Talking and interacting with people is part of everyday life, however if you have recently been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease then you may, like many other patients, feel embarrassed or you have just lost the urge to be social. What you should always remember is that you are not alone and more than likely there are thousands of other patients that share your pain. Technology helps patients connect in many ways that weren't available 10 years ago, patients have the options to reach out through social media, online blogs and forums, or even support groups. As an oxygen patient you need to be aware of how helpful and informative all these resources are and how nice it can be to talk with someone who is in your position or been through the same thing, and even share and exchange COPD ups and downs.
Social Media: Social media is a huge part of everyday lives of everyone, which is why Facebook and other social media outlets are an ideal place for COPD patients alike to gather and communicate. The COPD Foundation has a Facebook page with a vast community which is a great place to start if you have recently been diagnosed with COPD, and would like to see how other patients make the best out of life even with this life threatening disease. Post any questions you may have and more than likely receive feedback from people who know exactly how you feel and what you are going through. You will never know the amount of worry that can be released by just connecting and talking with patients alike.
Support Groups: Support groups are another fantastic way to connect with patients who suffer from all the different types of symptoms attributed to COPD, this also may have been recommended by your medical professional and if not talk to them about finding a support group near you. Often times these support groups meet frequently and on a regular basis, here you can converse about breathing techniques, what exercises work best for you and maybe even learn a few. Even share personal stories about how COPD has affected your life in many ways and hear how it has affected others. Support groups are highly recommended simply because you are sharing and learning from people who truly understand you and your struggles, you may even meet a few new friends!
Communicating Through Blogs and Forums: Maybe you don't feel comfortable enough to leave the house yet but still want to connect with other patients. Which is why blogs and forums are another fantastic option to interact with other COPD patients. What makes blogs and forums so appealing to so many is the fact that you can ask and answer questions anonymously from the comfort of your own home, this is especially great for topics that you may have a difficult time discussing with your doctor. Blogs such as the COPD Foundation Blog are great as well because more often than not the authors of those blogs are patients and they are telling you about their personal story. Most blogs offer commenting so you never know you can find someone who has the exact same question or going through the exact same symptoms as you and you can interact with them. After all nobody not even your doctor can understand what you are going through or how you are feeling quite like another COPD patient.+Caleb Umstead