After a conversation with the pulmonary rehab physical therapist, who encouraged me to try a different oxygen delivery system, I waited a couple weeks and then took the plunge. I hated to call the nurse practitioner to tell her I was creating more work for her by switching companies, but she was more than understanding and suggested a company that quite a few of her patients use. She called in the referral and called me back to let me know they have smaller portable oxygen tanks (3.5lbs as opposed to 7lbs) and a delivery system that will allow me to fill the tanks myself. Say what???
I was thrilled at the smaller tanks and would have been completely delighted at that alone. Three and a half pounds less may not seem like a lot, but when it is something you have to lug around with you, every ounce makes a difference. Size does matter, and in this case, smaller is a definite plus.
To be able to fill the tanks myself is an unexpected bonus - I can be completely independent! The only planning I'll have to do is to make sure that before an excursion or outing that one of the 2 portable tanks will be fully charged. No phone calls to make, no deliveries to wait for. I'll only have to deal with the home care company if there is a problem with the concentrator or compressor, and once a year they swap out the machines for newer models.
On top of these two large plusses, the delivery man couldn't have been any nicer. Not only did he not get lost, he cheerfully brought both machines upstairs, set them up, gave me a demo and was incredibly nice. Not one complaint about his day. Imagine!
As a rule, I prefer to use a "mom and pop" type establishment rather than a large company, but in this case my plan clearly backfired. From the small, family owned business I got outdated equipment, rude delivery and poor service. From the large company I had a totally opposite experience. I guess this once I can go against my principles- I'd have to be an oxy-moron to have stayed with the other company!