Working Fulltime while on oxygen

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I was just put on oxygen 24/7 a week ago. Fortunately, I teach and have the summer off so I feel grateful for having the time to adjust, but I plan to teach full time in the fall. Are there words of wisdom out there for me? I certainly think I can do it, but I'm also learning so much. 

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  • Posted

    HI Carol. Personally I could not agree with you more. Life does not have to end because of 24/7 oxygen. I as we'll was out on oxygen but only on excertion. I have joined a copd excersize group that my Doctor highly recommended. At first I thought I cant do this but when I looked around the room to see others try and do it I made up my mind if they can do it so can I. It has helped my breathing so much. I can now do more without getting sob. I feel if you want to teach then do so! Do what you can and don't fold up like a flower at night. You do it. 

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  • Posted

    Not knowing your circumstances I would say if you can teach from home and students come to you or as  distant / on-line tutor it could work. If you are feeling fit generally most of the time.

    Or if intending to tutor at a College or other building away from home, if you have someone to always help you with carrying the oxygen, books etc, and someone to drive you that would be helpful too.

    If you don't have any one to help you but still think you can do it without help perhaps do a trial run over the summer period, getting ready, loading the car, driving unloading, walking to the classroom etc.  It will take a lot of effort even without freezing weather conditions through the winter or the increased risk of exposure to the colds and flu viruses during the winter season.  But I guess if you have been living with a lung condition for any length of time you will already know about the risks involved and familiar with the effort it takes even without oxygen.

    Good luck to you if you can achieve it realistically.

     

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    • Posted

      Thank you, Vee2. These are good practical idea; I appreciate your support.
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  • Posted

    I asked about the grades/subjects to get a better understanding of what physical aactivities are required.  Since you are dealing with adults, I say go for it.  The oxygen will only be a problem if you let it be one.  However, recognize your limits are compromised.  SLOW DOWN. Let yourself have ten extra minutes to get from your car to class.  Let people help.  They really do WANT to.  If you're having a bad oxygen day, allow yourself the time you need to get past it.  Pushing through and trying to be super women only makes the COPD worse, leading to scar tissue, leading to expediting the whole process.  

    Also, watch out for getting your  nostrils stretched out of shape!!!😊  I know the tubing is a necessary evil, but it gets caught on anything and everything!!!  Someone could make a million if they could invent some type of retractable hose carrier -- similar to my dog's retractable leash!!!

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    • Posted

      That's exactly what I said about a retractable hose carrier! cheesygrinYes, I am learning that I need more time for almost everything now, and I definitely won't try to be wonder woman--Thanks so much.

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    • Posted

      That would be such an improvement on the long tubing I had to have. Going upstairs with my cat playing and attacking it!! Trying not to trip myself on the hosing!!! What a great idea!!!
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  • Posted

    Can I ask how old you are? / What lung condition you have been diagnosed with? Lots of questions before a straight answer would be applied, if your using 24/7 oxy at what level is that? Your energy must be pretty low down, also bear in mind with lungs your suspetible to lung infections, small children are most likely the worst to be around in that situation. Its good your remaining postive it helps and if you enjoy what your doing but I am frankly amazed at your energy on this level of oxygen! ..
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    • Posted

      Hi Kitten1, It is likely that a straight answer would be nearly impossible because we are all so different. Here are the answers to your questions:

      Age: 71

      Condition: Emphysema

      Oxy level: 2

      I really don't feel low on energy right now; I was at school (Community College--not an elementary school) yesterday for a few hours just catching up on administrative stuff. I've been associate dean in my department for the last six years, and I decided last year after coming down with shingles that I just wanted to teach and leave the higher ed administrative tasks to someone who really wants to do that kind of thing. Hence, this Friday is the last day of our fiscal year and the last day of my tenure as assoc. dean; I'm looking foward to teaching fulltime. One thing I should mention is that I will be doing most of my grading electronically, so I won't be carrying lots of papers around. In addition, my literature classes will be OER (open education resources), so I won't have lot of heavy literature books.

      I have been walking outside now almost every day--it's raining now, so it might not happen today. I appreciate your questions, and I also appreciate any wise advice you are willing to share.

       

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    • Posted

      It's great you are able to carry on and your a good age, so my concerns are nil with the genetic component for you. I wish you well your doing the best you are able I walk daily with my dogs have done 8 plus yrs I have AATD and was diagnosed aged 46 I was very sick at the end stage without knowing what I had and the genetic timebomb I inherited is to date still not birth tested we fight for the rights to that , it could and would save peoples lives by choosing different life styles which mostly do not include the dreaded smoking and toxins as a whole . I managed to turn myself around and came back to where I level and remain stable for those last 8 yrs . Mostly I attribute this to not smoking or being near smokers!! Avoiding all toxins so never drink these days maybe a odd celebratory glass annually and excercise daily plus living near a coast breathing pure fresh air ..also no of stress is vital. I enjoy every aspect of my life especially after having nearly lost it at such a young age, we are fighters by nature us lung people and that is key to success and not playing victim in this too ..positive and ablity to laugh frequently helps us a great deal more than inhalers .but they are needed to manage us, I use 2 ltr oxy when I walk 50 to a hourly on a day basis never missing a day thank the god s for my beloved dogs they beat people mostly too! lol..Enjoy and take care and good to hear your doing what makes you feel good and happy...Keep on doing what you do its working like me and that mostly says it all. 

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  • Posted

    Hi Carol, I would like to know what your oxygen sats are that you need full time oxygen. I use oxygen at night (2 liters) and when exercising (3litres). If I am not using oxygen, my numbers go down to low 80s before coming back to mid 90s. My Pulmonary Doctor has told me these variations are not a problem as long as my O2 levels don't remain below 88 for to long. Like several hours.

    I have been provided with two liquid oxygen tanks and several portables. One of the portables I can strap around my waist and play golf with it. I also have a pair of glasses that connects the oxygen tubing to the ear pieces and feeds the oxygen through tubes connected by the nose.

    I have been wondering if I also should be on oxygen 24/7 because of my sats dropping for short periods. E.g. When I walk more than a few hundred steps.

    I have had COPD for 15 years. Most likely caused by smoking earlier in my life. I haven't smoked for 40 years but apparently the damage was done by cigarettes.

    The one thing that seems different with my condition and those of other folks on this forum is I don't feel short of breath when my oxygen sats go low. I have never had a need for a rescue inhaler. I always carry a pulse oximeter and check my O2 levels quite often. It is the only way I know that I should slow down and breathe. Belly breathing helps me a lot and I do pursed lip breathing as well. It only takes a few minutes to return to normal levels (92 to 96 is normal for me). Do you have an opinion on wether I may be damaging my organs by these frequent drops on O2. This is why I was wondering why you are on oxygen 24/7? Do you have a problem similar to mine?

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    • Posted

      JerryThing, you should ask them to do a aterial blood gas test, this will help them evulate your blood oxygen levels best! Many of us using supplementary oxygen are not at the 16 hour or indeed 24 hour level of dependence, even after using oxy for many years, your standard requirements on this vary to the artery blood gas test, which is 100% accurate, I would urge anyone to get this done, mine is 9.02 for instance the requirement for longer term oxy is down at 7 mark, they will optimise this and act according to the result. ..the oxy meter is a guideline only..many feel this is the best result but it most certainly is not and it can be difficult to assess on in truth, its there to remind you if you like your de sating level but it is by no means a true judgement of oxygen on blood gas, this has to be done by professionals in clinic. Hope that helps,.  
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    • Posted

      Hi JerryThing, I'm actually still feeling my way around this. When I'm sitting down, I'm fine--I sat in the respiratory therapist's office the other day and talked for quite a while and I stayed in the 90s even though my oxygen was turned off. She was evaluating me for using a SimpllyGo Mini. When I walk, my sats drop, so she told me to have it on one when I'm sitting and turn it up to 4 when I'm walking. She said I just really need to work with it and I will be able to get the accurate settings. What I'm discovering is I really need to adjust everything to me--there are no set rules--if it works for me, I do it; if not, I figure out a way to help me. I will see my pulmonologist this Thursday (only the 2nd time I've ever seen the man) and have a list of questions.I, too,have never needed a rescue inhaler, and I don't necessarily experience shortness of breath when my levels go low. I was actually shocked when my pa told me I needed to be on oxygen all the time. I went in for a rountine annual wellness exam and apparently because my oxygen was as 93 when I was sitting, he tested me. I guess I dropped to 77 when we were walking, and he asked my why I was still standing. He sent me to the pulmonologist, and he put me on oxygen the very next day. I don't think I have really answered your questions, but I agree we sound similar. I do have a question for you--how do you like the glasses? I've been thinking of investigating them. I think they would be less cumbersome. Let me know please.

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    • Posted

      Kitten, I have an ABG test scheduled next month with my pulmonologist so will review the values then. My concern is that that test shows the ABG at that moment in time, and like oxygen sats, will vary. Is that not the case? My spo2 on my Nonin pulse oximeter goes from mid 80s to mid 90s depending on my breathing. I sometimes will not breath for a short period or will shallow breath. Belly breathing is good for me and keeps my sats up but I don't always think of doing that. I appreciate your sharing.

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    • Posted

      First, I love the glasses. I am on my 2nd pair. I know I shouldn't feel embarrassed wearing a cannula in public, but it does bother me. That is why I got the glasses. People have to look real close to tell you are on oxygen. Also, they don't leave that cannula dent on my face. Lol.

      Are you on continuous flow at 4 liters when you walk or on pulse mode. I find that I can play golf using a golf cart using a pulse portable at 3 to 4 liters. However, there is not a lot of continuous walking when using a cart. When I walk for exercise, I need to have continuous flow at 3 liters. I use liquid oxygen so both portables are easy to carry, especially the pulse model that I strap around my waist.

      As I mentioned before, my pulmonologist told me to not worry about temporary drops in sats. He mentioned how mountain climbers sats get low when they are at high altitudes or people that live in high altitudes having low sats. Our bodies are amazing at adjusting to different conditions.

      By the way, I am almost 82 years old and I have been on some level of oxygen therapy for 14 years. I am very grateful that I can still live a pretty close to normal life. If you want to pursue getting glasses, the frames are available at. They only sell the frames and accessories so you need to take them to you local optometrist. Best of everything to you and thanks for responding.

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