No excuses, it’s my fault at least I thought so.
Recently, I blamed myself because one of my buddies cancelled his reservations to go with his wife on that Caribbean cruise they had planned for so long. Ultimately his wife offered the spot to a girlfriend, but because I hadn’t done my part as a patient advocate I felt I had failed my friend. He had lost his battle with his fear about traveling with oxygen and because of that he had sat home. In retrospect, I guess during all our conversations over breakfast, sharing a lunch or dinner we had never talked about the ease of being able to travel with oxygen.
Let me digress here just a bit. I would by no means classify myself as a world traveler such as a lot of my friends. I would say however, that because I’m on oxygen I will not allow my oxygen needs to stop me from having the opportunity to go to jump a flight every now and then to some unknown future destination.
Recently, I traveled on a quick trip from Denver to Dallas to see an aging relative. When a person is on oxygen there are some steps that you should allow time to be arranged in advance. In preparation for the trip and knowing that I would be in need of oxygen not only once I arrived, but also during flight. I made a quick phone call to my oxygen suppliers to set up the delivery of oxygen to my destination. Then I made a call to John More over at American Medical Sales and Repair Company (AMSRC) just down the road in Centennial, CO near I25 & Arapahoe Blvd.
Keeping in mind that I had traveled with oxygen before, I had a pretty good idea what my oxygen needs had been on the last couple trips and had a particular unit in mind. Although given my recent increase in liter flow I was a little more leery that my usual Portable Oxygen Concentrator (POC) might not meet all of my demands as it had in the past on the plane ride down. After talking with John for a bit on the phone, John suggested that it would be probably be better if I were to take some time before hand and come visit AMSRC so we could review the specifications of each unit and verify that it would be sufficient for my needs.
Just to bring you up to speed all airlines are now required having an FAA approval list of POC’s. This list can be found either on AMSRC website www.oxygenconcentratorstore.com or on each individual airlines website. Today’s technology has provided the makers of Portable Oxygen Concentrators (POC) the opportunity to address and meet a large variety of the oxygen therapy patients overall needs.
Upon my arrival at AMSRC I was greeted by several employees of the company up to and including Ms. Jennifer Hopkins (CEO/Partner). It’s always comforting to know that anyone at a business can offer you the assistance you need when you walk in the door. I had selected AMSRC because John and I have worked together over the last several years with the Colorado COPD Committee and AMSRC has been generous enough to be one of the co-sponsors of the Thomas L. Petty Moving Mountains Lung Health Conference held yearly here in Denver. I say this only because I had grown to trust John’s advice and suggestions. When on oxygen, Advise and Trust of others begins to play a major role in what daily decisions we make in our new adjusted life style. I shared with John my current liter flow at rest and during exertion. The length of the flight, and how many backup batteries I might need to have on the plane and time spent away from the hotel during the day.
After looking over and testing several different manufacturer units. Taking a walk around the business while using the poc, we concluded that the InogenOne G2 poc would meet my demands. It’s light weight (7.7 lbs.), compact design and a choice of batteries (single battery or a double battery pack) allowed me, the user to be assured that all my needs were being met. This type of customer service allowed me the assurances to be able to relax and enjoy my upcoming trip. Needles to say everything went off without a hitch and arrived back in Denver after a wonderful visit.
The following Monday morning I had breakfast with my buddy. This time I was prepared to have the conversation on “How to travel while as an oxygen dependent person” and enjoy it at the same time.
There are Portable Oxygen Concentrators of all shapes and sizes out there to meet your needs for oxygen. Please don’t allow the fears of going on a trip or even getting out of the house for an extended period prohibit you for enjoying life.