Contributed by Bob Rawlins, oxygen user and consultant to CAIRE Inc. ~
Halloween is here, and it can be a “SCARY NIGHT,” no doubt.
But, DON’T GET SPOOKED when you are told you need oxygen therapy of any kind, large flows, low flows, once in a while. They are all just numbers prescribed individually for your personal needs.
However, adhere to them, very important. Don’t be so vain as to think you are invincible!
I can speak from experience. I remember when I first woke up in ICU after my helicopter life flight, which, BTW, I never did enjoy, I was ventilated and asleep through the peaceful flight on a clear night over downtown Cleveland. I’m sure it was beautiful.
But I awoke to sounds of different origin. Ventilator sounds, and my own breathing sounds. Voices in the room. The constant beep of machines all around. What is this and where am I? But more importantly, why was I here?
Yeah, I GOT SPOOKED over that. Anyone who says they weren’t if they had that experience is full of baloney, LOL. Normal, the anxiety of the infamous unknown. You don’t have to be sick to experience that. People go through it in many ways. Work, home, and life in general.
We all want answers, today! But chronic lung disease, especially idiopathic, is a classic example of the unknown anxiety syndrome. It can and will spook most people.
So, weeks went by, tests taken, lung transplants discussed, all while I was on 24/7 oxygen. I was on a 15-liter rebreather bag in the beginning. Then after numerous machines that had me at 15, then 10, then 8 continuous flow liters. Things seemed better.
Question, will I be on oxygen therapy forever? This is new, how do I live, will I have a normal life again? Will I get out of this bed without dropping so low that sitting still is my only option? Yeah, that is spooky, I guess.
I remember asking my doctor, “So if this stays like this what are we going to do?” She says, “Lung transplant.” Hmm, anxiety in high gear, lots of visits by many doctors from all areas of medicine. Potential new procedures, etc. …etc. …
So, I have always been a man of faith and I prayed, and I prayed for his help in trying to figure this out. I will fight but I can’t do this alone.
Then as weeks went on, the respiratory therapists and doctors kept working on my oxygen needs and physical therapy.
Things started to improve, slowly. Now, we put lung transplant on the back burner a bit because, OXYGEN THERAPY, was working. It was providing the necessary oxygen needed to have my body work better and at lower stress levels.
Oxygen is the key to everything, it helps all your organs. I love when people who first get diagnosed, they say, “I don’t want to become dependent on it.” What? Dependent on oxygen? Think about how silly that is.
So, you should and have the right to feel scared and worried. But ask questions, seek support from family, friends, and your fellow oxygen therapy users.
DON’T GET SPOOKED by needing oxygen therapy. It is a new way of life, no doubt. But, with all the many new machines and services available today, it is nothing short of amazing.
CAIRE Medical is clearly the leader. Research your needs, understand what is available to you.
I was just told at my last three-month check-up, that I have remained stable, for about 12 months now.
However, I will be on oxygen therapy for the rest of my life. If things get worse, of course, the pursuit of a lung transplant is an option. But, since I am trying to live a pretty normal life I might be able to continue as such. So, I am thankful, I DIDN’T GET SPOOKED.
Oxygen therapy is a new way of life as we grow older and with renewed purpose.
Embrace and research your needs and options. You will no doubt be pleasantly informed of what you can accomplish.
So, leave the spooking to those dressed up in those scary costumes!
‘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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