Monday, April 18, 2016

The Journey - Got Oxygen?

Have you ever passed wheel-chaired folks at the mall or in Sprouts? A significant fraction of the time, these same folks may have been hooked up to a canister of Oxygen. I try not to stare. After all it wasn't by choice these folks are strapped to all those tubes and nose-gear. They're just trying to breath.

Some are hooked up permanent--we're talking OCP, maybe lung cancer, maybe damaged their lungs in some fashion and are need all the help they can get.

Or, maybe  they're like me. Need some help while they're recovering from some surgery. Eventually, they can wean themselves off the pure stuff and go back good old air.

Soooooo, here's a little education about Oxygen delivery systems. First of all, some terminology.

The nose piece - you know, that attractive two-pronged dealie the fits into your nostrils. Looks uncomfortable huh? It's not so bad.

Terminology - Cannula

How does one wear such a thing you ask. I will give you a quick lesson in the cowboy hat method.

1. Insert prongs into nostrils - prong down
2. Come straight away from the nose and over the ear (obviously on each side).
3. Cinch little plastic bead under chin to keep cannula in place

Oxygen Delivery Systems.

Hospital - Basically the entire hospital is a delivery system. Just plug into a wall.

Compressor- This is what I'm hooked up to even as we speak. From my cannula I have fifty feet of tubing leading to this gray box that sucks in air and condenses it and feeds me a continuous stream (4l/min) of o2. Unless this guy breaks down I will pump o2 into my nose 'til the cows come home.

But, you ask, how did you get from the hospital to home and what will you use on errands?

Glad you asked.

Along with my compressor, LifeCare Solutions delivered six rolly canisters. When I came home from the hospital, I connected to one of these for the ride. At 4l/min these bad boys will last about and hour and a half. Doing the math, that makes each one hold 6 liters of 02.

Okay that enough for today. Be well. Keep breathing. 


  1. Try not to get hooked on the pure stuff! Hope you get all better very soon.

  2. Just found out about all this, Bob. Wishing you a speedy recovery from this and from all setbacks. Colon cancer is a bummer - NO PUN intended. Love you and rooting for you. - Carol