Yesterday I had a difficult experience. It began when our electricity went out as it was turning dark. We didn’t know the cause of the power outage, or how long it would be out. We later learned that a tree in the neighborhood fell down and took out a transformer. I wasn’t concerned initially, other than the normal inconveniences everyone experiences.
I use liquid oxygen, which doesn’t require electricity, but I do use an oxygen concentrator at night. My husband and I took out our flashlights, and talked about what we should do. We initially decided to stay home and go to bed early.
After about 10 minutes we changed our minds
We live in northern California, and it was 95 degrees (Fahrenheit) outside. After 10 minutes without electricity, it was 80 degrees in the house and climbing. I don’t do well in the heat because it makes it more difficult for me to breathe. I turned on a battery-operated portable fan, which helped only a little.
My husband said, “We can’t stay here, it isn’t safe for you.” I’m so grateful for him! He started packing a few things, including a concentrator and some cords to put in the car. I got on the phone to make a reservation at a hotel. It took me five tries before I found a hotel that wasn’t full.
It took about a half an hour to leave, and the temperature had climbed another few degrees. My husband filled up my portable stroller with liquid oxygen so I could get to and from the car. We packed and went to the hotel, and stayed there until morning, and I am so glad we did.
I learned a few things from this event
I was prepared by having:
- a source of oxygen that didn’t require electricity
- flashlights that worked
- a battery-operated fan
- a bag of oxygen cords, connectors and cannulas already packed to bring with us
I hadn’t considered:
- how not having electricity would affect me on a really hot day
- that I might have trouble finding a hotel room
I’m going to add the numbers of several hotels in the area to my bag of oxygen cords, connectors and cannulas so I don’t have to look them up, and add another set of batteries to run the fan.
All in all, it wasn’t very much to deal with – especially as I considered all those who are dealing with the hurricane and flooding in Texas and Louisiana. I kept thinking about what our fellow PF patients must be going through in those areas, and offering up prayers on their behalf.
How about you?
I’d love to hear from you! How have you coped when your electricity went out? What has given you the most problems? What other ways have helped you get through this challenge?
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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.