Saturday, 25 May 2013

Hiking with oxygen

Yesterday my partner and I went for a little hike around the bird sanctuary. I should probably preface this by saying that my doctors have told me that I need to doing low-stress endurance type exercise 2-3 times a week. I did very well in March when I first left the hospital, I even joined the gym and did a 5 km walk (the 'Transplant Trot') in April. However, since my appointment in May when I found out that my lung functions had dipped down again despite all my efforts, I've kind of stopped exercising as much. And by 'kind of', I mean I have stopped.

So with that in mind, my partner drug me out for a hike declaring that it was time I got back into it. *sigh* Another aspect of exercising is that I have been prescribed oxygen for when I "exert" myself. I've been lucky that I haven't had to use oxygen full time yet so I realize that having to use it while exercising is not that bad compared to some people. However, I still have not gotten use to wearing it outside of the house. I have the little tanks so I can use it when I exercise out of the house which is super convenient. If only they could make a way so the tubes were somehow invisible. I need Harry Potter's invisible cloak for the tubing. I guess I'm self conscious and embarrassed of needing the oxygen. I hate feeling sick and having to wear oxygen while in public makes me feel sick.

I hear stories from people about how they know someone who takes their oxygen everywhere and how it has not stopped them from doing anything. Those people are fabulous and while I do not want to stop doing what I want to do due to self-consciousness, I would rather not take the oxygen with me. I can hear my sister and mother in my heading telling me that I need to just 'get over it' and that there is nothing I can do about it and I need to just carry on. I hate when they are right.

Back to the hike yesterday, I get off topic so fast, I decided that since I do feel better when I am using oxygen while exercising, I need to suck it up and hope no one sees me. I put the oxygen tank in my little backpack and off we went. It took me until the bottom of the hill to decide that I should probably actually turn the oxygen on and start using it. We only met one other walker and I was pretty quick to whip the cord off my face and drink some water to try to distract from the cords. I do not know what I'm so self-concious about. I mean, if I saw someone hiking with oxygen, I would just think 'good for them' and not really think about it.

So I need to just strap on the oxygen tank and go on doing what I can for now because it probably won't be too long before I no longer have the option. If using it now will help me avoid using it full time, then I need to get over myself because I'm sure no one is really paying attention.

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