A scary moment
I recently had a scare while in my backyard. I was cutting some ivy, an easy task I can do without bending over or digging in the dirt. I had a full tank of oxygen with me, and I was trimming on my back fence.
Despite being careful, I clipped right through my oxygen tubing. I immediately got scared, sat down on a chair, and said, “Oh no, oh no, oh no!” I was 200 feet from the back door and started to panic a little. I use 10 liters per minue when walking, and I wasn’t sure I could make it. My husband was at the grocery store, and I was home alone.
Then I remembered that I had an extra oxygen cannula inside a bag attached to the cart I use to push around my oxygen. I pulled it out and attached a new cannula. It took a little while for my O2 levels and heart rate to return to normal.
I was so grateful I had the cannula with me, along with some other items I might need in an emergency. I’m hoping my experience will help you.
Always be prepared
The boy scouts are right with their motto, “Always be prepared.” I’d like to share the items I have with me when I am out and about.
As the next two pictures show, I have a small bag attached to my oxygen cart that holds a cannula, $20, an extra set of car keys, a pen, and chapstick. I also had my phone in my pocket. About a year ago, I locked myself out of my car, and I was so glad I had an extra set of car keys.
Being dependent on oxygen to stay alive puts me in a vulnerable place. It’s so important to be prepared for the worst-case scenario, both when at home and away from home. Being ready no matter what is one of the ways I practice self-care.
Having to use supplemental oxygen 24/7 is hard enough without having to deal with a (preventable) oxygen emergency.
What I learned
- I’m not going to do simple gardening if no one else is home. If I didn’t have an extra cannula with me, I don’t think I could have made it back to the house.
- I’m going to keep reminding myself just how vulnerable I am and how prepared I need to be.
- I’m going to always bring an extra tank outside in case something goes wrong with the tank I have with me.
I’d love to hear from you
What close calls have you had while using oxygen? How do you prepare for a worst-case scenario? What other words of wisdom do you have for us?
Please leave a comment below.
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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