Traveling with COPD

Hubby and I had a wonderful time visiting with his sister and brother-in-law last week. It was our first trip since he was put on oxygen two years ago. The V.A. loaned us a portable oxygen concentrator which plugged into the car. It also ran on battery and could be plugged into the wall when we arrived at his sister’s home. We took along five tanks of oxygen for trips in the car while we were there.

We toured the town where my hubby had lived and he was surprised to note that the once dirt road had now been paved. We did find the house, though the barns had all been torn down. A man was outside watering the lawn and we thought about stopping to see if we could tour, but the dog accompanying him didn’t look too friendly!

We also stopped at the cemetery so we could visit his ancestors’ graves. I found this beautiful wooden cross adorning a gravesite of someone we didn’t know, but just had to take the picture.

One of the best things to do while traveling is to try new eating places. On our second morning, our hosts took us to a neat restaurant called Toast ‘n Jams. The inside was a neat late 40’s style decor. The food was absolutely delicious. They brought little cups of homemade strawberry jam to go with the toast. I had “California Dreamin’ ” breakfast consisting of scrambled eggs, avacado and tomato on a croissant. Delicious! And, best of all they had free internet connection so I was able to download my email messages onto my iPad to read later.

After breakfast we went to the local Farmer’s Market. The array of flowers was breathtaking! I bought some delicious pears and plums. We also bought a mouth-watering dutch apple pie from the Amish stand to have for dessert. I found a neat leather and stone bracelet for $5 and just had to snag that, too. While there, we ran into Ron’s cousin and his wife. We already had plans to have a picnic dinner at the lake with them later that evening, but we were delighted to connect with them that morning.

We spent the rest of the day relaxing at home until time for our picnic. Food consisted of Lee’s Original Recipe fried chicken, mashed potatoes, cole slaw, biscuits, and homemade baked beans. Yummy! Also took some really beautiful pictures of the boats coming up and down the canal.

All in all we had a wonderful time! Our hosts have a dog named Ellie. She’s the sweetest thing. When she was a baby, she got out and ran into the street where a car hit her. The vet was able to save her leg, but it doesn’t bend at all, just moves from the hip joint. Having her to spoil helped us not to miss our own pets so much.

All in all the trip went great. Of course, traveling with COPD does pose a few issues. Hubby wasn’t able to take a shower and had to settle for sponge bathing. With COPD, the steam from the shower is difficult to deal with. At home, hubby is able to leave the door open but that doesn’t work when you are in someone else’s house! The long hose attached to the oxygen concentrator seemed to get in the dog’s way. She was always getting her little leg caught in it. And, walking is always a problem. While at the Farmer’s Market, hubby had to sit on a bench while we strolled the aisles. After he rested, I carried the oxygen bag and we walked together VERY SLOWLY so he could enjoy some of the atmosphere. We always had to make sure he was back at the house in time to do his Nebulizer breathing treatments, though he skipped several of them.

We’ll never be able to take a trip across country sightseeing. That’s kind of hard for hubby to accept, but we are so grateful and thank God for being able to visit family. Our hearts are filled with love and memories and we pray that we’ll be able to do it again…perhaps next year!

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