Wednesday 12 June 2024

Wednesday 12th June - My Oxygenated Life

I arrived at my respiratory rehab class with TWO oxygen cylinders; one on the back pack and one in a sort of trolley that was supplied by the oxygen company.  They wanted me to do an 'endurance walk test' but needed extra to use a higher oxygen flow in order that I would be able to walk for longer.

However, one cylinder is only just enough for the normal rehab session, so doing a test, even a short test, would jeopardise the longish walk back through the hospital at the end. 

Hence the extra cylinder.

Well, on the usual 6 l/m flow rate I 'endured' walking up and down between the cones for a mere 100 seconds, before I staggered to a halt gasping like a landed fish. On 9 l/m I managed a full 3 minutes, and remembered to stop a bit sooner so that I wasn't so completely out of breath. Result! At least, the physio thought so.

Years ago we were walking in a Country Park in Canada with friends, and we had nearly finished the circuit round the lake when the heavens opened. I don't think I have ever experienced such a drenching cloudburst. 

The same lake, on a different occasion!

'Quick, let's make a dash for it' they said, and ran the short distance along the path and up a few steps to the shelter of the visitor centre. I guess they were in the dry in just a couple of minutes.

I shall always treasure the look of sheer astonishment on their faces as we walked slowly along the path, as wet as though we had taken a shower in our clothes, and puffed up the steps. (I say we; true love is my BB holding my hand and staying with me in the deluge). But there was absolutely no way I could have gone any faster. And it was then that they realised how much the pulmonary fibrosis was already affecting me.

Luckily we were in the middle of a bit of a heatwave, and our clothes pretty much dried on our backs as we sat in the sun, steaming gently, once the rain had finished.

Well, hopefully the exercises and the going for walks will help me add a couple more seconds to these 'endurance ' walk tests. I've only five sessions left, and now I'm in the groove I don't really want them to end.


  1. And even though we moved faster we got just as drenched. My enduring memory from that is of my nearest and dearest taking off his t-shirt and wringing it out before putting it back on to get into the truck. We couldn’t have been more wet if we’d jumped into a swimming pool!

    1. That was quite a trip, and not just for the rainwater bath!

  2. After his heart op, my Dad had to go to the hospital for a walking treadmill test. The medic with him was called out to answer the phone,. When he returned 20 minutes later, dad was still plodding away. The guy was mortified "it was supposed to be a maximum of 5 minutes, Sir. Why didn't you stop?" Dad said"when it started, you told me to keep going... So I did! "

    1. So the heart op must have been a success then? 😉

  3. Well done Kirsten, it's not easy.