Being told that you need oxygen therapy can make you feel uncertain, frustrated, scared, and sad. Some people choose not to use supplemental oxygen, even if their doctor suggests it. However, if you can reframe your thoughts about oxygen therapy, you may have an easier time accepting this life-saving treatment.
How to reframe your thoughts about oxygen therapy
People will see me as “sick” or “handicapped
Oxygen therapy will help me do more of the things I love to do.
I don’t want to be tied to an oxygen tank wherever I go.
I’ll ask my doctor for advice about small, portable oxygen options.
I don’t want to accept that I have a chronic condition
Accepting my reality is the first step to finding ways to live as fully as I can.
I don’t want to get “addicted” to supplemental oxygen.
I need oxygen, just like a diabetic needs insulin. My doctor will prescribe exactly what I need.
It’s ironic, but refusing to use oxygen therapy may make your fears come true. And, if you’re thinking about a lung transplant, oxygen therapy will be part of your pre-transplant regimen. It is also vital for countering the long-term effects of low blood oxygen levels (hypoxemia), and will help protect your heart.
If your doctor prescribes oxygen therapy , it might help to learn about its many, well-documented benefits. Compare the positive effects with the limitations of feeling sick, tired and out-of-breath. You may find that these benefits outweigh your concerns and fears.
Connect and cope
If you’re struggling with your feelings about Alpha-1 lung disease and oxygen therapy, we’re here to help.
For more in-depth information on this topic, please visit the Big Fat Reference Guide.