My Story

I was raised on a ranch in southeast Oregon that raised horses, cattle, and sheep along with a few pigs for our own use, several milk cows, and chickens for eggs.  Doing chores morning and evening was a part of growing up.

The ranch was the last in our area to use draft horses to put up hay in the summer and feed it in the winter.  My first job in the hayfield was driving a dump rake for half a day.  By the time I entered high school I could do a day’s work alongside the rest of the crew.  Responsibility and how to work was learned early in life.

I graduated from high school, ending my formal education, and worked on the ranch most of the time for the next 15 years.  I did spend a little time working on ranches in Texas, Arizona, Montana, and Nevada.  I got married and had a daughter and in the late eighties I decided to leave the ranch.

My wife and I bought a small place to run a few cows on and I taught myself to make furniture.  Then started my own shop.  My family grew with the birth of a son.  A few years later my ex asked for a divorce.  We split the property and sold most of it.  I kept two acres and the house.  I had my kids every other week.

The rest of the nineties were rough for me.  I struggled with depression and worked odd jobs.  I became an advocate for mental health issues and a part of what is now called the Idaho Behavioral Health Planning council.  I testified in front of  legislative committees which led to being asked to speak at psychiatric nursing classes at BSU and Psychology classes at the College of Idaho.  I wrote newsletters, websites and did a directory for mental health services in the Treasure Valley of Idaho.  Most was volunteering.

Around 2000 I decided I needed to find a job providing a service or product everyone needed.  One I could feel good about even if I did not like it.  I put an application in at the local grocery store and was hired.  I was employed there until July 2015.  In the first of August 2015 I was accepted for SSDI. 

Over the last eight years I have traveled a little, stayed with relatives and in RV parks.  I have remained active playing tennis, riding an electric bike, walking, visiting gyms and attended a respiratory therapy class.  From 2015 to 2018 it was becoming more difficult to remain active, the only portable oxygen I had was an Inogen One G3 portable oxygen concentrator and it did not come close to meeting my needs.

In 2018 I got a Respironics UltraFill system where I could fill the supplied tanks.  It took me 16 to 18 hours to fill them and three to four hours to empty them when playing tennis, riding my bike, and other high energy activities.  With higher flows I was able to be more active for several hours a day, but still not getting the oxygen I needed. 

In 2020 I bought an Eclipse 5 luggable POC, a liquid oxygen reservoir and portable to go with it.   In 2022 I found a steady source of liquid oxygen that was affordable for me and became able to get the oxygen I needed.

Over the last eight years I have learned how to get the oxygen I need, learned how to use it and am able to move around more easily in 2023 than I could in 2014.  And my health has improved.

Corraling horses in the 80s 
Corralling horses in the 80s
We also had sheep
Xmas lights
2018 Lewiston Xmas lights with my daughter and grandchildren

Contact   hors.sens1@gmail.com
Copyright © 2022 Gerald Miller. All Rights Reserved.