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Supplemental Oxygen - Life´s Choices - and Living Life To The Full

Updated on January 18, 2017

Adjusting to Supplemental Oxygen

I decided to write this as I was there when someone close to me had to change his life style suddenly when his only means of survival became supplemental oxygen.

Looking back several things struck me - the learning curve, the changes in mood and outlook to life as well as the day to day discipline he had to apply.

One recurring theme in his conversation was an underlying sense of depression. The good thing is he has always been a fighter so he has adjusted and, with occasional lapses, it has gone.

His initial outlook was how this affected his life and limited what he could do. In short his quality of life was hit and obviously he didn´t like it.

The following is born out of his experience and is based on "the important things in life".

Fishing Companion - Oxygen Concentrator

Quality of Life - Means Fishing thanks to a portable oxygen concentrator.
Quality of Life - Means Fishing thanks to a portable oxygen concentrator.

Pursuing Quality of Life - Thanks To Oxygen Concentrators

I have a theory that far too many people are caught up doing things that they don´t really want to. For many this is has to do with their profession (the phrase "chosen profession" doesn´t seem to fit very well) where more than anything else circumstances pushed them in that direction. Sometimes these circumstances go beyond what we bargained for - needing supplemental oxygen and depending on a portable oxygen machine, for example.

Be that as it may ...

Making a living can sometimes mean losing sight of the important things. Important from your own personal point of view as everyone has their own definition of what is important to them.

Usually this revolves around "quality of life" and this in turn can mean a number of different things. To each his own.

For instance for some people it can be having material things, for others being able to afford these things; then there are those for whom family and well being (each one of these will also be defined differently) are the driving forces behind their lives. Challenges, creativity, providing for others, writing a book, making a film, painting a picture can all be overriding passions and provide a sense of live´s worth. An interesting definition is to have an overriding passion while managing to combine and balance the other aspects of life.

Love, another complicated word, is also something that fuels many people´s lives. Songs, books, poems and even wars have been made with this in mind.


Your Purpose - Forced on by Oxygen Limitations

But it is when those things we take for granted are missing that we are forced to look deeper into our lives. And when this happens it as if we are given another chance to reinvent our lives.

One of the areas that has affected millions, and perhaps has or will affect everybody, relates to health. When your health is not as it should be it affects your whole attitude to life.

Something we all take for granted from the moment of our first cry to our last, is breathing. Now days there a millions of people who have trouble breathing and must receive extra oxygen by means of a machine. In many, if not most cases, this was something they never dreamed would happen to them - but things happen whether we like it or not.

We are always making choices, even when we choose to do nothing, and for anyone with COPD or other types of lung damage, the choice now is how to face up to reality.

One option is to try to ignore it all. The key word here is "try" because however much you may want to if you are having trouble breathing it will be next just about impossible to ignore it.

Something else you can do is to feel sorry for yourself. It is a choice after all.

Another is to look it straight in the eye and make the other guy blink. And this is my preferred alternative.

Anyone who is on oxygen therapy has gone through a series of emotional steps and hopefully they are in that stage where they have accepted their limitations and are focused instead into the action part - that which means being proactive, and pursuing what they have defined as quality of life.


The Next Step -Getting a Life

And now is the time to share my relative´s example. He has been on supplemental oxygen for 7 years. First with a portable oxygen cylinder and now, for the last few years, on a portable oxygen concentrator.

He is a successful professional though he now works less hours, by choice not necessity. He has a lovely family and enjoys it. But more importantly he is active thanks to these portable oxygen machines and is not only able to pursue a series of activities that make his life worthwhile, but actual does practice them.

As a friend and fishing partner we are now managing to put more time into those things that matter to us - he is always one to share.

If this were a couple of decades ago the solutions that allow him to maintain an active life style would have been different, certainly more difficult, but all the same the strength and focus he has shown would have also provided him with this second chance to review and act upon this second chance.

Today, thanks to the available portable oxygen concentrators, he passionately pursues what he calls "a well lived life".

And so we keep on fishing together.

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