Crazy day…

Living On Oxygen for Life

Have you ever had one of those days where you spend all day thinking all is going really well and you are rested up for grocery shopping? Everything is right with the world. You’re getting excited because this is the weekend that your honey has Saturday AND Sunday off from work. You’re thinking that when he gets home from work, you’ll both go shopping for food and whatever else that entices you to buy at Walmart. You’ll come home and then spend the rest of the weekend chillin’, right? Because today is Friday. It… is… Friday. I put makeup on and I look healthy and nice. So I feel good too because I made an effort to look good. When K gets home from work, he notices and I ask him, “Don’t I look good?” I do that playfully because it’s my way of letting him know that I’m having a pretty good day health wise.

So, K and I are walking into Walmart, we pick a cart that just happens to be a seriously defective cart. I mean, one of the front wheels is sideways! I wanted to get another cart but K was like… “This will be fine.” You know me.. thoughts were stirring in my head, such as… this is going to be too hard to push, especially loaded up with food even though K pushes it most of the time. But, I muster through the urge to go back to get another cart by asking K what he would like to do tomorrow since he has the day off. And that is when he looks at me funny. I say funny but his “funny” is like a serious look and he tells me that he has to work tomorrow which TOTALLY confuses me. I mean, tomorrow is Saturday.. right? Isn’t it? What? Wait a minute… That’s what was going on in my head. We are standing there in Walmart debating about what day it is because I am losing my mind, obviously. He was like, “Chris, you got your oxygen refilled yesterday and you get it done on Wednesdays, remember?” And I was like, “That was yesterday?”

I have trouble remembering things. Having a high CO2 over the years must have done things to my memory. I can remember long term memories ok but when it comes to short term memories, it sometimes gets a little lost. To be able to remember the short term things, I usually have to be really relaxed or have clues. K helps at times by giving me hints or clues or reminders.. whatever you’d like to call them. But the funny thing of the moment in Walmart was, even though I felt silly for thinking it was the wrong day, K said…”But hey, you look good!” All through Walmart, when I got tired or couldn’t decide on something, he’d say that phrase: “But hey, you look good!” because I wore makeup and by then it was something that made both of us laugh.

So, I guess tomorrow is Friday. Here’s to hoping YOUR “Friday” was fun! *wink*

Random Picture Day #7

Texas Rangers

Living On Oxygen for Life

What fun! In 2011 the Texas Rangers were in the World Series. So, K and I decided to visit the gift shop in the stadium. Boy was it ever crowded! They were selling out of stuff fast! K snapped this picture of me showing off the banner that was hanging on the stadium. Practically next door is the Cowboy stadium that we like to refer to the Death Star. You know, like on Star Wars!

Today I am taking it easy because I’m going grocery shopping when K gets home from work. Not really excited about it but it’s nice to have food in the house when we need it. haha! I also want to remind you that there is only one more day for you to get your name entered for the Need a Hug? giveaway! Click the link in the menu to find out how you can enter. The drawing is on February 1st.

I really appreciate and enjoy the emails that people have sent to me. I do answer each one. I’ve enjoyed getting to know some very kind people who have found my blog. It makes writing fun! *GASP* Oh nuts! I forgot I have eyeliner on and I’ve been rubbing my face. Guess what y’all? I’m afraid to look at myself now. lol! I have black streaks on my palms. Oops! I guess it is back to the drawing board before K gets home or he’ll think I’ve become a raccoon! lol! Love to you all and stay healthy!

What moves me…

Living On Oxygen for Life

There are times when I am doing chores around the house and I need a little motivation. Sometimes I will have the TV going as the background noise but that doesn’t always work. Then there are times when I feel a little down and out too. What do I do? What works for me? What makes me laugh, have fun and gets me to move? And when I say move… I mean really move! No no not move to a new house.

What I do is turn off the TV. I go to my computer and click on iTunes where my collection of music is stored. I slide that volume up and let the music move me! I become a boogie momma while doing chores… mainly dishes and laundry. What’s good about music and dancing around the house or even in your chair is that it is a form of exercise. It gets you moving and makes you feel good. Sure, sure, I can’t dance the whole length of the song. I get tired. That’s why I slow down and take a few breather breaks. I get really into it. The embarrassing part is having K walk in when he gets home from work and catches me in the act. *giggle* I try to get him to dance with me but he’s not into dancing. He still smiles when he sees me, though, which makes getting tired dancing worth it!

So, why am I telling you this? I would love for you to take a few minutes each time I post a song on my blog to get down and boogie with me! I am posting one of the songs that really makes me move. You don’t need to know how to dance. No seriously! Just move! Get some exercise in a fun way. Are you willing to try this with me? Click the sideways play button link below to start the song video and be silly.. be fun.. get your kids, your spouse, your pet (I’ve done that!)… just whatever! Have fun! Just don’t let your body become sedentary which leads to a decline in health. Do this for you…

Understanding my ABG…

Living On Oxygen for Life

I have no problem with letting you know the results of most of my medical tests. I’ve always been an open person. I feel that it is how people learn things that may relate to them or who may be too afraid to ask. So, by talking about my test results, it’s my way of helping those who are not only curious but confused.

Understanding ABGs (Arterial Blood Gas) results are confusing because the body is a complex thing. As always, if you are confused about what your ABG means, ask your doctor. Let me remind you again what my results are:

Here is my ABG results:
ph – 7.37 range: 7.35-7.45
PCO2- 65.9 range: 34-45 mmHg
PO2- 118 range: 92-100 mmHg
HCO3- 38.2 range: 22-26 MMOL/L
O2sat- 98% range: 94-100%
Total CO2 calc ABG- 40 range:19-24 MMOL/L

The HCO3 is the bicarbonate and mine is high. Because the CO2 is high, which is the Carbon Dioxide. My lungs can not exhale enough CO2 because they are becoming stiffer over time (not so elastic). They are small due to scoliosis which has deformed my ribs to the point it reduces the room for my lungs to expand. Hence the reason why I have Pulmonary Hypertension. My lungs are small, stiff, and have a difficult time exchanging the carbon dioxide with oxygen that it needs to keep my body moving. This is why my CO2 is so high. My carbon dioxide is high because my lungs can not make that necessary exchange making my breathing problem a mechanical one.

My heart works hard to make up for the demand of oxygen that my body needs. It senses that it needs to pump more blood into my lungs to get those gases exchanged which also causes the pulmonary hypertension. My heart can not keep up the demand of my body. What you see as the pH is a good thing. Because the HCO3 is so high it balances out the CO2 to make my pH within the normal range. Had the the pH been low with the results of the CO2 and HCO3, I would be in trouble from what I understand.

What this all means is my breathing problems are mechanical. Because of my scoliosis and the rib deformity, my lungs over time can not do the job they are meant to do, especially while exerting myself. I know in my heart that this is sad but I still find whatever positive I can from these results. I see that the pH is normal which means my one and only kidney (since birth) is holding up and doing its job. YEA! I see that the PO2 is lower than the last ABGs results of 212mmHg. 212mmHg is bad because that can trigger the brain to retain too much CO2. So, yes, there are a few positive things from this test and that’s how I choose to look at it. It would be easy to sink down into depression thinking that my life and my health is getting worse. But why do that? Why waste that energy when I’m still here and still able to have fun? Yes, I’m a little slower and yes, I need to use the wheelchair quite a bit more. But using that wheelchair gets me out the door. So… I have to use more oxygen. So what! Right? I’m here.. talking to you.. my friends.

What is my goal? It is always to try to maintain my health and keep it stable. It’s to keep myself out of the hospital. It means that I rest when I need to rest, use my oxygen (which I always do!) and take my medicine. The most important thing to do is to keep myself away from sick people.

Don’t forget to email me to enter the giveaway. I put a Need a Hug? menu button at the top of my blog to make it easier to know the giveaway deadlines and to see the current lapghan/afghan that is being given away. This giveaway is open to everyone.. even international (outside the US).

A Story in a Story pt. 4

Living On Oxygen for Life

I know I said that the last part of this story was “the last part,” but inspiration finally hit me and I started writing again. I’m so excited about part 4 of this short story. I truly hope you enjoy it. If you are new to my blog and haven’t read the previous parts 1-3 or just need to catch up, you can find all four parts on the A Story in a Story section of this blog. Once again, I’d like to remind you that there are bits and pieces of my childhood within this story. Don’t forget to FOLLOW my blog! So, sit back and relax and read once again about the Maple Leaf Girls. Feedback is welcome. Just keep it kind! Please don’t steal this story. I’ve worked hard on it.

Continue reading

I’m giving away another hug!

January2014Giveaway

Living On Oxygen for Life

It’s time for another giveaway! YEA!!! If you are new to this blog, you’re probably wondering why I’m giving away lapghans/afghans. There are many people who use oxygen or just starting to use oxygen and sometimes they just need a hug to get them over a difficult time. Even though I can’t be there in person, maybe the lapghan or afghan, that I crochet, will wrap them in the comfort of a hug. As many of you know, during 2014, I plan to give away one afghan/lapghan a month (hopefully every month!!) to a reader of my blog who uses oxygen, bipap, or has the need for a hug due to the struggles of breathing problems. All you have to do is email me at goredrider@gmail.com and tell me why you use oxygen and/or a bipap machine and what makes breathing so difficult for you. One entry per person is needed for this give away. Once your name is sent to me via email, it stays in the drawing for each month’s giveaway. You can only be sent one afghan/lapghan so that I may be able to give someone else a chance at receiving a HUG!

The above picture shows you the next lapghan to be given away. If you have already sent me an email to enter the giveaway but want to make sure you’re included.. go ahead and send me another email. It’s ok! I don’t want you to miss out either! We have already had one person, Gerry G., who has already received a lapghan! Congratulations to Gerry for receiving the lapghan from December’s giveaway. The deadline for this lapghan is January 31, 2014. The drawing will be on February 1st. This lapghan is square and is large enough to cover your lap while seated (hence the name Lapghan!). Open to international blog readers too!

Just wanted to let you know that this is a square lapghan large enough to cover your lap while you are seated. Perfect for anyone who uses a wheelchair or anyone lounging on the sofa. Or do you call it a couch.. a divan.. well, whatever you call it.. that’s how you’d use it. *wink*

Please follow my blog so that you can stay updated by receiving emails of when I post new blog entries! Stay warm everyone! *HUGS* to you all!

ABCs? No no no it’s an ABG!

Living On Oxygen for Life

Yesterday, I told you about my adventures I had at the hospital for my doctor appointments on last Friday. Now that it’s all done and over with… I’m having a great weekend. I even have the results back from all the tests I had done. That’s pretty darn fast! Right?

So here I am. Sitting with my new Peyton Manning Broncos jersey on to support his efforts to go all the way to the Super Bowl. I really am a lucky girl to have such a great husband who tries to make me happy after such a long and trying day.

Here is my ABG results:
ph – 7.37 range: 7.35-7.45
PCO2- 65.9 range: 34-45 mmHg
PO2- 118 range: 92-100 mmHg
HCO3- 38.2 range: 22-26 MMOL/L
O2sat- 98% range: 94-100%
Total CO2 calc ABG- 40 range:19-24 MMOL/L

Now, I wasn’t expecting my results to be great. In fact, I was thinking they would be worse than what you see above. I did this ABG on 5LPM. It is very important to use your oxygen at the prescribed level. Too much oxygen can trigger your brain into retaining too much carbon dioxide. The “range” is what my ABG should be for a healthy person. All I can say is that these results are slightly better than the one I had in 2009.

I hope everyone has a great weekend! Stay warm and don’t forget to follow my blog. Love to you all!!!