Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer

My Story: Respiratory Failure

Where do I start. Don’t know if anyone will ever read this, so here it goes! I’m 62, have been diagnosed about five-six years now. At first it really wasn’t a big deal, told to where oxygen which of course I didn’t. Well as it progressed in to lower oxygen levels down into the sixties, I was having quite a time just bending over to tie my shoes, but in total denial. Well it didn’t do any good to be stubborn, just made it worst. I started to get bluish in color and my wife, whom is a nurse, told me over and over to get to the ER.

So one day I went to the Dr ‘s office, just a walk-in and he took my ox levels and said get to the ER. So I did. That’s when I realized I was in serious trouble; don’t remember much after that. Woke up in a different hospital after seven weeks in an induced coma and I’ll tell you I was so weak I couldn’t pop a soda can or lift it. Now, I still was on the vent and needed them to remove the feeding tube that was in my nose. I asked them and they did. I started breathing on my own and they took me off the vent. I was told only one Dr. thought I would live. The family was making plans for a funeral, being told that by them, but I was very lucky to have pulled through.

Well, I do stay on my ox now, and I use a vent at night because of sleep apnea with a mask. But I do still have my treah which I want to have out, but do not want to go through that again if I fail again. So, listen to your Dr. folks! It’s a long road to recovery and this is a progressive disease. So it’s still a long road, but now I keep my eyes, you could say, on the road.

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


  • Rich author
    3 years ago

    Hello everyone yes I’m still with the living ,just want to say thank u all for the replys ,I wanted to update u doing a bit better now back to exercising riding my stationary bike ten miles a day trying hard to get some weight off but it didn’t want to go which isn’t bad but I’m heavy most don’t seem to be able to gain weight I have been doing sit ups 100 a day I’m determined to beat this carp, I wanted to tell u I have had the trachea out and its been three months I do still have the trilogy 200 which I use now for sleep apnea at night and to keep the evil carbon down I just use a mask it seems to work my carbon has been in the mid 30s up to 40 so I was told that normal which is a good sign I’m still depressed about the life changes I have to make being I’m a motorcyclists and hot rod car guy who found my fun in spending my money on that money pit and hobby I don’t see much light at the end of that tunnel so it’s hard to keep a purpose in life besides playing with my computer sometimes my only companion is music I do get lost in it brings back old memories ,being I was at Woodstock when I was fifteen wild and free, I hope I see a dim light somehow may be medical advantages will somehow find a cure stem cells would be nice I still find it hard to go out with this nose hose and be seen with it I feel people stare and I hate that ,I have to thank my wife and daughter for helping me to the Dr ‘s offices I still am on 6 lit’s so I use a lot of oxygen and need to take four bottles or more I did about two years ago by a portable but it only puts out puffs on demand at five setting so it fine if your standing still, it will keep u at 93 or so I usually integer any where near 93 when walking or moving I want to go on a cruise someday if I can I do miss the ability to go fishing to so I guess I just have to find away to do these things I have a sidecar Harley and I’m going to try and ride it this summer before I get to bad hoping I don’t but u know and I know what happens I never want to go back to that ER and be put in a nursing home that is my biggest fear , well hope everyone has a nice Easter and the Easter Bunny brings us all a cure ,

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    3 years ago

    Hi Rich and thanks so much for updating us on your continuing progress and living with COPD. It’s good to hear your wife and daughter are there as your support system!
    You know you are always welcome here! If you haven’t already, you may also want to look in on our online community on Facebook:
    We look forward to your continued participation here.
    Enjoy the holiday!
    Warm regards,
    Leon (site moderator)

  • John Bottrell, RRT moderator
    3 years ago

    I have taken care of many patients who have gone through similar experiences as yours, so you are not alone. It’s not easy making the lifestyle changes needed to live well with COPD, such as wearing oxygen every day or using a breathing machine at night. Yet studies have shown both work to improve quality of life. Thank you for sharing your story. We hope others learn from your experience, and heed your advice: “Listen to your Dr., folks!”

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    4 years ago

    Hi Rich and welcome to You lived through a remarkable episode and it’s very brave of you to share your story with the rest of us.
    We look forward to your continued participation in our exciting online community.
    Warm regards, Leon (site moderator)

  • Derek Cummings
    4 years ago

    Very many thanks for sharing your story Rich. I have written a copd blog for many years, and also contribute to And have told how some have died due to not using prescribed oxygen. You share a painful lesson on why we should all, if prescribed o2, use it.
    You endured remarkably low oxygen saturation levels at times. I have never seen the 60’s with my lowest ever at 76. I wear my oxygen with pride and through using it lead as full a life as I can, as will you. All the best and keep wearing that ‘nose hose’.

  • Mary Werderitch
    4 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your story Rich. Your advice should be taken seriously. I am finding out a lot in my process and wear my “nose hose” proudly. It’s my third lease on life. Breath well!

  • Poll