I have a love/hate relationship with my supplemental oxygen. I use liquid oxygen at a flow of 8 litres per minute, 24/7, as well as an oxygen concentrator. I’m grateful to have it, for without it my organs would fail.
Using supplemental oxygen also has been quite a challenge, from obtaining it to beginning to go out and about with it.
My two portable liquid oxygen tanks hold enough oxygen for me to go out for three hours at a time. I’m grateful to still be able to go to the rehab gym, grocery shop or have lunch with a friend, three or four times a week. Some days I’m just too tired to leave home and lug everything around.
Today I went to a movie with a friend, but for some reason I used the O2 faster than normal, and I barely had enough to get home. Scary.
I just returned from a trip to southern California to attend my father-in-law’s memorial service. The picture to the right shows our backseat: Two liquid O2 tanks for the car, one 50-pound oxygen concentrator, and two portable units to use to leave the car or hotel.
I’m so grateful to be able to use supplemental oxygen, or I could not have attended
My lungs have worsened so that I am not able to fly anymore, even with a portable oxygen concentrator. It was wonderful to be with family and honor such a wonderful man, and I’m so glad I went. At the same time, it was so exhausting to have to lug all this equipment around, especially for my poor husband who has to pack and unpack everything. He is very kind about it all, but it is a strain on him.
I’m so glad I was able to attend, but a trip like that takes a toll
We drove 900 miles round-trip over a five-day period. It usually takes me a week to unpack and recover from how tired I get. As I write this, I still have suitcases to unpack and laundry to do. (It’s OK; there’s no rush.)
The trip got even more exciting when the oxygen delivery company brought only one tank before we left, instead of two. It isn’t a convenience to have two tanks, it is a necessity. I panicked because I needed both tanks to have enough to travel in the car, as well as attend family events and the service. The company arranged to have us pick up a second tank at the halfway point, which we appreciated. When we arrived there was a tank, but nothing in it because they ran out of liquid O2 the night before. So frustrating, but whatcha gonna do? After three hours of waiting, they filled it up and we were on our way.
I continue to be grateful for my supplemental oxygen, while at the same time frustrated by it. That’s fine, because both realities are true for me.
How about you? What are your experiences traveling with oxygen? Any tips for us? I’d love to hear from you. Please share on social media and with anyone you feel could benefit.
Note: Pulmonary Fibrosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pulmonary Fibrosis News, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to pulmonary fibrosis.
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