Wouldn’t you know it. Just one day after I call to order replacement parts for my bipap, something happens where I need a spare part. Unfortunately, I had no spare part. So, I had to MacGyver up and find a fix. Now, I know you are wondering if I’m up to the task of becoming a MacGyver. You know the TV show where he fixes things in the knick of time to save the world from odds and ends that just happen to be lying around near him. A gum wrapper, a toothpick, or a spring from a ballpoint pen would do nicely, right? Well, none of those things would help in this situation. But never fear! MacGyver girl is here!
I was getting ready for a nap, just like the one seen here in this picture:
Notice that Rocco always makes sure he is comfortable next to his mommy. Don’t look too closely. It’s so NOT a glamorous picture of me. So, where was I? Oh yes, getting ready to put on my bipap mask to lie down.
When I put on my bipap mask, I usually turn on my bipap machine first. Then I slip the head gear over my head and strap it on around the back of my neck to connect to the front of my mask. I connect my oxygen next but when I did that, I noticed some air blowing on me that wasn’t coming from the part of the mask that is suppose to blow out some of the exhaled air. I was like, “H-E- double cheese sticks! This can’t be happening!” I was tired and didn’t want to have to do anything but sleep. You know how that is. When you are tired, you’re tired!
I looked the full length of the hose of my bipap. Didn’t see anything. Then I ran my hand down the length of the hose and that’s when I felt the air coming out and saw a good sized hole. Here I am pulling my mask off, putting my oxygen back on to go in search for a spare hose which I could not find. Nerts! About twenty minutes later, I give up the search and go for my handy dandy, fix everything duct tape. Yep, that’s right. My house is NEVER without duct tape for this very reason. It generally will fix everything I need it to fix. It’s so vital to me that I even pack a role of duct tape in my suitcase for vacations. Really? Yes, really. K just rolls his eyes when he sees me packing the duct tape for vacations. I just tell him that someday he’ll thank me! You just never know, right?
Taping a hole closed is a little tricky on this hose. I used my finger nails to wedge the tape in-between the ridges around the hose to ensure a tight seal. I now have a patched up bipap hose! Yes! I could resume nap time! I’m still awaiting my supplies. It’s been about 3 days now and there’s no telling when they will come. I just wanted to order them before the new year because the insurance deductible restarts on the first of January.
Don’t forget to email me for the next “Need a Hug” afghan giveaway! Check this post for the rules. The first afghan has been sent out to Gerard. Congratulations sir! Follow my blog to keep updated with email notification of my new posts. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
I was waiting for K to setup the camera timer and it took my picture too early. Hence, no smile!
Living On Oxygen for Life
Today I am posting two pictures for you since they come from the same time period and location. As a surprise, I arranged a little vacation getaway for K and my anniversary and my birthday (which happens to be on the same day!). As a child, I liked going camping. K, as a child, did not like to go camping. However, I decided I’d risk it because the place that I selected had a beautiful cabin with an AWESOME hot tub out back. How can you turn down a hot tub??
So, I got everything arranged secretly… He had no idea where we were going. K got the right days off from work and we piled all my stuff in the van. You know.. oxygen, bipap, extra tubing, clothes, food, K’s knives, more food and our rubber chicken (at that time it was Poke Jr.) This all happened in 2005 which is the year before I started Tracleer. I had more energy back then. It was so quiet and no one bothered us. We just showed up and unloaded. There was a pit for a fire and lots of trees. I have to admit.. I was a little worried about snakes! The weather was perfect.
We did have an adventure though. We went off to find a store for something we forgot. I don’t remember what that was but as we got lost, we found a casino! Woohooo! Did we stop in? Of course we did! I even got $10 in credit because we went on my birthday! It was great!!! haha! I even won some money. What a birthday, huh?
We also went out to search for Turner Falls. It’s located really close to where we stayed. It was really beautiful with the waterfall cascading over the rocks. Look at that old fashion cellphone! haha! Even though K isn’t too keen on camping, we had a really good time. Love does that for you. I hope you enjoy looking at photos of my life. Don’t forget to FOLLOW my blog so you can see more of what’s to come!
It has been a crazy, adventurous month. K and I started the month with our trip to New Orleans to celebrate his birthday. During this trip, I had a MASSIVE migraine but I toughed it out so that K could have as much of a birthday that he wanted. My personal opinion is that I deserve a golden star for that! haha! Anyway, we made it home only for K to go to work and then get stuck staying at his mother’s house due to the ice storm we had the next day we got home. I say “stuck” but really K chose to spend the night there because it is much closer to his work than driving all the way home and then attempt to skate on the ice to work the next morning. This overnight at his parent’s house turned into 5 days there with one of those days having no power. Naturally, he only packed one day of clothes for this supposedly overnight stay. We had 2 to 4 inches of ice on all the streets for days and days!
Thankfully, I had power the whole time and K got his parent’s wifi hooked back up so that we could FaceTime each other. Rocco was seriously missing his daddy. So the FaceTime helped Rocco too! Technology… gotta love it! I wasn’t worried about my oxygen because the day after we got home from New Orleans and the day of the beginning of the ice storm (same day), I got my oxygen refilled. See??? I think of these things! haha!
Well, while K was at his mom’s for the extended vacation for me… whoops! Did I say that? I mean for this unplanned extended emergency stay… I was in charge of starting K’s car. Oh yeah… I didn’t mention that K had my van.. *grumble grumble* You see, his car is SOOOO temperamental in freezing temperatures.. as in the battery dies if it doesn’t get started every couple of days. So, I started it and it worked ok but when he FINALLY made it home, I was so excited thinking I was going to get my van back. He’s all ready to leave for work and hops in his car and the darn thing doesn’t start! I’m like… OH COME ON!!! REALLY??? No… REALLY??? (I’m sure you are picturing me stomping my foot also) You know what that means, right? No van for Christine which translates into no shopping and no labs getting done on time either.
Ok.. so we’re thinking it was the battery, right? It’s only the logical next step.. surely! K then goes to buy a new battery and installs it… goes to crank it over and the thing is still dead. Still no van for Christine! By now, I’ve got serious cabin fever and a shortage of food in the house. K does take me grocery shopping the next day though. YEA! We can eat again! Then we get the news of what’s wrong with K’s car. Let’s just say it’s much, much more than what we thought it would be… I feel silly thinking that it was just the battery.
Let’s see… what’s next? I made a fantastic cheesecake for the in-law’s Christmas party, errand running and had 2 doctor appointments all in the same weekend which was last weekend. Yesterday was a very tiring day. I spent a lot of the day resting with my bipap on. I couldn’t help it. The H1N1 (Swine Flu) is going around pretty badly in Texas this year. So, I’m being very careful about staying rested and away from sick people.
Today, I got really adventurous and pulled out our little 3 foot Christmas tree from the back room closet. K hasn’t really felt the Christmas bug this year. So I thought I would surprise him by putting up at least our little tree with decorations.
I secretly bought him a few Christmas presents that I wrapped today. I hope he’s surprised. Now all I need to do is fix something for dinner. The good news is that K’s car is now fixed but will have to stay at the shop until the day after Christmas since they close early today (like at 2pm). I hope everyone has had a calmer December! I wish for all of you to have a safe, warm and a very Merry Christmas! *hugs* to each and everyone of you.
I don’t ALWAYS write posts that are to be read by just the oxygen user. This post is mainly for those who have oxygen users in the family or those who care for an oxygen user. Christmas is coming (in fact it’s only a day and a half away!) and you’re going to have a guest in your house who uses oxygen. What, you ask, do I need to keep in mind to help the person feel more comfortable? Here are some tips:
In general, they don’t like being fussed over but they do need help. When they get to your house, they will need help moving their oxygen in the place that best suites their needs. Hopefully, it will be a central location that will allow their canula to stretch the distance between kitchen, bathroom, & wherever the life of Christmas & family will be in your house. (assuming the person is using a long canula)
If they are using an electrical concentrator, make sure it’s in a well ventilated area.
Do not have an open flame or fireplace within at least 5 feet of oxygen whether the oxygen is in use or not (especially liquid oxygen or e-cylinders). In fact, if you have the fireplace going, ask the oxygen user if the smell of the fireplace bothers them. You’d be surprised how many people who uses oxygen and that problems being around a fireplace and even an outdoor grill. Myself included. The smoke irritates my lungs and it makes it so much harder to breathe. So, it’s better to ask if you already have one going. Hopefully, you have doors on the fireplace that you can close off the fire if needed.
Do not smoke inside or around the oxygen user. I know it may be cold outside but smoke really irritates the lungs. Better yet! You should quit smoking! We want to keep you around for a long time!!!
For me, using a 50 foot canula at a guests house makes me feel like I’m constantly underfoot with the thing. So, your guest may too. Just watch your feet and try not to stand or trip over the thing. I always tell people that it’s ok to walk on it briefly but just don’t stand on it. It will cut off the oxygen. Then, I’d collapse and turn blue! haha!
Generally, when the oxygen user talks less, they are probably getting tired. Talking takes lung power and energy as does eating. Maybe a nice quiet place for the oxygen-using guest would be perfect for them to get a quick nap. Usually, 30 minutes to an hour is all it takes to re-energize.
These are some basic tips to go by. Just use some common sense. Remember, oxygen users want to have fun too. If you’d like to follow along with this blog, just subscribe and you will get an email each time I post a new entry here. I’d love to hear your comments. Do you have any tips to add? The subscription box is in the right column.
Today I got up and was determined to bake something I’ve never baked before. It was pretty daunting because I had so many questions. I thought I would have K as my go to guy for all my questions because he use to be a chef. Unfortunately, baking cheesecakes wasn’t his specialty. What did I do? Well, I went online to the website of my cookbook (allrecipes.com) to read a bunch of reviews of the recipe I was going to attempt. The Brownie Caramel Cheesecake. Just the name of the thing makes me want to drool! I am so glad that I read them because it sure did help me out. I had to add more of this, bake a little bit less of that, and add a water bath to make it just right. haha! Remember, this is my first time!
I started out this adventure deciding to make this cheesecake a few days ago. Then I realized that I didn’t have a springform pan anymore! Well, crap! So, off to Walmart we went in search of this specialty pan that I probably never use again unless this cheesecake turns out ok. Remind me to NEVER go to Walmart that close to Christmas again! Good heavens! It was chaos and nearly pandemonium and I’m so surprised that K was actually willing to take me there to get the pan AND more yarn! I’m set for a whole month now with yarn aplenty!
Now that my cheesecake is done and it took MUCH longer than I thought it would, I’m a little tired. But dinner at the in-laws in in one hour. I’m pretty much ready to go. I’m just writing this blog entry to destress. I tried lying down with my bipap on but my mind was too wound up to relax. Too much worrying about drizzling caramel and hot fudge topping on the cooling cheesecake. Please, please, please let this be edible!
Here’s a picture of my cheesecake. I hope it looks as good when cut into. hehe!
Even with all the planning in the world that K and I do for our vacations and even our outings around town, there is something that might go wrong. The trick is to have a plan or at least a calm head in the midst of what could possibly turn into a crisis. Let me tell you one of mine.
*cue: dream sequence*
It was the summer of 1998 and K and I had driven to New Jersey to visit friends. These friends and a few of their friends all decided to pile into a van (not mine) with my 75lb liquid oxygen reservoir in the very back. I guess you could call it a trunk if vans have trunks. We drove into the big city (aka: Manhattan) and ended up eating dinner at the Jekyll and Hyde restaurant. That place sure is strange but the food was good. After dinner and driving around a bit, we decided to go back to our friend’s house in New Jersey.
Well, something must have happened because there was a massive amount of traffic and cops out directing the flow of cars. And it was at this precise time that I realized my portable was out of oxygen. We couldn’t exactly get out of traffic and unload the reservoir to refill my portable. The van we were in didn’t have the clearance room to place the portable atop the reservoir like mine did. The traffic was that bad. So, since my reservoir had a spicket on it with a green tree to attach a oxygen canula, I decided to just breathe connected straight from the reservoir.
Unfortunately, the reservoir had a leak. Guess where the leak was.. Yep, in the place where the spicket was attached to the reservoir so that when the oxygen was turned on, out leaked the oxygen. I started to get really worried. I told K what was wrong and he tried to fix it but to be able to tighten the spicket nut, he had to be able to remove the plastic cover (I think!). You couldn’t do that inside the van and we didn’t even have a wrench or pliers. The guys in the car were starting to notice that something was wrong and they started to panic. In fact, one of them actually got out of the van and approached one of the cops to see if they could help.
By this time, I was not only panicking and struggling to breathe, I was so embarrassed. Luckily, K put on his hero cape and saved the day… er… night. We noticed that if he held the spicket a very specific way and not moved, I could get enough oxygen (barely) through the canula to get us back to New Jersey which was almost an hour drive. I just had to sit there, not talk and concentrate on being calm. Now that was a close call!
The next morning, we called Lincare to come out to fix and refill my liquid oxygen reservoirs so that it didn’t happen again.
Don’t let this scare you from getting out though. Just have a plan of what you would do or who you would call if you need help in a hurry. Don’t forget to follow my blog!