This is going to be a very busy couple of weeks. On Wednesday I graduate from pulmonary rehabilitation. The time went by so fast!!!! I have really enjoyed the program. Perhaps for the first time ever, I actually enjoyed exercise! I didn’t feel like I stuck out like a sore thumb amid the gym bunnies. I had help using the equipment without feeling like everyone was watching me (in a staring kind of way.) I felt totally safe pushing myself and I had access to all the oxygen I needed.
My biggest fear was that as I improved and could push myself harder, I needed more oxygen on the treadmill. The other equipment I was fine at three liters, but I need between six and eight liters to go full tilt on the treadmill.
My wonderful little concentrator that has given me more freedom since ditching the refill tanks only goes to four liters. I was really afraid they’d tell me I had to ditch my little concentrator for the tanks again.
Truth is, that day is coming no matter what. Yet, here I am with access to public transit that allows me to go anywhere, whenever I want, and just as I was beginning to enjoy real freedom, the refill tanks would take some of that freedom away. Oh yes, there are all kinds of creative ways to figure out how to haul around oxygen tanks, but you still have to go somewhere to fill them. You can’t plug them in while you’re sitting somewhere. And, you still have to physically carry enough oxygen for the day, plus enough to handle plans going awry.
Insurance does not allow you to have two systems. I don’t have the money to buy the concentrator, especially when I don’t know if it will meet my needs for another month, another six months or another year? Who knows? It is a miracle that my oxygen needs haven’t increased more in the last year.
I am so grateful to Inova Fairfax and the pulmonary rehab program! They have truly been my advocates. They have found a way for me to do a maintenance program so that I can continue to work out really hard, but keep my current system (for now) for my day-to-day normal stuff. This wasn’t going to be financially possible for me until I am actually listed for a lung…but they listened to me explain my situation and really worked to make a solution happen.
I have been so blessed so far in this journey. I have lots of friends who have given so much to help me get moved and get situated. I have been blessed to find the perfect place to live (minus a few bumps I’ll blog about another time). I have been blessed that I’ve been able to keep Finley with me.
Honestly, I don’t know how I would have gotten through this summer without him. Besides the helper dog things he does for me, he is my constant companion and distraction when I’m feeling discouraged or depressed. And, he makes me active even on the days when I don’t feel like it.
Things just seem to be falling together. It makes me hopeful that all is happening just as it is meant to be.
Thank you EVERYONE who has supported me with your time, talent, finances, and prayers. I wouldn’t have a chance at this without you