SpecialNeeds1The stacks of money converting US dollars to the Spanish peseta exceeded our grasp the day my oxygen-using husband and I set sail around the Mediterranean. Pre-Euro times.

Extensive advance planning insisted we had to pay cash before getting on the ship for the Barcelona provider of oxygen tanks to deliver them to our stateroom.

Having the O2 mattered so we did.

Wiser than we? The Holland America purser who blew that rule off and said he’d charge it to our cabin. Same purser applying the normal charge to exchange our money back!

Healthy times in Rome and Monaco too. Glorious healthy days at sea.  That was early in our needing-oxygen travel days.

Simpler perhaps if we go again tomorrow?

Seek the creative thinkers

When oxygen users drive to a port to sail away on a fine ship, arrangements can be made to bring the E-tank, oxygen in a canister.

So thankful we were on a brief Bahamas cruise, easy drive for South Georgia us to the port in Tampa, Florida. This was easy and we trusted.

Lesson learned was be creative and seek out the creatives as we travel. This tank of ours leaked.


Ship’s first solution? Sleep in the infirmary where he could hook up. Swell romance. Our suggestion? Go to the local dive shop and weld the tank.


Step up to O2 concentrator

SpecialNeeds3Oxygen off, tuxedo on.Keep breathing and keep traveling is one kind of mantra for families with special needs and that calls for upgrading equipment.

My see-the-world husband invested in a presumably portable machine for road trips and air travel. 

Concentrators are familiar to the home healthcare world: big monsters that plug into the wall and Voila! create oxygen to breathe through a nose candula.

He bought a smaller version in a sturdy box. Heavy for an oxygen user, but I can grunt like a samurai and lift it.

Of course we enclosed official letters certifying the medical need but oh my, guess who knows better? TSA.

Obligated to seek bombs, twice the Barney Fife style defenders have used their screwdrivers and dismantled this vital machine.

Keep going, wisely

Some weeks and months we adjust. Bold trips should breathing fail might not be worth the cultural heritage experiences.

Shorter trips with simpler problem solving always filled with wonder and delight. The close by and far away worlds have so much potential.

Christine Tibbetts writes as Blended Family Mom for TMOM and many of the generations she shares with her oxygen-using husband love to travel too. All of them admire dear-old-Dad.

Top photo: Oxygen traveling TMOM husband and dad G. W. Tibbetts embraces generations and hobbies.