The bench was in the small local shopping centre and my breathing was ‘about to give out’. I used the oximeter and the saturation of oxygen in my blood was below 50. Impossible, some would say… but not if you work in the Respiratory field. Still not good.
A little indigenous Australian woman sat on the other end of the bench and, when I could I gasped out a greeting. She was sitting checking a ‘scratchie’ – I don’t know what other people call them, but to us here in Western Australia that’s what they are. Tickets that have areas to be scratched off with a coin in the hope of winning a sum of money.
The woman was pleased, and said to me a few minutes later, “You brought me luck, I’ve won $20.00,” and went off happily to claim her money.
I sat on the bench waiting for my oxygen level to come up enough for me to be able to walk.
No ambulance for me; the hospitals are full of ‘flu victims. I doubt if there would be an ambulance available.
No, I waited until I could walk again.
My little shopping centre has more than one bench
To be honest, most times I go there, I travel from bench to bench. I’ve met many interesting people as I recovered my breath on one of them. Some people had back pain, others were breathless, but I have never sat beside another oxygen user.
(As I explain in my soon-to-be-released eBook, Living at the end of an Oxygen Tube, not everyone who has COPD or Heart Failure is prescribed oxygen.)
Click (or tap) the image if you want to read the page about it.
Why so bad today?
I can only assume it was the ash from the bushfires. (Strange time of year for them here, but the freeway south had to be closed for a time.)
Yesterday (Thursday) was very windy and I kept the doors open so that my oxygen concentrator had some fresh air. (To extract the nitrogen from.)
But I was in my study working on putting ‘Living at the end of an Oxygen Tube into a print template’… and that’s time-consuming. When I took a break in the afternoon to watch a quiz show I like, I noticed there was a film of dust on the table as I walked past. I had only cleaned it the day before.
When the quiz was over, I turned off the TV and my Support Worker arrived, complaining of the ash in the air.
The suburb where the fire was burning is a long way from where I live but that wind must have been driving the ash. Maxine had to wash the ash from the surfaces it had gathered on. It was sticky and did not want to be dusted off. I tried.
The filter for the concentrator had to be washed, but for the time until it dried – the house has been quiet. Just the puffing as I take a breath from the Portable one.
Well, it is time to do my next task, and I am posting this early because I am busy this weekend.
God bless you all… and may you find a bench to sit on when you need one.