July 17, 2018 at 10:41 pm #13507
Recently I was watching a video on tips to feeling confident while wearing supplemental oxygen, and I posted this video in a previous forum post. After watching this, I was “sucked in” to watching videos others have made on various platforms, such as YouTube and Instagram about wearing O2 as a young adult.
In one of those videos, the topic of “perks” to being on supplemental oxygen was mentioned. At first I was taken aback by this because I couldn’t wrap my mind around what would be a perk to being tethered by an oxygen cannula to a tank or concentrator in order to be able to breathe. I almost stopped watching the video at that point, but I am glad that I didn’t.
The video went on to mention perks such as: getting assistance with your luggage at the airport, and skipping lines or going ahead of others who might have the stamina to stand in a long line (I no longer do). I still don’t know how I feel about these being perks, but the more I listened to the video, the more I understood where the patient was coming from. Still, I’d give up all of these “perks” in exchange for being able to breathe freely.
Back in April I wrote a column about special accommodations that I noticed when travelling with supplemental oxygen. I wrote about how, in general, I’d rather have no disease than any special accommodations. That full column can be found here.
Do you consider there to be any “perks” of wearing supplemental oxygen?
If so, do you take advantage of any of them?
April 15, 2019 at 7:34 pm #18483Daryl LongParticipant
I’m new to the forum, and just starting to scroll through the topics.
For the first year, I was in denial over needing oxygen, and was uncomfortable being seen using my portable. I didn’t want to admit to my limitations. Consequently, my activity was very restricted, and I ignored opportunities for perks. (I call this my “Oxy-Moron” phase.) That changed when we drove to the Grand Canyon. We were at altitude, so I was using my portable in the car. At the canyon entrance, the nice ranger saw the cannula and asked me if I used supplemental oxygen. The outcome was that she gave me a special pass. The road to Hopi Point, a great area for photography, is normally closed to private vehicles. Only buses have the code for the gate. This pass allowed us to drive the care toward Hopi Point, stopping where ever we liked. Due to the car restriction, there was plenty of parking everywhere.
Not everyone wants to drive to the Grand Canyon. But, if you do, be sure to wear your cannula.
April 16, 2019 at 8:43 am #18505
Thanks so much for writing to us about this topic, and welcome to the Pulmonary Fibrosis News forums!
Your comments about not wanting to be seen in public wearing your portable concentrator really resonates with me, as I struggled with this for a long time as well. It felt easier to set limitations on my abilities as opposed to wear my oxygen and deal with the onlookers and people asking questions. However, it suddenly hit me that I didn’t want to have limitations, especially given the seriousness of this disease so I set aside my nerves about being seen in public and try to take advantage of as many opportunities as I can wearing my oxygen. This is certainly easier said than done, however.
Thanks for sharing this story about the perks of supplemental oxygen; there certainly are some. Similar to airports, or waiting in line for things, often times our oxygen allows us to skip those lines (and for good reason). It can be hard to see this perspective at times, but good to remember too. Thanks again for writing!
July 28, 2019 at 10:47 am #20538Joseph CollinsParticipant
When first prescribed supplemental oxygen I was hesitant to use it in public. My pulmonologist casually mentioned that he had seen me put on glasses when I need to see something clearly so why should I not go to oxygen when I needed to breath? Nuff said!
July 30, 2019 at 2:50 pm #20562Chuck PefleyParticipant
Needing to use supplemental O2 does give me what I consider to be a perk. O2 use automatically qualifies for a disabled parking in the State of Washington. I think the “perk” idea is perhaps a matter of perspective. Preferential seating at the theater is another plus.
But PLEASE, don’t think for a minute that I wouldn’t rather pass up those “perks” in exchange for having healthy lungs and no need for O2!
Then again, it is what it is and I’m happy to have oxygen resources available to me.
August 1, 2019 at 10:25 am #20588
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this topic and offering your thoughts/perspective. An interesting alternative to what I wrote about! I think you’re right – “perks” could be left to individual perspective, I could certainly see how some accommodations due to using oxygen (priority seating, not waiting in lines etc) could be considered a perk. Still, like you, I’d give up this disease in an instant to be rid of these “perks” and live a normal life compared to my young-adult peers.
I always appreciate your perspective and attitude because despite it being a pain in the neck sometimes, I am grateful oxygen is available to me to help manage this disease! I am aware that it isn’t available for everyone. Thanks for that reminder 🙂
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