Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Mick McKellar Update -- Day +1821

How can I smell a rose,
with a hose in my nose?
Testing, Testing…
     Guess who didn’t pass this afternoon’s test? My doctors were unwilling to simply accept the “one-off” results from yesterday, so today the Mayo Clinic giveth and it taketh away. My arterial blood gasses test this morning revealed my O2 at 88.2%. Uh oh...
     So, they put me on a treadmill and tested my oxygen saturation under dynamic stress. Under moderate stress and load (walking quickly uphill) I dropped below 87% and all the red lights and beepers went off at once. It seems I now need minimum oxygen when in motion.
     The nurse/technician explained all the dangers of the 88% drop off, including heart disease, organ damage, and risk of injury. I guess I have joined the oxygen for lunch bunch. At least, I don't need O2 when at rest. I maintained quite well when sitting still. 
     Also, they were concerned about my travel home in an unpressurized plane without portable oxygen. Next time you see me, I will likely be sporting my new nasal cannula. (Not a fashion accessory!) The only company available to me, Lincare, provides the portable oxygen concentrator only for the flight. Otherwise, I will work with a home concentrator and 2-hr bottles of compressed O2.
     It seems that once again my life hands me wondrously ripe fruit (a curable infection, not a worsening of my underlying lung disorder) with a nasty, little worm in it (a 50 ft. plastic worm called cannula). I can take heart from this bit of wisdom from the Lincare web site: “Patients may live for years on home oxygen.”
     It shall be my goal to improve to the point where I don’t need the supplemental oxygen. BTW, that concentrator? It sounds like an old asthmatic gasping for breath…

Mick, with a hose in his nose…

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