‘Lenny’ is my constant companion the doctors call COPD/Asthma. Naming my constant health companion seems to make life easier for me in relating to my disease as it gives it a bit of a personality. Besides treating ‘Lenny’ as a companion, come good days or bad, is much better than always dealing with it as an enemy.
This ‘Lenny and Me for Today’ is an occasional write about the adventures and handling of life together of ‘Lenny’ and me.
Let’s see where ‘Lenny’ and Me have been most recently – My Oxygen Levels…..
Recently I read a posting about the difference between normal and low oxygen levels and I found it much interesting.
In turn, the read made me stop and think about my own dealings with oxygen levels within my own battles with COPD and severe Asthma.
When I was diagnosed with late Stage III COPD a little over four years ago, the pulmonologist immediately put me on supplemental oxygen 24/7 which surprised me at first and definetly made for a major change in routines.
For nearly a year and a half I was on that supplemental oxygen, until I decided to change my oxygen provider and was required to have updated testing done on my breathing and oxygen levels.
It was diagnosed that my oxygen levels did not drop often enough and stay low long enough to be covered by my medicare and supplemental insurance, so I was left with a choice – either come up with the money to cover the cost or go without.
I choose to go without and after a few weeks of being very leery of how I did nearly anything, I soon discovered that at this point of my battles with COPD and severe Asthma I could survive without having oxygen 24/7. Being on a C-Pap machine for sleep apnea made the oxygen need unnecessary for those times I was to be sleeping, so I became supplemental oxygen free once again.
What I discovered was that at this point I could still survive without the oxygen and have been very grateful for that. But I also understand that because I do not have oxygen available even in emergencies, I have to work at always keeping those levels in mind.
It means I carry my oximeter with me nearly every I go, especially when I know I may be doing anything with much physical effort or a walk that includes a steep incline or stairs.
Most of the time my oxygen level stays between 92-94, but it does not take much effort many days to exert myself and find “Lenny’ flaring up and dropping my oxygen levels to around 90 and if it is a ‘weather’ day of humidity, fierce wind or odor/smoke in the air – then it can plummet to 88 in a hurry.
My worst enemy can be just taking a shower and that is hard because I for one would like to take a bit hotter shower, but if it gets steamy enough – just the physical effort you put on taking a steamy shower can and will agitate ‘Lenny’, which in turn will drop my oxygen level to as low as 87. While it will not stay there for very long, my body will feel the results for a while.
Compared to many, I am doing great – but I also know how quickly my ‘Lenny’ can and will flare up and that I know is just the way life is now for me.
So, for now, I am still supplemental oxygen free with a constant thought on the mind directing me to keep in mind – will my next event run the risk of agitating ‘Lenny’ and dropping that very valuable oxygen level to critical.
And that my friends, is where ‘Lenny’ (my COPD/Asthma) and me are at 4 today.
As always – if you or anyone you know have any symptoms involving lung and breathing functionality, and they linger over and over while disrupting a lifestyle – then please ask questions and get it checked out.
Remember – ‘a person without good breathing, is a person without a good life’, so let’s do what we can, to learn what we can, to improve what we can.
I bid to all – smiles, prayers, blessings and steady breathing – Mr. William.
(Copyright@2017, CrossDove Writer through wheezingaway.com – no part of this write may be used or copied without written permission.)
NOTES: Sometimes we share what may seem like medical information, but we are only giving descriptions and highlights of various aspects of having COPD and/or Asthma and no way do we ever want our information to be considered medical treatment type of information, always consult your physician for more, clearer medical founded information.