A Darn Good Day!

Living On Oxygen for Life

I had a GREAT day yesterday. Even I couldn’t believe what all I got accomplished on my own. I made it to the pharmacy and then decided, what the heck, I still have energy… I’ll go grocery shopping all by myself. I did find myself huffing and puffing my way into the store but I grabbed a cart and rolled it the short distance to the produce department while doing a little purse-breathing along the way. (Remember? K has been taking over the grocery shopping for the last 5 or 6 months. It’s been getting harder and harder for me to go along.)

I did a bit of “slow browsing” to give myself enough time to catch my breath and then away I go to shop to my heart’s content. No, I did not buy ice cream. But I did by ingredients to make cookies and maybe even turtle cheesecake. *drool* I even had fun saying hello to people I don’t even know, even the little kids. I had so much fun!!!

I knew I’d be tired when I got home because K wasn’t going to be home yet and I skipped my morning diuretics to get an early start on my day. So I grabbed a roasted chicken for dinner. Won’t K be surprised?!?!

I got home with my groceries and unloaded AND put them away! All. By. Myself!!! *super proud of myself* Next, I started dinner! Whaaaat??? How am I even doing all this??? I just don’t know. All I can say is….K sure was surprised because not only did I accomplished all the stuff I did yesterday, I even made a salad to go with dinner! Whaaaaaat? I think I scored some extra points with the salad. *grin* Who says men don’t like salad? After dinner, my energy was definitely draining. I could only rinse off the dishes but you KNOW I had just enough energy to sit down to crochet for a few hours while we watched some TV together.

It was a happy day yesterday and I hope I have another one again soon. I am paying for all of yesterday’s effort today. I’m tired, tired, tired today and when I told K that I was ready for a nap earlier, he politely reminded me that the Cowboys play at 3pm which is about 25 minutes ago. Argh!!!! haha! So, here I am with my bipap on, in bed, trying to power up for the game.

I’m happy. I hope I don’t mess up whatever I decide to make for my contribution to our family Thanksgiving dinner. It’s supposed to be something chocolate-flavored. That’s where the turtle cheesecake comes into play. *shrug* hehe!

Have a great Sunday! Lots of love to you all!!!

Springtime brings the good and the bad…

Living On Oxygen for Life

Spring is coming!!! Ok… Here in Texas, it feels like Summer will be here soon. It’s already touched 80 degrees. So, that has encouraged me to string my 50ft cannula out the back door to watch K construct my newest raised garden for planting vegetables. He asked me how big I wanted it to be and I told him at least 8 feet long. He replied, how about 6 feet long and 2 feet wide? And then we began the negotiations for the height. I accomplished 16 inches in height which means we both were happy in the end. He was afraid if he made it bigger, it would tire me too much. He said he’d build another one if I wanted later. We just want to see how I do with this add-on garden. Don’t forget… I still have my 4ft elevated bed from last year that I’m using again.

This is a great way that K and I keep myself moving and motivated. There’s nothing like watching something grow into a plant you can eat!! Remember my 3 lemons? I made some awesome lemonade?

I made lemonade from the lemons I grew!

I made lemonade from the lemons I grew!

Lately, I’ve discovered myself in a battle with a nocturnal cat. The stinker likes digging in my gardens and darn near killed my basil. Well, I’ll show it who’s boss! I went to Walmart a bought a whole bolt of toile netting and then off to Home Depot with K to but some PVC tubing. I feel a MacGyver Moment coming on. I created a dome netting to cover each garden!

My 2016 garden adventure!

My 2016 garden adventure!

In the upper left corner of the above picture shows a bunch of orange blossoms on my dwarf orange tree K bought me about a month ago. Even my lemon tree is budding flowers again. Yay!

Ok now the not-so-great news. With the warming weather, it brings along pollen and other breathing irritants such as what seems like more air pollution. With warm weather, my body starts to retain water causing swelling and difficulty breathing which means I have to move a little slower. Well, ok, a lot slower. Right now, I’m starting my practice of getting my body ready for our Texas summer heat. I go outside on warm days for short periods of time and then go back inside to rest. I only go out in short bursts and gradually increase my tire outside allowing my body time to adjust.

My first Homemade fresh fruit Popsicles that I made. Raspberry (sieved to make seedless), mango, lemon.

My first Homemade fresh fruit Popsicles that I made. Raspberry (sieved to make seedless), mango, lemon.

For a while I’ve wanted Popsicle molds. I finally found some cute one and tried my hand at making my very first fresh fruit Popsicles. Getting the seeds out of the raspberries with my sieve was super slow going. That was a lot of work. I hope they taste good. I made them a few days ago. I’m going to try them tonight. K and I are trying to eat fresher food. We no longer eat canned vegetables. Food tastes so much better fresh.

I have exciting news coming up in my next post. I thought I’d catch you up with what’s going on in my life. I hope you are doing and breathing well.

I’m still taking questions for my Q & A video that I’m going to make and post on my blog. If you have a question about me, oxygen, Bipap/Cpap, living with oxygen, Klondike (my rubber chicken) and his adventures, or even Rocco, you should email me your questions at goredrider@gmail.com I’ll try to answer your question in my video.

I’ve had enough of July…

Living On Oxygen for Life

thehalfmoonJuly2015

Lately, I have become a bit lazy and now I’m paying for it. It’s not really a laziness by choice. It’s one of those laziness that creeps up on you because you haven’t felt well enough to be motivated to do much. It’s a struggle for me at times. Right now… I’m trying to deal with this malady as best as I can.

It’s gotten to the point where I stopped calling friends & family or leave the house much for anything besides doctor appointments and grocery shopping with K. That, in itself, is bad. I need to push myself to do things because I don’t feel the energy to do them. I’m talking about making dinner, processing laundry (i.e.: changing loads, folding or hanging up shirts), and swiffing the wood floors. All of this seems really easy to do, right? It looks easy to me. It’s just that when I have a monumental Migraine *knock on wood* everything comes to a standstill. K picks up the slack and keeps things going. Unfortunately, this time, I didn’t rebound as well as I normally do.

Maybe it’s the Texas heat or maybe my breathing is actually getting worse. In fact, K actually picked up the laundry basket full of clothes, as he was making himself a sandwich for lunch, and placed it on the counter. I wasn’t sure why he did that. So I asked him and he told me he did it so I wouldn’t have to bend over and pick it up. He knows how bending over affects my breathing now. Sure, he could’ve carried it all the way to the bedroom but he doesn’t want to make it THAT easy for me. I need to keep active or my health will decline.

I’ve started writing a TO-DO List to get me going again. So far, I’ve accomplished one thing on it which is tonight’s dinner. YAY! I have been crocheting a lot and I’m getting ready to send out another Need a Hug afghan. Just please give me a few more days to get myself back into the swing of things. I’ll be posting more often again. This month has been so weird. It’s definitely NOT normal for me to be so quiet. So, I’m sorry for that. I’ve had enough of July’s laziness and I’m ready to come out swinging in August! Watch out! haha! *HUGS* to you all!!!

The above picture is one that I took a few days ago. The moon was low enough in the sky to take a pretty good shot at it. I love taking pictures! It only took about 15 tries to get one this clear because I didn’t use a tripod. I didn’t want to lug it outside. haha! Space intrigues me! I loved the pictures of Pluto! That was AWESOME!

[2015]

Learn about your oxygen concentrator filter

Living On Oxygen for Life

Good morning everyone! Whoops it already noon but it feels like morning to me because I woke up for the day about 30 minutes ago. I was so absorbed in a good book that I didn’t realize that it was already 3:30am when I looked at the time. I even had to struggle to put the book down. It was so good!

This blog entry will be short… Sorry.. Sorry! I know you love my long.. really long blog posts but at least this one has a video! YAY! In this video, on Youtube.com, I talk and show you an oxygen concentrator filter. Bare in mind that my filter may not be exactly like the one that is inside of your concentrator. But that’s ok.. they work the same way. You can watch it and then tell me what you think. Ok?

 

I hope everyone is doing well today. Don’t forget to stay active by finding something exciting and new to try. Like a hobby! I’m about to go outside to look at my elevated raised garden to see how much my veggies have grown already. I have pictures and I can’t wait to show you in my next post.

[April 2015]

Random Picture Day #13

Living On Oxygen for Life

Hello everyone! Wow… time sure does fly quickly. Doesn’t it? Well, I guess it seems kind of slow if you are snowed under. I hope you have sunshine by now. It’s starting to peek out more and more here in Texas. It is amazing how much a little bit of sunshine can change a person’s mood… from rainy-gloomy-cabin-fever blues to rip-the-doors-off-the-house-and-let-me-at-the-glorious-sunshine happiness. This Winter has been a heck of a roller coaster. So, I guess Spring has sprung and all that sweet sunshine has brought our daffodils up and blooming. That is until someone came by and cut and stole them from our front lawn. K was crushed. All that work and now it’s like he has nothing to show for it. The thing is.. he told me that he would have been happy to give them to whomever wanted a few if he’d just ask for them. K would have felt like someone sweet, other than me… of course *wink*, was going to enjoy them and appreciate his effort. But no… someone stole them. I’m a little worried about the tulips that are starting to come up. As you know, daffodils and tulips, make their appearance once a year in the Spring and they are beautiful. Majestic, really, which makes our next outing plans super exciting. It’s a wheelchair adventure with my new camera I got for Christmas! Thank you Santa!

We are going to a place that is GLORIOUSLY filled with tulips, daffodils, and so many more types of flowers. The last time we went to appreciate the flowers was about 5 years ago. Here’s two pictures that I took there.

tulips

cottage

Taking pictures with my Nikon dslr 5200 camera is something I LOVE doing. It’s something that is easy to do while having to use oxygen. It doesn’t take a lot of energy unless I am having to move about a room like at a wedding reception. I like taking candid, spontaneous pictures of people in the moment instead of posed people in a group picture. But nature, by far, is my favorite to photograph. K has really developed an eye for photography. Sometimes my hands are too shaky because I get tired or my oxygen saturation drops and that gets me frustrated because pictures can blur. So, K will drag the tripod around with us if I end up needing it, we’ll have it handy.

So, what am I really like? You read my blog. Do you wonder… what is she really like in person? Here’s a bit of a weird bio.. I’ll try to add a little bio each time I remember!:

  • I have to say that I am pretty goofy.
  • I’m afraid to tell you that I can be a bit cranky or fussy when I’m tired but who isn’t, right?
  • I read a LOT! I should list the books I’m currently reading or at least, the books I’ve read that I think are good. I get most of my books through Amazon and read them on my Kindle app on my cellphone. Did you know that they have a boat load of free books? Just use the filter to look at the LOWEST cost books first. (you’re welcome for that tip!).. Thank you Thomas K., my Scottish friend! *wink*
  • I’ll only eat spinach in a salad. I love it raw/uncooked!
  • I’ve never been to college but I’ve been to a trade school. (Travel Academy)
  • Daisies are my favorite flowers. There’s something about them with their simple, innocent look.
  • I love my wheelchair and it’s driver (aka: my husband)
  • I believe in training a dog with the reward system versus punishment system.
  • To motivate myself in getting things done that I really DON’T want to do is by rewards (no I’m not a dog! *wink*). Those rewards can be ice cream, ice cream, and maybe some more ice cream.. but if I’m out of the ice cream (watch out!) then I’ll take whatever it takes to make me smile and moving with a pep in my step.

 

Now finally, here’s the part you are waiting for… Ready? My health update… YAY!!!: I did some lab work last week because my Endocrinologist asked me to. Instead of my TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) being too low, it’s flipped out and gone the other way. Needless to say, since I switched back to Tracleer (bosentan) from Opsumit (macitentan) and started taking Methimazole, it has worked especially well. Unfortunately, it worked too well and I have had to cut back on the Methimazole two weeks ago. I’m thinking that I’ll be off the medicine all together after my next Endocrine appointment at the end of this month. The weird thing is… I asked my Pulmonary Hypertension doctor if they have heard of any other PH patients on Opsumit having the same TSH problems. She said no. That’s why they keep telling me that they think it’s my Cordarone (Amiodarone). Though, Amiodarone, is not a good medicine to be on, it’s the one medicine that I could tolerate when my heart started it’s arrhythmia problems back in 1993. I’ll be going to see my Cardiologist for an Echo and to discuss this more and maybe see what else is out there that can replace Amiodarone. I mean it’s been 20 years. Surely, something better and MUCH more expensive is available by now. Though, Tikosyn was recommended to me as my first option last April but I’m not too thrilled with it. I don’t have A-fib and I’m not ready to subject myself to a new medicine that I’m not at least 75% sure that it’s something that will do more good than harm. I’m just not one of those patients that blindly go where doctors lead me. I read up on everything they suggest.

Stay in touch because I love to hear from you. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram or email: goredrider@gmail.com *HUGS* to you all!

We are a strange couple…

Living On Oxygen for Life

Sorry! I started writing this on November 8th and I’m just now finishing it up for y’all. Enjoy!

Yesterday was amazing! I got up early. No, I am talking EARLY, like, before the worms wake up to be eaten by the birds kind of early. K and I are complete opposites. He calls us ying and yang. We are opposites but we fit together in a weird way. He’s OCD and I’m ADD which can cause some problems if you can well imagine but we have this special quirkiness that makes us work.

You see, the day before yesterday (Thursday), I had to take K to his eye exam where he had his eyes dilated so he needed a ride home. I spent the time (boring time) waiting in the lobby of the optometrist wondering just how long it takes to do an eye exam. That’s when a little boy walks over to me and ask what was in my nose (referring to my tubing). I told him simply that I have this tubing that gives me oxygen from this tank. It helps me breathe better. I then, of course, complimented him on getting some Superman stickers on his shirt. Later, I overheard one of the receptionist talking about her son having respiratory problems. She didn’t get her son a flu shot last year and she was planning on getting him one this year and the pertussis vaccine. She was telling the other receptionist that her son can get a simple sore throat and then overnight she’s having to take him into the emergency room with something so much worse. I told her that I was the same way especially as a child. (I know… I butted in and it’s probably a rude thing to do.) I have to catch a sore throat early to prevent getting worse since I also have respiratory problems. We talked about 20 minutes and then K came out ready to check out. That’s when we saw one other receptionist’s nifty watch which we oooh’d and ahhh’d over. The optometrist told him that he needed progressive bifocals. He feels old now. Poor guy.

Anyway, before I get way off subject, let me steer back to what I’m trying to tell you. Ok, let me regroup my thoughts for a second…. Oh yes! I woke up early on Friday, took K to work because his car was left at his mom’s house and I needed my van to go get my monthly labs done. Oh the joys of taking Tracleer. Just before he got out of the van at work, he said, Chris (that’s what he calls me), let’s have a great day. And I was like…. Okaaaay… In my mind, I was thinking of all the things I had to do that day but then he did something fun. He raised his fist and told me to fist bump to seal the deal but I went one step further… haha! It makes me laugh just thinking about it. I said we have to “Wonder Twin activate or it won’t count with the explosion sound and fingers spread out afterwards. You know what? He did it and that made the beginning of my day SO awesome!

I drove all the way to get my labs done and found out that my standing orders were NOT in their system. They were NOT faxed according to their computer. I had emailed my nurse just 2 days prior to confirm that they were faxed and she said yes they were and that I didn’t need to take the paper orders in. Just go get my labs done. Big, big mistake. Next time I will take my paper orders. Phone calls had to be made from the lab and I ended up sitting around there for over an hour. However, I rewarded myself with a Egg McMuffin and a hash brown from McDonalds and all was much better afterwards. I went home watched a Netflix movie, ate lunch and took a power nap because I still had to go pick K up from work. By the time I was ready to go at 2:30 o’clock, K texted me saying start heading his way and, of course, there was a major traffic jam. Typical! Once I got through the traffic, I burned rubber down the highway, but safely! I arrived right on time! Wheww! Then, he informed me that the place we were ordering his glasses was located in the mall. UGH! The mall???? I really wanted to stomp my foot but remembered that were suppose to have a Wonder Twin power good day. So, I put on my happy face and said, “Love to! Let’s go!”

K was pretty sure the Lens Crafters store was located near Dillard’s. So, that’s where we parked my van. We decided to not use my wheelchair because, hey, the store is just right there, right? Oh heck no. We breeze through Dillard’s to only find out from the directory that the store is on the other side of the freaking mall. I told him that I could do this but we may have to stop here and there. As we’re walking through the mall, we were looking in each store and I pointing out the boots and outfits I like or thought would look good on me. I’m not a shopper. I don’t like buying clothes for myself until I’m in clothes buying mood which is not very often and then on top of that, I’m pretty frugal. K hates that. hehe! We were walking and walking and walking… *sigh* I would stop to look at the clothes in the window of a stop to give myself a break from walking. I get short of breath while walking the mall. I was saying in my head that this outfit looks good and that one over there was awesome but then we get to a store that made us both ask each other if we were getting old… I mean, what were those designers thinking or smoking? Ugh!

Finally, we get to Lens Crafters and it took forever for K to pick some frames. We sit down with a sweet young lady and we got to talking. I don’t know what it is about us that brings out the fun side of people but this woman was telling us that she just adopted a stray kitten that she named Ms. Tickles who happens to be a boy kitty. The poor thing is going to grow up having some sort of complex. We had a good laugh in that store. That is until the sticker shock freaked me out. Yikes! We took so long in the store that I darn near ran out of oxygen in my portable but I made it back to the van. It would have taken K longer to go get the van and drive it around the mall to pick me up than for me to just walk back.

It was a good day but busy. Home Depot was our next stop and I think we scared a woman at first because we were in the “self checkout” lane because nothing else was open. Typical! Anyway, there was a security camera screen right there where you scan your purchases. I pointed it out to K and I was waving and smiling at it like a looney person, I’m sure! That’s when K stepped behind me and strangled me like Homer does with Bart Simpson. I was playing it up good too. I should’ve gotten an Oscar! It was so funny. Well, until we realized we had an audience. The poor lady. I looked at her laughing and then pointed at her saying, “Witness! I have a witness!” Of course, she realized that we were playing and so she told us that she didn’t see a thing. haha! We are a strange couple. I mean, K lets me stand on the end of the shopping cart to push me around the store so I won’t get overly tired. The only thing that could have been better was if my portable wouldn’t have frozen up when K refilled it from the reservoir that I keep in my van just before we went to eat dinner. Life sure is crazy. Isn’t it?

The Weather Blows…

Living On Oxygen for Life

I get this phone call telling me I have to get up from my nap and go fax something IMPORTANT. Keyword: Important… which means that I HAVE to get up and go. So, I get up and get ready to leave all excited because now I have an excuse to go to Walmart. I mean, hey, if I’m getting out of the house… why not make it to my advantage. Right? I’ve been thinking about crocheting a cotton rug for the kitchen.

I gather all my things like paperwork, purse, oxygen tank (can’t leave home without that!) and my keys. I sit in my van in the garage, a little out of breath, resting a moment. I notice that it’s getting warmer outside because the garage is warm. Pretty good deducing on my part, right? I know, I’m a regular Sherlock Holmes! haha! So, I crank the a/c on in my van and back out of the driveway. Whooo… the sun is bright on this weird gloomy day. I pop on my sunglasses because you know I have extra sensitive eyes when it comes to sunlight. NO! I’m not a vampire! I leave all that blood-sucking to the Lab technicians! It’s thankfully not Labwork day.

I get to where I’m going and notice there are NO close parking places next to the door. That means I have walk which is not my favorite thing when I have to tote my own portable oxygen tank. But, remember, this is IMPORTANT! So, out of the van I go. HOLY SMOKES! It’s really, really humid and I’m huffing and puffing like I’m a dragon or something that huffs and puffs. Not really attractive, I know, but I’ve got to get that air in my lungs somehow. I’ve already got my oxygen up on 6LPM. So depressing.

I get done with the IMPORTANT thing that I HAD to do and now I have to walk back to my van in the hot humid weather outside. Not looking forward to it but I went. I get to my van and decide right there that I just don’t think going to Walmart is going to make my itinerary today. It’s just too difficult for me to breathe. I had great intentions but when it comes to the weather… I’m at its mercy. Hot humid weather kicks my butt every time.

So, now I’m at home finding something constructive and entertaining to do while the weather blows by. There is potential for a storm this evening. My lungs and head feel it before it arrives. No worries, for there is always tomorrow. An adventure awaits me tomorrow.