Oxygen!

Mother is winded whenever she walks a short distance.  She breathes heavily and her heart races. So hospice has delivered two oxygen containers, one that stays in place and another portable device that can move around with her.

The tank that stays in one place

The permanent one stays in one place, but has a huge tube that reaches to all of the corners of her apartment.

Walking to and from meals, a round trip of perhaps 500 feet, is increasingly difficult, and by the time mother returns to her apartment she is breathing heavily, her heart is racing and she needs to use the oxygen. The “windedness” frightens her a bit. Tonight as we walked back from a wonderful dinner — there is always an Asian theme in the dining room at Chesterbrook on Friday evenings — mother began to gasp for breath, but she refused to sit down to rest.

Previously her caretakers helped her connect to the oxygen, but tonight it was our turn, and we were terrible at the little administrative details.  Boy did she know it!  In general mother expresses irritation at the need to use a walker and also because she is so dependent, but she was downright angry at us for being so inept at oxygen administration.

When we all finally settled down, she told us she was OK.  We helped her get ready for bed, and she asked me to say a prayer.

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