Things to do … not just “stuff”

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

Do you have things to do? Not just the “stuff” we have to do, but things you want to do.

What about a bucket list? Do you revise it often? Are the things on your list realistic, in other words, not a fantasy or a million in one shot?

I didn’t revise my list very often until after I got sick. I had to revisit, rethink, and adjust to what was too ambitious, or possibly out of reach because of some new constraints. It’s important to do so.

“Why,” you say, Captain Obvious? Because if you don’t it can work against you and you may start to feel a bit depressed, anxious, or just bummed out about not being able to achieve what you set out to do before changes in your life happen or have happened.

Think about this:

We need to stay away from the depressed moods of the day (feeling sad, empty, hopeless, or on the of tears) and showing less interest or pleasure in activities you once enjoyed

It can lead to:

  • Weight loss (even when not on a diet) or experiencing weight gain. Also note decreases or increases in appetite.
  • Difficulty sleeping or being overly tired.
  • Restlessness or feeling slowed down
  • Fatigue or a loss of energy.
  • Feeling worthless or guilty.
  • A lack of concentration or difficulty with decision making.
  • Thoughts of death or suicide.

Positive attitude!!!

My bucket list:

I had to remove:

  • Hiking some of the famous trails in the US.
  • Scuba diving
  • Some of the more vigorous sports like, water skiing, water tubing, softball, soccer, etc. (but hell, I’m 60 that is probably a given, LOL)

There are many things that will slow you down just because we are aging normally, right? So those come off but are there things we can still do, maybe slower, but still accomplish? Of course.

So, I couldn’t scuba in the Cayman Islands, but I snorkeled with my family instead.

I can still take walks on some of the nature trails when we are on vacation, take walks on the beach, and swim in the ocean. I am more cautious of course.

You can still sit down by the surf with your beach chair in the water and have the cool breeze help you breathe as the ocean tickles your feet. You can bury your feet in the sand and help the kids find sand crabs and collect shells. Love that, 🙂

You can also have a nice beverage of your choice. Wink, wink!!!

When I go to the beach, I take my portable compressor and an oxygen tank.

Use the oxygen tank down by the water with a longer cord so I can get what I need and not have the oxygen float away. LOL

Go back to the blanket area, or base camp and hook back up to my portable CAIRE Medical oxygen concentrator. 🙂

Always bring an umbrella or portable tailgate tent, with lots of cold water for hydration, very important. (Freeze the bottled water overnight, two or three can last you all day.) We use them in the cooler to keep things cold as well.

Lots of stuff you say? Well, remember, ask for help, go with family, reach out to friends and get reacquainted.

I do go by myself if we are close to a beach or lake dock. Bring my chair, water, and oxygen but plan my time accordingly and bring my cell phone. Get a waterproof pouch for your cell – they are very inexpensive and are great for times like this.

It’s a great time to think about “stuff,” even revise the bucket list.

I have travel on mine still. Do you? And if you don’t, why? Mobility is so available to you.

I was talking to someone the other day and they said their family has been trying to plan a vacation with her but she “can’t.” I said, “Why?”

“I feel trapped,” she said. “This whole oxygen thing and lung disease has been a major adjustment for me.”

“We have to come to terms with it,” I suggested, “and then we can determine the plan or course of action to accomplish things you want to do.”

If there is a will? There is a way. Please don’t think otherwise.

So, I couldn’t scuba, but I snorkeled in Cayman. I checked it off on my bucket list. It was at the top before I was sick and I accomplished it after I was sick.

Yes, we have to adapt, yes we can feel challenged, but talk and think through it. With help you can make it happen.

‘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.

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

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