White Dog and the entire White Dog Army worked with Steve to problem solve how to best get me from safely at home with oxygen to the doctor’s office so that I could be approved for portable oxygen. I admit they were a thorough team.
They outlined step-by-step the process that would be involved getting TO the facility and also get me HOME safely reconnected. Then they listed problems that might be encountered at each of those steps. There were some aspects that had to be left without a backup which left White Dog more than a little nervous but the plan they explained to me made sense and provided a level of confidence.
Wednesday’s early morning trip would start out with the oxygen tethered me getting dressed and all ready to leave the house. Then sitting calmly in the momma chair “to receive WDA encouragement.”
From there I would move to the sunporch and sit in a chair specially arranged right inside the door. This is as far as my O2 would reach. After a measure of my saturation level Steve would close the house door and I would exit and step down the two steps to the landing where I would sit on our bench. Steve would already have the van door open and my “step up” box in position. When I was ready with his arm and the song of the WDA to help, I would take the remaining two steps sit in the seat and close the door. Steve would remove the step, turn off my oxygen generator inside, lock up the house and dash to drive.
Fifteen minutes later I would exit to my wheelchair and RUN to the reception desk to check in and ask for O2. I had been assured it would be instantly available.
The insurance requirement of an evaluation to determine my need for portable oxygen would be conducted. And I would be sent home to await decision and delivery of equipment. Which meant I would be sent through the reverse of the WDA plan only climbing stairs and after considerable exertion.
“This is the part that makes me nervous,” White Dog said and was seconded by Steve and all of the others. I added my worry that the clinic might have some issue with my LEAVING them especially with low or falling saturations. But the White Dog Army team had covered all of the bases that they controlled. We went to bed early hoping the morning would bring success.
I could not sleep. At one point I got up; Bella was instantly at my side. “I am going to do a little experiment,” I told her as I removed my oxygen and walked to the bathroom. I walked down the hall then sat on the bed about 15 minutes sans O2 and after measured my oxygen saturation. It was 57%, not good, especially for just a minimum of exertion. Bella got nervous so I put my mask back on. In a few minutes I was back in normal range.
When Steve woke a few hours later, I shared my experiment. We all agreed that such a number made the excursion reckless and aborted the appointment. When I called the switchboard to cancel, the operator’s response “let me add a note to your cancellation that you will need portable oxygen to safely come it.” I sighed and Zso, next to me on the bed, rolled on her back. “Too bad SHE can’t handle this,” I said moving the receiver away from my face.