A little thing about shopping carts.

Living On Oxygen for Life

A tragic accident happened yesterday. *sniff* *gulp* I was hot-footing after K in Lowe’s last night, reminding him to please slow down. You see, even after all this time together with each other, he will sometimes forget that I’m slower than he is. “What?!?” You ask. I know, I know. I’m stunned by that revelation myself but it’s true.

K “needed” more garden supplies. I swear for a man who originally didn’t want a yard when we were house shopping years ago, he sure has taken up gardening as if it’s a lifeline. Honestly, it can be and has been. Even though it’s a lot of work, there’s a lot of joy and even a bit of escapism to it. He’s made our yard it our little project that is never finished and that’s ok because we love every change we bring to it each year.

Now, back to Lowe’s. Right. Where was I? Ok I remember. “Slow down,” and he turns around to look back at me while turning the cart filled with bags of dirt. “K, I’m not made for this speed anymore.” I smiled at him and that’s when my life goes into slow motion. I see K about to say something and then I caught something flying out of the corner of my eye.

Have you ever experienced something happening that you knew wasn’t right but you weren’t in the position to stop it from happening? Well, that was K and I. I was too far away and K was still looking at me when the dirt shifted in the cart that he was still pushing around a corner. There wasn’t a darn thing we could do. My portable liquid oxygen tank got squeezed out of the cart’s seat and flew out and smacked the concrete floor. The plastic casing came wide open and top was tilted out way wrong. Oh crude buckets! I gently picked it up, trying to squeeze it back together, when my mind was wondering if these things blowup. Apparently not this time. However, K’s first thought was, “Is it still flowing oxygen?” Isn’t he so sweet???

Miraculously, the darn thing was still working but I asked him what her would do if it didn’t. He said, “We’d figure it out. We always do.” What a guy, right? It wasn’t until we got back to home that we tossed around some ideas of what to do in that scenario. It’s always good to have a plan in place for such things because I can not be without oxygen for very long before I start to suffer badly and that’s if I’m just sitting somewhere without talking or moving to conserve my body’s oxygen supply.

When we got home we discussed what we could have done if my portable had stopped working. I’m a little nervous to tell my oxygen provider that my portable is broken. But hey, these things happen, right? A lesson has been learned here for us. We will never forget to strap in my portable tank using the child safety belt in the shopping cart. I mean, we took the time to connect it through my purse strap but didn’t do it this time for my portable.

10 thoughts on “A little thing about shopping carts.

  1. Sounds like a close call! I sometimes worry about what would happen if my portable stopped working while out and about. I have no one to go shopping and such with any longer, and I would totally wilt walking out to the car for a spare. You are lucky that K has your back, even if he walks too fast😉

    • Bonnie, do you carry a cellphone with you when you’re out of the house? There’s no way I could walk back to car without my oxygen either. I will shop online sometimes! I heard in a lot of places, you can even shop for groceries at your local online Walmart and then hop in your car to pick them up by giving the provided emailed phone number a call to tell them you’re there to pick up your order. You don’t even need to get out of the car. I don’t know if you have something similar there where you are but it sure sounds neat! We have one actual grocery store that does the same thing.

  2. I voiced this concern to my Dr. He suggested I have a back up portable since it is not an option for me to be without oxygen even for a short period of time. He sent the order to the oxygen company, the insurance approved it, so I was able to get a portable back up.. Am so fortunate not to have that worry anymore. And we know how bad stress is on our breathing. Give it a try…..

    • Hi Dawn! I’m so glad you were able to get a backup portable. I actually carry a 75lb liquid oxygen reservoir in my vehicle that I can either use oxygen directly from the reservoir or fill my portables up with it. I’d just have to be able to make it back to my car to access the reservoir if my portable broke and I didn’t have my second portable full of oxygen with me. I had to fight to get that reservoir for my vehicle but it’s so worth it to me to know I have a better quality of life just by having it. Stress is probably the number one problem for my health because it can affect my heart, breathing and cause migraines. I hate even saying the “M” word. *knocking on wood* Having the stress of worrying how much oxygen I have left in my portable is bad enough, right? Who needs all the other stressful stuff to add to that?

      • I also have a source of backup oxygen in my vehicle, but brings me comfort to know I can send someone to get my oxygen instead of my having to be able to get me to the car. Just saying…. I also have had a cannula come apart where the tubing is joined together so also carry a back up cannula. Being on oxygen is an ever going learning experience. Enjoy your posts.

      • Hey Dawn.. don’t you hate it when your cannula pulls Sparta right under your nose? I’ve had that happen too but I didn’t have the right type of replacement with me. Now, I keep an assortment of tubing and cannulas in the pocket behind the passenger seat. 👍🏻 It’s definitely a “learn as you go experience” sort of thing.

  3. Just reading your story made my heart rate go up! Every O2 user’s nightmare! I always keep a cylinder in my car and figure if my portable stopped working, I’d give my keys to someone to go to my car and retrieve the tank and bring it to me. I hope it never happens! I wouldn’t worry about telling the provider about the broken portable. I’m always banging mine around and sometimes have to exchange it for a better functioning one. I think they’re pretty used to it!

    • Cindy, the tank that you leave in your car…do you have to periodically check to see how full it is or does the e-tank keep a constant pressure at all times? It is too hot to keep one of those tanks in my van during the summer here. If it doesn’t have a pressure relief valve, it doesn’t stay in my van 24/7. It stays in the 90s to 100+ all Summer here in Texas.

  4. What I have done to not have the happen I put my companion in a back pack, and have put in my “D” cylinders as well. I can walk about without having my tank or companion go flying or have a hard time getting things off the store shelves. I hate being tethered. the Backpack lets me be free. Use that when I am outside, over at the Lodge, or doing research at libraries.
    ITa just a plain old LLBean style pack. works wonders and i can keep all sorts of things in the pockets

    • Lucky you! I can no longer carry mine. I’m lucky to walk along with K pushing the cart. Usually I’ll hope on the end of the cart like a little kid and get me a free ride around the store. It’s SO fun!

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