Contributed by Bob “Oxygen Man” Rawlins, oxygen user and consultant to CAIRE Inc. ~
We get asked this question throughout our lives. Usually, when we are starting to interview for jobs, and then later when we are trying to advance our careers and achieve our dreams.
It took me years to realize that it may seem important to be able to answer those questions while on the journey, but where you end up makes you who you are and what others think of you.
Do you ever or have you ever worried about what people think? Obviously, we don’t want others to think poorly of us. However, if we aren’t intentionally hurting others but instead, become true to ourselves, isn’t that the most important thing?
Not selfishly, but confidently. On this journey we are fighting, and we must be true to ourselves and at times a bit selfish when it comes to our health.
This does make us special. We need to be different about how we approach certain things we do, and the activities we’d like to be involved in. You also are unique in this regard.
So, I was thinking about this and how many times in my life I’ve been asked, “What makes you unique, special, or different?” I would prepare for this before interviews, so it wasn’t too awkward.
I’d talk about the skills I have ¾ my accomplishments, personality strengths and weaknesses, and how I can help their company succeed. If you did this properly, you had an excellent chance of landing that gig, right?
All of these memories started me thinking about how I can take those things I’ve learned through a successful career, and put them to work on how the same principles could help me on this journey. A chronic illness is a challenge as normal life is every day. Drawing from my experiences could make me more receptive to living with the cards I’ve been dealt.
Becoming truer to myself and understanding the expectations I could honestly meet and grow with.
Failure is something we have all faced. In the career world, you can’t be afraid of failure, it is essential to our growth. Learn from it and move forward.
Now, while on this health journey. Failure seemed a bit more final, scary, and is accompanied with an even higher anxiety. But I leave the hard stuff to the doctors, the specialists, and the nurses. I am going to ask why certain medicines and procedures are done, no doubt. Some things worked and some things didn’t. You can feel like a guinea pig, right? LOL
Clinical trials, new inhalers, breathing procedures, and all sorts of things. So, I grew from those experiences and learned very quickly what I could and could not tolerate.
Things I could control. How to get around better, planning issues, activity practices. Day trips and shopping techniques. Many of this was through trial and error. Sharing my failures and successes about those things with others still is the most gratifying.
I was referred to an older gentleman by my respiratory therapists about living with oxygen.
Steve is 85 years old and when I first met him, I thought he was pulling my leg. So young looking and extremely fit. But he didn’t know much about living on oxygen therapy every day. Well, I’m no expert, but I can share the things that have and have not worked for me these past seven years.
We talked for hours, I showed him my portable oxygen concentrator (POC), discussed conventional tanks and of course my FreeStyle Comfort by CAIRE Inc. I was able to refer him to the people that have helped me, and they are getting him squared away with meeting his needs.
He was so grateful that I could steer him in the right direction. We talked about the trial and error of how he will need to adjust to things he used to do that were easy, but now will become a bit more difficult. Don’t be worried about failing in your approach at first, I said, but always be safe.
That is the biggest difference, I think. In business, failure can’t always be safe, but it’s managed at times, right? Same here.
My friends, things are unique on our journey. This are many ways to be different in our approaches to living but share those differences.
Special, yes, Steve made me feel special, I was so gratified and proud that I could help him on the start of his journey with oxygen therapy.
I want you all to understand how special you make me feel with the sharing of my experiences. The feedback I get makes me keep going as well. This is tremendous therapy for me.
Love you all, till next time,
~ 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.
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.