Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I Don't Like Myself Today

Good morning my friends,
Have you ever looked in the mirror and thought... UGH.... "I dont like myself today." Well, when you have COPD/Emphysema that may happen quite often to you.
I woke up this morning, looked in the mirror and decided... "I don't like myself today." You may ask "WHY", what does COPD have to do with "not liking yourself?"
Before I was diagnosed with COPD/Emphysema, I weighed in at a comfortable 145 lbs., my height 5'9" (not too bad), now I have gone way beyond that. The worst part is the barell effect it has on our bodies and the steroids that we have to take.
My clothes do not fit the same way anymore. So you see... some days... "I just don't like myself" hopefully... "tomorrow I will like me again."
I have included an excerpt from an interesting article about COPD/Emphysema explaining about the barrell chest effect for those of you who do not know about it.

Clinical Manifestations
Typically patients with emphysema will have a very distinct "barrel chest." This is due to the problem with the lungs being in constant state of hyperexpansion. The normal negative pressure required for inspiration and the positive pressure required for expiration is lost as the lungs are in a constant state of inflation. Therefore, expiration becomes an active task, increasing the work of breathing. The "barrel chest" is directly related to the ribs as they become fixed in the inspiratory position combined with the loss of elastic recoil of the lungs. Dorsal kyphosis, prominent anterior chest and elevated ribs will contribute to this appearance.


May you have a healthy and joyous holiday season.

Breathe easy,
1 2 3 Inhale ... 1 2 3 4 Exhale


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

An Interesting Question

Hello and what a beautiful day it is!!
Today at work I had a gentleman ask me a very interesting question. He asked me if "Emphysema" hurts! I replied "it does"... but not in the way that you think, because alot of folks do not understand it. Physically it does not hurt as far as pain, however, we need to get the information out about what this disease does to your body. He then told me that he is trying to quit smoking again, I told him I would be very happy to be his coach. I will see him tomorrow and promised to bring him information on COPD/Emphysema and Asthma for him to read. Isn't life grand when you can help someone! I just love it!
Feel free to write to me anytime, I love to receive mail!!

Breathe Easy,
1 2 3 Inhale ... 1 2 3 4 Exhale

Monday, December 11, 2006

"Taking a Shower"...

Hello everyone!
I hope you have all been "breathing well" since the last time I posted. I have been extremely busy, as I have spent the last few weeks moving into a new place and have also started a new job.
I have a little "tip" that may make life a bit easier for you.

Because of our limited breathing, I have found that using a terry cloth bath robe to dry off after a shower will reduce the amount of air we use to dry, as opposed to using a regular towel.

Isn't it amazing how much more we can do with knowledge... I hope to continue to share my experiences and knowledge with all of you as we continue our journey together, till we meet again...

Breathe Easy,
1 2 3 Inhale ... 1 2 3 4 Exhale

Monday, December 4, 2006

How do you describe a "Good Day" or a "Bad Day" with COPD?

I was thinking of some of the questions that I have been asked concerning "Living with COPD". The "Title" for today is one that people have asked me many many times.

When I wake in the morning, I feel refreshed the air quality is fresh and clean, I slept well and I feel well; that is how I perceive a "Good Breathing Day". Today is a very good example of a "Bad Breathing Day", I had trouble sleeping last night, we had the windows open thus breathing in "heavy humid air". The whole day was a strain for me. I usually end up loosing my voice from the strain of talking and trying to breathe. I also end up with a headache from lack of oxygen. After using my resuce inhaler; my breathing is not as strained because my lungs are taking in more oxygen. Pursed Lip breathing is also a great asset, but I will talk more about that another day.
There is also another trigger that affects my breathing. At work, there are folks that smoke. They go out for their "Butt Break" and then not realizing that when they come back in, there is the lingering smoke on their clothes; this second hand smoke immediately tightens my chest in-turn making it hard for me to breath.

Those who have been blessed to beable to keep their healthy lungs, do not understand how difficult the smallest tasks may be for us. There are times I cannot walk and talk at the same time. Or I cannot eat a large meal because I cannot breathe.

I have just given you a few examples of my triggers for Good Day and Bad Day Breathing. I am sure every COPD patient could name so many more. Let us hear from you. We can all learn so much from each other. Please do not be shy or embarressed... let's help one another. I feel newly diagnosed COPD patients, actually all patients need to know what to expect... and who can help them better than us, we cope with this disease day after day... it will give you a great sense of self worth.

Let's try this again...
"Breathe Easy"... 1 2 3 Inhale ... 1 2 3 4 Exhale