Life is beautiful….

Living On Oxygen for Life

Life is beautiful. You just need to know how to find that beauty. It comes in actions, in words, kind gestures, and even the small creatures that we take time to capture in pictures. Photography is one of my passions. It’s something I can do without tiring myself out. It gives me joy and that “feel good” feeling when I see the pictures on the computer. Sometimes these pictures end up in an Shutterfly book or a mousepad. Wherever the pictures end up, I refer back to them when I feel a need to give myself a boost. They make me happy. So, I want to share them with others.

Lately, I’ve been busy. I went to my niece’s wedding and reception and I took my camera. It had been a while since I felt the pull to take pictures. I use to be a real shutterbug. My family could tell you that I would be very obnoxious with taking oodles of pictures of them, much to their irritation. They would know that when I took out my camera, I would go nuts snapping candid pictures. But you know, once they saw the pictures, they liked them.

With my niece’s reception, I was glad that I took my camera. I kind of grumbled about taking it because I didn’t want anything extra to carry around. However, during the wedding, while we and other guests were in reception area, I learned that the photographer wasn’t staying for the reception. So, I immediately started snapping up pictures of everyone there and I took pictures of the cake cutting. There aren’t many things that I feel I CAN do but taking pictures was something that I could do that made me feel useful.

Feeling useful is something I struggle with. With my energy declining and my breathing ability getting worse, pushing myself to do things that are harder now gets to be an internal struggle. But keeping myself moving forward and staying active keeps me alive.

So, seeing all the little things that are beautiful, such as a butterfly in flight or a botanical garden that looks like a jungle reminds me that life is beautiful.

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Don’t forget to enter to win the HOPE necklace, curtesy of Josephine’s Jewelry. The giveaway is open to everyone. Please click the menu link above to read the details and then email me to enter!!! Remember to FOLLOW my blog so that you won’t miss a thing! Love to you all!

Life is good!

Living On Oxygen for Life

A few days ago, K and I decided to step into another adventure by trying a new grocery store… wait for it… on a SUNDAY! Before you say it… it was NOT my idea. In fact, I kept asking him if he was sure he wanted to go to a new grocery store on a Sunday. He was like, Sure! So, that is what we did. We went to WinCo. I can only say that the store was so disorganized that it was so easy to get turned around and confused in there. So many people were stopped in the middle of the aisle looking for whatever it was they were looking for. Then some were talking on their cellphones and suddenly put on the breaks wherever the heck they may be at… which happened to be right in front of our cart a lot. Then, I saw the donuts! We were in the bakery section of the store. I had been craving glazed donuts for days. So, I grabbed a clear plastic box of 6 donuts while checking the date. Ok, they were fresh. In the cart they go. K looked at them and then ripped right into the box and took a big bite of one of the donuts. The look on his face was priceless!! I could tell he wanted to spit it out. *snicker* All he could say was that it was frozen. Naturally, that confused me and I felt bad for him (kinda!). I took a bite of his donut. I certainly didn’t want to start eating a new donut. First, I noticed that it wasn’t frozen but it sure tasted like it had been frozen and then thawed numerous times. YUCK! Now we have to go home with them. Don’t worry… they went straight into the trash. What a waste.

Anyway, I met a nice couple at the WinCo. They asked about my oxygen. That’s when I lost K. He went off on his own like most men do while their women talk to someone they met or know in a store. It must be a secret MAN skill or something. Of course, I didn’t bring my cellphone with me that day. I wasn’t able to hunt him down using a text message. I had the cart. So, he was going to have to find me. Mwhahaha! Don’t worry… I didn’t roam too far from where I was. We both agreed to bail on the grocery store by buying what we had and go home with that. Good gravy. They didn’t even bag the groceries for us. I got to do it! I say got to do it but I was secretly reliving my days from when I use to work at Walmart. I had a lot of fun. Though when I worked at Walmart, we didn’t have the plastic bags like that. I kicked butt by bagging the way I wanted my food to be bagged! I rock!!!

Yesterday, I went to a new doctor. I was a little nervous because it’s a pain management doctor who will hopefully help me deal with the migraine headaches that I’ve had since I was about 17 years old. If anyone has had one, you know that a migraine can make your life come to a screeching halt for days. Well, that is how it is for me. For the last few months, I haven’t been able to “Bounce” back from a migraine as well as I normally do. After having a migraine headache, I normally get a burst of energy that makes me feel almost like Wonder Woman. Because I have heart and breathing problems, a migraine to me, affects both of those problems badly. My heart will start skipping and my breathing is so strained from the stress of my headache. I can not take things like Imitrex or Maxalt. And taking narcotics like hydrocodone or codeine would suppress my respiration. All I can take right now to help me through headaches are Extra Strength Excedrin, Fioricet and Phenergan. But now with this doctor, I am going to learn about whether or not I can get nerve block injections. I first have to get a neck CT scan. Then I find out more after that. Wish me luck!

Today, I am cooking up a corned beef roast to chop up and fry up with hash browns and a little bit of onion to make some yummy Corned beef hash for dinner! K was very skeptical about it the first time I made it… but after tasting it.. I changed his mind about corned beef hash. YUMMY!! Although, for a long time, I use to eat the kind that came from a can. Homemade is better! My oxygen guy came a little early. Now I should be able to get in a nap! YEA! Please be sure to follow my blog so you don’t miss anything. The HOPE necklace is going to be given away in April! Be sure to send in your name, information, and tell me what gives you hope to goredrider@gmail.com. Just click on the “HOPE – the giveaway” tab in the above menu to read about it.

Have a great day everyone! SPRING is coming!!! Can you feel it yet?

Flying… Is it becoming an option again?

Living On Oxygen for Life

Just because airlines are now becoming more equipped to meet our modern technological needs, it may still be a while before power outlets on airlines can be used to power our medical devices. All I can say is ASK, ASK, ASK! The worst an airline can say is No. I’ve researched online to see which airlines are stating they are equipping their planes with power outlets. You can find the 3 most major airlines below. If you click on these links, you will be taken to a page that will tell you which planes in their fleet have outlets. All airlines have different rules and regulations.

Inflight Connectivity and Power

    United Airlines
    Delta Airlines
    American Airlines

Airlines have to follow the FAA Regulations and they also have their own set of rules regarding medical device usage inflight. Most provide a list of Portable Oxygen Concentrators (POC) they allow for inflight use. You must be able to fit it in an appropriate storage location for safety or purchase a seat for it. Once again all airlines have different rules and regulations. The five airlines listed below, are the ones that I could find a list for you to look at.

    Delta – Click on SPECIAL CONCERNS for oxygen information.
    American Airlines POC Approval List & Requirements
    United Airlines Special Needs – Click on Customer-provided Ventilators, respirators, & CPAPs OR Portable Oxygen Concentrator links for information.
    Virgin America Airlines – They have a downloadable POC medical form in PDF form. Remember this must be on your doctor’s letterhead. Virgin America will not allow usage of electrical outlets to power or charge medical devices. You must provide amble batteries. Please check their guidelines.
    Southwest Airlines POC list – Click on Portable Oxygen Concentrators – link provided for Physician’s Consent Template.

TSA

Before you even get to board a plane, you have to go through security. Getting through security with a piece of medical equipment means you need to read up on the proper way it’s done. I’m really serious here. You mess up here, you aren’t getting on that plane whether you have a ticket or not. So, please read these pages closely.

    TSA’s rules for Portable Oxygen Concentrators & other medical equipment.
    TSA – Travelers’ with Disabilities and Medical Assistance Needs – I highly recommend giving them a call for assistance. You need a 72 hour in advance notification for their assistance.

And finally, this link goes to an article written by a person who traveled using his Bipap inflight. He tells how he did this. It’s a good read and very informative. Just don’t expect his level of success. Every trip should be considered a learning experience. I would LOVE to hear from anyone who has successfully traveled using their Bipap / Cpap/ or just oxygen in flight. Please feel free to leave a comment to share your experience. We could all benefit from your experience!

Wow! This post made my brain hurt! lol! I hope it helps someone. Please don’t forget to follow my blog. You may enter the April 1st giveaway for the HOPE necklace. Just email! Love to you all. Stay healthy… by the way.. the dwarf trees are planted!!!

There’s always HOPE…

Living On Oxygen for Life

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I ordered a very special necklace and received it this week! I am so thrilled with it. Ruthie, the designer of Josephine’s Jewelry has made this Awareness necklace for me. It brings awareness for more than Pulmonary Hypertension. It brings awareness to HOPE itself.

In my email to Ruthie, I said: “You know, there’s only one thing stronger, more powerful than fear and that’s HOPE. So, when I look at my new necklace and see the Hope charm, it reminds me to always have hope for better days with my Pulmonary Hypertension among many other things.”

Because of Ruthie, her generosity and desire to further the Awareness of Pulmonary Hypertension, I have a necklace just like this one to give away to one of my readers. This giveaway will start APRIL 1st, 2014 (and no, this isn’t an April Fools joke!). It will be open to everyone who has a mailing address who is willing to email me their information of name, location, and tell me about the one thing that gives YOU hope the most. Ruth has made the necklace with purple beads for Pulmonary Hypertension. However, she does custom colors for other types of Awarenesses. Just click on the link to see her webstore.

For this giveaway, you DO NOT have to have Pulmonary Hypertension to enter. If you’d like to give the necklace to a girlfriend, daughter, or mother who needs a boost of inspiration and HOPE, enter your information by emailing me at goredrider@gmail.com … Just remember the people who do have PH when you wear it! Let’s all push for a cure! Please follow my blog!

To Ruthie: I am so happy with my necklace and it brings me such joy when I see it in the mirror or reach up and feel it around my neck. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kind generosity of offering this wonderful necklace so that we may spread the Awareness of such a silent, incurable disease as Pulmonary Hypertension. Hang tight… there will be a day when a cure comes!

We all need a “Me-Day” occasionally…

Living On Oxygen for Life

Mondays aren’t always full of madness nor do they feel like a train wreck waiting to happen. My Monday, this week, is filled with things that “I” want to do for me. You know… I’m having a “Me-Day.” Sounds like fun, right? I try to have a Me-Day once in a while. It’s something that helps me keep the worry and anxiety from life.

What do I do on my Me-Day, you ask? Today, I’m relaxing (sort of) while I watch Ripley (aka: Sigourney Weaver) kick some Alien butt. You go girl! I crocheted some today and I’m even thinking about making cookies too! But really, I thought I’d catch you up on what’s going on in my life lately. I know that not everyone uses Facebook (gasp!) and that’s where I sometimes post some of my daily goofy life stuff. Though, if you look in the right column of this blog, you can read those Facebook posts.

Lately, I’ve been getting my Summer project ready. You may know that last Summer’s project was for me to successfully keep my new dwarf lemon and dwarf lime trees alive. I’d like to announce that I have achieved this goal, shocking both K and myself. I even got 3 limes from one tree and currently I’m praying hard for the one lemon that’s growing to hang on!

This Summer, to keep me active, I’ve expanded my dwarf orchard (that’s what I’m calling it now!) by two more dwarf trees. I’m so excited to get them planted in half-barrel pots. One is a 5-in-1 dwarf apple tree and the other is a dwarf peach tree. I’m also planting a Raspberry bush and I started some tomato and cilantro seeds.

Maybe it may seem like too much for me to do but I explained to K that it’s what will make me happy and keep me from becoming sedentary. Being on oxygen and having shortness of breath (SOB) symptoms often, it’s very, very important for us oxygen users to stay active. So finding things that I can physically do while being safe at doing them can help maintain my level of health.

Pretty soon, since I live in Texas, I will have to start getting my body use to the Texas heat by starting with going out in the heat everyday for about five minutes. Texas is already starting to warm up into 80s. So slowly I will I increase the time outside before Summer rolls around which seems like mid April here.

Don’t forget to follow my blog so you won’t miss a post! You have 5 days left to enter the March Need A Hug Giveaway. Email me your info to enter. If you use oxygen and/or use a Bipap/CPap machine, then this giveaway is for you! Have a wonderful day. Give yourself a Me-Day!!! Love to you all!

Feeling Alive Comes from within You.

Living On Oxygen for Life

“In this moment, we are alive.”

This is a sentence that someone had said in a movie preview that I watched and it really stuck with me. You see, we ARE alive….but we don’t have to be perfect, look beautiful, or dress perfectly.

What you do with the time you have now will impact everyone you come in contact with now and possibly in the future. So, if you WANT be beautiful? Strive to be beautiful on the inside because that is what will make you feel alive and it will touch every single person you come in contact with. That way, your beauty and kindness will live on forever in the minds of those you touch. So be beautiful and be alive.

Ok! Let’s do this…

Living On Oxygen for Life

Are you ready for another “Need a Hug?” giveaway??? I’m thinking that you are saying…”Shoot yeah!” Right? Psh! Of course I’m right! Well, let’s get to it. Oh wait… First, let me tell you some stuff that I’ve had to deal with concerning my health. I had a bit of a scare over the last week-ish. With all that was going on with K’s family and with me overdoing it, my heart was letting me know… “Whoa.. what the heck are you doing? Slow down girl!” Naturally, I didn’t listen very well. I mean, I tried to rest when I could but resting wasn’t helping much. The more things I did physically, the more my heart was hurting. Chest pain is a scary thing. I wasn’t sure if it was caused by too much emotional stress or too much physical stress. Was it muscle pain or was it actually my heart hurting? I mean, how do you know?

During all that week, I was carrying my oxygen portable a lot but I also used my little cart to pull it around when I knew I had to do a lot of walking (and there was a lot of walking!). Even lifting and lugging it up to my shoulder wore me out. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not what I use to be but that’s ok. I persevered because I surely didn’t want to ask K to help me up from and down to the hospital parking garage just so that I can be with him and his family. I know.. I know… I should have paced myself better and then my breathing wouldn’t (I hope!) have been so strained causing more chest pain. I’m pretty hard-headed!

Anyway, I went to my doctor appointment last Friday and told him all about the chest pain and he decided to run an EKG just to play it safe. I was so thankful that the results turned out well. Yippee! I was super stoked until he said he wanted me to be referred to my Cardiologist. Crap! Another doctor appointment! So, I took a deep breath and hung my head and said….”Okay…” lol! I’m so goofy! I am feeling better now. So, I’m thinking that all this was caused mostly from stress. A couple of days of rest has done me well. Wheww!

And now for the next “Need a Hug?” giveaway!!! Click the “Need a Hug?” link in the menu above to know how to get your name entered. You need to be someone who uses oxygen and/or a bipap/cpap machine. If you have breathing problems and need a hug, enter your name!

March Giveaway

March Giveaway

This, above photo, is of a lapghan that is approximately 4’x4′. This giveaway is open to international entries as long as you can receive packages at your home. Follow my blog so you won’t miss a thing! Seriously! Do it! *wink*