User Perspective: Enjoying a Cruise to the Caribbean

Taking a cruise anywhere was one of the last things on my mind when I was diagnosed with COPD and had to go on oxygen therapy. I thought my days of doing anything fun and adventurous like that were over. I didn't really understand back then that it didn't have to be that way!

I didn't know anything about portable oxygen concentrators when I first started taking oxygen therapy to treat my emphysema. I just resigned myself to using tanks and having oxygen delivered to my house. I got tired of that after about the first 6 months of using it. I was also starting to feel really cooped up. I didn't like taking my tank with me anywhere, let alone consider going on vacation.

I brought it up to my doctor that I was getting cabin fever and I wanted to travel. She suggested that I get a portable oxygen concentrator. I went ahead and got the Lifechoice Activox and it was the best purchase I ever made. Shortly after I got it and decided that I loved it and started taking it everywhere with me (to the movies, the mall, the grocery store and even the bar!) we decided to do something we'd talked about a long time ago – going on a cruise to the Caribbean.

Thankfully my doctor gave me the okay and said that I was healthy enough, as long as I didn't overexert myself. I didn't plan on doing that anyway – I wanted to see the beautiful Caribbean, relax and do some socializing with a drink in my hand. It was long overdue!

I had plenty of battery life for the remainder of the cruise and vacation itself, after the flight we took to the port. Of course I had to charge the batteries a few times, but I had more than enough batteries to get me through what I needed for the flight. The airline wouldn't let me on with anything less than way more than what I needed! But that was a blessing, because I didn't have to worry about charging up all the time.

We did a lot of lounging by the pool and playing games on the deck. When we landed, we went to a sting ray pool in this one petting zoo type place. There were a lot of cute animals there, like pygmy goats and sheep, and a few lucky lobsters that weren't going to get eaten. We had some of the best dinners on board the ship, though, and I may have drank more than I should have! I was half afraid that my concentrator's puffs would bother people, but no one noticed.

Being out in the sun and sand and seeing the bright blue of the Caribbean sea was a real treat and a great refresher. I'm really glad that we were able to go because of my oxygen concentrator, and that I'm no longer shy about going out in public while using my oxygen therapy. It was silly of me to feel that way in the first place, but now I don't mind.

Stacy from Georgia

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.

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