Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas in New England





Merry Christmas to everyone, Happy Holidays! Another year has past and another is on the way. I am looking forward to the new year. I will be going North to Massachusetts for Christmas Eve to be with my family. It's the first Christmas together since I have moved to Florida!....Yes, I should rethink the weather...lol I have not had gloves on for over 3 years for that matter nor have I worn gloves and or boots, should be an experience to remember. From what I have heard Massachusetts has received a heck of a lot of snow!....But my brother assured me last nite that everything will be shoveled and car will be kept warm so I wont get cold, I think my blood has thinned out enough now that I just may feel the cold...brrrrrr I have read a post from another site that suggests that folks with lung conditions should wear a "Cold Air Face Mask" it can be purchased in any drug store/pharmacy I will get one today. Also I have a nice fluffy scarf to put around my neck. It just seems weird as I go to the airport in Florida I will be dressed like "Nanook of the North" lol Also, this is the first Christmas that I will get to see my Great Nieces, Haley and Lauren the picture on the left was sent to me from Christmas 2006. I have a few more gift to buy then to pack my suitcases. I will see you all in 2008. Again, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year!
Until we meet again remember, Inhale~~~ 123, Exhale~~~~1234


Breathe Easy,
Sandy












Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Butterfly

Just an addendum to the last post about the Monarch Butterlfy. Did you notice her wings and her beautiful colors, how soothing she is to look at?I know I have a sense of wonder just looking at her. I wonder what a great life she has just going about her business and savoring all the God given beauty that we all take for granted. I look around and surely do appreciate my life, my friends and all that goes with it and thank the Almighty God for what I have. I am inspired by all the beautiful colors in all the people I have met in my life and how they go about their business savoring the God given beauty that we all take for granted !

Remember my friends,
Inhale ~~~123
Exhale ~~~~1234
Breathe Easy,
Sandy

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Things that take Our Breath Away


As I see the "Monarch Butterfly" flittering by I think Oh My God how beautiful she is and how beautiful my life is just watching her sail by my window and be as free as she is I feel a sense of freedom with her...and then reality strikes back..ok...let's get together and smell the roses...all is well that ends well...I love my life and all that goes with it. I will do what I have to do to live with this disease and be happy for each and every day I can write about it and share my life with everyone...

Remember,

Inhale~~~123

Exhale ~~~1234


Breathe Easy,

Sandy

Sunday, December 2, 2007

December 2nd



Good Day to all, last nite I had to opportunity to attend a Southwest Florida Symphony and enjoy the show "The Sinatra Songbook", and also music from the Big Band era, needless to say it was just wonderful ! We had balcony seats and a perfect view of the stage and the orchestra was unbelievable, the songs sure did bring back a lot of fond memories, just to name a few, In the Mood, Sentimental Journey, The Lady is a Tramp, and lastly but not least New York, New York. The young man who honored Mr. Sinatra is Jefferey Berger who is an up and coming vocalist who is only 20 yrs old ! God has given him a wonderful gift.




To make the evening even more enjoyable was the absence of smoke of any kind.

Until we meet again my friends remember,

Breathe Easy,


Inhale ~~~123

Exhale ~~~1234
Sandy


Monday, November 26, 2007

Breathing Exercises by "raffaele"


hello sandy.thank you for mentioning myself and my exercises on your blog.hope you are feeling better with your toe.regarding to the "double breath" exercise if you find anyone interested in trying it they must follow the given order.the first inhalation should only be for 2 seconds,followed by the second and final inhalation where one complete the full inhalation for 4 seconds.then slowly,very slowly exhale for 8 or 10 seconds.for five repetitions.my students do the exercise first thing in the morning.when we breathe in we are massaging the spleen,liver,stomach,intestines,bladder.because the diaphragm pushes down on the inhalation.on the exhalation we are massaging the heart and the lungs because the diaphragm pushes upward.not many people are aware of this powerful exercise.regards to you and your family raffaele Thank YOU raffaele for sharing this will all of us. Until we meet again my friends,
Breathe Easy,
Inhale ~~~123
Exhale~~~~1234
Sandy

Friday, November 23, 2007

Exercising

Hello again, I just thought of something I wanted to add to my "Broken Toe" post, actually it has to do with exercising because I have been exercising is probably why I am in good shape and did not get hurt more.I have been talking with a friend of mine in England his name is raffaele..he teaches things that have to do with the body and how it affects the mind, he also teaches a breathing technique called :Breath Meditation" which is similar to "Pursed Lip Breathing" with one difference, the exhalation is done thru the nose, the other one is very interesting it is called, "Double Breath" that would be, Inhale, Inhale again then Exhale, raffaele says by doing these exercises we are exercising the internal organs...interesting, I have never heard of these before but I have inquired and others have...Oh, one more thing another friend of mine Vicki who lives in Cal. has had a bad bout with "Thrush" when she had no luck with her physician in getting the right medicine, she finally called her Dentist ! I never thought of that, what a great idea and the medicine he gave her has helped a lot, so without further ado, until we meet again remember,
Inhale~~~123
Exhale ~~1234
Breathe Easy,
Sandy

"Broken Toe"




Hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving Day ! Here we are in "My Little Corner OF The World" do you really want to know what I did on Wednesday ? anyway I am going to tell you. I drove to work with a friend of mine, once we got there we walking thru the parking lot and yakking up a storm as we approached the building there is a cement step up...yup I missed it down I went on both knees cut them up cut my toes and pretty colors of black, blue red...lol I had to add some humor ! Well, got myself up with help went into the office iced my foot, then hobbled to the car to go to the Walk in clinic, now that's funny ! after being checked over,no x-ray the machine was broke just my luck, well the Dr. assured me nothing was broke go home ice it blah, blah blah...well as the day went on the more it swelled and pain was awful. I had medicine here at the house and took one and slept for about 4 hrs. Remember this is Wed. the nite before Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving I was miserable took another pill slept for another few hours, ate dinner and elevated my leg for the rest of the day, time for bed took another pill.I did not want to sit in the emergency room on Thanksgiving in case your wondering why I stayed in so much pain...anyway, today I got a ride to the emergency room and they took pictures and confirmed that the Toe is broken! after poking and prodding you know I was really hurting so got another pain pill enuf already, guess it will just have to heal on it's own. As long as I keep it elevated and iced it should be OK.




The worst part about going to the E/R all those sick people, coughing, sneezing etc. I wont go into details and of course a lady was put in the bed right beside mine, yup she had a serious cough, nasty cough they were giving her breathing treatments. I was just to be about discharged when I asked to be moved out of the area I was afraid of catching whatever it was she had, I was very anxious, the nurse said there was no other place to move me or her, so I got up and went out into the hallway and waited till they wrote out the discharge paper work which took about another 15 min.Here we are, relaxing, just finished lunch, gonna have leftovers for dinner. Thing could have been worse, only one broken toe not two. Until we meet again my friends, remember


Inhale~~~123


Exhale~~~1234


Breathe Easy,


Sandy




Sunday, November 18, 2007

Smoking !!

Mr. Bray, You should move to another state , trust me on this, you will NOT be missed in the State of Florida, I for one will get map quest for you. I have to be smoke free and my friends who still smoke are still my friends, however they do respect my and do NOT smoke in front of me.

Have a nice trip !

original Message -----
From:
Opinion/Surveys Tobacco News
To:
sandyg12121@embarqmail.com
Sent: Sunday, November 18, 2007 1:09 PM
Subject: Florida News: BRAY: Haze of smoke's gone, as are smoking companions
Opinion/Surveys
Florida: BRAY: Haze of smoke's gone, as are smoking companions
Category
Smoke free Policies
Elections/Politics
Op-Ed
Dining/EntertainmentState
Florida
Source: St. Petersburg (FL) Times, 2007-11-09Author: JACK BRAY
The only reason for the ban is the allegation that secondhand smoke is injurious to the health of others. If the allegation is true, why are there exceptions in the implementation of Amendment 6? Are certain locations impervious to "dangerous smoke"? . . . The price to be "smoke-free" has been paid for by the abrupt separation of friends and neighbors. For this very powerful reason, I say the Florida law should be repealed. The Clean Air Act should be strengthened to achieve a compromise that allows everyone to get back together. And so, as I fly off to another state for the rest of my life, I urge you to ask each other: Is the absence of smoke worth the absence of friends?
»
Full text of article

I would like to share something with all of you...In Florida as well as the other 49 States in this great country of ours everyone is doing their part to reduce the cigarette addiction as well as second hand smoke that would affect thousands of non smokers, including myself...however I received an email today from a gentleman, I will attach his e/mail as well as my reply, of which may sound a bit harsh but, when it comes to my lungs and my health so be it. Second Hand smoke has become one of the biggest leaders in Lung Cancer, I am in no hurry to be counted. Until we meet again my friends Remember,
Breathe Easy,
Inhale, 123
Exhale 1234

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Cat Scan


I just have to share my good news with everyone, I saw my Pulmonologist today for a routine check up and the results of the Cat Scan which came back no change that's a good thing, I do not have to have another one done for a whole year, nor do I have to see him for a whole year, I am so pleased. Seems the nodules they have been checking every 6 months have been laying dormant and let's hope they stay that way.
I count my blessing each and every day, I Thank God for giving me another day to breathe, I always say it could be worse be thankful that it isnt, I truly am "Thankful"
Until we meet again my friends,
Breathe Easy,
Sandy
Inhale ~~~123
Exhale ~~~1234


Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Wonderful Tribute


Today, November 11th, I attended a wonderful tribute to our Veterans, honoring those who gave their lives for our freedom, honoring those Veterans who still give their all for our freedom.

Once again it seems everywhere I go there is an awful odor from some one with a cigarette ! One reason why I carry a mask with me as had to move twice from where I was standing to get away from the second hand smoke. Once the observance was over with I had the pleasure of speaking with the commander ofour post , Deanna Hall while we were talking I explained to her that I have Emphysema and would love to do more at the post, however the lack of smoke eaters prevents me from doing my part to participate in the functions, she assured me that the smoke eaters will be up and running each and every day in the very near future.

Until we meet again my friends Remember,
Inhale, 123 Exhale,1234

Breathe Easy,
Sandy

Friday, November 9, 2007

Veterans Day, November11th.


Today I was very busy right from the get go, because Veterans Day is just around the corner myself and a friend signed up to sell poppies for our Soldiers/Veterans, we took the early shift, for over 2 hrs. we sold quite a few poppies we did quite well. But, the best part is when folks come up and Thanked us for standing and selling poppies to support our Veterans, my reply, It is because of our Veterans that I can do this, and enjoy my freedom. I say" Thank You "to our Veterans !

Monday, November 5, 2007

November Already !


Here we are November 2007, my, my where does the time go, seems the older I get the quicker the days go by, how about you ? I am going to get of the subject of COPD/Emphysema, for just a little bit.

Saturday evening I was lucky recipient of a free ticket to the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre in Fort Myers, Dinner was wonderful and the show was about "Buddy" The Buddy Holly Story, the music of the 1950's I could relate to all of the songs it was just wonderful ! No one was allowed snap shots or videos. The house was packed about standing room only it went on for about 2 hours with a brief intermission, the cast received a standing ovation as they should have they were terrific. We had great seats right up front yet not to close we had a wonderful view of the stage.


Because Florida's Non Smoking Laws, the theatre is of course smoke free, however, there were only a couple of folks outside puffing away on our way in and on our way out, one of the reasons I always carry a dust mask and or a hankie to cover my nose and mouth, second hand smoke can be worse than the actually cigarette. Trust you all had a wonderful weekend, enjoy the day here in Florida it is about 60 degrees and sunny, until we meet again my friends.

Inhale 123 Exhale 1234


Breathe Easy,

Sandy

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

In the Pool again!


Well, here we are again in the pool finally, it's Tues. Oct.30th. the weather is breezy and cool, only a handful of folks showed up again today I thing because the temps are getting lower..in the 70's it is getting to chilly for the pool...plus it was raining this morning I heard what I thought was thunder and I was a running for the steps to exit, and someone said, it's ok Sandy it was an airplane..lol We went thru our routine for about 30 minutes and I had to leave early for a Doctor Appt. for consult on a Colonoscopy...has anyone ever had that done, I am kind of skeptical but it needs to be done so they tell me...


I would appreciate any input on that procedure.




Breathe Easy,


Sandy


Inhale 123 Exhale 1234


Friday, October 26, 2007

Ahhh, The weekend/Rest




I made it to the pool today still a bit chilly but not windy like yesterday, whew ! what a relief and the pool was heated as well. I thought the hours on Fridays were 9:30 till 10:15 oops, the class started at 10:30 till 11:15 so here I am all shriveled up from all that time in the pool, altho I don't feel to bad this afternoon, today we did water walking, meaning doing the regular routine while walking up and down the pool, I asked one of the life guards to take a few pictures for me, remember that game can you find Wally, well, can you find Sandy..lol If you have read my Blog you have seen my picture. Enjoy the weekend I know I will, seriously exercise is great for our lungs and body.



Until we meet again~~~~






Breathe Easy,



Sandy






123 inhale, 1234 exhale






Thursday, October 25, 2007

No Water Exercise Today



Good Afternoon everyone, well I did not make it to the pool today for water aerobics, you ask why ? Temps were in the low 70's with a brisk breeze, here in Florida that is pretty darn cool not wanting to take a chance on getting a chill and or a cold I opted to stay here and exercise right in the comforts of home, let's hope tomorrow is warmer. Have a wonderful afternoon and evening.


Breathe Easy

Sandy

Inhale123, Exhale 1234

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Another Day of Exercise /Water Aerobics


Here I am another day and I made it thru the exercises, still a bit stiff and sore but, my little lady friend with her walker meandered to the pool climbed down the steps and did laps again ! What an inspiration. The exercises are interesting try this, hug yourself and put your head down, do you feel the muscles in the back of your neck stretching, I sure do.


Running in place in the pool is great, then the instructor tells us to do the Irish Jig ! he cant be for real...yup he is, it's looks so easy while he is on deck doing it, try that in the water it's not easy...lol Then we do the rocking horse thingy, that's fun, then walk to the other side of the pool and return, going backwards is suppose to help with the resistance and improve muscle strength...so he says..lol I took 1000mg of Tylenol before the aerobics and 1000mg four hours later, they really do help. However, tomorrow morning will tell the real story..Tomorrow when I get to the pool I am going to ask the lifeguard to take a picture of all of us... Watch for the update and picture if you dare...
Breathe Easy,
Inhale,123 Exhale 1234
That is exactly what I did while I was exercising !

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

First day of Water Aerobics

Ok here we go...ouch, dang it I had no idea how out of shape I was or am ! Oh my goodness after a 45 min. workout, which seemed like a 45 hour work out I just about crawled out of the pool, and to make me feel worse there was an elderly lady I would say about 90 years young doing laps !



so how bad of am I...pretty bad..lol so tomorrow I will bite the bullet and do the darn exercises and think about that little lady..and what she did and what I can do ! until then my friends have a wonderful evening, look for an update tomorrow.

Breathe Easy,
Sandy

Inhale 123, Exhale 1234

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Osteoporosis and Arthritis


Hello everyone, I know it has only been a couple of days since my last post about Osteoporosis and Arthritis I just wanted to give you all an update. I have been taking 1000 mg. of Tylenol every 4 hrs. it seems to be taking the edge off, also doing the heating pad thingy and putting a comfy pillow at my back. Now, according to my Dr. I should be exercising every day, he suggested the water aerobics and since I don't have a pool in my back yard I would have to go to the community pool, do you remember a while back I did a post on community poos and the germs and all.




I have done some research and made a few calls and have been assured that the local community pool is closed on Sunday and Monday so that they can clean and make sure the chemicals are stabilized.




I will give it a shot on Tuesday and update you on how it goes and how I feel. As I said before exercise is so important for so many reasons, I have not been exercising only because the "Shingles" got in my way for two months now but, they have cleared up and I now have the go ahead to do stuff again in moderation of course I really need to be careful not to break any bones...




Enjoy the rest of your weekend and remember,




Inhale 123 Exhale 1234




Breathe Easy,




Sandy




Friday, October 19, 2007

Ostseoporosis and Copd

Good Afternoon everyone on this lovely day in sunny Florida.

I have to share something with you all. Last week I went to my Dr. for a follow up of a cold, at that time I mentioned to him that my back has been SO painful... it felt like it was going to break in two, plus it was taking a toll on my posture which I have always prided myself in. He examined me as gently as possible, but I was SO tender it even hurt to sit in a chair. Sitting in a stooped position seemed to ease the pain, but was not doing my breathing any favors. Think about it... stoop over & try to breathe. I did some research while waiting for the tests results and low and behold, Osteoporosis and Copd are definitely connected.

The Dr. had me schedule a test called a Dexa-Scan--which means a bone density test, as well as an x-ray of my spine.

Tests revealed just what he thought "Osteoporosis" and "Arthritis". He thought maybe a fracture due to the tenderness, fractures are common if you have Osteoporosis because the bones are so brittle.

Treatment plan suggested, Vitamin D if I can tolerate it, exercise and heat. I'll give it a shot and hope for the best. I tried the Vit. D cannot tolerate it, hurts my stomach. So I tried something called "Viactive"... so far so good. I am attaching a link for you to look at. It is never a dull day in the life of Sandy Grace!
However, I am grateful for each and every day that I wake up and see the sunrise and each day I look at the sunset.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

.. check out this site: http://www.4women.gov./faq/osteopor.htm


Remember,
Inhale 123, Exhale 1234

Breathe Easy,
Sandy

Monday, October 15, 2007

Beach & Ocean Pollution







Today 15 October 2007 is Blog Action Day. This means that bloggers around the web will come together to bring out a single important issue - the environment. Every blogger may post about "The Environment" in his/her own way and about their own topic. What is the goal?... to get everyone talking towards a better future for us and for our children.
http://www.blogactionday.org/

I would like to talk a bit about Beach & Ocean Pollution. This summer I took a trip to a beach in South Carolina. I love the sandy beaches, the warm ocean water and my all time favorite picking sea shells. I was appalled by the number of cigarette butts that smokers discarded on the beach while sunbathing, fishing or just taking a stroll. My suggestion for these people.... "Keep Your Butt Off The Beach"! The attached picture to this post was one that I took of these "Butts on the Beach".

We also find many other forms of garbage on our beaches. aluminum cans, plastic bottles, fishing lures, fishing line, glass bottles, and metal debris. All of these items sooner or later get washed into the oceans or seas. They all pose a threat to not only the living creatures of the seas but also to our own lives.

Toxic Wastes are poisonous materials that dumped into the ocean. They harm plants and animals in the ocean and also have an impact on our health. When toxic waste harms an organism, it can quickly be passed along the food chain and may eventually end up being our seafood. Toxic waste gets into the seas and oceans by the leaking of landfills, dumps, mines, farms and factories.
Toxic Chemicals in the ocean may be killing much of the fish population. One of the most harmful chemicals in the ocean is lead.
Medical Waste is also found in the ocean and is being tested to see if swimmers have a chance of developing Hepatitis or AIDS.
How do we decrease the amount of waste in the oceans?... by recycling as much garbage as we can so there are smaller amounts of harmful materials into the ocean.
Garbage Dumping pertains to harmful materials being dumped into the ocean. For example, human waste, ground-up garbage, water from bathing, and plastics. Most of the waste that has been dumped into the ocean in the early 1990's is still there today... Amazing.. Isn't it??!!
One main cause of garbage dumping occurs when sewage pipes share space with storm water drains. Rainfall causes the pipes to overflow and sewage waste mixes with the storm water drain, this flows into another water source such as a lake or river. Then the garbage pollutes the ocean.
Some other types of Pollution are:
Wastewater: The run-off from rainwater which usually ends up in rivers, lakes, and oceans.
Boat Pollution: This comes from the boat's engine when it is running. The chemicals in the exhaust from the engine which give off excess gasoline.
Car Pollution: When a car gets driven, smoke comes from the back of the car. This smoke ends up being acid rain.
Agriculture Pollution: Chemical pesticides, chemical or natural substances.

Chemical detergents, batteries, plastics, and sewage are all produced and used in homes by humans everyday. People are creating a risk to the plants and animals that live in the oceans and lakes.
How can we help the Environment of our Beaches and Oceans? First and foremost when you ARE on the beach, take your garbage with you!
- recycle plastics
- dispose properly of batteries
- use less water
- carpool
- recycling
- do not throw litter in the street
- do not wash your car or change your oil on the road or driveway. The oil and detergent will be washed into the storm drain.
- create less rubbish in the first place
- buy products in biodegradable packaging
- re-use your plastic shopping bags
** Tell your friends and family... or anyone you see littering about the dangers of rubbish and garbage to marine animals. Encourage them to do the "Right Thing" with litter!

This is our land, our beaches, and our oceans... Only WE can take care of them.

Do What Is Right For Our Environment!
Lori Palermo

Sunday, October 14, 2007

First Catch Your Breath Luncheon, Ft. Myers, Fl. Oct.12,2007


I attended a Women's Lung Health luncheon, the very first in the State of Florida, and let me tell you this, the food was wonderful, the speakers were awesome, the true stories shared brought tears to my eyes, as I could relate to them, as I have lost so many of my family members to cancer,we all need to stop and smell the roses and look at what we have and appreciate each and every day.
There are no better representatives for the American Lung Association than those of us who live with a lung disease. Let's raise awareness and get some funding for lung research. Contact your local chapter and find out what you need to do.

Having a lung disease is no fun, but we can make the best of it, I do it every day.
We have to stay positive, a positive mental attitude will take us a long way. I met a wonderful lady at the luncheon and her philosophy is...You can make a difference and she is SO right....I hope you all have a great evening..


inhale 123---exhale 1234

Breathe Easy,

Sandy

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Medicines working against each other


Hi all, here is an interesting story....I know it is an important topic..the other day I was not feeling well, coughing up that nasty stuff, we all know what that is ! I figured I best call my primary care doc and tell him what was going on as I was afraid of getting sick, he called in a prescription for me ...a Z-Pac , I went to the pharmacy to pick it up and low and behold the pharmacist said, Sandy we can not fill this for you at this time, because of your heart meds it will cause a problem !

Apparently my Cardiologist had it flagged for this type of med, soooo the pharmacist called my doctor and got another antibiotic for me, which seems to be doing just fine...

I am soooo thankful that this was caught, I know these Drs.are sooo busy, and I am looking on the positive side of it, but wanted you all to know how serious this is...and how dangerous it could have been for me.

Always make sure your Doctor reviews your chart before he calls in a prescription for you , keep a list of current meds, let the nurse know what they are to avoid any drug interaction.

inhale 123 exhale 1234
Breathe Easy,
Sandy

Friday, October 12, 2007

Gold COPD Awareness Lapel Pin & Smokefree Living Pin


Exclusively Designed by Love Your Lungs, Breathe For Life


Gold COPD Awareness Lapel Pin:
Soft Enamel Cloisonne'
Epoxy Dome
1" Size
Polished Gold Metal
Sandblasted Recessed Metal
1-8mm Post w/ Butterfly Clutch
1.2mm Thickness


Smokefree Living Lapel Pin:
Soft Enamel Cloisonne'
Epoxy Dome
3/4" Size
Dyed Black Metal
1-8mm Post w/Butterfly Clutch
1.2mm Thickness

These pins may be purchased for $3.00 each which includes shipping & handling.

E-mail: Lori Palermo, loveyourlungs@yahoo.com

Help Bring Awareness to (COPD) Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and be Proud to be Living a Smokefree Life!

"When You Can't Breathe, Nothing Else Matters"
Lori

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Checking The Mail




Good Afternoon everyone, hope all is well. I have been posting the blog for a while now, I would love to hear your comments, suggestions, ideas.




The picture is of my cat "The Big Guy" he certainly lives up to his name, he is waiting for the mail... I have another cat, "Missy" she and "The Big Guy " are brother and sister, I find so much comfort in them especially when I dont feel well, they sure do sense it.




I love to sing, it is good exercise for my lungs, apparantly "Missy" enjoys it to ! I wish you all a good day !
Breathe Easy,
Sandy
123 Inhale, 1234 Exhale




Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Oral Thrush















I recently received an e-mail from a patient in regards to an infection she developed in her mouth due to her (MDI) Metered dose inhaler. I think this is an important topic to talk about so all of us using MDI's can be extra careful.

This infection is called "Thrush". It is a yeast infection of the mucous membranes of the mouth, effecting the cheeks, tongue and roof of the mouth.

Folks usually get "Thrush" from not rinsing well after use of their inhalers. The chemicals in the medicine stick inside your mouth, causing the infection which consists of open sores. This infection is a side effect of taking inhaled corticosteroids.

I was using an MDI with steroids and because I did not rinse after eash use, the medicine stayed inside my mouth. After a while it became so sore and nasty. If I had rinsed after each use, I could have lessened the severity of the infection.

These sores are quite painful, keeping you on a diet of soft foods and liquids.
Your Pulmonary doctor will most likely prescribe an anti-fungal mouthwash or lozenges, which are used for 5-10 days. This infection does not clear up over night, if you are still having a problem after the prescribed time frame. Give your dr. another call, he may prescribe other meds for you.

A few suggestions to help you beat the "Thrush":

- Rinse... Rinse your mouth after every MDI use. (do not swallow!)
- Yogurt... Eat at least 1/2 cup to coat your mouth after using the inhaler.
- Spacer... Use a spacer which is a medical device approved by the FDA to be used by a patient to increase the effectiveness and safety of a metered-dose inhaler.

I have included a link that will give you more information on "Thrush" and the use of a spacer on your MDI.

http://www.radix.net/~mwg/inhalers.html

I hope this bit of info has helped you! Please dont' be afraid to share your own stories with us or any questions you may have. We are all here to help each other.

Breathe easy,
Sandy

1 2 3... Inhale ... 1 2 3 4... Exhale

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Adopt the Sky


I am a member of COPDsurvivors by Cecil Montgomery and Karen Bastille. The following link was sent out by their site and I would now like to share it here "In My Little Corner Of The World".

On June 21, 2007, the EPA proposed stronger limits on smog in our air. But doctors and scientists say the new limits do not go far enough. Now powerful polluters are pushing back, trying to stop any change. Here's your chance to make your voice heard.

Click the link below and adopt a square mile of sky over the U.S. and sign the petition to demand clean air now. It’s free.

adoptthesky.org

Help ALL Americans Breathe Clean Air!!

Breathe Easy,
Sandy

1 2 3... Inhale ... 1 2 3 4... Exhale

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Healthy Eating for COPD Patients




How many COPD patients can relate to this... "It takes a lot of effort to eat large amounts of food." As for myself, if I try to put too much in my mouth, I do get short of breath. It is hard to chew, swallow and breathe when your lung functions are not good. Therefore, eating small amounts of food at a time is recommended due to the energy used to chew and swallow. This is something they teach you if you attend Pulmonary Rehab classes.

I have listed a few facts that I hope will help you begin to "Eat Healthy". This is so important for those of us with COPD.

- Fish Oil and supplemental omega-2 fatty acids. Although no strong evidence supports this, researchers believe that fish oil may be beneficial for COPD patients as they have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects on the body.
- Vegetables. High amounts of antioxidants are found in fresh, green and yellow-orange veggies. Such as kale, spinach, brussel sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, broccoli, beets and red bell peppers.
- Protein and Fats. A diet low in fat is best for healthy individuals. But for COPD patients, we need a greater amount of fat... healthy fat... in our diets. Proteins from fish, poultry, lean meats, also olive oils and oily fish are good to include in your diet.
- Fruits. Fruits are loaded with vitamins and easy to chew. Berries, peaches, plums, prunes, raisins, grapes, kiwi fruit, cherries, and oranges are high in antioxidants. Very good for your diet!

As you can see we have mentioned "Antioxidants" several times in our diet. Why? Because antioxidants fight disease by helping to repair damaged cells that are affected by the oxidation process which occurs during normal cell functioning. Vitamin A and carotenoids, C, E, selenium, flavonoids, lycopene, lutein and lignan all make up antioxidants.

- Dietary Supplements. Zinc and selenium in foods may help to reduce the severity of upper respiratory tract infections, but there is little evidence that vitamins and minerals have any ability to improve lung function. Please talk to your doctor before adding any dietary supplements to your diet.
- Red Wine. Research has shown that the chemical resveratrol, which is found in red wine, grapes and olive oil, can have health benefits. Also, some researchers believe that used in moderation, red wine may even provide protection to the lungs. It also should be noted that a high intake of wine can have a reverse effect, which may cause weakening of the immune system. Again, talk to your doctor before including alcohol or red wine to your diet.

You will find alot of information on the internet concerning "Healthy Eating for COPD Patients". My recommendation is to talk to your Pulmonologist about what foods are good for "your body" and "your health". We all may read something on a website or in a book and feel that this will "cure" us, as it is written in stone.
I would like to share with you a sad but true story written by Lori Palermo about her dad Wayne Litzenberger who passed away of COPD/Emphysema.

http://www.loveyourlungsbreatheforlife.com/arayofhope.html

Eat Well My Friends and Breathe Easy,
Sandy

1 2 3... Inhale ... 1 2 3 4... Exhale

Friday, September 21, 2007

A Women's Lung Health Luncheon


I received a very special phone call this week that I could not wait to share with all of you. You see, I have felt for a very long time that my "lot in life" was to help other human beings... to reach out to COPD and other Lung Disease patients. Starting my own BLOG has brought me so much joy and satisfaction knowing that I AM reaching out to these patients and making a difference.

Now to tell you my exciting news! The special phone call I received was from Mr. Kurt Goerke, the Regional Director/State Camp Director for the American Lung Association of Florida Inc. Gulfcoast Area, (I met Mr. Goerke at the Asthma Walk last spring).
Mr. Goerke invited me to the "Catch Your Breath" Women's Lung Health Luncheon to be held on Friday, October 12, 2007 at the Bonefish Grill, Fort Myers, FL. To say the least, I am ecstatic to receive this special invitation. Mr. Goerke also mentioned that he "has seen what I am doing on-line and greatly admires how I am reaching out to others."

The luncheon will be of great interest as their program consists of Speakers & Presenters from the Lee Cancer Care and Health Park Pulmonary Associates. Also Personal Testimonials from a Lung Cancer Survivor, a Lung Cancer Victim's Daughter and a Chronic Asthmatic.

For me to receive such a marvelous compliment from a wonderful person made me feel great! I will be attending the luncheon with honor. I hope you will look forward to my post after the luncheon, as I will tell you all about it!

Let us all reach out to one another and share our "Breath for Life".

1 2 3... Inhale ... 1 2 3 4... Exhale

Breathe Easy,
Sandy

http://www.catchyourbreathfortmyers.com


http://www.loveyourlungsbreatheforlife.com/blowthewhistleonasthm.html

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Using O2 but still Smoking?



I would like to tell you about an incident that I observed in a restarurant the other day, which brought back memories of my "smoking days".

As a former smoker, I can relate to how very difficult it is to give up a bad habit. It wasn't easy quitting. I was fortunate that I had a great support team... my family and friends! It was difficult at first. I actually did it for my great nieces, right after they were born. I was at my nephews house for Christmas and my niece brought the twins over for a visit. I really could not hold them because I could smell the acrid cigarette smoke on my clothes. I did not want them to be subjected to the secondhand smoke odor no matter how young they were. So, that was the beginning of the end... of my "Smoking Days"! Those girls were my inspiration. I am thankful that I stopped smoking. I have been smokefree now for over five years and feel this is a major accomplishment for me! Every now and then I do get the desire to have a "smoke"... but then I remember where I was five years ago and how far I have come.

What brought that story on is this: I was visiting a restaurant the other day and happened to see a woman come in wearing an O2 cannula. I thought "how lucky I am that I do not have to be on O2". The woman went outside to sit in the smoking section. The next thing I noticed, she had taken her oxygen off and lit up a cigarette! Her cough was awful! Once she finished her cigarette she put her O2 back on. I imagine she just needed those few puffs to make her feel better??...

What do you think?

I am not exactly sure how I feel. At this point in my life I don't believe I would pick up another cigarette, but then if that "stressful situation" arises... what would I do? Again, being an ex-smoker, I know how hard it is to quit. But on the other hand... if you need oxygen on a daily basis, your lungs must be in pretty bad shape. So, why would you continue smoking?

I try each and every day to help myself to do the best I can with what I have... COPD/Emphysema and Asthma, all as a result of Cigarette Smoking.

I ask you all to please share your stories with me. You may send me a private e-mail or I will share your story with our readers if you would like.

1 2 3... Inhale ... 1 2 3 4... Exhale

Breathe Easy,
Sandy

I would like you all to meet my great nieces Lauren and Haley, the two beautiful little girls who were truly my inspiration to quit smoking. The girls will be 5 years old on 27 September 2007. Also my "quit date" anniversary of "Big Tobacco"!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Caregivers are Special People


I received an e-mail the other day from someone who was not only a friend but was was also my caregiver. Kathy read my BLOG and would like me to share her e-mail with all of you. But, before I do that I will give you a bit of a history lesson!

Kathy was/is a very dear friend of mine, we have known each other for many years. She was my caregiver when I was first diagnosed with CFIDS, Fibromyalgia, and a few other illnesses. Kathy was always there to help me... shower, dress and with eating. At the time I was first diagnosed with these illnesses, I was in complete bed rest, unable to use any motor skills. I couldn't stand on my own and had to have assistance to the bathroom. I can remember I found myself reading one word out of the dictionary because I had no control of my thought process. In order to use it... and not completely lose it, I would read one word for weeks until I could remember it.
I am grateful for each day that I can get our of bed and appreciate life... and I know that she played a huge part in helping me recover.

"Sandy,
I wanted everyone to know that I know, how much music does mean to you. I've known nyou for almost 30 years and some of the happiest times we spent was you singing along with the music and doing your karaoke. The music has helped you through some of the toughest times in your life. It's kept you going... and me too!

I've been there too with your family and saw how much everyone enjoyed the get togethers and sing-a-longs. Everyone had such great voices! The way your mother always whistled!!! I know where you get it from.

I miss hearing you sing, but I'm glad to know that you are still doing it.

Love,
Kathy"

Thank you all for allowing me to share a "piece of my past" with you.

http://www.nfcacares.org/about_nfca/

Please don't forget our breathing...

1 2 3... Inhale ... 1 2 3 4 Exhale
Sandy

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Become a Smokefree Living Advocate


I hope you are all doing well tonight.
As for myself, I am still dealing with pain from the "shingles". Some of them have opened, others are slowly fading... but the pain is still intense.

As we are now in an era of trying to live "Smokefree Lives", there are sites in which you can join where you may voice your opinion to your Senators, Congressmen, etc. on TAKE ACTION issues.

I have joined the American Lung Association, receiving newsletters on a daily, weekly basis. I took action on the most recent: "Harmful Effects of Tobacco". I was very happy to receive a reply e-mail from Senator Nelson of Florida.



Dear Ms. Grace:

Thank you for contacting me with your concerns about smoking.

Medical science continually reveals new research magnifying the harmful
effects of tobacco. The link between cancer and tobacco has been well
publicized, but smoking is also a risk factor for the development of
countless other diseases. The costs society bears to treat these
illnesses are staggering especially when you consider the countless
resources allocated to battle often-preventable diseases.

There is no question that measures can be taken to reduce society's
dependence on tobacco. Of particular importance is educating children
about the dangers of smoking in order to prevent them from ever starting
the habit, and ensuring that tobacco companies do not market their
products to children.

Additionally, I believe we can act to lessen the harmful consequences of
smoking. To this end I cosponsored S. 625, the Family Smoking Prevention
and Tobacco Control Act. This bill would provide the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) authority to regulate tobacco products with the
goal of reducing the number of people who start smoking and increasing
the number of people who quit smoking. S. 625 has been referred to the
Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

I appreciate your concerns about smoking. As tobacco related issues
arise in the future, I will be sure to keep your opinions in mind.


P.S. From time to time, I compile electronic news briefs highlighting
key issues and hot topics of particular importance to Floridians. If
you'd like to receive these e-briefs, visit my Web site and sign up for
them at http://billnelson.senate.gov/news/ebriefs.cfm


My thoughts are we all need to "Get Involved" and "Take Action on issues that we strongly believe in.

If you follow the attached link, it will take you to a "Smokefree Advocates" Page on Lori's site. Here you may take a look at several sites to become involved with.

http://www.loveyourlungsbreatheforlife.com/smokefreeliving/smokefreeadvocates.html


http://www.lungusa.org/site/pp.asp?c=dvLUK9O0E&b=22542



Breathe Well My Friends... Living Smokefree

1 2 3... Inhale ... 1 2 3 4... Exhale

Sandy

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Looks Like Shingles... OUCH!


Greetings from the "Sunshine State"

The first sign of Shingles may include itching, tingling, and burning. A few days later a blistering rash appears which can last up to 30 days!

I would like to share with you my very painful past few weeks! This is how it happened. Around August 12th, I seemed to have developed an ear ache, so I bought ear drops. I used them for a few days and thought my ear was feeling a little bit better.. although I felt a numbness. I thought it was the chamomile drops numbing my ear or rather the pain! But also my neck was sore to touch and actually my skin hurt to the touch it. The following day I saw awful blisters on my upper torso, to include my chest area, arm, under arm, neck front and back... I immediately called my doctor and got an appointment that day. As soon as he walked in and saw me, he said... "UH OH looks like shingles!"

What to do? He prescribed Vicoden for the excruciating pain. I cannot even begin to tell you how much pain I was in. Acyclovir 800 mg, 5 X's a day for 10 days which is an antibiotic. I started the regimen of pain pills, to my chagrin... the Vicoden did not even touch the pain. I called my doctor again, explaining to the nurse that I just could not take this pain any longer. Within a few minutes she called me back with a stronger prescription.

The new meds indicated, take one tablet every 6 hrs. as needed for pain. Sure enough it did help and finally after a few days of complete bed rest, I was able to get up and actually start to eat a bit. Because of the awful pain I could not eat, only drink water and take my regular meds and the "shingles" meds. Altho I did my best to eat some crackers and jello.. yummy!!

My biggest concern with the pain meds was that it could have created a problem with my breathing. Because of the nature of these drugs, there is a big warning on the bottle "Taking more of this medication then recommended may cause serious breathing problems."
Needless to say, I was very careful in taking them.

Something that we should all be aware of is that: "We need to be careful with any different medications we may need to take. If possible, research the side effects and reactions that could occur while taking these along with our 'normal' meds." Also remember... do not be afraid to ask you doctor any questions you may have.

Today is a better day, altho I still have some pain on the right side of my neck. From what I have read, sometimes there is residual pain from the shingles and it is called, (PHN) Postherpetic Neuralgia. The pain from shingles can range from burning or throbbing to a pain that is stabbing or shooting. In my case the shooting and stabbing would apply! I can only hope that this will go away quietly and stay away.

I know most people wonder... "what causes shingles?" Well, from what I have researched, if you have had Chickenpox than you are at risk for this potentially serious and painful disease.
Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. The virus can remain inactive in your body for years. If the virus becomes active, you can get a case of the shingles. What causes the virus to become active... stress and perhaps a weakened immune system.

One thing I mentioned in the beginning of my post is that at the time I was using the ear drops, I assumed the drops were causing the numbness to my ear. But after being diagnosed with shingles...I read that they can cause numbness to the ear if the outbreak is in that area.

I have attached a site link with more information about "SHINGLES".

If anyone has had this type of experience, please write in and share this with us. It is very helpful and important for all of us to beable to learn and share together.

Breathe with all the strength that you have my friends,

1 2 3... Inhale ... 1 2 3 4... Exhale

Sandy

http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/shingles/shingles.htm

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Singing makes me smile!


Singing brings a SMILE to my face!!

When I was younger... many moons ago, my cousins, aunts and my mom would gather in the kitchen to play their guitars and sing. I loved watching all of them and the beautiful sounds of the guitars. But what I loved the most was the wonderful sound of my moms voice, she could sing like a canary and whistle like a lark, what beautiful memories.

Over the years I tried my talent, singing alone so no one could hear me. When I got older, one night I was at a club and they had a talent show, my friends encouraged me to get up on stage and sing.... which I did!!! Later that night the club owner approached me and asked if I would come back on a regular basis to sing. WOW!! I was shocked... I didn't think I was good enough, but apparently he did! I "thanked" him for the nice offer, but declined. As many of my friends know me I am not shy, but I really wasn't ready for the "big time"! I just wanted to enjoy my music and sing for my friends to make THEM smile as much as I do when I listen to music.

About 7 years ago I ws singing at a Karaoke Club and actually had a request to sing different songs for the regulars.... "that made me smile"!

Then it hit... I was diagnosed with COPD/Emphysema... "dang it"! I didn't think I would beable to sing again. But do you know what?... It's okay now, I have learned how to work with "it" - COPD/Emphysema. The best thing for me is to keep singing. It helps expand my lungs and also... gets that trapped air out so that I can "Breathe in Fresh Air".

You see, I have a wonderful tool... my "Mind", that is how I deal with this crappy disease on a daily basis. I use to get out of breath when I sang, but I don't anymore because I have trained myself how to take breaths when necessary. I have done much research with regards to singing and breathing techniques.

Music truly does make me smile! Even as I am writing this BLOG I am SMILING... and I have a CD playing on my computer. I love to sing country, blues and soft ballads. I especially love to sing Irish tunes!

I hope many of you can relate to the wonderful sounds of music and all of the benefits that come from it... most importantly... how it makes "YOU SMILE"!

Please share with us your stories about the music in your life. Whether you have a lung disease or not... share with us your love for music!

I am also interested in patients using O2, is there anyone out there that is able to sing, while on oxygen? I would think it would depend on the individual, but again... let me hear from you!!

http://www.vocalist.org.uk/breathing_techniques.html


Relax and breathe through the sounds of music

1 2 3... Inhale ... 1 2 3 4 Exhale

Sandy

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Community swimming pools - germs & more germs...

On a clear day, rise and look around you. And you'll see who you are.
A beautiful song that just popped into my head!!


For several months now a girlfriend and I have been going to the community swimming for senior water aerobics. Usually about a 45 minute workout each day.
I just found out that it is NOT the best avenue for exercise.
I was instructed not to use the pool because of the GERMS and BACTERIA in the water. Well you know that some people do their **** in the pool... YUCK... and even though they use chlorine, it does not kill all of the bacteria. So, I will be exercising indoors with my exercising techniques that we posted earlier in our blog.

Also, with anyone having an open wound, the bacteria in the water is not good. The bacteria or chlorine may cause an infection to set in.

If you have breathing problems but enjoy swimming, try to stay in the shallow sections. I did notice a shortness of breath because of the pressure in the deeper water.

Just a few tips that I thought you may be interested in!! I am sure by now you know my reaction to GERMS!!!!!! I am scared to death of them. So when a doctor tells me to "Stay Away"..... by golly that's what I do!!

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."

1 2 3 ... Inhale ... 1 2 3 4 ... Exhale

Your fellow COPD'er,
Sandy

Thursday, August 9, 2007

The Love of a Family - by Lori Palermo

I would like to share with all of you a Montage Video that I put together In Loving Memory of my dad, Wayne. For those of you who do not know, my dad passed away 26 December 2003 after a 13 year battle with COPD/Emphysema. Since that time I became very involved in lung disease and smokefree living work. In June 2006, on Father's Day, I launched my own website In Memory of my dad and In Honor of all patients and their caregivers who live every day with the debilitating Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. I have now become an Advocate For Lung Disease Awareness & Smokefree Living.

This video shows what a kind, caring, and loving husband, father and grandfather my dad was. He was truly the #1 Dad!

I love him and miss him with all my heart.

God bless,
Lori

Please scroll down to the bottom of the page to view the video.

A Lesson in Diaphragmatic Breathing

Good Evening Folks,

It's a very warm evening here in sunny Florida!! But who's complaining, as long as we have air conditioning... thats all that counts!!

I would like to take you back to Lori Palermo's vacation with me at Ft. Myers Beach last month. One evening Lori and I were talking about her dad being barrel chested with his COPD and the different ways he would sit when he tried to breathe. I began explaining to her how we COPD'ers breathe differently than "Other Folks". Meaning that we use "Diaphragm Breathing". When folks without a breathing problem "inhale" their stomach goes in... but when we take a "breath" or "inhale" our stomach goes out. Lori and I practiced for quite awhile.

We had a good time and it was funny watching her... LOL, but it was also very educational. You actually had to be there to see us... both of us sitting face to face, our shirts tucked up, with our hand placed on our stomach, being able to feel and see the difference in our breathing technique. It's one of those things that you really have to concentrate on what you are trying to do... just ask Lori!! After several tries... well maybe MANY, MANY tries.... she finally accomplished the breathing technique. I even got a bit confused myself trying to go back and forth between her "normal" breathing and our COPD'ers breathing!

Now you ask... Why do we do this? Well, we are trying to exhale the stale air in
our lungs and exchange it for good clean air.

Put your hand on your stomach and practice your "Diaphragmatic Breathing".

I have attached two sites that will give you more information on Diaphragm Breathing.

http://www.pe2000.com/breathe.htm

http://www.petethomas.co.uk/saxophone-diaphragm.html

Breathe well my friends, breathing is how we live!

1 2 3... Inhale ... 1 2 3 4 Exhale

Sandy

Friday, August 3, 2007

Pursed Lip Breathing

Hello to all my friends!

I hope you are all having a Healthy and Happy summer! It's hard to believe we are already into August.
I just returned home from a fun-filled vacation, visiting family and friends in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Funny... I needed to come home to rest... from my vacation!!
While on vacation, I woke up thinking about "pursed lip breathing"! I realized I had not added that important piece of information to my "Breathless on the Beach" post.

So, here we go......

When Lori and I returned back to our destination from our walk on the beach...
well let me back up a bit, when I told Lori that I was becoming "short of breath" and anxiety was grabbing hold of me I also told her to keep talking to me so that I could focus on her conversation and not on being "SOB" and my "anxiety". One very important factor was that as we were walking back and Lori was talking to me I was also practicing my "pursed lip breathing". This type of breathing "controls your breathing", slows down your anxiety and helps you from gasping for your next breath...as long as you "stay focused".
As Lori and I returned from our walk, I mentioned to her how the "pursed lip breathing" had also helped me. She told me she saw that I was "PLB". She remembered seeing her dad use this breathing method many many times. But never truly understood its meaning and effectiveness until she saw how it helped me get through this situation.
Here is a link to an informative site about pursed lip breathing.

http://lungdiseases.about.com/od/generalinformation1/a/shortofbreath.htm

I would be very interested in hearing what type of breathing methods help your "anxiety" and "shortness of breath" situations. Please write to me and share your stories.

Live each and every day to its very fullest....

1 2 3 Inhale ... 1 2 3 4 Exhale
Sandy

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Breathless on the Beach

I would like to share this experience with all of you, it is very important to remember and practice this in case you are ever in this same type of situation. You must know how to react and how to take care of yourself.
The first evening Lori was at Ft Myers, we decide to head straight for the beach to take a walk. It was still warm, but the sun was beginning to set and the sky was a beautiful array of clouds and brilliant colors of orange, yellows and reds. We were walking along the shores feeling the warm sand and water on our feet, and searching for sea shells. Since it was the first time we had actually met in 2-3 years, we were just talking about anything and everything.
All of a sudden I had to stop, I told Lori that I was getting short of breath and anxiety was grabbing hold of me. We had walked so far without even realizing it.
I became scared knowing that we had to walk so far back. My shortness of breath scared me.... my anxiety scared me.... it became a viscious circle.
I explained to Lori what was happening, but told her to remain calm. I knew what I had to do to overcome this situation. I asked her to keep talking, that way I could concentrate on her conversation and overcome my anxiety by not focusing on it. By overcoming my anxiety, I could also overcome my "shortness of breath". Of course I did not have my "rescue inhaler"... which was a big no-no!!! If I would have had the inhaler with me, the situation would have been a whole lot less stressful. But... we all make these mistakes.
Lori and I took our time walking back, she talked to me and I focused on HER... NOT on my "Shortness of Breath". By the time we got back to our destination, I was feeling fine. I had made it through a very stressful and I may say "scarey" situation.
As Lori has been learning so much about COPD since her dad passed away..... this was a very good "hands on" experience for her to witness.
Please take this experience and try to learn from it. It may not be easy the first, second or third time..... but you can do. You can take control of your anxiety and your shortness of breath.

If anyone has had an experience of this type... please write in and tell us all about it. Let us know how YOU came through it.

Until next time
1 2 3... Inhale ... 1 2 3 4 Exhale

Breathing is our Lifeline,
Sandy

A Message from Lori Palermo

Good Morning from the beautiful Pocono Mountains in Northeast Pennsylvania. It is a gorgeous day here. I hope everyone is having a "blessed breathing day" so far!
Since I have not added a BLOG for Sandy, I would like to say a word or two before she adds her BLOG.
Sandy and I have been corresponding by e-mail for the past 2-3 years. We have spoke on the phone and become very good friends. Several months ago, Sandy invited me to fly to Florida and spend a week with her. Well... needless to say, I immediately booked my flight. I recently spent a week with Sandy on the absolutely beautifl white sandy beaches of Ft. Myers, Florida... a place where my dad loved and took my family many times.
Sandy is an awesome person. We bonded the moment she picked me up at the airport and had an absolute BALL the whole week I was there. I visited her home, where I met her friends Linda, Joan and Linda's son Nick. They are truly really cool people and were very generous to me.

Now, Sandy will add a BLOG about an experience that we had while walking the beach the first evening I was there.

God bless you all.
Lori

P.S. Sandy and I are working on some ideas we have to give you the COPD patients, families or caregivers more information. You'll will be seeing some changes here at
"Sandy's Little Corner Of The World."

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Upper & Lower Extremity Chair Exercises

Greetings all of my friends! I hope you have had a good breathing day. The humidity has hampered my breathing with a bit more tightness in my chest. But, as usual... we all do learn to cope with this.

Upper Extremity Chair Exercises:
For shoulder strengthening you may now grasp the seat or side arms of the chair and push down and pull up.

Another useful activity are the "Broomstick Exercises".
- Use the full length of an old broomstick, and use it to both mobilize and strengthen your upper extremities, and to develop neck and spine mobilization.

- Holding the broom palms down, bring the broomstick from yourlap up to your chin, and from there extend the broomstick over your head, and then back again.

- Palms down, place the broomstick over your knees, and then with arms extended swing it up and over your head and back down again.

- With the broomstick over your head, rotate the broomstick and your head slowly as far as you can to the right, and then to the left.

- With the broomstick held at chin level, bring the broomstick straight down towards the left hip, and then to the right hip.

- With the broomstick heldat chin level, touch the right end of the broomstick to the left knee, and at the same time look up over your left shoulder. Repeat this exercise touching the left end of the broomstick to the right knee,while looking up over your right shoulder. These neck and spine mobilization exercises may be difficult at first if your neck and spine are stiff. Be gentle.

As your strength improves, light weight dumb-bells may be used. Again, one or two pound weights are more than enough.

Lower Extremity Chair Exercises:

The quadriceps exercises should be done from the chair one leg at a time. Straighten your right leg out, then lift it from the floor until it is straight out, then tense the thigh muscles and hold the tension for five seconds. Relax, andn lower your leg to the floor and rest for five seconds. Repeat the cycle and then do the same for the left leg.

These quadriceps exercises may be too strenuous at first for some. In that case, start out with both feet flat on the floor, and tense both thighs for five seconds, relax for five seconds, and repeat the cycles.

For hip strengthening, sit up straight, knees together, and then lift the right knee up, then swing it outward, put the foot down, then bring it back up, and return to the starting position with the knees touching. Repeat the cycle and do the same for the left leg.

For hip, lower abdominal and lower spine exercise, place your heels directly in front of the chair, and then push your heels into the floor. As you do this, tense your lower abdominal and back muscles. Hold this tension for five seconds, relax for five seconds and repeat the cycle.

If you do these excercises faithfully for about two weeks, you should now be prepared to begin walking training. And if you have been further developing your dyspnea recognition skills and breathing control skills, you will be even better prepared for walking and controlling any dyspnea with increased activity.

With all of these exercises, from the beginning... at your weakest point, through your continuation of becoming stronger... I strongly suggest a coach to help and support you through this regiment of activity.

Stand Tall and Breathe My Friends and Always Remember,

1 2 3... Inhale... 1 2 3 4 Exhale
Sandy

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Lower Extremity Exercises

Welcome To My Little Corner Of The World... here on this beautiful sunny, yet slightly breezy day in Lehigh Acres, Florida!!

I'd like to talk about your lower extremity muscles, which are the Quadriceps Muscles. These are on the front of your thighs and run between your knees and hips. These muscles are very important because they stabilize the knee, and are essential to enable safe walking and getting up out of a chair. Quadriceps deterioration happens very rapidly in people confined to bed. Restoring their strength is a crucial step in preparing to get our of bed to a chair, and to walk safely.

The Quadriceps may be exercised by having your legs flat in bed, and then tensing the upper leg muscles firmly for five second, then relaxing for five seconds, and then repeating the cycle for two or three times. As in the previous POST, build up this exercise as your strength improves.

Another lower extremity exercise is to strengthen the muscles about your hips and lower abdomen. Have your legs flat in bed, press your heels firmly into the mattress for five seconds, relax for five seconds, then raise your heels an inch or two off the mattress for five seconds, then relax for five seconds, repeat the cycle tow or three times. Again, build up this exercise s your strength improves.

If you have been confined to a bed for some time, or feel weak, you should never attempt to get out of bed without assistance. Professional supervision by a Nurse or Physical Therapist is preferred.
Your initial chair should be a firm plain wood chair with a high back, with side arms. A Walker device for additional arm support should also be used for the transfer from bed to chair. Preferably two caregivers should be on hand to help you. Wearing a stout Safety Belt until you are well mobilized is recommended.

When you are ready for the move, do not attempt to directly stand on the floor. Many weak patients develop Postural Hypotension, where your blood pressure quickly falls on standing up. This can lead to dizziness, fainting or falling. You should first, dangle your legs for a couple of minutes, if no dizziness is felt, then place your feet on the floor for a minute or two. If you feel the slightest hint of dizziness or exessive weakness, you can easily be slid back into bed. Do not get discouraged if you don't succeed on your first try. Progress to the chair only when you feel able to do so. Recommendation spending no more than five or ten minuts in the chair for the first time.

As your strength improves and your caregivers gain confidence in your capabilities, you may spend more time in the wooden chair, and then move into an easy more comfortable chair. Getting out of a deeper easy chair may be more difficult, so be sure your standing up strength and skills are adequate.

Well folks.... I think I have given you plenty of information to think about today.

Until we meet again... 1 2 3 Inhale ... 1 2 3 4 Exhale

Sandy

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Beginning exercise for the frail person with COPD

Hello again, and I hope everyone is having a lovely day!

Some persons with severe COPD are so severly debilitated and weakened they are confined to bed, or so weakened they have great difficulty getting into a chair. Ideally such patients should have initial professional help from a Visiting Nurse service, who in turn, may be able to arrange for a temporary visiting Physical Therapist.

Even if bedridden, the patient can and should begin their rehabilitation with chest mobilization and corrective breathing training, as well as developing Pursed Lip Breathing skills. This should provide some dyspnea relief, and having some breathig control skills will be helpful later when exerting and needing more ventilation.

Exercises that anyone can do are called "Isometric Exercises." This is simply tensing muscle groups against one another. This type of exercise can be done by anyone, even those with severe arthritis problems, as there is little or no movement of joints involved.

For now, I will get you started with the Upper Extremity Exercises.
Upper extremity exercises for those confined to bed, may be done by clasping your hands in front of you, next to the chest. Then press your hands together, and maintain this tension to the count of five. Repeat this cycle two or three times until you can do this exercise fairly easily. This will strengthen your shoulder muscles.
Do this exercise (and all of the other exercises) at least every two hours, and preferably every hour. Then build up your strength by a combination of stronger pressures, longer times of applying pressure, and more cycle repetitions. You have to decide what is best for you, but initially stay with pressure times of about five seconds until you are stronger.
Another shoulder muscle exercise is to place your hands by your side, palms down, next to your hips, then press your hands firmly into the bed to the count of five, relax to the count of five, and then repeat the cycle two or three times. Extend this exercise in a manner noted above as you get stronger.

Good luck my friends, I know exercise is not easy when your feeling poorly, but believe me... it will help you.

Enjoy your day,

Sandy

1 2 3... Inhale ... 1 2 3 4 Exhale

Friday, May 18, 2007

A Popular Home Exercise Device

Good Morning & Good Day To All!!

I would like to continue with my Activity & Exercise mini-series. If you are considering a home exercise device I would recommend one of the simpler and less expensive Stationary Bicycles. These devices are generally stable, and there is minimal danger of falling. Also if you become "short of breath" you are already seated. All you have to do is simply stop peddling, and brace your arms on the handles for rescue breathing control. As you first begin on the bicycle, adjust the tension so you can peddle with only minimal effort, and be able to maintain that peddling effort continuously for about two minutes. As you get stronger, try to gradually extend your peddling time to five minutes. When you can achieve that level of activity, then try applying slight increase in peddling tension. As you become more comfortable, try to gradually work up to ten minutes of continuous peddling, and do this preferably twice a day. A perfect place to put your exercise device would be in a room with a television or stereo to listen to music or news. This will avoid boredom while exercising. And it's always fun to exercise to music!!!

I feel that learning the proper breathing techniques are important with exercise, so I am going to go on to explain the "tricks" to breathing & exercise.

As with all exercise programs, the "trick" to progressive exercise success is learning how to recognize your dyspnea level that you know you can control with slow / deep breathing, or Pursed Lip Breathing. When you reach that point you should stop, regain your breathing comfort, and then continue with your exercise activity. If you continue beyond this breathing control point to levels of severe dyspnea, this makes it difficult to conrol and re-gain your breathing comfort. Be patient, this may take time, and sound very scarey... but gradually push your breathing control point to further effort. As your peripheral muscle strength improves you will find that you are capable of more exertion. This increased exertion capability will be done within dyspnea levels that you know you can control. If you have the skills to exert yourself, and be able to recognize your particular dyspnea control level, and then be able to manager your dyspnea, you will have the confidence to become progressively more active in whatever activity your are doing. This will be a wonderful feeling for you and a major step forward!

A few devices I would not recommend are treadmills or stepping devices for home use because of the danger of falling. Definately the minature trampoline devices are dangerous and should be avoided. As to arm weight training, avoid heavy weights. A pair of dumb-bells for upper extremity exercises is convenient, but they should not weigh more than five pounds, and one or two pounds is adequate for most individuals. Remember, you are basically not training for strength, but mainly for reconditioning and endurance.

I hope that I have given you some valuable information. That info that I pass on to you is all of my own life experiences in my day to day life with COPD/Emphysema.

Until next time my friends.... "Live Well & Breathe Well"

1 2 3... Inhale ... 1 2 3 4.... Exhale,
Sandy

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Spiriva Capsules

Good day to all!!!
I was just thinking about a problem I have had with Spiriva Capsules on more than one occasion and wanted to share it with all of you and would also like to know if anyone else has had this problem.

I have encountered empty capsules in my prescription. When I punctured the capsule and tried to inhale the powder, there was nothing there, you could not hear anything...usually the capsule vibrates when you inhale the powder, and you know when the capsule is empty because you do not hear the sound.

I called Boehringer Ingelheim to complain and their response was that "they could not do anything as I was the only person who has complained." Now I know for a fact that there are others who have had the same problem with the capsules. They also complained to B/I and received no satisfaction.

Please respond if you've also had the same problem!! I'm curious to know how many this has happened to.


1 2 3 ... Inhale ... 1 2 3 4 Exhale

"Live for the Moment"
Sandy

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Structured Home Exercise

Good afternoon and what a beautiful day it is!

This post will talk about a home exercise without using any type of exercise device. We will get to those type of devices in a later post. Enjoy!!!

A structured home exercise that I would recommend is Yoga training. Yoga Training videos developed by Dr. Vijai Sharma are excellent. Dr. Sharma is a Clinical Psychologist and credential Yoga teacher with a special interest in COPD. I also need to mention that Dr. Sharma has Emphysema himself. Dr. Sharma has developed two training videos "Stretching Breathing Exercises adapted for people with severe COPD" and "Stretching Breathing for COPD for all levels of fitness." These videos are carefully designed to first provide safe training for a frail person with severe COPD, and secondly to provide more strenuous exercise for less disabled individuals.

The Yoga movements provide excellent stretching and posture maneuvers to mobilize the spine and chest wall,and improved general coordination and balance training exercises. Yoga is intimately related to breathing exercises, and there are good breathing instructions directed to COPD needs. Teaching coordination of breathing with general body movements is well done, and this provides a bridge to more efficient movement for performance of activities of daily living. Dr. Sharma has a website with many topics of interest for COPD patients and you may purchase these videos from his site at: http://www.mindpub.com/

Smile, breathe and go slowly. - Thich Nhat Hanh

1 2 3...Inhale ... 1 2 3 4...Exhale
Sandy

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Breathing Control Skills

Today I would like to continue our "mini-series" and talk about the effective alternatives to the formal exercise programs and for long term follow-up exercise.

This is based on a simple technique that if you have breathing control skills and can control your exertion dyspnea, than you will not be afraid of becoming short of breath. And.... if you are not afraid of developing uncontrolled dyspnea you will become more active, because you want to become more active and therefore you will do the many desirable things that you previously could not do. You may be thinking.... "well, it's easier said than done!!" But as you regain your ability to do more and more activities of daily living, you will develop more and more strength doing these activities. You will become stronger in body and mind, feeling more sure of yourself and also feeling much better about yourself.

Be proud... you worked hard in your pulmonary rehabilitation program. And then you continued and took it a step further... you learned "breathing control skills".

Many home bound people with COPD find that with reconditioning and improving breathing control skills they can participate in family activities, or climb stairs once again. And with further progress they can begin activities outside of the home such as; visiting friends or going shopping. But all of this involves progressive exercise, which is a natural part of simply becoming more active. And a tip to "brighten your day"... this form of exercise is usually neither boring or unpleasant!!

I am going to leave you with that bit of knowledge for today.
Please check in tomorrow as I will talk about "Structured Home Exercise - Yoga Training".

I would like to encourage you all to please post and tell us about your exercise program, or send in any questions that you may have. I am sure we have many "exercise friends" who can share their stories.

Breathe well tonight my friends... 1 2 3 Inhale ... 1 2 3 4 Exhale

Sandy