New video!!!

Living On Oxygen for Life

For those of you who do not use Facebook, you probably do not know that I just completed and uploaded a video. I’ve been receiving a lot of searches concerning the use of a Bipap machine. I’d like to do a series of videos to answer the questions that I can about the Bipap. If you’ve seen any of my videos, you know it’s hard for me to remember everything I want to say. So with that in mind, have fun watching my video which is almost 8 minutes long. I know! Nearly eight WHOLE minutes of fun-filled excitement! What are you waiting for??? *wink*

Want to know more? Let me know in a comment.

[2015] ** I’ve noticed that my blog doesn’t show the YEAR of each post. That’s why I’m placing the year now at the bottom of the posts. You know… in case you were wondering. haha! I hope you are having sunshine where you are! *love and hugs* to you all. Be well!

Sleep… can you tell I’m not getting enough sleep?

Living On Oxygen for Life

I’ve decided to try my hand at creating something new. Want to see? Of course you do! Just keep in mind that I’ve never made one of these before. So, it may look a little amateurish.

Winter

I named her Winter. I’m currently trying to crochet a little sister for Winter. Hopefully, the little sister, which I think I will name Snow (nothing like Snow White! haha!) to carry on with the “Winter Theme.”

I got home about 2 hours ago from my doctor appointment for my annual physical where I spent at least an hour updating my Primary Care Physician on my current lab results, the previous doctor appointments with my other doctors (Endocrinologist & Pulmonary Hypertension), and I let him know about my future scheduled Heart cath in December (booooooo!!!). I admit. I’m not looking forward to that. I mean, who is, right? We also went over my physical lab results which showed that I still have Hyperthyroid. Darnit! Though, my doctor did say that it can take a long while for the medicine to work. Ugh! *banging head on table* Work already!

I don’t know about you but I have to be REALLY tired or sleepy to be able to fall asleep. I usually take Benadryl to help with that but I’m ready to try something new. I haven’t been getting much sleep for the last two weeks, especially the last 3 or 4 nights. I told my doctor about it. I do well on my Bipap that I use with oxygen. So, I’m pretty sure that’s good. I don’t think I’m ready for what my doctor suggested, which was Xanex. My lungs are so small and sensitive (I tested at 20% lung volume today which was a blow to my psyche) that I can’t take typical medicine for pain or seditives because they bother my breathing. My doctor suggested Melatonin. I’ve never tried it before. Little nervous. Anyone out there have experience with this stuff? Let me know.

Keep in touch, y’all! FOLLOW MY BLOG! Have questions about me? Email them to me and I’ll answer them on this blog… goredrider@gmail.com Stay well everyone! Don’t forget to get your flu shot. I just got mine today and it didn’t even hurt! I swear! I’m about to go for a nap because little ol’ me is going with K to the Dallas Stars opening hockey game tonight! Oh yeah! Go get ’em Stars! Hey, maybe I’ll be on TV?!?!?! haha!

More about bipap machines and sleep studies..

Living On Oxygen for Life

There are different reasons for needing to use a bipap machine. By now, if you have this machine, you know that a bipap is really different than a CPap machine. A CPap machine provides a constant, continuous positive pressure of air through your mask. It’s main use is for what is called Sleep Apnea. Sleep apnea can cause snoring. The continuous positive pressure of air the flows through the hose, tube and into your lungs keeps a your lungs open while you sleep. From experience during a sleep study, I could not tolerate a CPap but many people do well with them.

For this reason my doctor tested me on a Bipap. The pressure from the CPap was too much for me lungs. Bipaps and CPaps can be difficult to used to. I’m not going to lie to you. I had to change the way I breathed when I attempted to fall asleep. At first, I would have panic attacks because I would be so tired from trying to get myself adjusted to the machine that I couldn’t fall asleep. I ended up having my doctor put me on Xanax. It helped. Word to the wise, Xanax is only to be used temporarily. After some time, I found what worked for me. I started by staying up late to the point where I was really sleepy. Then I tried reading in bed until I became sleepy. Reading really helped because it distracted me from keeping my breathing synchronized with the Bipap’s pre-set of “breathing.”

Bipap’s are meant to function to continually breathe for you if in fact you stop breathing. That’s one of the main functions of a bipap. Think of a fail-safe or a backup to your own breathing.

Bipap

This machine is considered a Durable Medical Equipment and you must have a Sleep Study ordered by your pulmonologist to qualify to receive one and for your insurance to pay for or rent one for you. A sleep study is an outpatient procedure where you sleep in either a clinic or a hospital sleep department. The techs will attach electrodes and wires and the mask attached to the Bipap or Cpap. You also get a nifty wire that reads your CO2 and another thing called a pulse oximeter taped on your finger. Oh! They expect you to be able to sleep with all these electrodes wired to your head. Does anyone ever sleep during one of these?? haha!

You may not start off wearing the Bipap or oxygen for the test. Try not to panic. They need a base-line of your breathing ability, oxygen saturation and other important data. Don’t try to change the tech’s mind about what you want because they are following the doctor’s orders. They will also attach a nifty wire that reads your CO2 and another thing called a pulse oximeter taped on your finger. Oh! They expect you to be able to sleep with all these electrodes wired to your head. Does anyone ever sleep during one of these?? haha! It will be a few days if not more before you hear the results. There is a lot a data to read from the sleep study.

Be well and take care of yourselves. *hugs*

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!!!

What do you do when your power goes out when you use a bipap?

Living On O2 for Life

Thanks to one of my readers, I’ve become more aware of how to vulnerable we are when our power goes out. Blackouts, brown outs and even weather related storms and heavens to betsy even weather disasters where the power can be out for days or longer. If you live in an area where your power goes out often (we have rolling brown outs during the summer), you should have a back up plan because power outages can happen any time of the day or night.

Having the power outage at night is a pain. Imagine yourself all snug in your bed when all of a sudden, your bipap cuts out in the middle of inhaling a breath. I’ve been there and experienced that. Now, I can NOT sleep without this machine. So, I get up and find my handy flashlight and cellphone. First order of business is to call the electric company to report the outage. I just know that you have already notified them that you use oxygen and require electricity which should put you on the “Priority Service List.” Then, use my cellphone to read an ebook and pray it won’t take too long.

But what if it is more than a simple storm that zapped a transformer? What do you do? I can think of a few options. The first one is to call someone you know who has  power and lives close by to stay there. Make sure you pack your medicine and whatever you need to feel comfortable and to keep your stress level down. Stress has a way of wearing down your immune system and we don’t want that.

The other option, thanks to Cindy for bringing this to my attention, is a deep cycle marine battery back up for your bipap/cpap. I found a really good instructional website that can help you understand how this works and get you started on preparing for the need for a back up system. You can read about this at: http://www.phcentral.org/features/contingency.html

Please follow my blog! You can email me at goredrider@gmail.com about oxygen or if you have questions about anything. I really do read my emails. People who read my blog are important to me.