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Oximeters Save Lives – Be Aware

The Oximeter can train the COPD patient to check our own blood/oxygen levels and to learn to trust our own body awareness.  That’s why I bought my own Oximeter some years ago.   I didn’t want to guess and needed to prove to myself that Pursed Lip Breathing (plb) really works.

It does work and the oximeter shows our sats rise as we plb.   Rehab teaches us to use the 1 – 10 level of awareness and it certainly works great for guessing pain level.  I don’t think it works as well guessing our blood/oxygen level.   I want to see those numbers rise back into the safe mode.  My oximeter actually once helped save my life on an airplane ride and I’ve told that story before.

Harrison Medical Center gave me a chart to use on my last hospital visit and discharge.  I liked it and began using it every morning to track my daily statistics.  It shows progress or lack of and I began to add a few other things to track including first thing in the morning oximeter reading, temperature and how long I slept.

Not all COPDers doctors use the Oximeter to check their patient blood/oxygen level and so the COPDer should track their own stats and take it to doctor appointments.  A daily record taken first thing in the morning is a far better record of the patients real stats compared to the moment in time measurements during a doctor office visit.  Maybe not… maybe a medical person would tell us.

I have no idea if this chart will be useful for the average doctor or not.  I’m seeing my pulmonologist this week and I’ll let you know what he thinks about it.

Heartfelt thanks to the Old Guy who formatted the chart so I could show it here.  I sometimes wonder if he would have stopped to offer water in his Sierra Cup to the strange blonde who smoked when she finally stumbled into the first rest stop on the Olympic College Mountaineering Class climb on Mount Washington going on forty years ago had he known what was ahead.   I’ll never ask.

My oximeter has gone through three batteries in the years I’ve had it…seven or so years and was calibrated at Harrison Medical Center about the same time.

These are the tools I use…  they can be calibrated on a doctor’s visit.

More later…thanks for listening… Sharon O’Hara

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