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Life Really IS Measured By the Breaths You Take

Posted on November 14, 2017 by Linda V

When I was growing up, I wanted to be just like my big sister and one day I discovered that, alas, it was happening. I didn’t get her long black hair, rapier wit or superior intelligence. Instead, I got her chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and her prescription for home oxygen. There was one major difference, however. She got homebound and depressed and I got telehomecare and an amazing support system.

I was determined not to become withdrawn and isolated and the telehomecare staff both supported my decision and encouraged me in every way possible through visits and phone calls.

During a brief stay in hospital, I discovered it was possible to use my oxygen meter as a biofeedback device and learned that, by paying attention to my oxygen saturation levels and adjusting my breathing, I could watch the saturation figures rise to a level that isn’t perfect but perfectly acceptable. Since then, my life has been normal enough to leave my doctor wondering if I have slipped her a ringer. A 'ringer,' in racing parlance, is sneaking in a lookalike horse which matches the general passport description of the real one but is capable of a better performance to take advantage of the odds.

Although I still have my oxygen at the ready, I have come to rely on it less and less. I needed it during a recent heat wave and if I exert myself more than usual, like when my inner domestic goddess emerges and reaches for the vacuum or decides to rearrange the furniture.

Since I monitor my oxygen saturation at will, I have been able to prevent serious problems. This has been aided and abetted by the splendid rapport I have with the telehomecare staff and I feel I can call my nurse there any time with questions or concerns. If she doesn’t have an instant answer to something she finds one very quickly and gets back to me without delay. It’s a remarkable system.

I would recommend telehomecare to any client and suspect this approach could allow many clients to live more satisfying lives and not feel hobbled or housebound by a piece of apparatus that limits freedom of movement and enjoyment of life and possibly save the healthcare system some money too.

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Linda is an avid reader, computer-lover and a self-proclaimed "Jill-of-all-trades". Despite her chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) diagnosis, she loves all aspects of life and is determined to explore it in all directions and still can as a telehomecare patient using connected devices to communicate with her care team.

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