Continuing on with your life as normal can seem a little harder when you've been diagnosed with a chronic disease such as COPD. If you can keep from being stuck to your couch while using your oxygen therapy, you've just conquered a little part of why COPD feels like a ball and chain. Carl O. has always been active in his community, but now his diagnosis with COPD has inspired him to do even more for others. He wasn't about to let COPD keep him from doing what he's always done.
"I used to be active when I was much younger. I was the quarter back in my high school football team, but after that I didn't take sports too seriously. After my son was old enough to play pee-wee football, I decided to help coach for his team. I was too busy coaching and volunteering for everything else in my neighborhood, that I wasn't paying attention to my own health and how I was hurting myself more everyday by smoking. I'd take a break and go out to my car for a smoke. I started smoking when I was 17, and then not long after I turned 53, I started having trouble breathing."
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease can sneak up on you, and sometimes you don't really take notice until you end up in the hospital, having a hard time breathing. We asked Carl how and when he was diagnosed with COPD.
"I'd been coughing for a whole month after I got over a nasty cold in the winter after I turned 53. I knew that wasn't normal, but I didn't pay much attention. A month or so later, I came down with pneumonia and I ignored it for so long that I had to spend quite a bit of time in the hospital. I finally told my doctor what had been going on, and they did the tests that told him that I have COPD. My blood oxygen level was hovering around 84 and 86, which is low. They kept an eye on me and my doctor decided to prescribe oxygen therapy."
A portable oxygen concentrator doesn't always work for someone who needs a nigh flow rate. "My doctor determined that I needed a continuous flow rate of 5 LPM, and there isn't a portable oxygen concentrator that provides that setting. I thought I'd have to keep ordering the oxygen tanks and that seemed like a drag. Luckily my son pointed out that there was a machine that I could buy for my home that would fill up my tanks. My doctor recommended it, so I went ahead and got the DeVilBiss iFill Personal Oxygen Station. I'm saving so much money in the long run and it's convenient. I have 2 ML6 tanks that I interchange and fill one while the other is being used. I'm thinking of getting more tanks to bring with me when we go camping for a weekend this summer."
"The iFill oxygen station was my best bet for still being able to be active in my neighborhood. I also quit smoking, and now I give speeches in the school auditorium to keep kids away from cigarettes. Seeing me with my oxygen tank is usually enough!"