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Being put on Oxygen soon! EEeek!!!

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Cally
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Hey there,

I am pretty new to this site. I hope that I can get some input.

I was diagnosed in 2008 with Sarcoidosis and mild COPD followed a few weeks later.

My Sarc had been in remission and I have returned to my passion, singing!

But for the past several months, I have felt something hasnt been right and yesterday got a call from my Specialist telling me the results of my tests which I took about 2 weeks ago.

His Nurse Practioner proceeds to inform me that I need to be put on Oxygen very soon.

My breathing while walking is dropping to 83% or below. That isnt even including exhertion. Well, I am freaked. I live to sing. I have been working towards marketing myself. And now this!!! Ugghhh!!!!

Im devastated to say the least.

My question is, do you think I should press on and do it till I cant do it anymore? Or find another outlet?

Singing is deeply based with air/breathing techniques. And I know that is a struggle with me even now.

Do you think the pure Oxygen might change my tone? Range?

Will be interesting to hear input on this. Because I have never thought of something like this!

Thanks in advance for your replies!

Take care!

Cally

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Hi Cally:

I'm a speech pathologist, have seen a few people with sarcoidosis & I am sorry that you are dealing with this condition.

The important aspect of breath for singing is the mechanics of how you USE your breath. Oxygen changes the chemistry. So the mechanics might not feel much different, might even feel a little easier, if you've been straining at all to breathe.

However, I have heard that regular use of oxygen can be drying or irritating to the vocal cords. You might ask your medical team about this, and ask if there's anything you can do to mitigate it. (like, using a vaporizer at home).

You might also look into a system called "Buteyko breathing." This is a way of retraining breath mechanics. It was developed for asthma sufferers and there might be some applications for your COPD. Look on the web for a practitioner near you & see if it helps. I don't know the details & have never tried it, but it is used by some colleagues whom I respect, and would do no harm to check it out.

best wishes to you --

Joanna

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Oxygen might change some sound. For the same reason that goofballs breathing helium from balloons sound like the Chipmunks. The size of the atom or atoms of air can change how much of a sound is broadcast. But it seems that the few people that I have talked to who were wearing a portable oxygen tank, didn't sound particularly different than anyone else their age. So, it may not affect much after. Plus, with most portable units, you wear a nose piece and are still "carburating" with regular air, which contains a lot of nitrogen and other trace gases. So, it may not change your pitch, really.

I'd say, keep singing in whatever way that you can because it brings you comfort and joy.

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