7 Tips for Dining Out with Portable Oxygen
If you’ve never experienced eating out with portable oxygen or, you’ve been there, done that and found it a bit challenging, never fear – with the Inogen One and the following tips, dining out with portable oxygen has never been easier:
- Take time to prepare – Planning ahead is key to enjoying a meal away from home with portable oxygen. Make a reservation requesting a seat closest to the entrance, yet not too far from the restroom to avoid having to walk too far. If you tire easily, take a nap before you leave so you don’t run out of steam half-way through your meal. Wear comfortable shoes in case you have to stand for a few minutes while waiting for a table. Choose a day for your outing when air quality, humidity and temperature are optimal.
- Avoid restaurant rush-hour – Nothing is more annoying that trying to talk over everyone else’s chatter, especially if breathing is difficult for you. Try arriving either an hour before, or an hour after, the busy lunch or dinner hour. Because restaurants are even noisier on the weekends, choose a day during the week to enjoy a meal out, instead.
- Eat only half your meal – Restaurant portions are HUGE, and way above what a normal portion size should be. Because overeating contributes to worsening shortness of breath, try splitting your meal in half and either sharing it with a friend or taking it home for the next day.
- Skip the salt – Prepared foods are loaded with sodium that can contribute to fluid retention and increased shortness of breath. When you see a salt shaker on the table, ignore it like the plague. Choose low-sodium menu choices like fresh fruits and vegetables. Ask the chef to prepare your meal with no added salt.
- Opt-out of gas and bloat – Carbonated beverages and gas-producing foods like beans, broccoli and cabbage can turn an otherwise pleasant day into a nightmare, in more ways than one! Gas producing food and beverages cause bloating, which can make breathing more difficult. Eliminate them from your diet, especially when dining out.
- Take along an extra battery – Because you never know what life has in store for you, take along an extra battery anytime you leave the house; this way, you’ll be fully prepared in case of an unexpected delay in getting home. Remember too, the Inogen One G3 has a single battery that lasts up to 4.7 hours and a double battery that lasts up to 10. Also, anytime you are plugged into a power source, including the DC port in your car, you are operating the unit and charging your battery.
- Acknowledge negative emotions – Unfortunately, oxygen therapy carries with it a social stigma that no other medical treatment does. Choose not to buy into it! No one deserves lung disease. If the way others perceive you upsets you, acknowledge your feelings, forgive them and move on!
Thanks to the Inogen One, the days of being tied down to a single, home oxygen source are over. Now, you can get back to doing the things you enjoy, including dining out at your favorite restaurant.
Author: Deborah Leader RN, BSN, PHN