• Al Ewers
    Greeting everyone -

    I had Polio when I was 6 years old (a LONG time ago) and was totally paralyzed so I was in an iron lung for months. Although I made a substantial recovery and had a long & successful career my lungs never fully developed. Due to my lung capacity I can't stay at elevations above 3000' for more than about a day without experiencing hypoxia & am wondering if anyone else experiences low oxygen levels for reasons other than COPD or emfezemia & how you deal with it. I've used a CPAP / BiPap for over 20 years to assist with my breathing at night but it doesn't help at higher elevations - it just helps my normal breathing.

    Last Fall was my first year as a snowbird so being in Southern AZ wasn't an issue but I'd like to visit various National Parks and stay in higher elevations for a few days. I'll discuss this with my Dr. but am curious if anyone else has an issue similar to mine.

    Thanks - Al
  • RVsolar

    I've had PulmonaryFibrosis for about 10 years now. We've become full time rv'ers. My husband has 2800 watts of solar power on board to run my full size oxygen concentrator( continuous oxygen up to 6 litres - oxygen tube is connected to my c-pap at night. I also have a POC Portable Oxygen Concentrator Called INOGEN GEN 3. It weighs about 8 pounds with pulse oxygen up to 6 litres. It has large rechargeable batteries that last up to 6 hours depending on what Litre I have it set at. This also allows me to fly (2 batteries =10-12 hour flights).
    We tend to hang around sea level and I've found that I can get awaywith NO oxygen at all in those lower elevations.
    I use a canister of oxygen with a regulator to kayak. As the INOGEN cannot go in water. Please feel free to contact me if you have further questions- Marjolaine Loitz
  • Al Ewers
    Thanks for the information & I'll speak with my Dr prior to my Fall / Winter travel plans.

    My first trip was in Sept - Oct 2018 & I left OR, met a friend in MN, went South & then West through NM before coming back to OR via CA. I drove 6650 miles in about 30 days, was in 14 States, burned 707 gallons of gas at a cost of $2087. The highest elevation was when I crossed the Continental Divide at approximately 9700' although I didn't spend any time there - not even stopping to take a picture.

    I left OR for AZ the day after Thanksgiving 2018 and took my Nephew's advice - "Just because the speed limit is 75 mph you don't have to drive that fast." Smart kid - I slowed down to 60 - 63 mph & my mileage averaged nearly 12 mpg which exceeded expectations. The trip included climbing the Siskiyou & Tehachapi summits (and a few others) twice and when my truck would to kick into a lower gear & the RPM jumped I'd fall in behind the big rigs for a while & take it easy.

    Without oxygen I can't even stay at Crater Lake in southern OR for very long because it's around 7000' so I'll get the oxygen & an adapter for my Bi-Pap and should be fine after that.
  • Mary Lifeunderway
    Hi Al,

    My husband used to teach high altitude climbing and he suggests that you find a doctor who specifically works with mountain climbers, sky divers, and/or who was trained as a flight surgeon in the military -- in other words, a doctor who understands the effects of altitude on the body and specifically how it affects oxygen levels in the lungs. A physician with this kind of experience should be able to help you determine what is possible and what you need to expect in terms of acclimatization. Good luck!
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