Friday, February 24, 2012

Oxygen Blues

Wednesday was just one of those days where everything seemed to go wrong. The worst part about it was that it involved the oxygen I'm supposed to use all day, every day, and the tanks that hold the liquid oxygen. I realized the day before that one of them wasn't working, and the other one had only 2 bars left. Considering that I get the tanks filled on Fridays, I knew I wouldn't really have enough to last until then! So Wednesday morning I called the office and told them that I now had no bars on the working tank, and no backup. That is the part that frustrates me the most. Ever since I got liquid oxygen, I have not been allowed to have a concentrator as back up in case something happens to the tanks and I'm stuck. Like Wednesday!! Anyway, the one guy doing the liquid o2 route called me back to find out what was happening, and told me he would rearrange his route to include me and that he'd be there before noon. Ok, sounds good. He got here and switched out the non-working tank with a much bigger tank that would definitely last until Friday. Ok, sounds good. Hours later, I realized that the o2 was very lightly coming out of the cannula (the thing that goes up my nose!), so I went to play around with the tank. I cranked it all the way up to 10, the highest it can go. Usually 10 feels like someone is sandblasting your nose hairs off because it's so powerful. But it was barely coming out! I knew something was wrong. I turned off the tank and let it sit for a couple hours, because I know sometimes that helps build pressures back up inside the tank for it to work again. I took a nap. Almost 3 hours later, I checked the tank: nothing. UGH. So I had to call the office again, only now it was after hours, so I left a message. The on-call guy called me back 10 minutes later, and I told him what was going on. He was in my area, so he came by. He decided to give me a concentrator. He brought one in, and guess what? It's broken!! He said some swear words (which, ok, that is so not professional, but I had been swearing most of the day anyway and by that time I didn't even care what he said! lol), and said that he had another concentrator, except that it was a pediatric one and only went up to 2. I'm supposed to be on 3. I didn't care at that point, I needed SOMETHING!! So he brought in the concentrator, and started setting it up. I mentioned how the other guy brought a tank that morning, and so he called that guy on his phone using the walkie talkie feature. Now let me tell you about swearing. The guy being called said a heck of a lot more swear words than the guy who was there, but like I said, I didn't care!! lol  Soooo, the guy who had brought the tank in the morning had to come back, but couldn't get there for another couple hours. I just used the concentrator in the meantime. O2 guy #1 got to my house around 8pm, and wanted to know what the heck I did to the tank?? lol He took the tank that had run out of o2 back to the truck to try to fill it, but since he had done all his runs all day long, he wasn't sure how much was left in the truck. He filled it as best he could, and it seemed to work just fine, so he left. However, 45 minutes later, I realized that once again nothing was coming out of the cannula. UGH!!!! The pressure gauge had dropped to zero, so that meant nothing was being pumped out of the tank. Thank goodness he never took the concentrator back! I ended up using the concentrator all night!!

I woke up yesterday morning after my alarm went off at 9, and took a look at the tanks. Since they had both been off all night for hours, enough pressure had built up in each of them so that they were now usable. I was also able to fill my little Helios so I could leave the house. THANK GOODNESS!! I didn't want to have to call again yesterday morning, because that would've meant I'd have to cancel  my plans while waiting for someone to show up again. I was actually able to enjoy my Thursday!! I went to rehab, visited a friend after, and then came home to change and eat something quick before meeting a couple other friends for coffee. Thursday was definitely so much better than Wednesday!!

Today is my normal Friday oxygen fill. I didn't want to miss whoever is showing up today to fill the tanks, so I haven't even showered yet. lol  I want to make sure that things go right today so I'm not stuck in a position like I was on Wednesday! So hopefully someone shows up soon since I do have other things I need to do today, outside the house! 

No comments: