It’s really quite amazing that you can get portable hyperbaric chambers nowadays. I used to worry about travelling, hoping that I wouldn’t have any breathing problems while I’m away from home. Now, the whole thing can just be shipped off to Perth, which means I can visit Gina and Darcy in Perth over the summer without anyone having to stress about my health, or then spend a couple of months with Felicity in Adelaide once a year.
Granted, it’s still a bit of a hassle. We haven’t quite reached the stage where you can fold up a hyperbaric chamber like a blow-up bed and put it in your hand luggage. Still, it’s a lot easier than just going without, especially with my respiratory issues. I remember growing up with this massive oxygen machine in the spare room. Back then in Melbourne, hyperbaric oxygen chamber services weren’t quite as mainstream as they are now. It was widely accepted that some people needed more oxygen than others, and maybe those people didn’t want to be shipped off in an ambulance every time they had a bit of breathing trouble, but the technology was only just coming in.
I could either get inside this bulky plastic chamber that looked horrible, or I could spend double the time sitting in a chair with this oxygen machine that made the noise of a pneumatic drill right there in the living room. All bad choices, although at least we could use the chamber for drying clothes when it wasn’t in use. Medicine in general is just a lot better now, but it’s particularly noticeable in the realm of hyperbaric medicine and its development. I’m waiting for the day when a simple, pocket-sized inhaler can do everything. Or maybe they’ll come up with a cure for my condition… that’d be the day. But knowing my chamber is coming with me to Perth is definitely a step in the right direction.