The runaway train came down the track…

runaway train, oxygen blog

It was not actually a runaway train, it was a runaway wheelie-walker.

It was carrying my oxygen cylinder, and the nasal prongs were in my nose when the wheelie-walker decided to ignore the brakes were on and take off down the travellator slope.

The runaway train?

travellator

Well, as I said, it was not a train, it was my wheelie-walker that decided to run away.

The brakes were on, and I had used this particular travellator many times before without incident. My back was sore and with one hand I was holding onto the rail. I must have lifted the other briefly from the handle of the walker and it took off down the slope.

wheelie-walker with oxygen cylinder Paula screamed, but could do nothing because she was behind me. A one and a half metre nasal tube connected me to the cylinder on the front of the walker, and I know from experience how much it hurts when the nasal prongs are ‘yanked.’ Fortunately there was no one in front to be hit by the oxygen cylinder, but there was danger. (Other than to my nose.)

Worse than a runaway train

In any accident an unrestrained oxygen cylinder can become a ‘penetrating missile.’ As the technician who set all my equipment warned, “In an accident it will go off like a torpedo.”

torpedo

It was restrained on the wheelie-walker, but the wheelie-walker decided to make like a runaway train, dragging me by the nose. Painful.

Saved

I grabbed the nasal tube and pulled. Fortunately, the tube stayed connected to the nipple on the regulator. This stopped the walker’s flight and I was able to catch up with it, and safely exit the travellator.

A new complication in life at the end of an oxygen tube.

Lesson learned… don’t trust the brakes on the 4 wheel-walkers.

Please understand...

If you have a friend or relative who is oxygen-dependent, or chronically ill in a different life-limiting way, please don’t think they are making excuses when they say they cannot do something.

Several times I have been invited to coffee with the group in a shopping centre café and had to try to explain why I cannot join them. The shopping centre is built on a rather steep slope. Although I am assured the café is on a flat part, reaching it would mean walking, or trying to, walk up a hill at some point.

In my case I also have to ‘factor in’ how long I will be out of home so that I can work out the oxygen required, or number of batteries that will be needed for the portable oxygen concentrator.

A couple of resources

To help you understand the challenges and planning required by someone on oxygen 24/7

https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/living-at-the-end-of-an-oxygen-tube

About that runaway train… it was a song frequently played on Children’s’ Favourites radio programme.Listen here… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFJ3KayeUTc

The words… https://www.flashlyrics.com/lyrics/vernon-dalhart/the-runaway-train-11

Another ‘adventure’ in life at the end of an oxygen tube.

Susan