This issue always gets me fired up

 - 
10/21/2010

It's not a question of if my dad will need home oxygen, it's a question of when. He's smoked like a chimney all his life. We're talking, at times, about three packs a day here, folks. In fact, it's a miracle he is only just now starting to feel the effects of his long-term vice.
But what really scares me is this. Like many other smokers, even oxygen won't make him quit. Which leads me to worry about fire. Cause it's logical to me-though apparently not to others--that if you are using oxygen, and you decide to smoke, you're gonna give new meaning to the phrase "lighting one up."
I came across this story today on montgomerynews.com. An oxygen patient decided during the night that he needed a smoke. In bed. Which is always--always--a stupid idea. So, he lit up, fell asleep and awoke to find his bed on fire. Color me unsurprised.
I have enough to worry about without wondering whether my dad is going to eventually turn into a, ahem, ticking time bomb. But, it's a genuine fear (that and the 36-month oxygen cap, but that's a blog for another day).
The man in the news article? By some miracle, he's OK, with minor burns and smoke inhalation (oh, the irony). The apartment building he lived in was destroyed, leaving several other residents homeless. They also lost their cars when the fire spread to the garage.
All because some dude on oxygen wanted a smoke.

Theresa Flaherty

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