Life on Oxygen

Hello, my name is Christine. I use oxygen 24/7 and I’m 45 years old. I didn’t always have to use oxygen. It all began when I was 17 years old. It was a monumental change in my life. Since I was just a teenager at the time, it hit me hard. I’m hoping with this blog that people who also use oxygen can see that life isn’t over just because you need oxygen. I think the hardest part for me was accepting that I’ll never live without it again. Once I jumped over that hurdle, life began to change. For the good.

So with this blog… and for all those who are interested in knowing how I live with oxygen needs, I’ll post what I know in hopes that it will help others. Spouses & families too! I am married and what I’ve gone through since I was 19 years old, he’s gone through too with me.

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A little bit of fun adventure!

Living On Oxygen for Life

You know that every now in then, we really need something exciting to happen to give us a sense of adventure. I mean, if you’re like me, you spend a bit more time indoors than outdoors. So adventures can often be hard to come by. Don’t get me wrong. I seek out adventures wherever and whenever I can and when my next thrilling adventure presented me with an opportunity, I jumped all over it.

Ok, I’ll be totally honest with you. This adventure isn’t exactly for me. Let me explain what happened… *cue dream sequence* A few years ago, K bought me a new rubber chicken, which I named Klondike, because my previous chicken, Mr. Chicken (God bless his soul!) passed on to the pearly chicken heaven due to a broken neck. Yeah, Rocco got to him. Darn that dog! Klondike is much different, yet so similar to, Mr. Chicken. He’s similar because when you squeeze him, he screams but he’s also different because, Klondike is far more adventureous. If something exciting comes along, he jumps on it. Go Klondike, go! He even wears a crocheted beach hat that I made him! He’s stylin’!

Now, it’s been several years since K and I have been able to go on vacation (usually to the beach!) and Klondike probably is feeling pretty neglected. Poor chicken! When I posted this information on my personal Facebook page, my little sister saw it and commented that she and her husband are planning to go to Paris in a few months. She said to mail Klondike to her and they will take Klondike to Paris and take pictures of him there enjoying a NEW and VERY exciting adventure! Whoa! I was blown away! But, ohmygosh! Klondike needs to go in style… he needs… a beret! I have to crochet him a beret to wear instead of a beach hat in Paris. I mean, it’s PARIS! Not Paris, Texas… we’re talking Paris, France! I toyed with the idea of making him a cape too but I think that’s going a bit too far. After all, I will be 46 years old in a few months. OHMYGOSH! He’s going to need a Passport! haha! Here’s what Klondike looks like:

Roadtripmascot

I have SOOOOO much to tell you all. Updates are going to be coming to you about a bunch of different things. I just wanted to start out with something fun and exciting. I also wanted to leave you with the news that I’m doing well with no major health issues since a few weeks ago. I appreciate those of you who have emailed me with concerns that I’ve gone silent. I get in these funky moods sometimes and they are hard for me to get out of… The Texas heat doesn’t help the problem either but all is good now. I promise! Here’s a list of some of the topics I’ll be blogging about:

  • An Aorta measurement update since the CT Scan.
  • Blackouts
  • Canulas, what kind are available to you.
  • A Need a Hug update… So exciting!
  • My garden progress… I can’t believe I got something to grow!
  • And so much more! Take care of yourself and know that I’m thinking of you. Give yourself a hug today!!! You deserve it! *hug*

    I can’t believe it… but I should have..

    Living On Oxygen for Life

    I use a splitter to connect an oxygen concentrator and a 100 lb liquid oxygen reservoir together to provide me with 6 LPM of oxygen to conserve my liquid oxygen. I have my refill days for my liquid oxygen on Wednesdays. So, on the 3rd of June I had my tanks refilled. For some reason, since then, I had been feeling sluggish, tired, worn down more than usual. I thought maybe Mary, my cat, may have chewed kitty holes in my tubing again. So, I checked my tubing multiple times and there were no holes. Then I checked the green Christmas tree that connects my tubing to the reservoir tank to see if it was screwed on tightly… it was. Figures, right? I mean, it couldn’t have been THAT easy!

    Now, I know it’s been raining like a monsoon here in Texas and it has taken its toll on my breathing but it has stopped raining.. *YAY!* and that couldn’t be the reason since I’ve been staying indoor as much as I’ve needed to be. Was my breathing getting worse? I was really worrying and so was K. I was using my inhaler, taking my diuretics as prescribed but I still felt puffy and so short of breath. It just wasn’t normal for me. I certainly didn’t want to call my PH doctor.

    As my last ditch effort, and almost by fluke of chance while I was filling my portable with liquid oxygen to go to a doctor appointment, I decided to switch the reservoirs (I have two 100 lb tanks) to join with my concentrator. What could hurt, right? When I pulled my tubing off my reservoir to switch them around, I noticed something weird. The one I was about to switch out wasn’t putting out oxygen even though it was almost full. So what that means was that I was only using half of the oxygen I needed for 3 days. Once I connected the other reservoir to the concentrator, I started to breathe much better and now I feel like myself again. I understand now why my sleep, short of breath, and energy level was so bad.

    From now on, I’m going to start checking the flow from both tanks when I get my reservoirs refilled. Equipment can fail and I will be reporting this come Monday so that I can get a replacement.

    In other news, I’ve been crocheting like crazy! I have a box nearly ready to send out to a preteen girl who is awaiting a double lung transplant. I’m including a secret gift that I can’t tell you what it is until after she receives it. I don’t want to spoil the surprise. I have another box about to be sent out to Michelle & then one to Sara. After that, I’ll be trying to finish up my daisy afghan to go to the next recipient, Vincent. I couldn’t do this without the generous donations going to my GoFundMe.com/helpneedahug. Read how you can receive a Need a Hug afghan if you have breathing problems and need a hug.

    I hope you are having a great weekend!!! *hugs*

    May Update 2015

    Living On Oxygen for Life

    You may have heard of all the rain Texas has been getting over, what seems like, the longest month of May in history. Even my garden plants have developed a fungus on the leaves. I’m hoping I can salvage the vegetable garden I’ve put a lot of work on.

    It’s been extremely humid here and that has taken a huge toll on my breathing and energy level… not to mention triggering a number of migraines. When I get this way, I tend to get in a funk. I hate funks! So, if you’ve noticed me being pretty quiet on my blog lately, that’s why. I was getting a bit of the funk. Even the kitchen reno has taken a pause. Yikes! That’s scary!

    But slowly I’m coming back around… that fun, personable, groovy self that you all know and look forward to hearing from, right? haha!

    On May 22, 2015, I had my Pulmonary Hypertension appointment where I was hoodwinked into doing a 6 – minute walk. Darn those doctors!!!! I have no idea how far I walked. I forgot to ask. I walked with 6 LPM of oxygen and still felt really winded. Oh well.. better luck next time, right? I don’t pay much attention to the results anyway. They are way too easy to skew the results. hehe! Even K thinks so. We had a fun discussion about that.

    After the PH appointment, I had my CT Scan on my heart. It was to measure my ascending aorta (my aorta aneurysm — it sounds more dramatic saying aorta aneurysm!). My Cardiologist measured it with a Echocardiogram at 5.1cm late last month, which TOTALLY freaked me out. At 5.5cm, he would order a stint. But, he wanted the CT done because my heart is positioned in a way that it’s difficult to measure.

    I have to tell you that I was pretty stressed over it. I wanted to know the size of it, right NOW! Luckily, with a bunch of people thinking about and praying for me, all has ended much better that I could hope for. Thank you so so so much, y’all! Much love to you! The CT Scan came back with the measurement of 4.3cm which is significantly lower but still considered dilated. My Cardiologist will continue to monitor it annually or semi-annually. It’s just so weird because I don’t have a reason for this aneurysm to happen.

    I did get to go to Oklahoma to see my niece in her first ever dance recital and on the way (I drove alone!), I nearly had ANOTHER blowout with a tire that looked almost brand new. I had to pull off the highway because my van was making a really weird noise. When I looked, I couldn’t see the missing tread because it must have been on the bottom of the tire. That’s got to be Murphy’s Law! Thankfully, I was very close to my sister’s house and my brother-in-law handled it from there. This is a prime example of why we have AAA.com.

    May has been a very trying time interspersed with a bit of joy. Just when we thought everything was going well in the beginning of the month, our heat pump (a/c) died and we had to get it replaced. That was NO FUN! But I did set up a donation GoFundMe account so that I can continue to create and send FREE of all charges crocheted afghans and lapghans to those who have breathing problems. This project has been so important to me. I recently sent out an afghan this month and will be sending out a few more within the next couple of weeks. It really keeps me busy and makes me feel happy to spread joy and comfort to those who need a hug and reminded that we all care about what they are going through. I want them to know that they’re not alone. So check out the Need a Hug tab above to see how you can qualify to receive a special made afghan/lapghan. Or, if you can spread the word about donating to this great cause, please do! www.gofundme.com/HelpNeedaHug. I keep this page updated as much as possible.

    Have a great day everyone!

    Congratulations to the newest recipient…

    Living On O2 for Life

    I wish to thank everyone who have generously donated to the Need a Hug project that I love doing. It’s where I crochet afghans/lapghans for those who have breathing problems. I’m posting today to let the newest recipient know that, all he needs to do is email me his mailing address, so that I may send him an afghan! YAY Tom Witterbottom! Email me at goredrider@gmail.com

    If you have breathing problems and need a hug… email me your name, mailing address and why you have breathing problems. Those of us who have breathing difficulties understand first hand how we can have off days and just need a hug to get us through the day.

    Need a Hug is funded by wonderfully generous donations from people who really care about what you are going through. It doesn’t cost you a thing.

    Please spread the word about Need a Hug so that I keep it going and make many people happy by wrapping them in an afghan hug.

    I will be posting soon about living on oxygen again. Love to you all!

    Need a Hug Update…

    Living On O2 for Life

    Just a quick update for those who have been thinking about donating to my Need a Hug project. If you would prefer to donate through the mail with a money order, I now have a P.O. Box address. Please email me for the address if you’d prefer to donate by mail. goredrider@gmail.com

    I won’t post the address on my blog for personal privacy issues but if you will request it by email, I will let you know what it is. *hugs* to you all!

    I want to publicly thank everyone who have already donated and are intending to donate to this awesome cause. Your generosity is much appreciated!

    Love to you all…

    Christine

    Need a Hug Continues…

    Living On Oxygen for Life

    Good afternoon everyone! I LOVE to crochet as one of my many hobbies. Last year, [2014], I made it my New Year’s Resolution to crochet many lapghans/afghans to just give away to those who have breathing problems all at my expense. My afghans have reached out to people who live in New Zealand, the UK, Canada, and various places in the U.S.A. My goal with sending these afghans was and still is to give the recipient a HUG and to let them know that someone cares about them. So, I named the project: NEED A HUG giveaway.

    Now that it’s 2015, I have decided to continue this project but I need help to buy the yarn and pay for the shipping. That’s where your help comes in. My goal is to make this more of a community feeling of reaching out to give HUGS to those who have trouble breathing. If you’ve experienced breathing problems, you know just how difficult life can be. So, with your help, let’s send warm hugs to them. *hugs* These breathing problem can be anything such as: Asthma, Restrictive Lung Disease, Pulmonary Hypertension, COPD, and so many more that it would take forever to list. Even people who use a Bipap or a CPap can be a recipient. My goal is to make your sad day better, to wrap you in a warm hug with one of my afghans, and to remind you that people care about you.

    I have opened a GoFundMe account to help with the cost of only Yarn and Shipping in order to continue the Need a Hug giveaway. So, please tell your friends and family about this project. All money donated will only be spent on the purchase of yarn and shipping expenses. If you feel the urge to donate to this project, you can do so at: Help Need a Hug.

    If you would like to enter the Need a Hug giveaway, please email me at: goredrider@gmail.com and include your name, address, and a brief bio of why you have breathing problems. I will make them and give them away in order I receive the entries. It generally takes me 3 to 4 weeks to make one afghan. So, please have patients. *HUGS* to you all!!!

    I just want everyone to know that if you don’t have the funds to donate, please don’t. If you do have the funds, any amount of help is appreciated… whether it’s a $1, $5, or whatever… I’m not doing this to profit. Whether or not you donate, you can still enter yourself in the Need a Hug giveaway.

    needahug2015

    gofundmepic

    photo-7

    August & September Need a Hug Giveaway Afghan

    August & September Need a Hug Giveaway Afghan

    June 2014  Need a Hug giveaway

    June 2014
    Need a Hug giveaway

    January 2014 Giveaway Lapghan Deadline for entries is January 31. Drawing on February 1, 2014.

    January 2014 Giveaway Lapghan
    Deadline for entries is January 31.
    Drawing on February 1, 2014.

    AfghanGiveaway

    3 inch granny square afghan.

    3 inch granny square afghan.

    photo-11

    SpringAfghan

    Afghan for a Friend

    Mother-in-Law Afghan

    Afghan #1

    A better than expected day!

    Living On Oxygen for Life

    Today has been awesome! I can’t believe how much I’ve accomplished today. I started the day with taking my diuretic which is alway super fun. haha! But, before it kicked in, I gave my friend a jingle on the phone. She’s a super fun person who knows that we both can vent our frustrations when the needs arise. I think every person needs a friend or two like this. Someone you can trust. After throwing myself through the shower, I went to Walmart… partly for food but really I want MORE YARN! I use any excuse to get more yarn. Who are we kidding, right? *wink* Mainly because I love crocheting but the real reason is because I’ve decided to continue with the Need a Hug give away. I have the next name selected and her name is Jennifer H. Please email me at goredrider@gmail.com with your address… so that I can mail the afghan to you.

    After I got home from Walmart, I actually was able to unload and put away all the food myself… K was at his mom. Also, I wanted to do it to show him that I can still handle a partial grocery run on my own. It felt good to do it and be successful and yes, I bought myself some ice cream as a reward. It just wasn’t Blue Bell. *pout* I miss you Blue Bell!!!! I can’t put into words how awesome that ice cream is. Trust me. It’s great! Today, I bought Blue Bunny. The name is close and it even tastes pretty good too.

    I couldn’t believe that I still had energy left after the grocery and yarn run. So, I went to K’s mom’s house where several family members met over there to work on her patio re-build. It was fun but I got a splinter when I tried to help K for a minute doing something super simple and I declared that that was enough manual labor for me! Besides it was getting too warm for me and I was starting to get a little sunburned. Not good. So I came home.

    Now it’s time to take the evening diuretics. Yay and yippee for me! *blah* It never ends. hehe! So here I am, blogging to you. I have decided to announce the newest, selected winner for the “Need a Hug” giveaway. I have 3 people left from the 2014 giveaway. I plan to open a GoFund Me account to help fund the shipping costs and yarn. If you would like to contribute to this fund, please know that it is appreciated (It’s not set up yet!). All of 2014, I funded this projected from my own money. It was SO worth it to me to hear about the happiness from the recipients. I’ve thought long and hard about opening a GoFund Me account. I really want to continue this project but if you can NOT afford to contribute to this fund, DO NOT contribute… maybe your friends or family can! It will have no bearing on whether or not you can enter the giveaway. After all, the point of this project is to spread HUGS and Happiness.

    In other news, my magnolia tree is blooming. K and I planted the tree when we first moved into our house. It started out as a 6 foot tree but now it looks as if it’s about 15 feet tall now.

    My Magnolia Tree

    I hope everyone will continue to follow my blog, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. I really enjoy hearing from you. Email me… don’t be shy! *HUGS*

    [May 2015]