Living On Oxygen for Life
So, you use oxygen and are disabled. First thing, when planning to go on vacation, is to know your limitations. Just because you have limitations, (ie: get short of breath while walking, need help unloading luggage from the car, need time to take naps and even time to take your medication), it doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun. You just need to make sure that the people you are going to be with on your vacation are aware of your need for help.
The hardest thing for me to accept when I started using oxygen 24/7 was that it was okay to ask for help. I would visit my sister and would need help unloading my things from my van. I would need help with some things that I normally would have been able to do years ago. I was afraid of asking because I felt like a burden. But my sister set me straight. She said she was family and family and friends would always willing help me and not consider me a burden. All I had to do was ask. They may not be aware of the help you need.
Try not to over think your vacation preparations but be prepared. AAA is good to have while traveling. You don’t want to be stuck somewhere while on oxygen. Before you leave home, talk with the person you may be traveling with and whomever you’re staying with once you get to your destination. Let them know what kind of things you might need help with. A major thing for me is to let people know that I need the air conditioner turned down to about 72 degrees. I need cool air to help with my breathing. It is only temporary for the time that I’m there but it is necessary for dry, cool air. If people are walking too fast for you, ask them to slow down. It shouldn’t be a big deal to them. If you are tired, rest, rest, rest. Remember that vacations are suppose to be fun and it can’t be all that fun if you let yourself get drained of energy. Remember your medicine and a prescription for your oxygen.
If you are going to a place on your vacation that requires a bit of walking, you might want to invest in a wheelchair. I bought mine from Amazon for a great deal. Invacare LightWeight Tracer EX2 Wheelchair 20″ with Swingaway Footrest-Blue (Folding, Assembled) Don’t forget the seat cushion.
This is me in my wheelchair. Notice how my husband hangs my portable tank on the handle bars. Behind the tank, I hung my tote bag where I kept whatever I needed in it. Driving a long, long, long distance and you use a bipap? Something interesting to have is a converter that plugs into a cigarette lighter and gives you a regular plug outlet for those machines, toys, and gadgets that don’t have a car charger. I’ve actually used the converter to plug in and use my bipap machine in the van for a quick power nap on the way to Las Vegas.
Make a list of all the things you need to take with you. Don’t forget your medicine and a cellphone. I always take my roadtrip mascot, Mr. Chicken. He’s my rubber chicken that poses in some of my pictures on vacation. There are a lot of ways to create fun on vacations. Just remember, you are not a nuisance or a burden. You use oxygen and people know that you need a little extra help. And that’s ok. So, relax and have fun. Take lots of pictures!!!