Walking into a new and brighter life.

Walking into a new and brighter life.

The healthy me

The healthy me

Finding your way around

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This I know.................

This I know.................

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I heard the word TERMINAL for the first time

Yesterday I went to my appointment at the HUD office.  She told me that with the economy the way it is they are taking very few new cases.  Then she looked at my oxygen and asked if I "was terminal"?  I have never thought of that.  That word never crossed my mind.  I said I honestly don't know, my condition is non reversable and progressive.  She asked if she could call my dr. and I gave her my pulmonologist's # and who to speak with.

She told me that if I am terminal my name will go to the front of the list when they start new vouchers.

After we (my friend went with me) left I took Kathie home, then went to my doctor.  I asked to speak to his assistant... she is who I usually see unless there are decisions to be made, or an exam to be done.  I asked her if we could go into a private room.  I told her that I was leaving my marriage and that I had to been to HUD and what the worker had asked me.  She said.... I will talk to the doctor to make sure but Kellie.. "Of course you are".

It just made a difficult day frightening.  TERMINAL!  wow!

We had Layla here tonight so Britt could study for some tests and she seems to be doing fine.  I think it helped her seeing us together. I started today going through closets and separating things... his bedding, my bedding... my paperwork out of the filing cabinet/ his paperwork.  If I just do it little by little then what either of us or Brittney doesn't want I will sell.  I may get a storage for a little while until I figure out what size place I will end up with.

So far Bill and I are doing fine.  There has been a few uncomfortable situations, but for the most part life is going on as usual, which is good, but troubling.  I don't want to give him the idea that things can go back to the way they were.

I am not strong enough to live with someone who doubts my illness, who blames me for being sick and who at times just wants to pick a fight.  Between my breathing issues when I get upset and my anxiety it has been bad.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Separation hurts everyone

I have little words to say that will ease pain or make anyone  feel better.

Bill and I seem to be doing fine today.  We even talked about the split of furniture, T.V.'s, dining table... household things that we have acquired over a lifetime together.  We watched T.V. and even laughed during dinner.  We both understand that it's over, and seem to have almost come to terms with it.

Still when I think of not seeing him everyday, or having him move away and out of my life forever seems unbearable.  I can't have it both ways.

Brittney told Layla tonight and Layla called gasping/bawling and wanted to talk to her Papa.  Britt told her that Grandma is moving out of the house and Papa will move away in a couple years.  She said it will be like when they were in Idaho.  Only Brittney isn't handling it well either.

This is on me.  It was my decision that our "marriage" or being a couple had gone on long enough.  I told Britt that I put this off while she was in school so she wouldn't have a broken home.  I put this off after she moved out because I was afraid to be alone.  I feel like if I don't stand up for myself now I will be lost forever.  I am NOT being dramatic.  That is how I feel.  I told her I would be giving up the rest of my life if I didn't leave now.

Unfortunately, My needs are hurting my family.  Funny how to save myself I have to cause pain to those around me who I love the most.  I told Bill today I will always love him and care about him.  I want to see him happy and living life like he always wanted to.  I also want us to remain friends.  Is that asking too much?

All I know is hearing Layla on the phone tonight and trying to reassure her broke my heart into tiny pieces.  Then after Brittney got Layla calmed down and into bed she called me and told me she doesn't blame me but she feels like a child having her parents split up and it is breaking her.  She'll get through it.  We all will.

I go to HUD in the morning to see if I can get any housing.  I'll let you know.  The sooner this can be resolved I think the better for all of us.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Taking the next step

Bill's birthday was yesterday.  Brittney and I had bought presents and had invited a few friends over for pizza, beer and cake.  Layla wanted to come over early in the morning (they didn't have school Friday) and make her Papa breakfast.  

Thursday afternoon Britt, Fernando and I had been shopping for his birthday.  When she dropped me off back at home is when he informed he was done.  And, I agreed which I think pissed him off more.

Any way... I called Brittney after he closed his bedroom door for the night and told her to make up some excuse for Layla, but considering what took place that day I didn't think having Layla around us being tense and I wasn't even sure we would be speaking would be a good idea.
As it turned out his daughter Lexi called him to say Happy Birthday so I gently opened his door and handed him the phone.... then Priscilla pushed her way in.  Soon after he got up and I wished him Happy Birthday and he seemed fine, almost happy.  Which pissed me off and confused me because my eyes were so swollen from crying all night and I was almost freaking out wondering what would happen the next day.

Then when Britt went to school that day she dropped Layla off for a few hours while she went to school, then she came back at 5:00.

For his birthday he wanted a nice expensive queen sized flocked inflatable air mattress to replace the one we had so when we went camping this summer we could use it.  He drank all day and most the night and was happy and carefree.  Everyone here knew about it, I think he was the only one he fooled.  At one point he grabbed my butt... then opening presents he opened the air mattress and said... this will be great when we all go camping, Kellie and I will sleep good on this.   ?????  I did not make eye contact with anyone. I felt foolish and a little mad.

Less than 24 hours prior to that he told me I was unlovable and he didn't love me, and was SO ready to move on.  Now he was patting my butt making plans for our summer.

So everyone went home, he passed out, Layla spent the night and we stayed up playing cards and watching cartoons.  When we got up this morning I fed Layla and she was playing for a while.  Brittney called and asked if Layla wanted to go home and said she would come get her.

After the kids left almost as the door shut I looked at him and said... we won't be using that air mattress together.  And, I would appreciate if you don't grab my ass anymore.  That nothing has changed and just because he may have sobered up, what was said ... was said for the last time. I told him I wanted so much for us to respect each other and our time together, to be nice to each other, so today was almost pleasant.

Tomorrow I have an appointment with HUD to see about getting a 2 bedroom something that will allow me to keep Priscilla.

I will no longer hear I am used, damaged, deserving of this because I didn't listen to him and quit smoking.  I will no longer be accused of making up illness's or not "pulling my share" around the house.  I want the chance to be happy again.  To prove to myself that I am worth something.

I am in such a confused state.  I have love for Bill.  At one time he was good to me, even when drinking.  Then 15 or more years his drinking became a problem.  He would get confrontational and argue anything.  He would say terrible mean things, then the next day be perfectly find and even get pissy if I suggested he was out of control.  When he was good he was lovable and caring and helpful.  When he was bad, it was abusive.  Never physically, just loud, and mean and scary.

It will be peaceful for me to be able to not be on the lookout for an angry housemate.  I think I will be able to feel better about myself.

I have NO idea how I am going to afford to be on my own.  I never planned for this and everything is in his name because of the medical divorce we did.  So I guess once again I am at his mercy.

He says he will help me monthly.  We'll see.  I told him I wish him happiness with someone he can do all the things he wants to with.  And, I really mean it.  I think it has been over with me for so many years that I am O.K. with him moving on.

As for me.  I am not sure if I trust love anymore.  I am not sure I can actually love someone, or if anyone would even want to be with me and my disease.  I have felt damaged for so long, how could I expect anyone else to see me any other way?

There are so many uncertainties right now.  I am throwing my arms up and hoping I make the proper decisions and not hurt anyone.

I just want to be at peace for a while and be loved.  And, I am not sure that will ever happen again for me.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A painful ending.

I have not much to say tonight.  I am heart broken and feel empty.  My relationship with my husband (ex) of 29 years has ended.  I am doing my best to keep things civil and not comment or get involved in bickering.  I would like nothing better than to remain friends and just understand that we can't be together anymore.  I don't think he feels that way.

I am now trying to figure out what to do about where to live.  He seemed to think we could live together until he finishes work on the house (which has been going on for about 8 years) and we can sell it and split the proceeds.

I am trying to get on HUD housing and find a 2 bedroom apartment or duplex or something.  I can't do yard work and I will have Priscilla with me.

I am afraid.  I am kind of in shock.  Even though it was mutual and I had been talking to my daughter about ending things, it just took me by surprise tonight when he said mean and hateful things.  Attacking my mother who has passed away.  Saying my anxiety attacks are fake and just for pity or attention.  That I can do a lot more than I am doing.

Enough.  I promise I will not trash him.  He is a good, kind man.  It's just a sad ending to a relationship that lasted over half of my life.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Transplant and depression

The other day I was ready to give up and ask Bill to leave.  It had come to that.  I still am not ready to take all the blame for our troubled times, but I know a good portion of it is my depression.

I look back on my life and wish so badly I could make the right decisions.  To live healthy, to raise Brittney in a non-smoking house.  She has moments that she says she is ready to quit, but she isn't there yet, and she is turning 30 this year.  She has a daughter who watches her smoke.... I am so afraid that the pattern of disease will just continue and continue.  I am ashamed of myself for exposing them.

I did get some good news, or at least news that eased my mind a little.  Every since the day years ago when my Pulmonologist mentioned Transplant to me and had me pick a hospital.  Then the University of Washington told me that I would need to re-locate to within 2 hours of the hospital, I was freaked.  I did not want to give up my home and my life here.  After all I am supposed to recover and be able to come back to my previous life right?  I didn't want to move to Seattle.

Well, I was picking up a new fancy regulator for my O2 tanks and the woman there (who treats me very well) said that one of her clients just was transplanted at Stanford Medical Center (my 2nd choice) and is doing well.  They (the oxygen company) is supplying her with all her O2 needs, a hospital bed, a I.V. pole on wheels, pretty much any needs that the hospital doesn't supply they pick up.  She said that her husband travels back and forth monthly, usually spending a week at a time there.  The best part is that she (the woman at the O2 company) said that her insurance and mine are the same and that they have a contract with this medical center and not the University of Washington.  I am kind of put as ease by that because Stanford was my first choice, I just didn't think we could afford to live there.  The cost of living in the Bay area is outrageous.
I would need to go there for about a week and they have hotels that give rates to their transplant families, for testing and getting everything gone over.  Then I would have an interview with the transplant team.  They make the ultimate decision if I am a good candidate and if I am they will list me.  I can COME HOME and wait!!!  Yes, my insurance company will allow me to come home and Stanford is O.K. with that because once my name comes up, I will be Life Flighted directly to the hospital and prepped and into surgery with time to spare.

This had been like a burden sitting on me for a long time.  I talked to Bill and he said that sounds good that once I am stable and doing well he can come home and then just visit once a month.  Maybe even (depending on the time of year) Brittney could come for a visit, and maybe even my brothers.  And, the best part is we don't have to re-locate.

I got a call yesterday from my Gynecologist, they have finally gotten a referral for some more testing in Medford (which is about an hour or so away, but over a mountain pass).  They are supposed to call me to set up an appointment.

I am still doing alright on my weight loss.  I am finding that if I weigh every day my weight will fluctuate, but if I just do it once a week I can see my progress.  Besides that I can feel a difference in my stomach and legs.

I'll blog again soon, and hopefully I will find something wonderful to blog about.  :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I have never felt so empty, misunderstood, angry or depressed than the last 3 days.
Yesterday Bill was moping around (it just seems to be a pissing contest over who feels worse... I gave up) and I told him just out of the blue... that I am not happy and asked him if he was?  He looked shocked.  I don't know how he could be surprised.... we hardly speak, he is gone most of the day to god knows where, then comes home... starts drinking then is off to bed by 6:00.

To make a very long a exhausting story short... I told him that I will not live my life like this.  That I take as much responsibility at our failed life as he should, maybe more.  I just don't want to go on like this.  I want to be happy.  To feel loved and safe.  I do not right now, and haven't in a long time.
He didn't have much to say except for it was my fault.  I asked him if he could honestly say he loved me and he never did answer.  He asked me the question and I told him I do at times, but other times I don't even feel like we are friends.  That even roommates would talk more, do more and be kinder to each other.

Yes..... he takes care of the things around the house that I can't.... but honestly I can hire that done.  I do not mean to sound ungrateful because I appreciate everything that he does.  However... there is a price to pay for that, and over the years I have just paid and ignored the fact I was living in a marriage I was not happy in.  Then it got to be habit forming, like a comfortable pair of slippers. Yes, they have holes and flaws, but they always are there to cover you when you need it.

Anyway... I gave in AGAIN this morning and just asked to be loved.  I told him if he couldn't do that to do the right thing and just leave.  The day went on just like every other day.  Him gone, me on the computer, him home with a drink or three and in bed before 7:00.

Then Brittney calls me and tells me I am giving up.  I tried to explain to her that I am not.  There are just some things I can't do. She wanted me to go sledding and I tried to explain I cannot do that with a cannula and hosing around me and my face.  Not to mention being out in the cold and having cold air rush across my face.  She actually got pissy with me and said "Don't say I can't."  Has she not been paying attention to my health????  I GET IT!
I don't give up, and I haven't given in.  I told her that if I were to give in it would be very easy.  I would stay in bed like I feel like doing until 10:00 or 11:00, that I would take naps, I would just sit and not worry about my weight, about getting dressed, about pushing myself to even vacuum my own house.  That just shopping is a OUTING, not just someone running to the store.  She knows all this, she has been to the Pulmonologist with me, and even to the cardiologist.

I am So Above being frustrated at my life that I can no longer hold on alone.  When I see my Primary Care Doctor again at the end of this month or the beginning of Feb. I am asking for a referral to a counselor.  I need to find happiness somehow.  I will never be suicidal, but I can't imagine going on day after day the way I have been.

I love Brittney more than life itself and I don't blame her.  She is trying to do the right thing and push me to do more and keep moving.  It's just right now I feel like if I am pushed I will lose myself.

I went to the Gynecologist yesterday to talk about the results of the ultrasound.  He wants me to see a urologist before anything else is done and go through this certain test.  Well, the only Urologist in Klamath Falls has left, and the nearest town will not take my insurance.  So, he wants me to go to Portland which is about a 8 hour drive from here through the snow and bad weather to have this test.  Then depending on the results either whomever sees me will do surgery on my bladder and then do a hysterectomy or I will be sent home because my bladder problem can't be fixed and he will do the hysterectomy.  Nothing with me is easy.  He said the tumor growing on my enlarged uterus is about the size of a small cantaloupe.  Awesome... remove it and there is weight loss!

I started this P.I.N.K. program and have been doing everything it asks...... except that I eat everything I am not supposed to at night before I go to bed.  Even with that I have lost nearly 5 pounds.  I am trying to be strong and fighting my night cravings.  I'll let you know how that goes.

So... welcomed to my life... wanna run now?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

10 Days, 4 Pounds

I had to look back at my beginning day.  I have lost a total of 4.2 pounds in 10 days.  I am still staying on the reset for another couple weeks.  I want to feel comfortable enough with my good eating habits before I start the next chapter.

There will be a few days coming up where I will be off the diet.  One Bill's Bday is the 27th of this month, and my Bday is the 7th of next month.  We will celebrate with family and cake and presents for Bill's.  But, I am turning 50 and I want to remember it somehow.  A good meal with friends, a movie, a night out.  Something other than sitting in this house.

I have been weighing myself every morning on this diet and some days I will gain 8 ounces to a pound, and other days I will lose 2. So... I think I will begin to weigh myself once a week.  I have noticed that this diet like every other one I have been changes my digestive progress.  So I am sure day to day the pounds will go up and down.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Another E.R. Visit

This will be quick.  I am feeling bad.

Yesterday Bill and I went grocery shopping and about half way through I told Bill my chest was feeling tight.  By the time we got home I couldn't take the pain anymore.  As it was Britt was on her way to the house so she took me up to the hospital and I spent 5 hours in the Emergency room to have them tell me I was having an anxiety attack.

I know these are real, but it makes me feel like I am one of those nervous types of women who can't handle stress or problems and get the vapors.  I am a strong person and I can handle pain.

This pain was mind blowing.  Like someone had a hold of my chest ripping and twisting.  They finally gave me knock out medicine and sent me home to sleep it off.

That worked fine until around 3:00 this morning and I have been up every since.  Today is better, but my chest is on the verge of incredible pain.  Does that make sense?  It seems like one big cough, one twist or pull and the pain will return.  Any way, I spent the day reading and napping.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A note to self

I just wanted to note to myself for my doctors visits......

For the last 2 1/2 weeks or more (months I think, but getting worse) I have had leg cramps, feet cramps, toe cramps... and cramps in my neck and shoulder that wake me up at least 10 or more times a night.  I have to jump up from bed and walk around, or jump up and down, or stretch my feet, or bend and stretch my neck and shoulder.  It wakes me up before... I can tell by the movement of my foot or neck that it is coming quickly and soon I will have to get up and move.

I have tried and am still eating 2 banana's a day.  I have began to drink many ounces of water a day.  It happens if I have been up walking through the store all day, or at home standing in front of the counter cooking, or just sitting in my chair all day.  So... there is no pattern to it.

I also think that because of my lack of exercise my back is beginning to bother me more.  I have pain meds and take the prescribed amount... but they are just not working.  I have noticed my back laying in bed starts to hurt and I am constantly moving around all night.
My restless leg syndrome is getting worse, or the medicine has outlived it's usefulness.

My breathing has not improved at all.  My lungs feel so tight.  It is hard to get air out at all.  It seems I can breathe in alright, well I still can't take a deep breath in all the way... but getting air out seems impossible.

I have been getting dizzy spells, sitting or standing up.  My memory issues still are concerning to me.  Bill swears I use it to my advantage, but it's bothersome and scary to me at times.  I would swear my life I hadn't said something, or done something... and Bill tells me different.

I need to keep notes on the things that are bothering me, wrong with me, are ailing me... for when I see my primary doctor again.  She is coming back to practice at the end of the month.

I am going through the phase where I am sick and tired of this.  It makes me selfish.  I get so wrapped up in just getting through the day that I neglect my friends and family.  I am normally not a selfish person.
I just want to scream at times.
Bill and I have been struggling again.  For no apparent reason, other than I think he needs a break as a caregiver.  I have been trying to talk him into going and visiting a friend, or his daughters, do some golfing... or just hang out.
He told me today or yesterday that I couldn't take care of myself anymore.  That may be true... but I didn't want to hear it.
It is just a reminder of how much ability I have lost.

There are days when I go to the store, where I actually glance over at those carts.  I swear I will not get in one.  I will stay home first.

I have an appointment in February with my Pulmonologist and they will run their tests to see how my breathing is doing.  It's called an FEV1 test.  And the number will tell them if this is progressing and what the next steps will be.

I also in February will turn 50.  My god, look at what has become of me!

Laughter may be bad for lungs


                                          Ohio State University Research News
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Having a sense of humor is associated with improved emotional functioning and an enhanced quality of life among patients with a chronic lung illness, but the actual act of laughing out loud can reduce lung function, at least in the short term, research suggests.
The study evaluated humor and laughter in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. Participants who exhibited a greater sense of humor were more likely to report fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety and better quality of life, and tended to report that they had experienced fewer respiratory illnesses in the month before the study.
But patients who watched a 30-minute comedy video and laughed during the viewing had lower pulmonary function afterward than did patients who watched a home-repair video that did not prompt laughter.
COPD is a chronic, progressive disorder characterized by difficulty breathing, and especially in expelling air from the lungs. It is the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States, affecting more than 12 million people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. COPD patients are at increased risk of experiencing depression, anxiety, a diminished quality of life and frequent respiratory illnesses.
The pattern of findings in this research suggests that appreciating and perceiving humor may have a different effect than laughing aloud for patients with moderate to severe COPD, researchers say.
“This study shows that humor is really more complex than people make it out to be,” said Charles Emery, professor of psychology at Ohio State University and senior author of the study. “Yes, humor definitely has benefits, but the behaviors associated with humor in fact may not be good for all people all the time – which is a useful thing to know.
“Because these patients are at risk for depression and anxiety, one implication of this study would be that encouraging or even teaching people to use humor as a way of coping may actually be a novel way of enhancing their well-being.”
The research is published in the current issue of the journal Heart & Lung.
Kim Lebowitz Feingold, lead author of the study, performed the research for her psychology Ph.D. dissertation at Ohio State. Now director of Cardiac Behavioral Medicine at the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute of Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Lebowitz Feingold said the project grew from her interest in the field of positive psychology.
“We wanted to look at positive attributes or traits associated with improved physical or emotional health. I’ve long been fascinated with the idea that laughter and a sense of humor can be positive for well-being,” she said.
Previous research had suggested that humor is beneficial to healthy adults because it can improve mood and strengthen immune function. Laughter also had been characterized as a behavior that may help expel stale air from the lungs. The researchers sought to determine whether the benefits of humor and laughter could extend to people who suffer from COPD.
“We know the negative emotional consequences of COPD. So I thought it was an ideal condition to serve as the focus of an examination of the potential benefits of humor and laughter,” said Lebowitz Feingold, also an assistant professor of psychiatry and surgery at Northwestern University.
Forty-six COPD patients participated in the sense of humor portion of the study, and of those, 22 participated in the portion of the study that the researchers called “laughter induction.”
All participating patients completed a number of questionnaires to assess their sense of humor, psychological functioning and health-related quality of life, as well as a brief interview about recent infectious illnesses. The assessments included the Coping Humor Scale, which measures the degree to which someone uses humor to cope with stress, and the Situational Humor Response Questionnaire, which counts the frequency of smiles, laughter and other so-called mirthful behaviors in a variety of situations. Measures of depression and anxiety symptoms were used to evaluate psychological functioning.
In the laughter induction, patients completed pulmonary function tests, and reported their mood and the severity of their shortness of breath symptoms immediately before and after watching a 30-minute video. After being randomly assigned to either a neutral or humor condition, participants watched either a neutral instructional video or their selection of one of three comedy options: Abbott and Costello, Bill Cosby or a segment of funny home videos.
As expected, the COPD patients reported more impaired psychological functioning, lower quality of life and above-average anxiety in their daily lives compared to national data on these symptoms in healthy adults. Patients also had reported an average of five sick days on which they experienced infectious illness symptoms in the previous four weeks.
But on average, the patients also reported that they used a sense of humor in their daily lives. Out of a possible score of 24 on the Coping Humor Scale, this patient sample’s average score was 19.3. As a group, they were less likely to report use of mirthful behaviors to express humor, scoring 56.6 out of a possible 105 on the Situational Humor Response Questionnaire.
An analysis of association between the patients’ sense of humor and well-being measures suggested that the higher their score on the sense of humor scales, the lower were their symptoms of depression and anxiety. A sense of humor was significantly associated with enhanced psychological functioning and better quality of life. And though the relationship was not as strong, a higher sense of humor score also was linked to fewer recent sick days.
Emery noted that because of the nature of the study, the researchers can’t be certain which came first – the sense of humor or the better well-being.
When it came to laughter, however, the results were a surprise. Patients watching comedy videos did laugh more than patients who watched instructional videos, as expected. But follow-up pulmonary tests showed that those participants who laughed also had more air trapped in their lungs afterwards, a sign of reduced lung function.
“During laughter, we’re expiring more air than we’re inhaling so it’s a potential way of ridding our lungs of stale air. COPD is characterized by this increased air trapping, so our hypothesis was that laughter would reduce some of that trapped air,” Lebowitz Feingold said. “But in hindsight, the findings make sense. With laughter, people also are introducing an increased amount of air into their lungs compared with a normal breath. These patients have trouble getting the air out, so they are taking in more air with laughter, but they cannot easily expire that air, leaving them with increased trapped air following laughter.”
She noted, too, that the study measured only the acute response to laughter.
“We can’t tell if this effect is cumulative, how long it might last, or whether it has any impact on physical health or pulmonary function long-term,” she said.
Co-authors of the study include Sooyeon Suh of the Department of Psychology and Philip Diaz of the Department of Internal Medicine, both at Ohio State. 

I wanted to post a note to this.  Since diagnosed I have had opportunity to laugh and be happy and didn't notice any change. The thing is it was just a ha ha laugh, not a belly laugh.

At Christmas on two occasion's I had an actually belly laugh, no stopping, tears streaming, can't stop... kind of laugh and noticed that even while I was out of control laughing my lungs burned.  It was like I voided them of all air, but couldn't stop laughing.  It was scary.  I have a problem emptying my lungs anyway... and when there is no air there it is frightening.  I excused myself to the bathroom both time with my O2 until I felt better.  But after both episodes I felt queasy and dizzy.

So... is laughter the best medicine?  I guess yes, unless you have severe Copd.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Some very good information on Oxygen usage

Oxygen Treatment for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Oxygen treatment increases the amount of oxygen that flows into your lungs and bloodstream. If your COPD is very bad and your blood oxygen levels are low, getting more oxygen can help you breathe better and live longer.
There are several ways to deliver the oxygen, including:

Recommended Related to COPD

Doctors may make a diagnosis from reported symptoms and findings from the physical exam. For many conditions, however, a diagnosis cannot be made without conducting tests. This is especially true for lung diseases. Individuals with COPD are often diagnosed with "pulmonary emphysema." This means the air sacs, or "alveoli," of the lungs are damaged. These tiny sacs cannot be seen directly in a physical exam. So, health care providers depend on a series of tests. These tests help them diagnose...
  • Oxygen concentrators.
  • Oxygen-gas cylinders.
  • Liquid-oxygen devices.
You don't have to stay at home or in a hospital to use oxygen. Oxygen systems are portable. You can use them while you do your daily tasks.

What To Expect After Treatment

Long-term oxygen treatment may improve your quality of life. It can help you live longer when you have severe COPD and low oxygen levels. You may notice less shortness of breath and have more energy.

Why It Is Done

Long-term oxygen therapy is used for COPD if you have low levels of oxygen in your blood (hypoxia). It is used mostly to slow or prevent right-sided heart failure. It can help you live longer.
Oxygen may be given in a hospital if you have a rapid, sometimes sudden, increased shortness of breath (COPD exacerbation). Oxygen can also be used at home if the oxygen level in your blood is too low for long periods.
Long-term oxygen therapy should be used for at least 15 hours a day with as few interruptions as possible. Regular use can reduce the risk of death from low oxygen levels.1 To get the most benefit from oxygen, you use it 24 hours a day.
An arterial blood gas test should be done first to see if you need oxygen. You may not be able to get Medicare reimbursement for home oxygen therapy without this test. If your test results do not meet the following guidelines, Medicare may not pay for home oxygen therapy:
  • Arterial partial pressure of oxygen (PaO2) is less than or equal to 55 mm Hg (millimeters of mercury, a measure of pressure).
  • Arterial oxygen saturation is less than or equal to 88%.
  • Arterial partial pressure of oxygen (PaO2) is between 56 mm Hg and 59 mm Hg, or oxygen saturation is 89% and you have:
  • Arterial oxygen saturation is greater than 88% when you are resting but becomes less than or equal to 88% when you are exercising or sleeping.

How Well It Works

Several studies show that using oxygen at home for more than 15 hours a day increases quality of life and helps people live longer when they have severe COPD and low blood levels of oxygen.12 Oxygen therapy has good short-term and long-term effects in people with COPD.3
Using oxygen may also improve confusion and memory problems. It may improve impaired kidney function caused by low oxygen levels.


Generally, there are no risks from oxygen treatment as long as you follow your doctor's instructions. But oxygen is a fire hazard, so it is important to follow safety rules. Do not use oxygen around lit cigarettes, open flames, or anything flammable.
Oxygen is usually prescribed to raise the PaO2 to between 60 and 65 mm Hg or the saturations from 90% to 92%. Higher flow rates usually do not help, and they can even be dangerous.

What To Think About

People using oxygen should not smoke.
Do not use oxygen around lit cigarettes or an open flame. If you or those who care for you smoke, or if there are other risks for fire, it is important to consider oxygen treatment very carefully because of the danger of fire or explosion.
You may need oxygen in certain situations, including:
  • During exercise. For some people with COPD, blood oxygen levels drop only when they exercise or are very active. Using oxygen during exercise may help boost performance and reduce shortness of breath for some people. But there are no studies that show any long-term benefits from using oxygen during exercise.
  • During sleep. During sleep, breathing naturally slows down because the body doesn't need as much oxygen. Sleep-related breathing disorders are quite common in people with COPD, and many will have significantly low blood oxygen levels during sleep.
  • For air travel. The level of oxygen in airplanes is about the same as the oxygen level at an elevation of 8000 ft (2438 m). This drop in oxygen can really affect people with COPD. If you normally use oxygen or have borderline-low oxygen levels in your blood, you may need oxygen when you fly. Traveling with oxygenusually is possible. But it is important to plan ahead before you travel.

Friday, January 6, 2012

I love my new Kindle Touch

I am trying to get off caffeine.  I am wondering if that has anything to do with my tachycardia?  Anyway, the last 2 days I have had killer headaches.  I have been drinking decaf tea with liquid Stevia, and also made some decaf Green Tea sweetened with the Stevia.

I went to the doctor for a follow up for my cyst.  He said it looked great and should heal very well.  While there I asked him how long caffeine withdrawal lasts?  He asked why, and then said well, you could take Excedrin because it will take care of my headaches and it has caffeine which will stop the headaches.  Hmmmmmmm...... to me this sounds like chasing one condition with a substitute that is the condition you were giving away in the first place.  lol

Bill bought me a Kindle Touch for Christmas.  It has taken me some time to get used to it, but now I love it!  The last two days Bill hasn't felt good and has napped a lot, so I have been reading.  No T.V. on, no Stereo on... just silence and a good book.

I have had a few bad days lately.  A heavy chest, air not quite getting to where it needs to go, and these headaches.  So, I was almost grateful that Bill was sleeping most the day.  I don't know about anyone else, but when I am around people and I don't feel well, I put on a good front and get up and do things I don't feel like doing at all.  So, on days that I can just curl up with a blanket and a book I cherish the day.  It just doesn't happen often. Either Bill is around, or we have Layla or we need to go somewhere.

One of these days I will need to have another talk with Bill to remind him that I just can't do what I used to all the time.  He does SO much anyway that I feel terrible and very guilty when he is up doing laundry and I am sitting.  So I will get up and vacuum or dust, or change the beds.
This is part of the disease I hate the most.  It's watching someone work while I just sit here.  Some days I just sit and tell him I am sorry but I just can't do much today.  But other days even though I am struggling I will still try and match his work.

Priscilla is getting cabin fever and will just run and jump from couch to reclining chair and do circles that way.  It scares the poo out of the other two dogs.  I need to get her out walking, but it's been so cold in the mornings and air quality warnings in the afternoons.  I may have to find a dog walker.  She still is my clown.  For no apparent reason at 4 or 5 a.m. she will sit up and start talking to me.  Kind of a chortling sound.  She will keep it up until I answer her, then quiet down for a few minutes and start up again.  The other morning I just gave up trying to go back to sleep and turned on the early news and sat up and chatted with my dog.  I'll bet not many people can say they do that?!  lol

Thursday, January 5, 2012

If I am going to be honest, I can have no secrets

This is a blog I NEVER thought I would ever do.  So, squint... or look away... or scroll down if you can't take it.  I know this is huge (notice the pun) for me!

So... Here is the part I can't believe I am doing.... I am posting before pictures of me online for the whole world to see.  This is huge... I don't even like to see myself in the mirror getting dressed every morning.  I rarely think of myself as this big because I honestly look in mirrors from my waist up and because I have gained so much weight... when I look down I can't see over my boobs anyway.

Here we go.......................................drum roll.................................................
I am literally breaking out in a sweat showing those.  That is me.  I hope the next "after" pictures will make me proud.  Break the shame pattern that all overweight people have.  I want to feel better and be healthier for myself.  I'll bring you along the journey.  I have nothing else to hide.

This blog was meant to be honest.  To hide nothing, to show the entire effects of Copd.... so How could I leave out a large (another pun) part of it?  I would be telling a lie, and that's not what this is about.
Copd seems to go one of two ways.  Either you need to gain weight, or you need to lose it.  Both I hear are equally as hard.

So... In December Brittney bought a diet book after seeing it on Dr. Phil and The Doctors.  It's called P.I.N.K. Method and it stands for ....Power.  Intensity.  Nutrition.  "K"ardio.
Pinks theory (very simply put) is that "the proof is in the plants".  That for years scientists and The American Cancer Society Researchers studied nearly 80,000 healthy adults for 10 years. They found that men and women who munched on 19 or more servings of vegetables a week didn't develop belly fat,  while those who ate meat more than 7 times a week did.  And, if you think about it 7 times a week isn't much considering that you eat a minimum of 23 meals per week.
Protein to your body is like a repairman.  It helps maintain muscle and healthy tissue.  It helps the immune system remain strong.  It gives us energy.

There is good protein and bad.  Of course Fish, Foul, Lean Beef and Pork, Non fat Yogurt (especially Greek) and nuts and whole grains are good sources of protein.

So... Here is the skinny (I am full of pun's today!) on this diet is this.

Part one is called The reset.  This you are on depending on your weight only a certain amount of time.  I will be on it 14 days.
"The reset is geared for fast weight loss prior to starting the PINK workouts."  "How fast?"  In this 14 day period I should lose 10 pounds or more.

After this portion of the diet, exercise comes in.  Even for me (who can't exercise right now) there is a plan.  Being a little more active around the house, drinking my water.... 90 ounces a day.  Yes NINETY OUNCES!  This amount will go down as my weight does.

So, now I am getting up in the morning and drinking a cup or two of decaf tea (yes, I gave up caffeine also) then at around 10:00 a.m. I drink a smoothie made from Coconut Milk Fat free/Dairy Free, protein powder and a handful of strawberries and blend it.  It actually is almost too much to drink.  It keeps me full until afternoon.  Afternoon I am supposed to eat 4 ounces of protein and veggies.  At dinner again 4 ounces of protein and veggies.  All day and evening I can snack on all the veggies I want.  Morning is the only time I can have fruit.

I reset my weight loss counter to zero and I will post my loss or gains.  I am hoping this works.  I was not made to be overweight.  I have a small person living inside this body.  And, not just for vanity... It will help my breathing greatly.  It will hopefully allow me to get up and walk more, to exercise in small increments again.  And, I just want to feel better and more in control of myself.

I have been dieting for 2 years now and only lost a total of 26 pounds.  It shows how out of control my eating habits are.  I can make a ton of excuses for myself and some of them are valid.  Like other people, my exercise is so limited.  Yes, I can and should sit in  my chair and do arm lifts with light weights (which I own).  I should not eat late night meals.  I really don't have a chocolate or ice cream or candy habit.  I have a cheese and bread and meat problem.  As outlined in this and every other diet those are weight loss killers.  So, I need to find a way to eat them in small quantities.  I used to drink whole milk and a lot of it, and I gave it up for skim milk.  I used to eat a lot of butter and cook with it.  Now I use Canola oil butter which is half the fat and calories and to cook with I almost exclusively use olive oil.

I just have bad eating habits and for years I got away with it because I was active, or I substituted smoking for food.  Now I am on my own and now I NEED to make permanent changes.  Wish me  luck.