It was a longer than expected stretch…

Living On Oxygen for Life

When K got home from work last Saturday, it was earlier than I had expected. Sometimes that happens and it’s always a joy to see him home. I was about to take a quick power nap but there he was standing in the kitchen when he asked me…”What are your plans for the rest of the day?” Now, I know from previous experience when he has asked that question, he generally has something up his sleeve already. So, this time I just I played it real cool by asking him, “Whatcha got in mind?” Trust me.. K always has something in mind when he asks. So, why spoil the surprise by telling him I was about to lie down for a nap? Right? Are you with me?

You see, for the past 3 weeks, I’ve been having trouble breathing. Ok… I know, that you know, that I have breathing problems all the time but, this time, over the past 3 weeks, it’s been a bit worse than usual. It’s like I can’t even bend down to the floor a pick something up without getting short of breath. crap… really? Yeah, really. K has noticed that I haven’t gotten out of the house much at all by myself lately. So, that’s why he asked me what I had planned. He was getting my butt out of the house. haha!

What’s the one thing, you ask, that will motivate me to get out of the house? Shopping for yarn? Well, that is true but it’s not something that K would willingly take me to do. *wink* Nope, he wanted to take me to see the new Transformer movie. The one that has Mark Wahlberg. When we looked up this movie, the first thing that we noticed was how long it was. . It was 2 hours and 45 minutes. yikes….that’s long!

I was thinking.. This is going to be tricky. The calculating begins! Will I have enough oxygen in my portable liquid oxygen tank to walk from the parking lot, into the mall movie theater, watch the movie and then return to my van? Now, we like having decent seats. So, we wanted to get there a little early. K was over in the driver seat saying..”You’ll be fine. You’ll have enough.” I gave him a very skeptical look. He said, “You can turn it down when you sit in the movie, right?” I was wearing my oxygen on 6 Liter/min nowadays. I was already going to have to turn it down to 5L/min just to walk to and from the theater.

We actually did get pretty good seats. We thought it was going to be a little fuller. The movie start time comes and then it goes but finally started about 10 minutes later. What we didn’t know was that they had tacked on 20 minutes of commercials and movie trailers to the beginning of the movie. It was a long wait for the movie to start and it was a lot of time that we didn’t factor into my oxygen consumption needs. So, I turned my oxygen down again to 4 L/min. Now, I know I can do this as long as I remain seated and do not talk. Otherwise, I would need more oxygen.

By the time we thought the movie was about to wrap it up, I pick up my portable to see how much juice was left and I nearly panicked because it was so light. K asked me if I wanted to leave early. I thought, “Surely it can’t last much longer, right?” So, we decided to stay.

The very second the movie was over we bolted out of our seats. I had to grab K’s belt because I got woozy. He must have said something to the people sitting in our way to get to the aisle because they quickly moved out of our path. I was like… I’m so sorry! I hate mowing people over when they’re not ready to leave the theater. Usually, that’s us. We like to read the credits.

We made it just in time to my van before my oxygen ran out. Thankfully, I have a big backup reservoir of liquid oxygen in my van. I don’t think we are going to try that again with such a long movie and only one portable oxygen tank. That was a little too adventurous!

I hope you have a great adventure!!! *hugs*


11 thoughts on “It was a longer than expected stretch…

  1. I’m so sorry you had a close call!! What about taking that wheelchair in the next time and you can sit in the aisle while hubby sits on the end seat and take the extra O2 in with you ? Or just take it in with you——— I am learning to be extra prepared as one time I opened a new bottle of oxygen and it was empty! So now I carry more with me when I’m out – I’m on 4 Liters so it goes pretty fast also! Well glad you got to see the movie. Have you tried pulmonary rehab? To teach you the tricks to better breathing when bending down and lots of other great stuff? I thought since I’ve had lung disease and breathing problems that they couldn’t help me but I was shocked at how much better I could do and stronger I could get. Ask for my phone number if you want to talk about it – I went for 1 1/3 years and loved it – and was about to start a maintenance program when my frozen shoulder acted up & I have nerve pain – but I’ll be back at it as soon as I can.

    • This was the first time that we were unprepared for such a long movie. Normally, when we go to events like a hockey game or some other thing that’s over 3 hours long, we will take my extra portable. We reserve the use of the wheelchair for doctor appointments or when we are traveling. K wants me to get some exercise by walking, whenever the distance isn’t too longer and the heat isn’t too hot outside. 🙂 I think I would do better by doing some yoga at home. I just have to find something more my speed. I the PH association has a link to some Yoga in a chair. I’ll have to find and post that link.

  2. You could carry an extra tank with you Christine, but yours might be larger than mine. When I walk in the woods I take my portable out of the shoulder bag and put it inside a small backpack with another tank and run the hose through the hole that most newer packs have to run your earbud cord through. It works great for me. Just a thought. Glad to see your felling better.

  3. When I started rehab I could hardly carry around my O2 tank, it seemed sooo heavy, Even though I had not been sedentary I had lost my umf to do things- so tired all the time. On the specialized equipment with O2,respiratory specialists and a dr on staff I started very slowly with 5 mins each on 3 machines,slowly over the months built myself up to an HOUR total exercising! Of course, this is a controlled environment with airconditioning, and constant checking your O2 stats and so much encouragement & comradery from fellow rehab students -I went 2 x a week .Every 12 visits they’d hook me up to electrodes, test me-I could actually see on graphs howmuch better my heart & lungs worked together! I suppose everyone may not be a candidate for rehab but it made a HUGE difference in my life and I want to encourage everyone to really think about it – it can add quality & longivity to your life…..I won’t say anymore! Much Love

    • Susan, I’m sooo happy that rehab has helped you in such a grand way. I thinks it’s exciting that there are rehab programs available to help people with respiratory and cardiac problems. Do you continue at home with an exercise program?

      I do a lot of purse-breathing while I do chores and when I walk long distances. I really helps a lot.

      • That is what I find amazing about the program. Some days I drag myself to rehab, thinking I’m so tired how did I even get here -but by the time I leave I feel re-juvenated the rest of the day. I could choose to go 3 times/wk but with my weekly schedule of trying to go to estate sales, grocery shopping etc, and physical recovery time inbetween, just 2 times a week is enough. Never in my life did I think I could do 45-60 mins of exercises let alone now…..of course it took a while to build up and now that I’ve been suffering with this frozen shoulder think I’ll have to start over – but my stamina is far better than it was prior to ever having gone before. And to answer your question, no I don’t do an exercise program at home – I seem to need the controlled environment and motivation of rehab

  4. I use liquid too, but I am now way as dependent on it as you. I can run out and be ok. I really just need it when I am moving around. Sitting i don’t have to be on it. Will your insurance pay for a portable oxygen concentrator? I think the battery life on it might be longer than the liquid O2 portables. My system is the Helios and they have the small and the marathon. I guess you already have the large one. The small one would probably only last you a minute!

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