A Skiing Adventure with Oxygen Therapy

Skiing is one winter sport that many people enjoy, and you don't need to do any crazy jumps or tricks, or even ski down the steep slopes. There is a level for skiing that will suit almost anyone. One of our customers, Paul W., has been an avid skier since he was young, and still after a few years of using oxygen therapy, he's still hitting the slopes. He shared with us some of the things he's learned from being diagnosed with COPD, using oxygen therapy, which portable oxygen concentrator he prefers, and not giving up on something you enjoy.

I was diagnosed with COPD at a younger age than many people I've heard about before. I thought I had several years more before I really had to start worrying, but I was wrong. I was diagnosed when I was 36, and my doctor was surprised because I was already advanced into the brink of it being severe. At first he didn't think I needed to use oxygen therapy – just an inhaler – but a few years later, I started having a lot of trouble.

I got pretty sick after a ski trip, the thing I do a few times a year at one of my favorite resorts. I was 39 and my breathing wasn't any worse than it was before. I ended up in the hospital not long after, and my doctor ran some tests. My blood oxygen level was dangerously low. They kept an eye on me and decided that I needed oxygen therapy.

I didn't know much about it, and after he explained it to me and how I would need to use oxygen tanks, I got pretty depressed. Not only did I need to wear an oxygen tank for almost half of the day, but I got the image in my head that I would never be able to ski again, or I would have to give up on most of it. Needless to say, I got serious about quitting smoking, and I haven't touched a cigarette in 6 years.

I used tanks for a while and decided it was too much of a hassle. I did some searching online for my alternatives, which was an oxygen concentrator small enough to wear on my back, but strong enough to give me the oxygen my doctor prescribed. At first I thought something like that was too good to be true, and then I bought my first Inogen One G2 with the 12 cell battery. It gave me the pulse dose volume I need, and I was amazed at how light and easy to carry it was.

I was very happy with it until I started to want one that was lighter and with a battery that lasted longer, for the longer trips. After 3 years with my G2, and bought my current Inogen One G3, with the 24 cell battery. Even better than I had hoped! Your price was also the best one I could come across.

About Scott Ridl: Scott joined American Medical Sales and Rentals in 2008 as a Web Manager and Content Writer. He is a writer and designer. He is extensively trained on oxygen therapy products from leading manufacturers such as Inogen, Respironics, Chart, Invacare, ResMed and more. Scott works closely with respiratory therapists and oxygen specialists to educate the community about oxygen therapy products, COPD, asthma and lung diseases. He writes weekly columns and is passionate about educating the community on oxygen therapy and respiratory issues.

8 thoughts on “A Skiing Adventure with Oxygen Therapy”

  • Fiona Deal

    Just read the above - gives me hope that I may be able to really enjoy skiing again. What flow did this skier use as with COPD it is not necessarily a good idea to use a high flow. Would love to know

    Reply
    • Danielle Jason
      Danielle Jason March 28, 2017 at 4:45 am

      Thank you for your comment, Fiona. Luckily today, advancements in technology have allowed for the creation of portable and extremely lightweight units ideal for physical activities. We even have a portable unit that weighs in just under 5 pounds and can withstand up to 10 inches of rain! Go ahead and give out Oxygen Specialists a call at 877-774-9271 and they'll work with you to find a unit perfect for skiing!

      Reply
  • fiona deal

    Just seen your reply Danielle - unfortunately I am in UK......any suggestions on who I could speak to who might have the answer?

    Reply
    • Danielle Jason
      Danielle Jason April 27, 2017 at 2:28 am

      Hello Fiona, we'd love to speak to you about the options available. If you give us a call at 877-774-9271 one of our oxygen specialists can work with you to find a solution or answer any questions you may have.

      Reply
  • Mary Thiele

    When diagnosed with COPD in 2002, I continued skiing a couple years with tanks in a backpack. Later I was able to receive liquid oxygen and skied with the 4 pound Helios fanny pack until 2016 when I had to give up the sport. Have had a G2 and now a G3 which could be used if my health allowed it. Don't give up!

    Reply
  • Josh

    How do you keep the machine from getting to cold. My wife uses her Inogen one G3 while she’s snowmobiling but sometimes it shuts down says system cold. We thought about putting a hand warmer in the inogen backpack to keep it warm.

    Reply
    • Margaret Goodman
      Margaret Goodman February 18, 2019 at 7:46 am

      Your suggestion of a hand warmer is worth trying. Make sure however that you attached it to the front of the machine in the center and not cover any of the vents. You would not want to put it on the top or bottom or the backside of the unit with all of the labeling. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to give our customer care team a call at 877-774-9271. We would also like to hear your story about how the Inogen unit has allowed you to keep doing things you love like snowmobiling.

      Reply
  • Josh

    Is there another backpack available that’s not all mesh in the front just in front of the vents? I would think that would help keep the heat in for the colder weather.

    Reply

Leave a Comment