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