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Me & Mr. Chicken!

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Sunday, March 10th 2013

8:50 PM

Living On O2 for Life blog update!

  • Tracleer Update: I'm about to add a new medicine!
Hello everyone! Yes I still check this blog very often but I have moved it to http://livingono2forlife.wordpress.com for all my future posts. I hope you will join me on Facebook after visiting my blog to get to know me and discuss Living on Oxygen for Life issues. You can find me at: http://www.facebook.com/livingono2forlife

My current situation is that I'm about to start a new medicine (if the insurance approves it) and it's called Tyvaso. I haven't heard from the insurance company yet. I know that it is very expensive. Does anyone else out there take this medicine? I'd like to hear what you think of it. How well do you tolerate this medicine? I'm to use an inhaler 4 times a day. I think taking this medicine 4 times a day will be a big challenge for me... a very forgetful person. 

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Tuesday, January 15th 2013

2:19 PM

Living On O2 for Life blog update!

  • Tracleer Update: Still on it! 125 mg /2 times a day
The new home for my blog at wordpress.com is coming along nicely. I've just begun a new section for the topic of Scoliosis. So, my blog now covers topics such as breathing problems, life on oxygen, scoliosis and more to be coming soon. I've added a picture of my scoliosis x-ray where you can see the Harrington Rod that was placed when I was 13 years old, which was 30 years ago. You can see how cramped my lungs are sitting inside my deformed rib cage. Scoliosis adds to my breathing problems greatly.


Once you visit my Blog's new home at the above link, be sure to sign up to follow my blog. You will receive emails when I post to my blog! Don't miss out! Leave comments, ask questions, or see what's happening in my life! Hope to see you there! 

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Monday, December 24th 2012

12:58 PM

My blog update

There are a lot of important posts on this Bravejournal blog about using oxygen, cardiac problems, scoliosis, and general information about living on oxygen daily. But I want to let you know that this blog has been extended to its new home at: 


I started it last month (November 2012) and it's growing. I have a Q&A section where you can ask your questions. All answers are based on my experience with oxygen. I've used oxygen since I was 17 years old. So that is 26 years. Yikes!

When you stop by my new home, please subscribe to receive email updates about future posts on my blog. I wouldn't want you to miss out! Also, all comments made are screened for spam. Who likes spam??? I hope to see you there. You should see the afghans that I've been busy crocheting. I have them posted too! 

May everyone have a safe and MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!
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Monday, December 10th 2012

12:36 PM

Important information about my Living on O2 for Life blog

I'm grateful for all those who subscribe to my blog.  Thank you so much. With my blog on Bravenet, there is a limit to the amount of how many posts I can make. So, I am currently moving my blog to http://livingono2forlife.wordpress.com so that I can have more control and more content. 

With Wordpress, you can be notified when I post a reply to your comments. It's going to take me a bit of time to move the most important posts over to my new blog home but I really hope to see you there. I'm so excited!!! There will be more pictures of what I do that keeps me busy. I hope you will find this new blog over at Wordpress more informative & fun. So hop on over and check it out and make sure you "FOLLOW my BLOG" so you will know when there are new posts made. 

Let me know what questions you have that YOU want to know information about! I'm listening!

May you all have a Happy and Safe Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year! *hugs to all*

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Wednesday, November 28th 2012

9:57 AM

My appology to my readers....

  • Tracleer Update: On it..
I'm sorry that I haven't posted in a month. My husband's father was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer. We've been concentrating our time to his needs. It's hard to see my husband so down. I'm doing my best to keep him motivated, upbeat, and keeping the faith. This is definitely a learning experience. 

I just wanted to let you know that I am still alive and kickin'. I hope everyone enjoyed Thanksgiving! *hugs* to you all. Stay warm.. and well.

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Sunday, October 7th 2012

10:39 PM

A friend with Cystic Fibrosis

I have to admit that I do not know much about cystic fibrosis. A friend of mine has a 23 year old daughter who has this disease. She has been in the hospital for the last month and is now, finally, on the transplant list. She first had to gain weight but then her CO2 rose through the ceiling to 180. The doctors started ECMO. That's where they slowly take out her blood, oxygenate it via a machine and then send the blood back into her body. The doctors are keeping her sedated because when wakes up, she panics and she becomes unstable. Her CO2 elevates & her oxygen saturation drops. 

It truly amazes me how much a body can handle when we're sick. This young girl has had many challenges yet she is fighting for life harder than anyone I've ever known. 
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Thursday, July 12th 2012

8:19 PM

On Oxygen? Want to have fun on Vacation?

  • Tracleer Update: Still on it & my labs look good!
  • Twitter: @livingono24life Follow me on Twitter! It's so fun!
So, you use oxygen and are disabled. First thing, when planning to go on vacation, is to know your limitations. Just because you have limitations, (ie: get short of breath while walking, need help unloading luggage from the car, need time to take naps & even time to take your medication), it doesn't mean that you can't have fun. You just need to make sure that the people you are going to be with on your vacation are aware of your need for help. 

The hardest thing for me to accept when I started using oxygen 24/7 was that it was okay to ask for help. I would visit my sister and would need help unloading my things from my van. I would need help with some things that I normally would have been able to do years ago. I was afraid of asking because I felt like a burden. But my sister set me straight. She said she was family and family and friends would always willing help me and not consider me a burden. All I had to do was ask. They may not be aware of the help you need. 

Try not to over think your vacation preparations but be prepared. AAA is good to have while traveling. You don't want to be stuck somewhere while on oxygen. Before you leave home, talk with the person you may be traveling with and whomever you're staying with once you get to your destination. Let them know what kind of things you might need help with. A major thing for me is to let people know that I need the air conditioner turned down to about 72 degrees. I need cool air to help with my breathing. It is only temporary for the time that I'm there but it is necessary. If people are walking too fast for you, ask them to slow down. It shouldn't be a big deal to them. If you are tired, rest, rest, rest. Remember that vacations are suppose to be fun and it can't be all that fun if you let yourself get drained of energy.

If you are going to a place on your vacation, you might want to invest in a wheelchair. I bought mine from Amazon (Invacare LightWeight Tracer EX2 Wheelchair 20" with Swingaway Footrest-Blue (Folding, Assembled) and don't forget the seat cushion


This is me in my wheelchair. Notice how my husband hangs my portable tank on the handle bars. Behind the tank, there is a tote bag that I keep whatever I need in it. 

Something interesting to have is a converter that plugs into a cigarette lighter and gives you a regular plug outlet for those machines, toys, and gadgets that don't have a car charger. I've actually used the converter to plug in and use my bipap machine in the van for a quick power nap on the way to Las Vegas. 

Make a list of all the things you need to take with you. Don't forget your medicine and a cellphone. I always take my roadtrip mascot, Mr. Chicken. He's my rubber chicken that poses in some of my pictures on vacation. There are a lot of ways to create fun on vacations. Just remember, you are not a nuisance or a burden. You use oxygen and people know that you need a little extra help. And that's ok. So, relax and have fun. Take lots of pictures!!!

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Thursday, July 12th 2012

11:50 AM

Summer Vacations & Your Oxygen

  • Tracleer Update: Still on it & my labs look good!
  • Twitter: @livingono24life Follow me on Twitter! It's so fun!
Summer is a time for vacations. So, plan well ahead for your oxygen needs. Some DME companies (Durable Medical Equipment) require at least 2 weeks prior to your departure to arrange for your oxygen equipment or refills. This means you will need to know and give them your itinerary of your vacation plans. Let them know where any potential hotel stay-overs along the way if you are driving in case you'll need a refill. I have Lincare and they do all this for me. When we are on vacation and I give them all the information they need, I call whichever Lincare I need and tell them I require a fill and that I will show up at 8am before their trucks go out on their routes. It's much easier for the drivers and for us this way. No one has to wait around for someone to show up. (I hate waiting!)

Having so much oxygen in my van can be dangerous if you are a reckless driver (which I am not). Everyday I carry a 75lb tank of liquid oxygen in the back of my van to get around town. I don't have to go home to refill my portable tank. For vacations, I haul about 175lb or more of liquid oxygen. These tanks are strapped in tight. My husband removed the back seats of the van and we put the tank(s) pressed & strapped up against the back of the second row of seats with a pillow between the tank and the wall of the van. The strap loops through one handle of the tank, down under the seat legs and back up the other side of the tank through the handle. Then the strap is wrapped around the tank and ratcheted tightly. Once they are strapped in, the tanks are very secure. I have been in a few accidents where people have rear-ended (fender bender) my van. However, the liquid oxygen tanks stay secure. 

I try to park my van in the shade if it's going to be sitting somewhere for a while. The heat here can make the pressure in the tanks elevate. However the tanks have a pressure valve on the ones that I have (Puritan Bennett). Though, when the van goes over big road bumps, the tanks sometimes hiss to release pressure. 

As far as giving you an update on my health, everything seems to still be stable. I've actually been helping my husband plant flowers. It's hard to get up at 7:30am in the morning for gardening work but that's the only time when the weather is cool enough for me. I usually last about an hour outside while my oxygen is on 6 liters per minute. I have to turn my oxygen up from 5 LPM to 6 LPM because of the heat and the activity. That's why I only stay outside and work on the garden for such a short time. Afterwards, I take a shower and then a 2 hour nap and then I'm ready for other things. Just not more gardening. 

I love receiving your comments! I'm on Twitter too: @livingono24life Life can be fun. You just have to put some effort into it. I know it's hard when you're on oxygen but if you can find a hobby that makes you happy, it would enhance your life. I like crocheting, reading, computers, sewing and now I snuggle with my pup (Rocco). 

Take care during the Summer heat. Love to hear from you! If you send a comment, I review them before the are posted to prevent spamming on my blog. 

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Sunday, June 17th 2012

12:18 AM

Summer is here. Prepare for the heat oxygen users!

  • Tracleer Update: Still working
  • Twitter: @livingono24life Follow me on Twitter! It's so fun & new to me!
Every Spring I dread increasingly rising temperatures outside. Since I live where it can in the 90 - 100+ degrees during the Summer, I have to prepare myself for the change of weather. I run my air conditioner all year long to keep myself in a constant cool environment. It makes it much easier for me to breathe. So, when the Summer heat rolls around (usually starting in early May), I start going outside for short periods of time. The adjustment can be brutal! I always take water with me to drink because I dehydrate easily. I don't let myself over do it. It takes a while to get use to the heat. It's June and I'm still not use to it. It's getting better though. 

I also make sure the a/c is working in my vehicle. I have our home a/c checked to make sure it won't fail me but I always have a backup place to crash at in case of either a brown out (happens often) or the a/c breaks down (happened once). Not sure which is worse: the a/c breaking or the water heater breaking. Had both happen. Just not at the same time. Wheww! 

HEALTH UPDATE: I recently had a Heart Cath and the results are in! According to my doctor, I was told the outcome is no worse than the last heart cath. YEA! That's great news to me. I also won't have to have another heart cath for another 2 years. Double yea! However, I seem to have trouble when I tried Adcirca (caused joint pain and body aches). So the doctor switched me to Revatio for my pulmonary hypertension along with taking Tracleer. I think it's having the same results. I don't understand what's going on with it. I had to stop taking it to see if the pain goes away. So, since I stopped it, the pain seems to have faded some but not all the way. Mind boggling! 

I will be restarting the Revatio again to see if the pain comes back as bad as it was. If it does, then I will not be able to take any medicine in that medication class. 


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Friday, February 24th 2012

8:35 AM

Scheduling life around my oxygen

  • Tracleer Update: All labs still look good.
It's amazing how much work goes into having a fun life. But it's still very worth it. Today, I have a doctor appointment but I will also have my oxygen refilled today too. So, I have to arrange the driver to come earlier than usual which means I have to wake up earlier. All to make sure I have enough oxygen for the next week. Normally, I try not to schedule anything on my refill days. I'm very lucky because I think the driver that I have is super awesome! He works with my schedule and I work with his. 

Scheduling my life around my oxygen needs is a constant chore. I'm always calculating in my head about how much oxygen I have in my portable tank versus how much time I can play before needing to refill my portable. If I choose to go to a movie or a hockey game where I'm sitting down in a controlled environment, I can usually turn my oxygen down a liter (4 liters/min). However, if I'm walking around or talking a lot, I'll need 5 liters/min. So, for example, I'll walk into a movie theater using 5LPM and then sit to watch the movie on 4LPM. How much time does that give me on my portable? Well, how long is the movie? I know it seems a lot but it all factors in. Will I make it back to my vehicle where my 75lb reservoir of liquid oxygen is so that I can refill my portable tank? 

I've had some scary moments though. I've actually locked my keys in my vehicle. Not cool because my purse was in there too. I had to go back into the Dallas Stars training center (yeah, I was getting autographs on my husband's jersey for a Christmas present.), and ask to use their phone to call a locksmith. They had to be at my vehicle fairly quickly. I try to be very kind when I explain why I need them there quickly. 'I'm on oxygen, I have X amount of time before I run out. If you can please send someone quickly, I'd really appreciate it.' Sort of thing.

I have AAA now which gives me a sense of relief and confidence when I travel. I've had a blow out in the middle of what seemed nowhere. I called AAA and gave them a guestimation of my location and they had a representative out to help me within 25 minutes. He was a VERY nice older man who changed my tire and followed me to a gas station where he double checked my spare to make sure I'd make it to my destination. 

Sorry I've been away for a while. I am still in the land of living! =o)
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Saturday, September 17th 2011

11:01 AM


  • Tracleer Update: Still looking good. Though my potassium was a little low. :(
Here's the latest scoop on what's going with me! My recent Echo didn't show everything clearly. So now the doctors want to have me get a MUGA Scan. This is something I don't think I've had done before. Because of the structure of my chest cavity and the position of my heart, it's difficult to get an accurate reading of my heart pressures and whatnots with the ECHO. I was like, ok whatever. Just tell me when and where to go. So far, I've had about 3 doctor appointment this month and I just didn't want to hear this. But hey, I'm going to hold my head high and breeze into the hospital for the test and ace it! HA! I'll show them! Am I right? RIGHT!

I was in the store: Michael's. I like make craft projects. I was looking for some translucent polymer clay when a lady walked up to me. She told me about a once-a-month meeting at a hospital for people who have breathing problems. It's like a support group but they have fun and a free lunch. I'm curious. She said to be able to go, I'd need a doctor's prescription. I find that interesting. But I'd also be the youngest one there which would make it kinda fun for me. I'm thinking about going! It would get me out of the house and that's a bonus! Staying active is very important.

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Thursday, September 8th 2011

10:41 AM

More medication? Where does it end?

  • Tracleer Update: Still taking it.
Yes, even I get discouraged at times. I'm sitting here waiting to get my Echocardiogram. I got here a little early. Depending on the results of the test, I may have to start taking another medication. You know, if it prolongs my life, then okay. I'll take it. Or I'll give it try. Be optimistic, right? I have to make appointment to see 2 more doctors after this. But my reward for today? Lunch with my husband! Yea!! Plus I'm getting my hair for my birthday/anniversary (same day) today. Sounds like fun to me!!!
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Tuesday, August 23rd 2011

8:22 PM

Summer is almost over! Yea!

Finally, the Summer heat is nearly over. Though it's still 100+ but the end is coming. I'm being positive. I am starting to get out of the house a bit more often. Today I took my puppy to the vet and then went to get my labs done. I get my labs every month. Yep, it's getting old since I've been going every month since year 2006. 

Lately I've been having a bunch of problems with my 75lb liquid oxygen tank that's in my vehicle. I've been through 3 in the last 2 weeks. They broke and I lost all the oxygen in them. Good thing I wasn't planning on going anywhere. But, Lincare has been so great! Never complained about having to switch tanks numerous times. 

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Friday, August 5th 2011

3:25 PM

This is a horrible heat wave!

  • Tracleer Update: So far so good. WBC is a little low though.
  • Twitter: @livingono24life Follow me on Twitter! It's so fun & new to me!
I certainly hope everyone is able to avoid being outdoors, especially those of us who have respiratory and cardiac problems. I've been stuck indoors for a week now and I gotta tell you that I feel a bit of cabin fever setting in. Yikes. So, tomorrow, I'm getting out there in the morning to run some errands. 

My backup liquid tank in my vehicle developed a leak which has me staying home as well. But Lincare came by today to replace it. YEA Me! Now I can go out without risk of running out of oxygen which I wouldn't do without backup anyway. 

Next month, I have so many doctor appointments that even my calendar is having a hard time keeping them straight! haha! The problem is, my doctors keep calling me to change the dates of them. ARGH! 

My puppy, Rocco, is growing. I thought he was going to be a little chihuahua but he's already 11lbs. He's as cute as a button. Ok maybe a decorative button. He has so much energy that I've taken to watching the Dog Whisperer to show me how to take command of my pup. It's hard to do when I have to wear oxygen and he gets a little tangled up in it at times. 

I hope your weekend is wonderful. Subscribe to this blog if you haven't already. I love reading and replying to your comments.
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Thursday, July 14th 2011

10:16 AM

Test, tests, and more tests...

  • Tracleer Update: Still on it. Labs are normal
  • Twitter: @livingono24life Follow me on Twitter! It's so fun & new to me!
In January, I had a CT Scan which showed that I had a dilated ascending aorta of 4.8. Apparently, that's not so good because if next January the measurement is 5.0, the doctors start talking about corrective surgery. Unfortunately, I'm not a good candidate for surgery due to my lungs.

In September, I'm going for an Echocardiogram to mainly check the pressure of the right side of my heart. If it gets any higher, then my doctor may add another medicine. Right now, I'm just on Tracleer and Symbicort. The new medicine is called Adcirca (tadalafil tablets) which is like Viagra. This new medicine is almost as expensive as Tracleer but there is a program that I could enroll in that caps the co-pay at just $20. There are some eligibility issues with this program. I'm not going to worry about it until after I get the word from my doctor saying I'd need to take it. Why worry myself over it right now, right?

With all this being said, I'm still stable health wise and I really did well on my vacation last month in Florida. It was a glorious time and the road trip was fun! I hope everyone is using great caution with the heat of the Summer. It's pretty brutal out there.

Drink lots of water when you have to be outside and stay in a cool, air conditioned environment.

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Sunday, June 12th 2011

6:24 AM


  • Tracleer Update: Still working!
  • Twitter: @livingono24life Follow me on Twitter! It's so fun & new to me!
This year's vacation was in Clearwater Beach, FL. I did surprisingly well there. We are currently on our way home. We didn't want to leave at all. Clearwater, FL is the home base for Lincare, who is my liquid oxygen provider. It was very easy to go to them for a refill. We brought both 100lb liquid tanks and the 75lb tank. We got them filled twice; once after 4 days and then again 2 days before we left to go home. I also brought along an extra portable from my local Lincare. 

I talked my husband onto a boat called "Little Toot" for a dolphin tour in the bay and the Gulf. That was so awesome!! 

 Close to the end of the vacation, my body was getting a little worn out even thought I'd nap everyday. So, we took it easy on the last 2 days in town. Well, I'm trying out Twitter. Today is my first day to post on Twitter under the name @livingono24life. I'm going to see how this thing works. Haha! Come visit me there if you have Twitter.
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Wednesday, April 6th 2011

10:52 AM

Update and Rocco-- my new puppy!

  • Tracleer Update: Labs look good!
Some things have changed in the last few months. We've had an addition to our family. We now have a 9 week full-bred Chihuahua who we named Rocco. He's a sweet, yet, energetic pup. He keeps me busy. =o)  Really, really busy. I've never known how worn out and sore I could get from chasing after this little guy. He's good exercise for me I guess. 

My health is doing well. Since my Heart Cath in February, I am more confident since the results were better than what I had anticipated. I'm still on Tracleer twice a day at 125mg with no Liver problems. That's good news! The ADHD is troublesome. It's hard not to get distracted while I'm trying to get things done and I hate being so forgetful. I'm disorganized and I lose focus a lot. I've been this way since childhood. For a long time, my husband thought I was just a little lazy which was so frustrating to me. 

I'm hoping to try a medication that my Cardiologist has approved. We have to go through him because of my heart problems. 

I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying life. Be careful when it starts to warm up outside. Take your time and pace yourself. Don't overdo but stay active.

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Thursday, February 17th 2011

11:50 AM

Health Changes

  • Tracleer Update: Still taking Tracleer. Labs still look great!
Over the course of the last 6 months, I've noticed more shortness of breath happening to me. Of course, that means, back to the doctors and admitting to them that I'm having problems and maybe, just maybe I'm getting worse health-wise. It's definitely NOT an easy pill to swallow and I have to swallow a lot of medicine on a daily basis. However, this one pill of admitting to myself that I have to accept that life is slowing down yet again, is a tough one; even for me.

So, instead of getting to wait until this coming October to have my Heart Catherization, the doctor bumped it up to Valentine's Day. You can probably hear my sarcasm when I say it was such a romantic moment for my husband and me that day! haha! We went into the hospital with me riding in style (in my wheelchair!). I even wore real clothes... no sweats this time! Hey hey! Let it be said that I, too, can gussy up to make the best of a hospital moment on Valentine's Day. I even spread cheer and hellos to everyone I saw on the way up and down the elevator. My only curse word I said when they numbed up my neck for the proceedure (yeah, it hurt bad) was "Mother of Pearl!" (Thanks Spongebob Squarepants!) I guess it was funny to have something like that pop out of my mouth because everyone in the surgical room started laughing. I told them that I wasn't allowed to swear in public... my husband would kick my butt! =o)

Now, I went in with positive thoughts that the results were going to be maybe bad but hopefully not too bad. Nobody wants BAD news, right? I have to tell you that when I heard the results, I nearly cried. Even though the pressure was up a point or two from the last heart cath (my best one), the blood flow volume and the oxygenation of the blood leaving my heart was within normal range. Can I hear a YEA!!!!???? Wheww! 

Still don't know why I'm so short of breath though. So, they sent me home with some inhalers and they make me feel so jittery. However, I said I'd give Symbicort one month to do its thing. After that, if it isn't working, we move on with something else. They gave me albuterol too but that's just PRN. Not everyday. Wheww! 

This is tough on my husband. He's picked up a LOT of the slack around the house. I've NEVER seen him this helpful. On one hand, I LOVE it, but the on the other hand, it's starting to make me lazy. So, starting today, he wrote me a chores list for me to get done because I have ADHD. I can not stay focused on getting one thing completely done. I am totally disorganized that it drives me and my husband nuts. I'm hoping this list thing will help. I've actually completed most of the things on his list. Well, there were only two things on it but I added a few more of my own chores. 

Hope you all stay well and warm. Be safe.
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Saturday, November 20th 2010

5:35 PM

Oh dear... Medicare changes...

  • Tracleer Update: Still taking Tracleer. Lab tests OK!

Imagine my not so big surprise getting some information in the mail about Medicare changes with Durable Medical Equipment in my area. If you have Medicare or Medicare Advantage Plan, you'll want to contact visit http://www.medicare.gov to find out:

  1. If you live in a ZIP code that is included in this new program.
  2. Find out which suppliers are Medicare contract suppliers to make sure Medicare will pay for your medical products and services.

The new program starts January 1, 2011 in 9 areas (and 13 states across the US).

In other news, I'm really excited about Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up! Though we won't be having Turkey for Thanksgiving (totally inconceivable!), I did get a coupon for a FREE 12lb turkey from Krogers and my electric company! Who knew that paying those high electric bills would pay off someday with a FREE turkey! Ok I'll admit it. I've never cooked a turkey. I'm a little nervous about this turkey adventure. I'll be cooking it sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas. So, wish me luck!

I got my flu shot on November 1st this year. At least that's over with... WHEW!!! I'm pretty sure I need a pneumonia shot too. I think it's been more than 5-7 yrs. I should really start writing these things down.

Well, I did it. I've hired someone to help me clean my house. I just can't do all the harder stuff anymore. Those things are the vacuuming, mopping the floors, scrubbing the tub and changing the bed sheets. It's helping with the sense of me becoming overwhelmed. I feel as if I can keep up the house better with help. There's no shame in asking for help when you need it.


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Wednesday, October 13th 2010

11:00 AM

All about my birthday/anniversary roadtrip adventure!

  • Tracleer Update: Labs still look good! Still have to take Iron.

Wow, this year we hit the road again for a special adventure that never fails to be exciting. We first loaded up our vehicle to it's fullest capacity with my oxygen, bipap, luggage, snacks, a ice chest, and a wheelchair. This time we brought along my new wheelchair. My husband has finally decided to accept that I just can't walk long distances anymore and have fun too. So, the wheelchair is here to stay. Doesn't mean I use it all the time. I still need my excersize!

We first headed, using the "scenic route," to Austin, TX. We made a wrong turn and ended up taking a shortcut. Yea for me because this scenic route was taking FOREVER! haha! In Austin, we had fun standing on the Congress Ave. bridge waiting for about 1 1/2 hours for the bats to fly out and feed. However, since it was rainy this Summer, there were plenty of bugs for them to not have to compete to eat. That meant, they didn't fly out but just circled around under the bridge. By that time it was too dark to take pictures because I forgot my tripod. Dangit! Probably would have been blurry anyway.

We also went to the State Capital where it was unfortunately under construction. There was scaffling all over the dome of the building. We took pictures posing with Mr. Chicken sitting on a cannon! Below is a link where you can see a few of my pictures I uploaded! At the capital, we had a little funny mishap. Mind you, we are new at this wheelchair thing and my husband said, "I'm going to try something..." (we were on a slight incline) Well, I didn't know he was going to let go of the chair to take a picture! Here I am rolling down the hill surprised and wondering if I should grab the wheels and possibly break my acrylic nails (it's a girl thing guys) or what? Luckily an iron park bench stopped my chair. My knee developed a nice bruise from that! OUCH! lol! Needless to say that when my husband wants to stop, he tells me to hit the brakes! haha!

After Austin, we drove down to Corpus Christi, TX. OH MY GOSH! LOVED IT! We stayed at the Radisson Hotel there on the beach. It was a clean beach and the water was like bath water. We stayed in a room that faced the Gulf of Mexico and had a balcony. We stepped out onto the balcony and looked to the right and there was the USS Lexington aircraft carrier. Yep, we toured the first level of it. I could do the rest because the climbing would have been too much for me. I was disappointed but I wasn't going to chance it because it was so humid in Corpus. We also went to the Texas State Aquarium which was AWESOME!

We then drove around and of course got so turned around because all the streets are one way for the most part. Finding the Landry's Restaurant (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED) was hairy but the way back to the hotel (a different way all together) was even more baffling. Thank goodness for our iPhones. Wheww! We also drove out to Mustang Island. We wanted to drive onto a side road that led to the actual Gulf (not the bay where our hotel is located) was. The first road we turned onto we saw a couple of young guys with their car stuck in the sand. Well, we stopped our car to help them out but parked it way way away from the sand. My husband is pretty smart. We had that happen to us about 17 yrs ago in South Padre Island, TX. Yikes! 

We had a lot of fun this year on our roadtrip. I was pretty tired throughout the trip but held up ok. It took about 2 weeks to gain my normal feeling of wellness back after we got home.

Here are the pics: Click here to view 4 vacation pictures  (let me know if this link doesn't work.)


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Tuesday, August 31st 2010

10:28 AM

Vacationing with Oxygen

  • Tracleer Update: Still using Tracleer. Heart Cath due within a few months. So not looking forward to that!
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Once again, it's that time where we hit the road for vacation. Last year I went to Las Vegas and then onto California. Yes, it took a bit of planning where my liquid oxygen refills are concerned but it was worth it!

I have an iPhone and I found a nifty app that tells me the altitude of wherever I'm driving into. It's called GPS Tracker. We also used this app to have my husband's parents and my friend know exactly where we are at on the road at any time they log into the particular website to see the map. Every so often, while on the road, I would turn on the GPS Tracker and it would pinpoint our location to show up on that web-based map & give me the altitude of our location. (We took a pulse oximeter on that trip and steered around the mountains as much as possible) My friend & in-laws really thought it was great.

When I travel, even alone, I always let my family know exactly when I leave, when I make a pitstop (always at the same locations when driving up to Oklahoma), and finally when I get to my destination. I am freakish about safety. It came in handy two weekends ago, when I had a blowout. Don't worry. I didn't have an accident. Wheww but I ended up at the halfway point between home (where my husband was) and my sister's house. Thankfully I had Triple A which I really recommend for all disabled travelers.

For my next roadtrip coming up, we are not going too far away. I really am excited. We will be taking Mr. Chicken (our roadtrip mascot) along as usual. I finally broke down and bought a wheelchair at Amazon.com for only $143! I think I got a deal because it included free shipping! Wow! We'll be taking one 100lb tank and one 75lb tank of liquid oxygen and my little 3liter oxygen concentrator. Hopefully, I won't need a refill but I notified Lincare just in case. They notified the Lincare in that area that I may need a refill.

When I get refills on the road, I go to the Lincare location. They do not come to me. I chose to do it like that. We have to be at the Lincare when they first open up (usually at 7:30am). They all have been really nice about filling my tanks when we do it this way. I just have to call ahead a day before, at that particular Lincare, to let them know I need a refill and that I will come to them in the morning before their driver takes off for his route.

I also take an extra bipap mask, extra tubing & canulas, and make sure I don't ever forget to bring along the splitter that joints two canula tubings together so that I can use the liquid tank and the concentrator together. It saves me liquid oxygen that way. I set the liquid tank on 2L and the concentrator on 3L to give me my prescribed 5L/min. Pretty smart huh?

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Monday, August 9th 2010

9:10 PM


  • Tracleer Update: Still taking it. Don't know what my labwork looks like but they are due this week again! UGH!


I'm sure you are wondering why I'm posting something about quilts on an oxygen blog. Right? Well, I met these two wonderful people who like to quilt and one of these ladies uses oxygen just like me. The mother and daughter team has a quilting hobby and they make the sweetest hand-made quilts. Please check them out at:


All things are going well with me. I've been staying very active even though it's hot, hot, hot outside. It's almost time for my next Heart Catherization which I'm dreading. I sure wish I could have MRI but that darn rod in my back prevents me from having one. Darn that Scoliosis!! Grr!

 My husband and I are planning another roadtrip! I so can not wait to get out on the road with my Mr. Chicken as our mascot! haha! I'll keep you posted!

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Sunday, July 25th 2010

7:33 PM

Newborn CPap mask

  • Tracleer Update: Still taking Tracleer. Liver tests are looking good! Wheww!

I was visiting my sister and her newborn baby. My sister showed me the Cpap gear that her baby used in the NICU of the hospital when her Oxygen Saturation dropped. I was so intrigued by the dainty size of it compared to my BiPap mask. I had to show you all. The nasal prong part of it plugs into the actual mask that covers her little nose. It looks like something you'd put on a doll!

I had a GREAT time at my sister & her husband's house. Their daughter is growing fast. I've been at her house for a week each month for the last two months. I think next month will be my last month up there until Christmas because the baby is getting too heavy for me to hold without wearing me out so fast. My sister has been great in including me and having me up there while my niece is still small. She weighs about 10 pounds now.

It's really rewarding to know that I can help them out with doing the dishes, feeding and caring for my niece and doing laundry. Though, it takes me a few days after I'm home to regain my energy. It's worth it though.


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Wednesday, July 7th 2010

8:32 PM

July and the humidy are KICKING my butt!

  • Tracleer Update: Just got my labs done yesterday. Hope the results are good!

Holy smokes. This is a rough month for me. My husband and I took his parents to dinner last Thursday and that went well.. I had plans to go to the movies with my husband last Friday. Early Thursday morning, my brother's cat (who we were permanently babsitting) decided to take a nose dive healthwise. It was very unexpected and sudden. This cat weighs 20 pounds.. I kid you not. It was a crisis! So, I finally managed to get him in the carrier and to the vet. Mind you, I was carrying the pet carrier, my purse and my liquid oxygen tank (8 pounds) into the building. I was ready to expire! Anyway, the cat had to be put down. It was sad.

Later that morning, I realized it was O2 refill day. The guy shows up any given time. So, I had to wait for him. All I wanted to do was take a nap because it was SO humid outside. Well, my husband beat the O2 dude to my house. I asked him to wait for him for me so I could try to take a little nap before left. Didn't really work. I laid down with my bipap and oxygen on for about 30 mins. Couldn't sleep. Too keyed up over the cat dying.

Anyway, we made it to dinner with the folks and had a good time. Yep, I was tired. So, Friday rolls around and we were planning to go to the movies to see "Knight and Day." It was ok. But when I got up to leave the theater which was in the mall, the migraine hit. I knew I overdid it. Too much humidy and not enough rest. When I got to the car, I threw up all the way home. Yep, it was tragic.

The good news is that the headache was gone the next day but I took it easy in bed for most of Saturday because I knew we had to go to my husband's sister's house for the 4th of July. What a week!

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Tuesday, June 22nd 2010

5:07 PM

Summertime and the heat!

  • Tracleer Update: Still on the medication!

Summers are HOT, especially down here in the South where I live. It's a big adjustment for me going from the cooler/cold weather to the Summer heat and humidity. It takes me a good month to be able to handle going outside and being able to breathe without feeling totally exhausted. While I'm out runnin around, I do only one errand at a time per day at first. Once I start feeling as if I'm able to withstand the heat (I always bring water with me to drink!), I add an errand to the list of things to do while I'm out driving around. I always pace myself. If I don't think I can get them all done, I leave it for the next time. I feel it's important not to push myself during the Summer months. It's just too hot. Air conditioning is so important for me. I have to be in an controlled air conditioned environment. Humid air makes me feel as if I'm breathing through a straw. It sucks, no really, it does! Currently, I have my dehumidifier (it's a Kenmore machine) that I use in the family room when I have trouble with the humidy. It's great! It sucks all the moisture right out the air and I have my husband drain the bucket when it's full. It keeps the area of my family room, kitchen & dining area at approximately 40% humidity. Not bad.

As for my back and hip pain, the doctors can't find anything wrong with my spinal cord or vertebraes. Wheww.. I had a myeologram done last month. That wasn't so bad. I was really nervous about the needle going in my spine. The part that was the worst was having a migraine that whole week before the proceedure and during and then afterwards. I couldn't take any of my migraine medicine for it 3 days prior and 2 days after the proceedure. Then after the proceedure, I had to remain lying down for 12 straight hours. I thought I was going to go bonkers! If I didn't have my iPhone, I would have drove my husband up the wall because I was so bored and with a horrible headache. I know, I know... poor me. haha! I survived.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Summer so far. Please be sure to stay safe and drink plenty of water if you're out in the heat.

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