COPD, does not sound like much, but when spelt out, reality can hit. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a big title for a major health condition. Knowing how to adapt to it, how to react to the changes and challenges it brings to your life can make a big difference to the quality of your life.
Proof of this is in a collection of stories being collected by the COPD Foundation on their Facebook page. Here is Ken's story.
"I am a soon-to-be retired guy living with severe COPD, but that does not stop me from living my life. I exercise every day and take motorcycle and car road trips all over the USA. I am a nature photographer, reader, cross stitcher and enjoy watching sports and an occasional glass of good red wine!" -Ken
It does not sound like COPD is going to slow Ken down, but what he accomplishes has to be done according to his medical condition from day to day. What can you do to help you accomplish some of the things you would like to do? There are a few that are quite obvious and some that need awareness or practice on your part.
Your 5 Keys to Living a Full Life With COPD
- Stop smoking: Smoking is the leading risk factor and cause of COPD. By continuing to smoke, you are damaging your lungs even more. Smoking is also a leading risk factor in acute exacerbations of COPD. It is in your best interest to quit smoking as soon as possible. You must also avoid those who still smoke as the secondhand smoke can cause a flare of your COPD.
- Take Daily Medications: Taking your daily medications as directed by your physician, even when it feels as if you do not need it! Another very important point is to keep rescue medications on hand. This might be your prescribed short-acting beta agonists.
- Stay Current On Vaccines: Get the yearly shots and vaccines for the flu. Dr. Barry J. Make, of the National Jewish Health in Denver says the whooping cough vaccine, which is often given via a combination vaccine called Tdap protects against tetanus and diphtheria. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) says to get the shot rather than the nasal spray vaccine. It is a live vaccine that may cause problems.
- Improve the air quality of your home: Eliminating wall-to-wall carpeting and cleaning with green products such as soap and water, vinegar and baking soda can help. If your home near a factory or some other environmentally bad location, invest in a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.
- Fitness and Diet: Your personal fitness can go a long way to helping you living a full life. Watch that extra weight. Yes, it is hard to loose weight when you are not able to be as active as you feel is needed to lose weight, but there are other things you can do. Eat healthy foods and eat smaller meals. When you feel your hand reaching for that second helping or cookie, practice that hidden self control. It is there, you just need to strengthen it! Included in the fitness point is eliminating stress. Here exercise is a major factor. You do not have to take off like you are training for a marathon, for you can't. What you can do is pace yourself. Dr. Make says that by using pursed-lip breathing you will be able to conserve your breath.
In a summation, come to know your body, how it reacts to events and happenings. Try to learn what aggravates you and the best way to eliminate these events or situations. Living with a chronic condition is a challenge, but if you accept it and play by the rules you can life a decent life.+Caleb Umstead