I recieve lots of invitations from lots of wonderful friends to hang out, attend an event, go out to eat etc.
I always put on a brave face and try to join in as much as I possibly can, but I know my friends get disappointed that I can't always say yes.
Sometimes it's because of a lack of time and the general exhaustion that goes along with having a chronic illness.
A lot of the time, it's because being attached to an oxygen source 24/7 is really hard work.
Oxygen is funded on a State level and the rules are different in each and every State.
It's only available after you have been oxygen tested, and an application has been completed by a Respiratory Specialist, and then approved via the Department of Human Services - Aids and Equipment Program.
The maximum dollar amount funded per month is $200. This amount is supposed to cover the following:
Rental - Oxygen Concentrator (large electric machine that converts air to O2)
Rental - Portable Oxygen Bottles
Rental - Oxygen Conserving Device (which fits to the top of the portable bottles)
Rental - Oxygen Trolley (to drag your bottle behind you as you get around)
Portable Oxygen Bottle Contents
I took the option of purchasing my own Oxygen Concentrator (at a cost of around $2500) so that I could receive more funded portable bottles per month.
But, even with that, I'm at the maximum limit per month of 10 bottles.
If I'm very frugal with the flow rate (I use 2 litres per minute resting and 4 litres per minute walking), then I can get a bottle to last for a a maximum of about 10 hours.
So, when you do the math, I can leave the house for 10 lots of 10 hours. Make that 10 days per month.... out of 31.
Once I run out, I have to pay full price of somewhere between $17 and $25 per bottle, depending on the size and the supplier that I order from.
So if I decide that I'd like to go out for the day, and I've used my allotted oxygen for the month, I need to budget for the extra cost of leaving the house, but I also have to plan way ahead of time to even get a delivery from my supplier. I also need to check to ensure that I have enough oxygen in the car to cover me for the amount of time that I'm planning to be out for.
It's extremely frustrating, but I just really can't do everything I want to do.