Contributed by Bob Rawlins, oxygen user and consultant to CAIRE Inc. ~
Have you ever waited too long … to call your doctor when you are not feeling up to par?
So, I personally have struggles with this. I take good care of myself generally. Fought off many things and continued to work through many of the common illnesses we have all experienced in our lives before my current lung compromises.
Now, I am not suggesting that even when you are healthy you should wait to get treatment, but those of us on our current journey need to proceed much differently then maybe we used to, don’t you think?
So, I am writing this from my quarantined location in my own home. Why? Mostly to avoid another hospital stay. Yeah, I call it my “bomb shelter.” Hold on, don’t get crazy on me, and pass some kind of judgment about me. 🙂
This is a place, my office, where I am pretty self-sufficient. Picture the TV mounted on the wall, on swivel, so I can move from the couch to the rocker and have it move with me based on my seating preference.
A bookcase in the corner with lots to read, a roll top desk, housing a computer and other necessary supplies, and all my favorite things – my lighthouse and seashore themed decorations on the walls and shelves. Not to mention I have more than sufficient light! Two great windows to look outside or blinds to keep the ugly weather out.
Protected from the evil elements and illnesses that come with the territory.
Now, I spend lots of time here. To write, read, TV binge, think and meditate. But it has to serve as my safe haven when needed. All 10 X 10 of it, LOL! My trusted therapy puppy, Opal, loves it here. She snoozes, I work, sort of!
I have found that things that used to take me a few days to battle back from, common cold, congestion, whatever, can now take weeks to recover from.
So, this time, I definitely waited TOO long to call and see my doctor. I’m not invincible anymore. Colds and allergies can turn into bronchial symptoms or worse. Not good!
I hate to go back on higher doses of corticosteroids, 60-80 milligrams a day for two to three weeks. Wheezy, feeling like crap, fatigue and FRUSTRATION – totally sucks!
However, can we prevent this? Well, maybe not all but I think the majority of it we can, yes.
First, I had a talk with my doctor.
- When should I call or text you?
- Set-up agreeable actions with your health care provider.
- Self-care or family help to monitor
- Oxygen levels?
- Feeling “off,” from your current base or up to par?
- Breathing easy
- How much struggle in each breath?
- Does oxygen therapy need to be adjusted?
- You need to know yourself, you know your body better than anyone.
- You are not invincible, it’s ok.
Pretty basic, but easy guidelines to talk through with your doctor this time of year. Don’t wait.
You know, sometimes, not always you can add to the damage and it can be permanent. In my case at least with all the scarring I have on my lungs. So, don’t be a knucklehead.
So, I had to go see my doctor because things weren’t improving, and I couldn’t get back to my base. I got pretty “chewed” out by her. She reminded me that if and when my lung volumes decrease for whatever reason she can’t confirm that they will get back to my current base if I wait too long or ignore the symptoms with proper medical procedure. Idiopathic, remember that word?
Now, I must say, my doctor from the Cleveland Clinic here in Cleveland, OH, is one of the best in her field of critical care, and pulmonology, and the clinic is now rated #1.
Therefore, you listen, scarring can come from infection, we all will develop it anyway through a normal aging process, but those of us already compromised need to take notice. PLEASE DO!
Yep, here I am in the bomb shelter, getting better, but shut off a bit from things I like doing.
It is amazing that it takes the time it does to get rid of some of these common illnesses. But, I’m at the end of this situation and will be cautious and careful of my health going forward.
You owe it to yourselves and your family and your care providers. Your doctors and nurses are part of your journey, don’t compromise all their hard work either!
‘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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