Why I Need Oxygen

I’m sure ya’ll are wondering WHY I have to use oxygen at such a young age. Well, first let me say, when I was 17 years old, I started using oxygen at night only at 1 liter/minute. This was because I would have blackouts throughout the daytime and fall asleep during the classes of my senior year of schooling. I was always tired. I woke up every morning with a severe headache that went away after being up out of bed for about 15 minutes. Though, running to the bathroom having to dry heave every morning sucked! No one, at this time, knew why this was happening.

I’ll start at the beginning of my life and tell you what health problems I was born with to help you better understand why my lungs & heart need the extra help of oxygen. Here’s the majority of my problems:

  • Born with 2 holes in my heart (Atrial Septal Defect -ASD, Ventricular Septal Defect – VSD)
  • Pulmonary hypertention
  • Scoliosis – severe, but have ONE Harrington Rod. The scoliosis deformed my rib cage to the point that leaves less room for my lungs to expand when I breathe. I wore a Milwaukee Back Brace for 11 yrs as a toddler up to my teenage years.
  • Born with only one kidney
  • Born with no left ovary and no uterus (so, no kids)
  • Lung volume is 24% of a person my age, weight, & gender and declining…

With all of this, I also inherited my mother’s migraines which I get every month and started when I was aproximately 17/18 years old. Since I have serious health problems, I can’t take heavy pain medicine or imitrex/maxalt. Now I use oxygen at 5 liters/minute. It’s a large amount, especially for someone who is still able to get out and about. I try to lead as close to normal of a life as I can. I think that’s what helps keep me alive so far.

I know this all may sound dreadful but I’ve survived it. So, ask your questions. I’ve even been stopped by people everywhere to ask about what kind of oxygen I use or even the tacky question: “What’s wrong with you?” I always cringe internally when I’m asked that last one but I always answer. There are so many people who have friends or loved ones who are using or about to start using oxygen and they need help with information on how to get what I have. So, post your questions! Just please be patient because I review every post before they appear on my blog to help prevent spam.

FOLLOW my blog! It’s the best way to know when I post the next bit of information!

Life on Oxygen

Hello, my name is Christine. I use oxygen 24/7 and I am now 50 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.

Each comment posted is reviewed for spam prior to possible posting. If you want to follow this blog, please sign up for email notification for each post I make. Look to the top of the right column of the blog to sign up.

[I update my age every year on this post]