Saturday, February 12, 2011


Oxygen Concentrator
 Recently I was placed on night oxygen with cannula, not the Darth Vader CPAC. It made a wonderful difference in my oxygen levels with COPD at night, and hangs around in early morning after arising. I have what is called an oxygen concentrator which looks like a big baby blue box on wheels.

We were told to travel with it, too. Geez, we already look like the Beverly  Hillbillies when we embark on a short trip. But at least I have no canisters to worry about or lug.

I began utilizing the treatments in late January after a simple test indicated I was breathing below 80% in 2-minute intervals while asleep and only averaged 89% the entire night. I know that is too low and cannot be good for my heart or any part of me.

After a few nights of use I discovered the oxygenated air was too dry; so a representative came out and installed a humidifier. Immediately there was improvement, but I noticed condensation in the cannula tubing. Water in lungs is not desirable, i.e. slowly drowning! Another representative returned to install a water trap.

Tues the head honcho returned to run another test on me, the third since I had been using the machine. I was getting tired of seeing her early in the a.m. even though I know some of these tests were necessary control measures. But twice a week is a bit ridiculous.

I told her this contraption was getting beyond fun, when she informed I had to clean the humidifier mechanisms twice a week. She finally admitted most patients were lucky if they remembered weekly cleansing.

Further she said I was using wrong type water, 'drinking water.' I informed her all the literature she gave me said 'bottled water;' a gallon of  'drinking water' was 'bottled.'   My favorite big box store had choices of' 'spring,' 'drinking,' 'distilled' and 'purified' water.

Since she challenged my integrity of reading the literature provided, I gave her  the pile of accumulated literature provided and asked her to show me where it said "distilled" water.

She found only references to "bottled" water. HA!  I am going to have a hard time liking her.

 I keep folders of every scrap of paper concerning machines I  am provided.

So when all were gone I disassembled the  tangled mess of tubing; washed the container and water trap in warm water, then "sterilized" with a 1:3 vinegar solution fo 30 minutes.

 After doing the tango with the tacky top rep, I was in no mood to fool with the mess.  I hooked it up as I thought I remembered.

I turned it own and it gurgled and bubbled with its usual vigor, a rather pleasant sound.  As I beganto  place my supplies in their storage area, there was a different sound of water pouring out somewhere. I discovered water pouring out the cannula like the Mississippi River. A few goldfish, a couple of croaking frogs on lily pads  would have provided me a perfect indoor pond with fountain.

After turning off the machine, I quickly called the company to return the self-same day for a fresh demo.  A nice tall man quickly arrived. It seems I reversed two tubes. I am thankful I was not actually using the machine, or 6 ounces of water might be in my lungs --it all happened in less than a minute.

The whole event interupted my entire planned morning of work and work flow for the day.

Snow Accumulation 8-9"
 The evening of the same day brought predicted great snow storm event. I only stepped outside the front door for two photos which I've included. One yard lamp looked like a snow cone, and a clay pot on a stump shows about how much snow we accumulated here, 8-9 inches.

Today the sun is shining; my bronchitis, except the awful cough, is much better. I have a pork loin in the CrockPot which is a whole meal- 5 points+ for 1 cup on WW menu.

For Sunday Life Group I have a Pot-Luck Pasta Salad planned which is a WW recipe make-over for their new program. It is 4 points+ if you eat a cup---too much. There is no way I can eat a cup of this dish. Although a spring/summer dish, our theme is Italian this week. Next week is Tex-Mex-- Yeah!

Snow Cone
 My husband dislikes most cuisines but we have cooked his Carolina Low Country (Gullah) cooking three weeks in a row. He cooked two bean dishes and I cooked a cleaned up version of Carolina pilau (basically chicken/rice).

So it's my turn. I haven't thought of much but I try to not make things too hot. A lot of us old people can't tolerate as much 'heat' a we once did.

If you are interested in one of the many regional cuisines of our diverse nation, study the history Gullah people who populated the islands along North and South Carolina; their speech is considered Creole with a dialect that influences the regions where they settled, their cuisine, etc. 

I have found history more interesting outside the regimented classrooms by being in an area to learn first hand from the citizens living there, like Baltimore, like Spain, like Morocco, like Gilbralter, like  Iowa Amish colonies, like Native Americans, but have yet to meet Eskimos, etc.

Ice Frozen On Inside Pane, Back Door
 The way people live tells more about them as a society, than a history book. When my generation has ceased to walk this earth, our personal lives will be  far more interesting to those who follow us, than  history books write.

Disregard the weather and find ways to enjoy your weekend with your children, grandchildren, spouse, family or friends, a good book, or other activity that pleases you. 


Pat - Arkansas said...

Oh, my! I'm glad you have oxygenating equipment that helps, but what an ordeal you had to go through.

Your snowfall was a tad more than ours. It's pretty, but I'm ready for the great thaw.

Arkansas Patti said...

I sure hope you have the blue monster whipped into submission. Love that you were able to put that lady in her place. Hope they go back and redo the instuctions.
That was a pretty snow wasn't it? We had just about the same and there is still snow on the ground.
Warm up is coming.
Hope you beat that bronchitis soon. Enough is enough.
Have a great Valentines day.

Linda said...

Good to see a report from you and to know you're still fiesty.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you had quite a round with that machine. Hope it is working well now and will keep doing so. You had about the same amount of snow that we did here. It is melting now and I gotta say I am happy about that. Hope you have a great weekend. Hugs

CHERI said...

You do seem to have many "adventures" and this was no exception. Sure glad the water didn't get into your lungs. I sure bet you gave that gal a run for her money:) All that snow makes me so cold. Today it is a beautiful, almost spring-like day here in south GA. I'm recovering well from my surgery and hope to put all this behind me soon. Glad your bronchitis is better.

rosaria said...

Oh you poor thing! What a mess with all that equipment to keep adjusting.
And with all that, you and hubby still take turns cooking? Oh my!

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

I'm glad you finally got that machine working correctly. It seems like nothing comes with good directions anymore. Sometimes I think the people who write them don't even know English.

Lorna said...

That was an interesting but slightly frightening tale. The good part was that you had reps coming out to see you "on demand". So often, there are just not enough staff for customer service to be anything other than a giggle.

Small City Scenes said...

Whatever the issue you do have an interesting way of writing.
I do like history now that I am out of the classroom. The students need teachers that see to enjoy life around them and not dusty stuff. Local history is most interesting.
We have had no snow to speak of this winter. Maybe a little in November. We are very mild and rainy here although we haven't had a tremendous amount of that either. Spring is popping out of the ground too. Lovely!

Nezzy said...

Dang, sounds like ya need to lay hands on that blue devil and exercise the thing!!!

Hopefully it's all workin' good for you and I'm so glad you weren't usin' it when it pored water out. Girl, that could of ended bad!

I sure enjoyed your snow pics but am glad to see it meltin' away!

God bless and have a marvelous Valentine's Day sweetie!!!

Take care!

Kat said...

Sorry you haven't been feeling good. I can't believe they would give you a complicated machine and no go over the directions IN DETAIL. Nuts! Good for you for letting her know so maybe the next person will have better luck.


Anonymous said...

You sound like me. I use a concentrator but mine looks older than yours. I have it sitting in the living room where I sit in a recliner and look out the window. At night we unhook the living room tube and plug in the bedroom tube so I use it at night. When I am out here in the office I use tanks of oxygen with a regulator valve on it that lets air out when I breathe.

It all helps. I don't want to scramble my brains with strokes or mini strokes so I am thankful that I have oxygen. I have had mine drop to 83 during the day and that isn't good. Hand in there.

Roxann said...

Love the way snow piled up on your solar light to make a snow-cone :) I'm glad you figured out your machine, but I had to giggle a bit when you mentioned it might be hard to like that woman, hahaha.

Hope the spring weather brings improved health to you!

Liz said...

You must use more oxygen that you get when you have to clean that thing out! My mother-in-law has a similar contraption at home but I don't think it has to be cleaned. It's probably completely different but just looks similar to my inexperienced eyes.

Hope you win the fight with it and the rep.