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Sam-Tx
Senior Member

597 Posts

Posted - Feb 20 2009 :  10:45:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is my first time to post anything on this site. I would very much appreciate knowledgeable and informed answers to my first question. I have just tested for the first time the 6mwt and I have no idea how to determine how good or bad I did.

Test conditions: 65 degrees F, 7% humidity, no wind.

Personal condition: short sleeves, one hour after hamburger, right after one vile of albuterol in the inhaler, male, 71, 150#, 5'11".

Aide: #6 on demand regulator on backpack oxygen. Used pursed lips exhale and through-mouth inhale every few times which bypasses the regulator.

Course: flat straight concrete in 62 foot length.

Results: 1,054 feet in six minutes (17X62).

Beginning: Oxygen 93 Pulse 90 standing.
Ending: Oxygen 83 Pulse 106 Standing.

I am guessing I am early to middle stage four but I would appreciate your opinions on this. I am on oxygen nearly full time with a concentrator in the home and multiple portable bottles when needed.

I have already learned a lot from reading your responses on this site, and I will definitely appreciate your knowledgeable coments on this.

Thank you - all.

Carolyn-Mi
Administrator

608 Posts

Posted - Feb 21 2009 :  07:26:06 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
How long did it take your Saturation to get below 89? How long did it take your saturation to get back up to your normal level after the walk?

Was the walk continuous or did they stop you because you had dropped. Just from my own experience with the walks, if I dropped below 89, they stopped the walk until I had gotten back to where I started and then upped my O2 before I continued. But I do realize not all places are the same.

I have a another question though, why the through mouth inhale? Especially on demand regulator. That defeats the purpose of both the demand and PLB (PLB - Pursed Lip Breathing - Inhale slowly through nose to the count of 4 - Exhale slowly through pursed lips as if blowing out candles. Smell the Roses Blow out the Candles)

Your saturation levels will not tell you what stage you are in, for that you need the results of your breathing tests, the Spriometry or the Pulmonary Function Test. You will want the FEV1 numbers.

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Sam-Tx
Senior Member

597 Posts

Posted - Feb 21 2009 :  3:17:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you, Carolyn. I'm not sure I have or know the answers to several of your questions, but let me try.

There was no one running this test. Just me. On my front driveway I have a 62 foot long flat concrete distance between expansion joints that gave me a known distance scale.

Another thing I failed to mention was that we are at an elevation of 3,640 feet above sea level.

When I started the time count, I just started walking and continued until the end of the six minutes. I only used the Oxygen saturation meter at the beginning and at the end of the walk.

I have had two FEV1 tests: one four years ago and one this last fall. Four years ago it was 40. This last fall it was 22.

I understand that I should normally breath in through my nose, and I normally do. However, I have seen that when I am very short of breath I can recover faster by slow and continous intake through the mouth. For me, it tends to calm me down faster. I'm not saying it is the right thing for me to do, it's just that at that time it seems to feel better.

I have gained a lot of confidence by reading all of the replys on this website. It really has helped. The reason I mention some breathing in through the mouth is because I realize that at that time I am not getting bottled oxygen. Next time, I will purposely not breath in through my mouth.

I have no idea how long it took for my oxygen saturation level to drop below 90. My guess is just a proportionate ratio between 93 and 83 over the six minutes. Recovery is normally a pretty short period, less than a minute. Next time it happens and I am checking the oxygen saturation, I'll time it.

I also have a very good doctor that I can talk with by e-mail anytime I wish. Saves both of us a lot of time. He's one of the new breed of smart young doctors that know how to effectively use e-mail.

Thanks, again, for your comments. It really helps. If I don't answer your comments in the right manner, or if I ramble too much, please feel free to let me know.
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Sam-Tx
Senior Member

597 Posts

Posted - Feb 22 2009 :  12:15:38 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Any other comments or advise or thoughts or opinions or whatever will sure be read and appreciated.
Thanks,
SamTX (I'm still learning)
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Carolyn-Mi
Administrator

608 Posts

Posted - Feb 22 2009 :  1:15:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ramble away Sam, it is how some of us process, learn or share. I am a rambler <G>

As to your original question on how good or bad you are doing. If you want the medical details, a Pulmonary Function Test will give you the best results, specifically your FEV1. A 6 min walk conducted by your Pulmonary Staff is the best way to go to determine if you are actually getting enough O2 while up and about.

But once you have the scientific out of the way, only YOU know how you feel at the moment. Sometimes we feel much better then what our numbers tell us and that is what we should go on, not the "oh woe is me, my fev1 is low, I am in bad shape" (that is example, not saying it is you) But instead think, wow, I feel good today, I can still do this and this and this. Maybe slower but I am still on the right side of the grass.

We just need to stop "thinking" about our health and living life as fully as we can. I don't care who you are, we all are going to slow down and have to make changes as we age for one reason or another. For those of us with Copd we may have to do it sooner, and go a bit slower, but the key to all of this is to keep on doing whatever you can. Because if we stop, we may not get started again.

Now see, you aren't the only rambler <G>

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Sam-Tx
Senior Member

597 Posts

Posted - Feb 22 2009 :  1:35:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I love your attitude! Thanks. We love RV travel in our motor coach but we had just about decided that I couldn't handle it anymore. I know I can get oxygen wherever we go and the concentrator can be used in the coach just fine, so I think we'll go ahead and try a couple of weeks trip this next month.

Your advise to live the life we've got as full as we can is right on. Thanks for the comments.
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PennyPA
Contributing Member

USA
5930 Posts

Posted - Feb 22 2009 :  6:52:59 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
WAIT A MINUTE, Sam. There is no reason (other than a physical disability...and copd doesn't count) that you can't keep on MHing! There are many of us out there on O2 and just RVing along. We have moved into our fiver full-time December of '07 and, since my surgery, have been exploring the country. In fact, we're in the RGV area of Texas (actually Edinburg) right now and will be moving to Corpus Christi area on Tuesday. Like you said, the concentrator in the coach (mine's in the washer/dryer closet) and a couple of E tanks for nights when you might not be hooked up to electric and you've got it made. To make it even better, get the Invacare Homefill unit and you can fill your own portables so you won't need a bunch of little tanks around! Even if I still was on O2 24/7 (just need it at night after the surgery), we'd still be on the road). Sam, it's a big US of A out there; you gotta' get out there and see it while we still own it! :)

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You canít change the past but you can ruin the present worrying about the future.

The Bad News: Time flies as you get older.
The Good News: Youíre still the pilot.

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And Our Travel Blog After LVRS




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Sam-Tx
Senior Member

597 Posts

Posted - Feb 22 2009 :  8:48:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you so much. We spent last winter in the CC area. Were actually gone a little over six months at that time. We had spent the previous winter in Alabama and Mississippi. With Lincare, I can get refills pretty easily in any area. Also have loved Colorado at 8500 ft most summers until this last year when I chickened out on trying it.

I figured the lower altitude down on the coast was better for me than the 3640 ft. elevation at home, but I drove down there with some friends last October for one day just to pick up an art & crafts trailer I had designed and built and had left down there, and I had just as much trouble breathing at sea level as I am having at home. I don't know if it was me or just the humidity.

So, we stayed home this winter and are about to go stir crazy! Thanks for your encouragement and your advise on the Invacare product.

The comments from all of you are a relly big help. Thank you, again.
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