I spent pretty much my whole life referring to appliances as things such as refrigerators, washing machines or stoves. Now at the ripe old age of 74 there are yet even more appliances that one may come to know. They fall into a new category of appliances I find myself completely unfamiliar with, in my case most recently it has been a nebulizer and an oxygen concentrator. These are not things I recall being mentioned on any of my favorite television cooking shows. No… these are appliances that I have been introduced to me compliments of my COPD and are more commonly known as medical appliances.
Last Thursday, based on an order submitted by my pulmonary doctor to Alliance Home Care, a nebulizer was delivered to my home for daily to include a specific type of medication. Turns out this is a fairly common medical appliance especially well known among Asthma sufferers but completely unknown to me. When I was a kid I remember the old room vaporizers but this one is of the small hand-held variety it seems.
This device, which dispenses your required medication in a mist form to be inhaled, consists of a small compressor, hand-held dispenser & medication container, a mouthpiece and a length of plastic tubing for connecting to the compressor. The compressor is quite small at approximately 8″ wide, some 5″ deep and about 4″ tall.
My next new medical appliance which follows the nebulizer was just delivered yesterday afternoon. Once again I was called by Alliance Home Care and they were notifying me that my pulmonary doctor wanted me start using oxygen at night while I was sleeping so they needed to bring by some additional equipment. Well based on what I thought I knew about that equipment, I assumed I was going to get some sort of oxygen tank mounted on a cart with all sorts of trailing tubes, some of which would be emitting some sort of cold mist looking similar to a mini-rocket launch platform.
Heh, heh… well what they show up with is this small unit as shown just to the left that looks like a small piece of luggage similar to something you would see being pulled around an airport. And it doesn’t hold oxygen and dispense it as needed. No, the damn thing ‘makes’ or more correctly stated, extracts the oxygen already in the room, concentrates it and dispenses it through tubing and the nose piece which I am more familiar with. The concentrated oxygen is then breathed into your system.
Now, admittedly there was a little more dread for me with regard to this appliance and its use. Especially since it was to be used while I was sleeping. For me I saw the first challenge as being able to sleep with a foreign object stuck in my nose. And surely I have to sleep totally on my back, otherwise I would be waking up at some point in the night tangled in an array of plastic tubing with no idea as to where the nose piece part is anymore. And of course there was a noise I would have to get use to although sometimes mundane, constant noises are a welcome by many sleepers since it drowns out most extraneous noises. Even without this new noise maker, I already run a small fan in my room exactly for that purpose every night.
Well, much to my pleasant surprise, I experienced nothing even close to that last night as I pursued my first night sleeping with the device. Even when I initially put in the nose piece and pulled the tubing around and behind the ears did I hardly even notice it. As far as sleeping I was able to turn to either side at any time I desired and within no time at all lost all realization that the tubing was there nor did the tubing at any point tangle up with me or anything else. Ended up getting my normal full night of rest… 🙂
And so the world goes on for a time longer. I’m reasonably sure these new medical appliances will not be the last but who knows. As they say… growing old is not for wimps! 🙁