I’m grateful for breathing. I’ve been on night oxygen for around a month, and that’s helped a lot with my energy level during the day. For various bureaucratic reasons, Medicaid, Medicare, and any other type of insurance won’t pay for the portable oxygen concentrator I require for various logistical reasons associated with living off the grid. But I’m grateful that I was able to afford to buy the unit from savings, and that it has been performing as advertised. The battery charges in around four hours during the day, and then it lasts for about nine hours overnight–just long enough for me to turn it on, put in the nasal cannula, and read for an hour or so, then roll over and sleep through the night. I’m grateful for this extra oxygen overnight which has improved the quality of my days. There’s a little discomfort with the tubes across my cheeks, catching my arm in the tubing when I roll over, and a persistent sensation of pressure under my nose during the day when there’s nothing there anymore, but these are all minor inconveniences compared to the benefits.
As much as for the nighttime oxygen, I’m grateful for the respiratory therapy provided by our local hospital network. Dear Marla, who has helped with therapy for both wrists, is also a breathing expert. I get to see her once a week for awhile, to learn a basic functional breath, and increasingly demanding exercises to improve lung capacity, oxygen absorption, and CO2 expulsion. I’ve mentioned before how grateful I am to the various physical therapists I’ve seen over the past few years through the Delta Health system. This poor, challenged body continues to benefit from all those past visits, and now derives great comfort and resilience from the tender ministrations of a warm, compassionate, and skillful breathing coach.