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The Power Is Out

It’s the middle of the night and the power goes out. Are you ready? You’re wondering how I know? It just happened to me. My oxygen machine beeps loudly when the power goes out, rather than turning it off. Then the power goes out and the C-Pap goes off, without actually turning it off, it feels like my breathing hits a brick wall, it just stops.

Prepared for power outages

I have to admit, the power goes out periodically. We were in that weather vortex and it was so cold out. Thankfully, I had lots of blankets. I woke up thinking that I should get out the oxygen canisters, but was so tired, in my dream and tired state, I just blew it off. I only needed to get out a cannula out and hook it up. I went back to bed and woke up when I heard the oxygen tank beep again, the lights went on, etc. Oh, what a horrible headache. Okay me, I did it this time! I should have put my oxygen on. I wear it nights and during the day when needed. Next time I will have a cannula nearby, so that my tired mind doesn’t have to think very hard.

My husband has a small generator. His goal is to be a big one that would work for the whole house, they are expensive.

Power outages can be very serious. The down power lines can mean that something struck the lines or even the power company. When down, they can start fires or cause additional problems. A person needs to be so very careful to avoid those downed lines.

What power outages can mean to us when we may lose power:

  • If you have a cell phone, make sure your cell phone is fully charged. Have your contact numbers listed, especially your family. Then, others can find the phone number if there is an emergency for you. There are apps for medical sites where you can post your medications and other information as well.
  • Call your power company to let them know that you are on oxygen. Some power companies like to have this information.
  • Do be prepared for power outages. With downed power lines, make sure that you do not step on them, go around them. If they fall on a car that you are in, stay inside the car. Call 911 or the power company.
  • If you are indoors, stay indoors.
  • Keep your inhaler with you. Keep it in a safe place. I once had one in my pants pocket and it fell into the toilet. Thank goodness I was working for a pharmacy, so I could get another one. I actually carry 2 now. One in my cardigan pockets and another in my purse or bag.

Ways to prepare ahead of time

  • Have candles with LED lights, instead of a candle, if you have trouble breathing with candles and smoke. That’s what we use.
  • Have a couple of flashlights handy, one for you to keep by you, one for the bathroom and another for the kitchen. Anyplace that you may need extra light. We have some small and inexpensive flashlights, that we keep in different rooms of the house and one in my pocket. I tend to set them the down in different places.
  • Keep bottled water in house at all times and do make sure that you drink plenty of water.
  • Keep medications where you know where they are at, at all times, as well as your medication list.
  • You should have these lists: Medications; illnesses and diseases; your doctor’s names and phone numbers; hospitals as well. Also, a list of your contacts, family or friends that should be called if needed.
  • If you get sick, make sure to take your medication and other lists to doctor or hospital.
  • If you are on oxygen, make sure that you have the oxygen cylinders handy, so that you can use those when your power goes out. Make sure that you know how to hook them up and use them, before you need them.
  • Make sure that you have some money or a credit card (whichever is needed where you are) to call a cab or an Uber, in case you need to go someplace.
  • Always let someone know where you are.
  • And remember to breathe. Pursed lip breathing can make a big difference as well. Slowly, breathe in 1-2, and exhale 3-4-5. This will help you to relax, helps to move air and to remove carbon dioxide as well.

Feel free to share your thoughts and tips.

I hope you have a breathe easy day/night.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The COPD.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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