In my note of gratitude to the many friends who offered encouragement love and prayers to help sustain me through my third open heart surgery, I mentioned that I have recently become an oxygen patient. I had a reaction to intravenous contrast media (dye), which caused a severe lung reaction and really "dinged" my FEV1. I required oxygen to attend the 46th Annual Aspen Lung Conference at 8,000 feet last week, which I was able to do.
I learned a lot from this experience and wanted to pass along a couple of observations. I used the Oxy-View Eyewear for comfort. This concealed the cannulae in the eye frames and offered a very efficient "J-tube", which directs the oxygen into the nostril. Virtually no one at the conference recognized that I was receiving oxygen. It also turns out that the J-tubes may be a more efficient way of delivering oxygen. More about that later.
I also used the new 9.75 pound Lifestyle battery-powered oxygen concentrator. It functioned beautifully. Liquid portable oxygen is not readily available in Aspen and having lightweight concentrator that is both battery powered and powered either DC or AC was a real convenience.
Later this fall at the Annual Meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians, I will be honored to give a memorial presentation in memory of the late Walter O'Donohue entitled "The History of Home Oxygen From Paracelsus to O'Donohue". Walter was a giant in the field and helped immensely in the promotion of home oxygen and its study. He was a colleague and a strong supporter of the first four Oxygen Consensus Conferences that were able to provide.
So I am now personally benefiting from our original work in ambulatory oxygen, which began in Denver in 1965. I have learned a lot from the perspective of being a patient. The amount of progress has been made is truly astonishing. The future looks bright with improved understanding about how oxygen restores function and can be convenient and comfortable.
I will be in touch again next month.
Your friend and fellow patient,
Thomas L. Petty, M.D.
Professor of Medicine, UCHSC
Co-Chairman, National Lung Health Education Program