Okay...this is the second time in two days. My Father-in-law went to his doctor appointment, where they did some simple tests off of his oxygen (having him walk up one hall and back, then seeing that his sats went from 92 on his oxygen to 88/89 in a minute or so) and told him that he is not yet okay to stop using supplemental oxygen. They have not yet determined the cause of the low sat readings, and one of the things we did after the appt. was go down to radiology and get a chest xray (he had broken a rib) to try and find the culprit so we can treat it or at least have a diagnosis.
Well, since then, I go in to check on him in the mornings and find the long hose attached to the concentrating machine discarded in a chair, cannula hanging down, while he is in his bed. I stand there and check his breathing to make sure it is still there (I hate doing this but it has become a compulsion), watch the rise and fall of his chest and then check his o2 when he wakes up. It is always 89 or so. Today has been the second time, too much for me, so I have prepared his things for the morning and help him into his chair and ask about his oxygen. He says, boldly, "I took it off last night." He says that he doesn't like the accumulation of bloody dried refuse in his nose, but I think the large part is that he hates being tethered to ANYTHING, even if just for house use.
We tried to talk to him, and he said, "When we went to the doctor appointment and then to the radiology waiting room, I didn't see ONE person wearing oxygen. As far as I see it, I am the only one wearing oxygen and don't see why I spent my whole life not having to have this, and now I do when everyone else doesn't!"
He glared at us in an almost challenging way, and in my head I was thinking, "because most of them are in the in-patient floors above you or in a nursing home!"
I don't know what to tell him, only keep repeating what happens when sats go below 92% and why oxygen is a lifeline and a friend, and in his case not even necessarily a permanent thing.
Is there something I can do, here? He is bucking the rules because he doesn't like the loss of the young man he used to be. My worry is that his defiance is going to inadvertently create some organ damage in the 10-12 hours he is at 89, 88, 82 percent or worse. Any ideas.

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Tell him his ribs are broken and at any age it helps with breathing.My husband uses a moisturizing gel specifically for his machine that irritates his nose.
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My dad had to wear O2 as well and he didn't like it either. I was constantly harping on him to wear it to the point where I didn't care if he wore it anymore, I was that exasperated. So I decided to make things a little more difficult for my dad and began taking his O2 about every half hour. I wasn't all that concerned but I was trying to make a point. Every half hour I interrupted him, while he was on the phone, while he was watching tv (I'd stand in front of the tv), I'd follow him into the kitchen, I'd knock on his bathroom door. Anytime it was borderline in went the cannula and I'd stand there and wait until his sat came up, taking his O2 several more times. After we did this for a while he started wearing the cannula at night and then eventually he began wearing again during the day.

And you tell your dad that EyerishLass has seen plenty of people out and about with oxygen tanks!
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Ask him to take deep breaths. 3 or 4 deep breaths will raise the O2 levels significantly. My mother's cardiologist suggested that she do this rather than become oxygen dependent. Breathing exercise is better than the oxygen machine. My mother's lung function is improving from the cardiologist's advise.
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Ask the prescribing doctor or the medical supplier about getting a humidifier for the concentrator. They're about the size of athlete's water bottle and just screw on to a fixture on the concentrator quite easily. They'll help humidify the oxygen as your FIL breaths it so his nasal passages will be more moist.

You could also get a humidifier for his room.

The reason why he needs oxygen now is because his lung capacity has changed (deteriorated) and whatever pulmonary issues he might have necessitate additional oxygen.

The "nobody else uses it" excuse is like that of a child arguing to do something Mom and Dad don't want them to do - no better reason than that of conforming behavior.

It's not my intent to be critical of FIL, but just to offer some realistic insight. As you guessed, he just doesn't want oxygen.

There are a couple of alternatives that can increase his pulmonary capacity. Did anyone give him a spirometer to use? It's a device into which he would blow and helps to increse his lung capacity. There's a more contemporary terminology for it but I don't remember offhand what it is.

Secondly, ask his pulmomologist if his/her affiliated hospital has pulmonary therapy on an outpatient basis. My father will be getting it, on an unlimited basis and paid for by Medicare. Probably everyone in that kind of therapy will be on oxygen.

Remind him that oxygen use CAN be a path to stronger pulmonary capacity and if he uses it now he may eventually be off it (unless he has permanently diminished breathing capacity).

Alternately, what was his pulmonary diagnosis, and/or what were the precipitating factors that caused his SAT rate to drop? Perhaps you can find some online info about that condition and let him read it so he can see that this isn't just something a doctor prescribed for the fun of it.

I assume you have a pulse ox to measure his SAT rate? In my experience, 85 is usually the triggering factor for an emergency intervention, whether it's going to the ER or something more, all dependent of course on the individual's condition.

Good luck. I know how tough it can be to get older men to do what's good for them!
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