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Contributed by Bob Rawlins, oxygen user and consultant to CAIRE Inc. ~ 

So lately, when I have been volunteering at the hospital, or working out in my pulmonary therapy sessions, and even just walking around the neighborhood, there have been many questions about my oxygen therapy and the current machine I might be carrying that day.

Some are from users obviously, but many are also from friends or family members of those who have been prescribed oxygen therapy.

What is the most common of questions or thoughts do I receive you ask? Great question.

Many times, before the first question is asked is a comment from a non-user. “I wish my parents or friend could get around like that.” I then ask why they can’t.

Sometimes they know sometimes they don’t. You do have to have the proper prescription for the portable machines or even the tanks. But, I still say there is no reason someone on oxygen therapy, if they ask the right questions, can’t be more mobile and enjoy a freedom that they might not have looked into.

So, are you asking the right questions of your doctor? Have you done some research on your own or even discussed it with a fellow oxygen patient? If not, you are truly missing out. You have to trust me on this.

After I get into discussion with many, they soon realize that they might not have looked into it enough or they are new to oxygen therapy.

When I volunteer at the hospital, I get to walk the halls and go into patient rooms and ask if they need something. I have a cart with magazines, newspapers, playing cards, activity and coloring materials. There are novels, prayer blankets, most of the basic things. It is so rewarding and therapeutic for me. If your hospital doesn’t offer this kind of volunteer service, you should ask, it has done some good things for many. Another awesome service provided by the Cleveland Clinic.

On many days I go into rooms and have been asked to just sit down and talk about oxygen therapy and my personal experiences. Some might have just found out they are going on oxygen therapy for the first time. Remember that day, me too. Kind of scary right, but three years later, it’s a new way of life and much needed survival extra. Family members that are there also listen to what they might need to do to help a loved one or friend. It is good stuff!!!

So, tanks are good, but the machines, also called portable oxygen concentrators (or POCs), are better if you have the proper prescription from your doctor.

I have done both. I have had the automatic flow regulator and the pulse regulators for tanks from my oxygen supplier. Good, but the tanks are heavy, cumbersome, and don’t last long. I have had the pleasure of being served by some of the best people in that business. So, it has nothing to do with customer service. But, it is a nice plus!

I use, a combination of a POC and tanks, but I’m getting more and more away from the tanks. The way they make portable oxygen concentrators today and the technology used is just fantastic.

Especially, when it comes to CAIRE Medical and its people and products. There is none better. They want to provide you a life changing solution and they won’t just sell you a machine to pad their numbers, they want happy oxygen users. They want to enhance your freedom and set you free, lol!!!

I started researching from day one. Trying to get the best out of my tank use, asked tons of questions from many of my doctors and therapists and, other oxygen users.

Next time you go to your pulmonologist ask if you could talk with a respiratory therapist while you are there. Even someone in that department that knows about the technologies and solutions out there. ASK QUESTIONS!!!

There are many companies out there and many want to sell you a machine. Ask if you can try them out first, before you purchase. Most are not covered by insurance but sometimes you can get certain POCs approved, but it does take time. Honestly, the ones I’ve tried from the oxygen companies that have been approved are not worth the wait. The machines from CAIRE Medical for example are really good with the best technologies and they will work to help you get into a good fit for you and the lifestyle you can live.

So, ask questions! Research, breathe easier, and get your freedom and mobility.

Laugh every day, Touch a Heart, Till Next Time.

– Coach Bob

Bob Rawlins, 61, of Medina, Ohio, is husband to Terese and father to their 13-year-old triplets, a soccer coach, a hospital volunteer, and marketing guru. He uses a FreeStyle Comfort portable oxygen concentrator.  

When using any oxygen therapy device please consult the applicable product instructions for use for product indications, contraindications, warnings, precautions, and detailed safety information.

If you have been prescribed oxygen therapy, learn more about CAIRE by visiting or calling 1-877-704-0878 to talk to an oxygen advisor.