Jacqui’s Journey with IPF: Whoopi!

By Jacqui on 2014-03-07

My doctor started me on oxygen therapy a year ago because I had low oxygen saturation levels on exertion. Shortness of breath, coughing, struggling to catch my breath, fatigue and weakness were other symptoms I suffered with.  The oxygen supply company  came and set me up with the following supplies :

  • Oxygen concentrator that stays inside our home.
  • Large liquid oxygen tank.  The tank is filled once a week with oxygen.
  • Portable liquid oxygen tanks.
  • I fill a portable  liquid oxygen tank from the large liquid oxygen tank to use when I go out.
  • I have nasal cannulas, connectors and oxygen tubing to connect to the concentrator and the portable liquid oxygen tank.
  •  Portable oxygen cart.

This will be interesting!

I had mixed feelings when  I was put on oxygen therapy. I was so grateful to finally be able to breathe normally again and participate in activities,  but I was also self conscious wearing it.

My first venturing out was interesting. I went to our local rink to exercise. I was nervous about how people would react when they saw me wearing oxygen and dragging the cart.  The first person I ran into was Sharon and she greeted with a beautiful, big warm smile and said “Hello”. She really made my day and put me at ease!

When I would go for walks, children would spot me. Some were interested and  would follow behind the cart and some would  stop and stare at me. I decided since they were curious I would show them the oxygen, explain to them how oxygen helped me and let them feel the flow of oxygen on their hand. The children actually liked it. This approach worked the best. I could tell some were afraid of the oxygen and there was nothing to fear.

I have also had some people who have said negative things to me and I just did not respond.

There are some people who are afraid of the oxygen and even more afraid of the fact I need to use it. I always try to reassure them that I am fine. Then there are those great people who just love you no matter what and treat you like they always did.

All about Whoopi!

So it has taken a while but I have finally accepted the fact oxygen is going to be part of my life for a long time.

I have named my portable oxygen tank Whoopi, because that is the sound it makes when pressure builds up inside the tank.   I would normally smack the tank to try to stop the noise  until someone showed me the right way to do it! LOL.

The cart is like a homing device if there is something to bump into within 3 feet, I will. LOL!

The oxygen tubing is a challenge.  I somehow manage to get the tubing under the nearest object or wrapped around something. I have been known to mutter nice descriptive adjectives under my breath.

Due to my illness, I am having trouble carrying my portable oxygen. My husband or some other generous person usually will carry it for me. It makes for a funny scene when I head in one direction and the person carrying the oxygen goes in another. LOL.

After reading my blog posting, you will now have a better understanding of the challenges I face with pulmonary fibrosis and breathing.  Oxygen therapy allows me to live a better quality of life and be active again. :)

Remember the importance of paying it forward and being an organ donor!

Cheers and blessings, Jacqui

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Page Last Updated: 22/08/2018