Every 5,000 Miles or Three Months…
Featured Oxygen Patient Shares Their Thoughts & Experiences
Appointments, tests, hurrying-up to wait, and Doctor’s who are frequently pressed for time. Sound familiar? It can feel as jumbled as taking your car to the shop for what should be a routine oil change.
We tend to find that maybe we didn’t use up all 5,000 miles, but it has been longer than three months, and it is time to take ourselves to the doctor.
Of course, this begins with pushing buttons and being placed on hold until we finally reach a live person who may or may not have the authority to schedule us.
Then there are the tests. Like a car, there are fluids, valves, and pipes that need examination.The difference for us as patients is there is not a road map nor an instruction manual in the glove box.
Thus, we stumble, fumble, and get flummoxed while feeling upside down and inside out.
In a strange way, I feel lucky that I have been a patient my entire life. Lucky because I have a lot of practice and feel I am slowly beginning to master this. Therefore, I thought I would share a few ideas that work for me:
- I keep a spiral notebook just for my medical information. I write a list of ALL of the medical appointments I need to make. I also have a list of any tests my medical team wants (i.e. blood work, X-rays…) I try to schedule all the pre-work before I am to see the doctors, this way when I make the appointment I make sure to mention the labs will be complete prior to my arrival.
- The other thing I keep up-to-date is my med sheet. To digress for a moment, when I put together my medical information for my doctors, it is four pages. I know that sounds crazy, but bear with me as I explain:
Page one is my medication sheet. I list each medication with the dose and the frequency – each one on their own line. Page two is a listing of my diagnosis and my allergies to both food & medicine. Page three lists each Doctor, specialty, and phone number. Don’t forget to include any homecare nurse or other therapist (physical, occupational, or psychological). I list my pharmacy and I include my Oxygen company. The final page lists my spouse, contact information, and that he has both Durable & Medical Power of Attorney as well as the fact that I have a living will.
This does sound a bit long-winded, but has served me well, when I have had to go to the hospital unexpectedly as my Caregiver doesn’t have to think, he knows where to find the updated med sheet and just hands it over.
- The final piece to this maze of going to the doctor or any other activity is always planning ahead in relation to my oxygen. A portable oxygen concentrator really gives us a lot of freedom; however, it is only as freeing as we are charged.
Just like a car, without gas, we just peter out. This means making sure my batteries are charged and I have an AC/DC chargers with me. I have my oxygen battery charger & electric outlet next to my shoes, and further up the wall the key rack.
Leaving the house, everything is in one place, the charged batteries, my oxygen tank, my shoes, keys, purse, and my updated med sheet.
This is my personal road-map to get me out-the-door and on the road. These tune-ups we need as patients can be tough, but with a few preventive steps, we can try to maintain our time in the shop to be not quite so shabby!
To all my fellow oxygenating friends,
Hello! I am excited to join the Oxygen Concentrator Store's family as a featured writer. As someone who has been on continuous oxygen for more than ten years (intermittent before that), I am happy to share tips & tricks that have (or haven’t) worked. Please remember, I am not a Doctor or Nurse or any other medically trained professional. I don’t play one in any theater setting or in real life, so please, always, ask your medical provider first.
With that said, I welcome you to ask questions and share comments. The best way to do so is to post in the comments below. I, along with the AMSR staff, will try our best to answer what we can or seek out answers if we don’t know.
I love living life and I want to share that with each of you and hopefully help you get out and enjoy living life too. Although, we may need oxygen, we are not tethered!
Watch these newsletters for fun tips and even a chance to win some prizes! Don’t forget to get involved with your comments & questions.
Thank you, fellow oxygenating friends.
Disclaimer: The author, Diane Neal is not a medical professional and the content of her article is not professional advice. The general information or opinions provided should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified healthcare provider.