The Travails of Dealing with Supplemental Oxygen
Here’s me being real. I’m tired of:
- Having to fight with my insurance and oxygen providers to get the oxygen I need.
- Tripping over the long cord that runs throughout my home.
- My husband tripping over the cord.
- My cat biting through the cord, letting all the air out.
- Having to carry extra cords, tanks, and batteries wherever I go.
- Worrying that something will go wrong with the oxygen I brought with me when I go out, because invariably it does.
- Having to bring enough tanks with me to get through a doctor appointment or errand, as well as back-up tanks, just in case.
- My cords getting caught on EVERYTHING!
- Oxygen delivery drivers who either don’t show, or show up very late.
- Having to pay for oxygen to breathe. Come on!
- Being on the phone with my oxygen delivery provider for an hour, including being disconnected three times.
- My poor nose getting dried out so there are crusties, and sometimes getting nosebleeds.
- Wearing a cannula — or insertion tube — just doesn’t help my look.
- Remembering to clean the filters on my oxygen concentrator, and replacing my cannula every week. Just so you know, I’m not very good at this.
- Watching my supportive husband lug my tanks around for me. Sometimes I tell him I’m sorry he has to be a beast of burden.
I know I’m not alone. Please tell me I’m not.
This week I’ve been more irritated than usual. I keep removing my cannula when sitting, just to get a break — until my oxygen levels drop to under 90. Unfortunately, it takes only about two minutes for this to happen. But I love those two minutes.
Writing about this oxygen thing helps me get it off my chest. I hope it helps you by making you realize you aren’t the only one feeling this way. In addition to writing about, I cope better by shedding a few tears and telling my hubby I’m sick of it.
After my catharsis, I become grateful again that I have access to supplemental oxygen. I know that many people lack the access, insurance or money to get the oxygen they need to stay alive. And I know I’d be dead if I hadn’t had supplemental oxygen the past three years.
OK, I’ve said my piece. How about you? What are the biggest struggles you’ve had with supplemental oxygen? Do you ever feel the way I do about the hassles? And how do you deal with it?
I’d love to hear from you. I love the way we can all connect and learn from one another.
Please share this post with anyone you feel could benefit, or on social media. We’re in this together.
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.