed with it at first. I had so many thoughts about what will happen on the next vacation, next family and friend gatherings.

Stop! Think about today, tomorrow, next week. Yes, plan for the future to a point but not that dreaded 5-10-year forecast that I use to have to visualize while working. I really don’t miss those days. 🙂

My doctor said, “Take a break Bob, no pressure, and work on yourself and those immediate needs.”

Be selfish? Totally against my train of thought, but yeah, you have to.

You do have to learn to say “No” – that was another concern. But you must, to stay healthy, strong, and in focus. You have to put your health first and do what is best for you, and those “good” people will understand, NO DOUBT!

The dreaded finances, engulfed me, couldn’t sleep, grumpy, irritable and on a corticosteroid drug, (need I say more). I’m still on this, but have addressed that concern.

SO IMPORTANT, address the concern, the worry, whatever, it will eat you up if you don’t.

That is no different than when I worked, it was STRESS – a health eater. Address the concern, make a plan, and work the plan.

EXERCISE really works to help me stay focused, but also has become somewhat of a support group. I exercise at the hospital for my pulmonary rehab and it is great. If you have that opportunity to rehab with those that are on a similar journey, DO IT!! Great therapy for you and them.

You can basically worry yourself to death, I’m convinced, and I’ve seen it.

Yeah, here comes that cliché, “Life is too short, to begin with.” I try and live by it as best I can.

So, what are your concerns and worries? Write them down, address them. Seek support where you can. Provide activity for yourself that will help you build a better attitude if needed.

Even today, 75% of people are worried about the past, I say why? You can’t change it. But you can make your future better and learn from your past.

I really think the challenges we are going through on our journey today were in some form or fashion similar quests we may have conquered when healthier.

Stay Strong!

‘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 or calling 1-877-704-0878 to talk to an oxygen advisor. We also have included a convenient contact form below if you want us to reach out to you. Thank you. 

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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