Home Oxygen/Oxygen Levels: Thank you to those... - COPD Friends

COPD Friends

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Home Oxygen/Oxygen Levels


Thank you to those who replied to my last post, much appreciated !

I have more questions and would be grateful for replies:-

It is said that we should have no regrets in life, however, as the song goes "regrets, I have a few" and one of those is that I ever began smoking !! Well, it's too late as I now have emphysema and none of us can turn back the clock.

It's been ascertained through tests that I need oxygen at home, however, to have this I need to have stopped smoking for 12 weeks. I'm finding it extremely difficult as i'm certain many of you have too. My question is this, what happens to those needing home oxygen but cannot quit smoking, there must be some people who can't ? Do the medical profession just wash their hands of them and basically leave them to end their lives through lack of oxygen ? I know that through reading past posts on here when I first found this group that there are some people still smoking who were diagnosed years ago. Both my parents had respiratory problems in later life and neither could stop smoking, they had been smoking for far too long to be able to give up, both had inhalers but can't remember them requiring home oxygen. They were both in their 80's when I lost them.

I also know of 'friends friends' who had COPD, had home oxygen and one still smoked 20 a day and the other nearer 40 a day !! How on earth did they get home oxygen ?

My second question is can some of you tell me what your oxygen levels were/are when diagnosed ?

Any, all replies gratefully received.

10 Replies

I was smoking while receiving O2. WARNING don't smoke near your concentrator. It won't blow up but if you caused a fire the O2 would be like food is to us. A real banquet. I had quit many times in my life. One time six years. I'm also a recovering alcoholic. Quitting and staying smoke free was harder. I woke one morning, took a off my O2 and as usual lite a smoke. Finished it, had my second cup of coffee and was going to light another. Empty.pack. panic was heading to store and STOPPED. That day I stopped. So now I'm as of last November 39 years sober and as of yesterday 1 year non smoker. One day at a time.

cc251254 in reply to Azcowboy

Thank you Azcowboy. I'm guessing you're in the USA and maybe requirements are different ?

Azcowboy in reply to cc251254

Yes , I live in Southern Arizona.

I have never heard of a requirement that demands you stop smoking for 12 weeks to receive oxygen. I cannot find anything on the internet on that requirement either - in the UK or USA. Seems would be a lot of people in emergency rooms if they had to wait that long for oxygen.

Sometimes the way things are said can be unclear. I would ask the person who told you this how others get their oxygen, where it says this etc. Grill them. We have to take charge of our health and this is life threatening if you don't have it.

cc251254 in reply to Jocopd

Hi Jocopd,

Thank you for your reply, I'm very grateful for any responses to my questions. My GP, lung specialist at the hospital and the nurse at the Oxygen Clinic (BOC Healthcare) ALL told me that I have to have stopped smoking BEFORE I will be supplied with home oxygen.

I have also read another post on here recently where someone else in the UK but didn't mention the area of the UK, who has also been told this by her medical professionals.

I have to say that I find it so hard to believe that they can do this when it has been ascertained by tests that a patient requires oxygen not only because it is depriving a patient of the medical care they need but also to prevent the patient from being hospitalised for problems caused by lack of oxygen if just for the cost of being hospitalised verses home oxygen ??

Bewildered by it !

Thank you again.

Jocopd in reply to cc251254

I am shocked at this. I looked up BOC Healthcare and there is nothing in their info about denying oxygen to someone due to smoking. I know in the USA we can buy our own units so long as we have a prescription. A lot of people buy the portable units this way since insurance seldom covers those. Do you have any legal recourse for the health field over there?

cc251254 in reply to Jocopd

Are you in the USA ?

I quit smoking about 13 years before diagnosis, but my dad quit when he was told he needed to be on oxygen. However, his wife continued to smoke in the house, sitting right next to him. She also cooked on a gas stove with my dad sitting a few feet away.

My neighbors mom would sit outside (because the nursing home was non smoking), and smoke with the oxygen tube up her nose and the tank on the back of her wheelchair.

As for your second question, I don't yet need oxygen during the day, my average o2 level is 96, and the lowest it has been while walking (that I'm aware of anyway) is 86. But as soon as I stop and sit down, level goes back up.

Yes, I live in the US.

First off, you just quit or die! I smoked for 50 years, been off 11years. Its only mind over matter--- Whos smarter you or the cigarette? quite simple. Yes im on oxygen also. BUT i do know some one who has the oxygen and still smokes. Never said they had a problem getting it. I think your doctor has the right idea, time to smarten up. Sorry so blunt, but get real. Good luck, you can do it.


I definitely encourage you to stop smoking, yet know firsthand how hard it is.

A few things to remember:

1) The cravings do subside (the physical cravings) although the behavior sometimes can take longer

2) You can't "Not think" about something. In other words, your brain can not take in a negative command. If I say' "what ever you do, don't think about golden retriever puppies", what was the first thing that popped into your mind? Puppies... In order to help yourself avoid that next cigarette here's what will help: You need to have a few different options to think about and/or do when a craving happens. Acknowledge the fact that you have a craving, then redirect your mind toward your positive replacement thought or activity. It will help you get through.

3) It was very important to me when I quit to tie the action of quitting to an improvement in something I am very passionate about- music. Quitting helped me become a better singer. Pick something you really want to do and tie in the success in quitting with something you care about deeply.

Just a few suggestions that I found helpful to me. I hope they will serve you in your efforts! PLEASE do everything you can to quit. It IS worth it!!!

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