My Double Lung Transplant

Friday, April 25, 2008

" you have CF or something??"

I was asked this question again today, for probably the millionth time, when the O2 guy came when I called them in despair, pretty convinced that I had somehow destroyed the liquid O2 portable thing. I got liquid O2 yesterday b/c i hate the tanks b/c they are the devil and they weigh a ton. They are the abominable snowman to anyone with lung disease b/c they do not allow you to be mobile - they weigh you down and siffle you out like baking soda siffles fire. So blah blah blah, my RT came, set up the stuff, showed me how to use it, I acted like I understood, and off she went on her merry way, happily skipping along down the drive way, 4 oxygen tanks clasped in her arms.

Today rolled around and I went to fill my portable liquid o2 tank. Honestly, it looks like a mini 3CPO about the size of a thermas (or a 'huge beer' as the O2 guy pointed out today). With liquid O2, you need to fill it up about half an hour before you go out. You can't fill it the night before you go out somewhere b/c it will evaporate - b/c it's liquid. Liquid O2 is stored at -300*C so if it gets on you, it burns, and let me tell you, i discovered that today. I discovered it more so than most people should have the pleasure of discovering.

I went into the garage and attempted to fill the portable O2. There is a weight gage you can attach that lets you know how full or empty it is. It was empty. So i attempted to fill it. When it fills it screams and there's a bunch of mist. The mist and the screaming subside as it fills. You are supposed to leave it on for 30 seconds b/c that's how long it takes. After the 30 seconds, you wait 15 to hook the nasal prongs to it.

So i go to fill it...turn it over, attach it to the BIG liquid O2 container, pull down the latch, and it screams.

It screams and it screams and it screams and it plumes out liquid smoke and starts sputtering and it hasn't even been attached for 10 seconds. I shat a brick; i took it off and it stopped. I checked the weight and there wasn't much in it so i waited till i went to leave to decided to attempt it again. The volcano (as it's actually called) happened again but like, a million times worse.

This time it started spewing liquid (the portable) and it was dripping and bouncing off the garage floor, and as it hit the floor is simmered. It burned my fingers and i thought that somehow, i had broken and killed it. I ran to the driveway and squatted where it screamed and plumed for a good 20 minutes, just in time for my dad to come home and witness the whole thing.

When this happened you're supposed to call your O2 company and tell them so I did but no one was there so i left a msg. I covered it with a towel in an attempt to stop it but to no avail; it 'burnt' right threw it and kept on spewing. The whole 3CPO thermas froze over - everywhere - it froze so much that the plastic froze off in SHARDS and stuck to the faded cement of my driveway. PLASTIC SHARDS! I HAVE OFFICIALLY DESTROYED MEDICAL PROPERTY!!!!


My dad - being the science guy - came to the rescue and said that there had to be a problem with the closing valve. Long story short, when i came home from rehab the O2 ppl had sent a guy and I explained what happened, terrified that I had somehow ruined the oxygen.

And thankfully, the whole thing happened to the O2 guy just as it had me, and I was thankful that I wasn't the cause of the whole fuck up. He said it was the equipment, and i told him to take it with him and fix it b/c I was officially afraid to use it b/c i might blow up. So i went to his truck b/c he wanted to give me a tank and he said the smalled he had was an M6- which is HUGE if you're me. I said it was ok, that I dont' feel well enough to leave the house anyway and their size was the reason i had switched to liquid. He must have noticed that I was huffing and puffing b/c he looked at me and said, " you have CF or something?"

I said, "No...bronchiectasis - but you're close."

"What are your sats?"


"In the 80's"

"You should take this with you..."

*wants to run away*

I really wanted to tell him to STFU and that it was ok but instead he left and I am portable O2-less.

It's ok.

I think that's it for today's drama.

Yesterday my drive home from rehab was diverted when the main road was blocked. It backed traffic up like a bad bowel and it took me an hour to get home. I called my mum and asked, "Is there some fucking nuclear meltdown that I wasn't informed about, b/c i'm pretty sure traffic is backed up all the way to hell and that i'll never get home" and she had no answer. And that was yesterday's drama.

And this is todays....all completely random.

My hand is tired from typing. Good night.


Alice said...

Wish I had had liquid O2... maybe they don't even have it here in South Africa... who knows. Maybe they just didn't tell me about it because they wanted me to buy the expensive portable O2 concentrator... bastards..

Kira said...

Oh that sounds like fun?! If it were my sister in the situation she would be running around screaming. I can imagine how much that burns, I have had liquid nitrogen slightly splash and boy that hurts. Sending heaps of Hugs your way and I am enjoying reading your blog its so interesting and I love you style of writing it always has me smiling.
Hugs, Kira