Monday, January 22, 2007

Flu Finder

I found a site that I thought may be very helpful to everyone and I would like to share it with you.

All you have to do is insert your zip code and it will alert you as to what the flu index is in your area, I check it often. As you will find out, I check into everything when it comes to my health especially my lungs. If I can stay on top of such thing, hopefully I can do something to prevent myself from getting the flu, such as; plenty of liquids, proper diet and plenty of rest and a "real biggie"... stay away from large crowds!!! I was in a store today and a woman coughed and I PANICKED... really I did. I took my hankie out of my pocket and covered my nose and mouth with it. It actually scared me, I could visualize alllll of those germs floating in the air as I approached.

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

Thursday, January 18, 2007

To Laugh, Breathe, and to Live!

Pulmonary Rehabilitation... it is a WONDERFUL thing to get into. It teaches us so much as to why we really need it, it teaches us to laugh, breathe, and to live a life we thought was gone forever! When I initially began this BLOG I had said "Once we are diagnosed with the Big E we think it is the end, rather it is the beginning of the end, we cannot let... or allow the Big E to control our lives, but rather we control IT!" That is so embossed in my mind, I believe that is part of what keeps me going, because I am so stubborn and determined that I will win whatever obstacle is placed in my path, God has put me on this earth for a reason. I would like to say "Thanks" to Lori and Love Your Lungs, Breathe For Life... I now know the reason.

My Dr. suggested that I go to pulmonary rehab. I had to wait about a week before there was an opening to get in. And I believe the whole session was for 4 weeks. The first day the p/t's do an evaluation, meaning a walk timed test that lasts about 6 minutes, they check your heart rate, respiratory rate, and pulse. That gives them an idea on how to personalize your goals for rehabilitation. The first day was scary, I wasn't sure what to expect. While I was waiting to be evaluated an older lady came out of the exercise room and said to me, "have you ever been here before?", I replied "no, I have not, this is my first day", she said "you're gonna just love it, when I first came here I was on oxygen 24/7 and now I am off it, I can now get on a plane and visit my grandchildren!"
I have never forgotten those words and the joy in her eyes. From that day forward I had a goal and a wonderful memory to keep me going. I knew I was going to ace the course and I did. I couldn't walk or talk at the same time, nor could I walk any distance without being so short of breath, it was scarey and the anxiety that went with it. Due to the awesome people that worked with us daily and retrained us how to walk and talk, breathe properly, maintain a healthy diet, and exercise... I find myself a whole lot better. Anxiety sometimes comes around but now I know how to deal with it.
I continue to exercise, it is very important... I eat healthy and continue what I learned in Pulmonary Rehabilitation class.
Once the course is completed, you receive a diploma. It is nice to look at, and see where we were and how far we have advanced. You also have the option to continue in a maintainance course where you go every week for as long as you want to continue the program or you can do it yourself, which is what I chose to do. About 4 weeks later they schedule you to return to the Pulmonary Rehab. center for a check up, meaning another timed 6 minute walk. Once you are done and all is well... you are on your own!
Please feel free to write in and share your experiences with Pulmonary Rehabilitation. Those of us who have gone through it may be able to help others who are uncertain about joining a class. Also, if anyone has any questions, again... please feel free to write to me. I will try to help you in any way that I can.

Let's Breathe Easy Together
1 2 3 Inhale... 1 2 3 4 Exhale

Your friend,

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Stress and COPD

I had this thought today and would like to share it with you. It is a situation that I had been dealing with in the begining of November 2006, but it is example of how stress plays a very big part in your life with COPD. I had to move out of my apartment, look for a new place to live and also a new job. Which of course would put a lot of stress on anyone. After several weeks I did find a place to live and luckily a job. But, in the meantime...this is my story.

I had been having trouble sleeping for some time. I did not realize it at first, but finally realized and attributed it to the stress of the move... and the new job that I would be starting. All of this leads to shortness of breath, fatigue, and in my case loss of appetite.
Now... my theory was this... Stress can create havoc within our system, everyone knows that. So, my thoughts were... what do I do about my job... I cannot be without a job, sooooo I needed to try a different approach with the job... and with the move. I decided to ask my friends and neighbors for their help with the move.... and believe it or not... I felt much better. I then reapplied at the Sweetbay Store which I had worked when I first moved to Ft. Myers, but had to take a leave of absence when I fractured my ankle.
On November 26, 2006 I finally moved everything into my new apartment and out of storage. I received a sparkling review from Human Resources and received the job at the Sweetbay Store deli.
I was finally able to "Breathe Easier". My one suggestion when living with COPD and dealing with a stressful situation is to try to put it into some type of perspective. Write down your problems and think of reasonable solutions on how you can take care of these problems. Coming up with a game plan is much easier than jumping in head first and jeopardizing your health.

Breathe with me now...
1 2 3 ... Inhale ... 1 2 3 4 ... Exhale


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Germs and the Flu

I wanted to share a quick little tip with all my friends. Cleanliness is so important this time of year when there are germs from colds and the flu spreading around. I carry sanitary wipes with me where ever I go. I use them after I open any door or after i've used a shopping cart. I'm sure you can come up with a million other uses for them. Most supermarkets do provide those wipes, but just in case they don't... I always have my own supply! If you have other ideas for using sanitary wipes, please share them with us.

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


Saturday, January 6, 2007

Water Drinking

I have a quick "Tip" that I would like to share with everyone. "Water Drinking"... It is one of the most important treatments for Lung Disease. The water helps to keep the mucus thin and thus makes it easier to cough up. It is suggested that we drink 8-16 cups of water or juice a day. It may take a few days to a week for you to notice the difference. This much fluid will make you urinate more, but in time your body will adjust. I drink at least 16 glasses of fluids a day... this is good for me because I perspire so much. I also drink Gatorade to maintain my electrolyte level. PLEASE ask your doctor if 8-16 cups of fluids is ok for you to drink. Some people cannot drink alot of fluids because of Kidney Disease, Prostrate trouble or Heart Disease. So...just as a precaution... check with your doctor first. Breathe Easy! ... 1 2 3 Inhale ... 1 2 3 4 Exhale, Sandy

Thursday, January 4, 2007

"Fear & Panic" with COPD

Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a Happy Holiday.

But now it is time to get back to work!!

As COPD patients we all know that the cold and flu season is not a good time for us. I would like to share a few experiences that I have had in the past week or so.
Last week a co-worker came back to work after she had been off for two days with the FLU! I "panicked"..."fear" set in... I can't catch it... I will get pneumonia and end up in the hospital. So I called my Pulmonologist who advised me to leave work early or ask that she leave. The results... she left.

Then this week, a customer came in with a young child who was "Whooping" up a storm, actually they both were. Let me tell you, as soon as she left I got the lysol spray out, sprayed the counter and anything else that she may have touched. It is very frightening. No one else really knows what we go through on a daily basis.

I feel this is an interesting fact of how this disease "can have control over us"... but as I have said many times... "We cannot let it control us, we have to control it."

Okay... let's try this again,

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

Have a Safe and Healthy New Year!