Contributed by Bob “Oxygen Man” Rawlins, oxygen user and consultant to CAIRE Inc. ~
If I blink, I won’t be able to tell you what I did this summer. How about you?
There always seems to be a year that just goes by so fast at times it’s like feeling you can’t catch your breath.
This has been that year for me so far. The kids head back to school next week and all the activities are starting to ramp up. It’s crazy!!!
I think this also will be one of the best and worst summers of my life. Let me explain.
The bad first
I have been failing my lung tests consistently on each doctor’s visit.
Causing both my family and me to deal with this disappointing news that has been challenging for us at times. We have been on this journey for almost six years and are used to some of this.
However you try and prepare for this, you know one day it will happen. But, until it does, I don’t think you can fully prepare for it. Can you relate?
Disappointment is something we all must deal with whether you are on a similar journey as I am or just facing life’s challenges themselves. It’s life as we know it and we can embrace or chase our emotions.
We’ve seen some of our friends deal with aging parents as we have, and making life altering decisions for them and us. It is never easy.
Friends that are sick — some battling cancer and overcoming this awful disease and looking forward to their next journey as the sickness goes into remission.
Unfortunately, I had a friend lose a son at the young age of 32 in hospice because the cancer had spread so very quickly. The young man was a father of a newborn less than two years old. It is so very sad.
None of us knows when our time is called, and we are summoned by the Great Almighty. We can prepare as much as possible, but you never really can, don’t you think?
The good stuff
I am officially listed on the Double Lung Transplant List, so the waiting begins.
This is very much something you can never prepare for either. However, having the support of loved ones and friends around make it much easier.
There were lots of discussions and questions before my family and I made this decision.
This is a major decision. Those of you who have already gone through it, please share, if not. Think it through.
I met with tons of doctors and medical professionals to discuss this opportunity for me and my family. I am convinced it is the best decision and will allow me to seek a longer life. This will allow me to spend more time with my family and friends and give me a chance to break and set new records into the future.
I have the “’tude” for this, no doubt. It didn’t happen overnight. As my tests showed the need, I still was a bit hesitant. My doctors really wanted me to list much earlier but I wasn’t ready mentally.
Friends, you must be “all-in” with no hesitation. The surgery, as I’ve been told is the easy part. The rehab after is the most difficult. The better shape I am in before the surgery will help me recover better after the surgery. I’m sure I will have much more to blog about as this journey progresses.
Also, we all fared well health-wise this summer. Thank God!
I got to go on a beach vacation on the Jersey Shore, (my happy place), for the first time in almost a two-year sabbatical. This has always been a family vacation every year after we moved away permanently, since I don’t know how long. It was extremely refreshing to recharge the batteries and relax with family and friends.
Another highlight is that I got to touch base with so many people through support groups and chats both live and online. The inspiration from others who share their journey is priceless. I encourage all of us to continue to share and learn about the journey we are on.
Don’t procrastinate in anything you do, find your purpose and dive in. You won’t just help yourself, but you will help others as well.
I saw all my kids and grandkids this summer, so special. Sigh.
It hasn’t happened in a long time that we all got together at once. I am so blessed and so fortunate.
This makes my next journey much more important for me to conquer and get ready for. Now and after.
Friends we never know what’s around the corner, but we can focus on what is in front of us, every day!
Please pray for me and my family.
Love you all,
Coach “Oxygen Man” Bob
Bob Rawlins, 61, of Medina, Ohio, is husband to Terese and father to their 16-year-old triplets, a soccer coach, a hospital volunteer, band dad and chaperone, and marketing guru. He uses a FreeStyle Comfort portable oxygen concentrator and a transportable oxygen concentrator for overnight travel.
If you have been prescribed oxygen therapy, learn more about CAIRE by visiting www.caireinc.com/patients or by calling 1-800-482-2473 to talk to an oxygen advisor. The contents of this blog post are not intended to substitute for professional medical advice.
Please consult your physician for personalized medical advice. When using any oxygen therapy device please consult the applicable product instructions for use for product indications, contraindications, warnings, precautions, and detailed safety information.
Image by Fathromi Ramdlon from Pixabay