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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Donate to Need a Hug using Paypal

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

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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.

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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]

We bring you a Medical Update…

Living On Oxygen for Life

IMG_3990 Oh the joys of hospital gowns. I never have been given a gown that actually fits. They’re sizes range from Large to Extra Large. Yeah, I asked. A lot of times I can just wrap the gown around my front, back and then to front again to tie it. However, the gown I got today was the kind that had short ties. So no wrap-around action for me and of course the opening had to be in front. What a fashion statement I made today!

Today’s appointment was with my cardiologist who I’ve seen for the past 20+ years. He’s AWESOME! He always asks me how I’m doing, what I’ve been up to, and if I’m still doing whatever it was that I was doing the last time I saw him which was a year ago. After all the pleasantries were out of the way, we started in with my questions. First I asked him what he has diagnosed my cardiac problems to be. His answer was, “Which one?” Haha! We laughed. Nothing with my health problems is ever easy or simple. In fact, my body is very complex. One organ’s problems affects another organ’s problems and etc.. It’s very frustrating because my body doesn’t want to do what doctors seem to think it should do. I think there’s a Murphy’s Law for that somewhere.

My Cardiologist told me that I have Supraventricular Arrythmias as well as Ventricular Arrythmias and when I first went to see him 20+ years ago, I had premature ventricular contractions really badly. Thus, the reason why I’m on Cordarone because it was the only medicine at the time that didn’t cripple my breathing ability. Now that we got that straightened out, I told him what the Cardiac Electrophysiologist (maybe I got that backwards) that my Cardiologist sent me to suggested Tikosyn for my heart problems. You see, I was looking for a replacement for Cordarone. Being on Cordarone is not a very safe thing for my body. It can lead to Thyroid problems as well as scarring of the lungs which is called Pulmonary Fibrosis. Tikosyn is used for both A-fib and my problems. However, after reading about Tikosyn, I felt the risks of taking Tikosyn for my actual cardiac problems were too high to make me comfortable to trying it. Beside, you have to stay in the hospital for 3 days to start Tikosyn. So, my Cardiologist and I are in agreement for me to stay on Cordarone, since I have yet to have any problems relating to Cordarone in 20 years.

Now wait a minute, you say. Don’t the PH doctors think this current thyroid problem that I currently have occurred because of Cordarone? Funny that you asked that because I brought this up with my Cardiologist. I explained what happened when I tried Opsumit for 3 months last year which ended with me being hospitalized for 3 days. I told him how I was diagnosed with Hyperthyroid and that the PH doctors were saying it was only because of me taking Cordarone. They wanted me off of it. I told my Cardiologist the status of my thyroid now that I’m slowly decreasing the thyroid medicine I’m taking. His thoughts are that it could’ve been Opsumit interacting with the Cordarone. It wasn’t technically Cordarone giving me thyroid problems, it could be that Opsumit in conjunction with Cordarone, triggered a thyroid problem in me. It actually makes sense to me!

According to the ECHO I did today, my heart looks good, pressures ok, blood flow is good. Then there is the not-so-good news. My aorta. For some mysterious reason, my aorta measured at 5.1cm. I don’t have high blood pressure. So who knows why this is occurring. Now I have to go get a CT Scan to more accurately measure my ascending aorta. My Cardiologist says that if it gets to 5.5cm, he will want me to go to the hospital where my PH doctors are so that I can get medical intervention. Sounds like some sort of surgery to me. *pout* He said that there are ways to not have to cut me open to put in a stint. I’m not sure if that’s makes me feel more reassured or not. Either way, it’s gonna hurt somehow. haha! I shouldn’t put the cart before the mule, so to speak. Why worry over it too much. I’ll wait to see what the CT Scan says first.

I’m just a little disgusted with not getting a clean bill of health with my heart today. It’s always hard for me when new things pop up unexpectedly with my health. It takes me a couple of days to accept the news and to begin to move forward again. I did show him a copy of my heart cath that I had last December. He thought it looked great! Hooray! Sometimes I feel like my PH doctors are all about doom and gloom. It’s nice to get a little optimism from my cardiologist!

I hope you enjoyed this Medical Update! *wink*

Stay in touch and be well. *HUGS*

Acts of kindness..

Living On Oxygen for Life

Sometimes, K really really goes the extra mile. He’s like his mom in that he listens to whatever you are talking about and somehow catalogs a few key words within a conversation and stores them for later use. This skill comes in handy around Christmas, birthdays, and vacations. Of course, he has selective hearing too.. don’t most men?

Anyway, now that you know that K possesses this skill, he’s really good at surprising me with things that I really do want but don’t think he’d go for. In example, I told him a month ago that it would be super handy to have some sort of shelf or storage thing to put on our back patio (the OASIS) to hold all my little garden tools, fertilizer, and other odds and ends. K said that I do just fine walking 30 feet to the shed to get my tools from there. Drats! Conversation over. Foiled again!

Or was I? One day, I got this text message, with a picture, from K while he was at work. He asked me if I wanted what he found that day. I didn’t know it was behind 7-eleven. All that was in the picture was the armoire. It was a little gross but I thought it could be salvaged with a lot of effort. He said it was free which totally shocked me. I’m thinking to myself… Really? Free? and then my thoughts turned to… How the heck is he going to get it in my van? Naturally I said yes, I’ll take it! He told me to meet him at 7-eleven.

I drove like I was in a Nascar race to 7-eleven praying that no one else had seen it and took it before I could lay claim to it. K met me there. When I saw it standing next to the dumpster, I started having second thoughts about hauling this thing off to our house. It was gross (it still is) and it had spiderwebs in it, under it and who knows where else. *shiver* eww! It just barely fit in my van. It is much taller than I thought. It’s about six inches shorter than me. Once K and I hauled it to our OASIS of a patio, my mind started whirling with ideas. We still have paint left over from our house redo (that’s not finished yet either). With a little cleaning, sanding, and some fresh paint, the armoire could look awesome. I could use it to hold a lot of garden things.

outdoorchest

After all the excitement settled down, I turned to K and said, “We dumpster dived and didn’t get caught! Score one for us!” Of course we didn’t actually get in the dumpster. I kinda draw the line there, as long as it’s not in the dumpster or touching it.

What I’m trying to say is that it feels really good when someone, during their busy day, was thinking about you. Maybe they did something simple like a phone call to say, “Hi!” Or they stopped by to ask you if you needed anything from the store. Maybe it’s someone who was walking ahead of you, about to enter a store, but stopped to hold the door open and let you pass through first. So, I ask you these two questions:

1. When was the last time that someone did something kind and thoughtful for you?

and

2. When was the last time you did something kind and thoughtful for someone else?

I hope this post made some sort of sense. I wasn’t able to sleep last night for some reason and my brain kept getting lost in the conversation I just typed out for you. *hugs* to all of you. Don’t forget to FOLLOW my BLOG!

Entering DEFCON 4 – when someone is sick..

Living On Oxygen for Life

Hello everyone! I bet you’ve been wondering what I’ve been doing lately. Right? Well, it’s official. I’m placing our house on DEFCON 4 alert. K is sick with a sinus infection and it seems like he’s getting worse instead of better. You should hear his cough. It’s awful. Hence, the reason to move to DEFCON 4.

Wondering what DEFCON 4 means? The list below describes my self-made DEFCON alert system for our household. Enjoy!

  • DEFCON 1: Happy and HEALTHY
  • DEFCON 2: If one of us thinks we are getting sick, no hugs or kisses from each other. Definitely not sharing drinks or utinsels.
  • DEFCON 3: This one is harsher. It includes DEFCON 2 actions. Plus, I grab a tub of Lysol wipes and wipe down all door knobs, remote controls, cellphones and computer keyboards. I monitor K’s condition but I do not hover over him.
  • DEFCON 4: The doctor is called. Not just for him but for both of us. For obvious reasons since K is the one that’s sick, we either get an appointment or see if the doctor will call in antibiotics. Then I tell him the possibility of me getting sick from him. I just let him know that I’ve been exposed to something that K is currently fighting. ALL dishes that K touches goes immediately into the dishwasher. I never let him drink out of the same glass twice. So no refills in the same glass. Call me paranoid but I really think this helps. I keep a supply of Gatorade in the fridge and leave a bottle of it on his bedside table. He’ll usually drink it when I’m not around.
  • DEFCON 5: This is the one I generally have to enlist K’s mom to help me. K doesn’t really like going to the doctor let alone have to go to the hospital. There has only been one time that I’ve had to take him to the hospital. (Thank you Jesus!) but he’s had to go to a 24-hour emergency clinic once before when he was sick. He’s a pretty stubborn guy! Bed sheets are changed immediately unless I can’t get him out of bed. If that’s the case, the pillowcase gets changed everyday.

So this is my basic DEFCON alert system guideline. Obviously DEFCON 1 is Happy and Healthy and that’s where we always want to be! Now, I’m about to go to the grocery store to stock up on more sinus medicine and gatorade for K. We’ve had to put off the grocery shopping for days and days. Now, I’m going to go alone because K just isn’t up to helping me. It’s ok because he knows I’ll just get the stuff that we really, really need and then he will go with me the next time when he’s feeling better to get the heavy stuff like kitty litter.

I hope all is well with you! *hugs* Don’t forget to follow my blog!

Christine
[April 2015]