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Going Places with COPD

I’ve always looked forward to summer but with severe COPD not this year. I have an fev of 25% and get anxious thinking about going anywhere. I’m on oxygen so afraid to go to picnics because of nearness to barbecue as one example. I can’t go buy flowers to plant because I get out of breath so easily. Maybe I’m being overly cautious, but I’m afraid.

  1. hi, I'm Amy. I understand totally about being scared to go places. Sadly after a trip to my son last week I had to say I just can't do it again. Its 300 miles on motorway etc. Partly I'm just afraid to be too far from home, what if I got taken to hospital so far away?! I sleep badly at home as it is, and worse in a strange bed..I wish I could go and get plants for you. My partner takes me to garden centres, I'm ok with that. I just can't do the planting bit without making myself really ill, so this has to be the last year of doing that, as twice I've practically had to be carried indoors!! I hope you can still enjoy parts of the summer. I love to hear the birds singing when my windows are open, and I can appreciate the beautiful blue of the sky, the trees, the smell of sea air as I'm blessed living on the coast. Goodnight and stay in touch, lots of friendly folk on here. Maybe post a photo? 😊

    1. Thank you for sharing with us Amy. I am sorry traveling has gotten to be a bit much for you. This community understands. I am so happy you have a partner who can help get you to the garden centers- I am sure that makes you sooo happy! I love gardens and anything in nature. Sending you love

  2. , Hi Papa Smerf here, yes I am finding it difficult to do much of anything yet I push myself as doing nothing is worse. If I go outside and just smell any type of smoke, it takes my breath away, even being on oxygen. And to have to wear a mask on top of it, well let's just say I have grown fond of my walls.

    1. I hear you! Summer can be a challenge when you have COPD, but with some adjustments you can and will enjoy it. Picnics can still be enjoyable especially if you can find a place to sit that's far from the fire and upwind of it. If you can, ask someone in the group you're with to fix a plate for you and bring it back to you - it'll save walking and getting too near the fire/smoke.

      Depending on where you like to buy your plants and flowers, you could try a couple of modifications that may make it easier on you. First, pick a greenhouse or store that has nice carts to lean on or even the motorized wheelchairs. Don't be embarrassed - that's what they're there for. Also, go at a time of day when it might be a little cooler - early morning or evening. The crowds may also be better too; especially in the morning. Lastly, do try to do too much at one time. Get a few plants, take them home, rest, and then plant them when you feel up to it. If you want more, go back and get more. Pace yourself the best you can - it's much more enjoyable that way.

      Take care and try to enjoy your summer!

      Lyn (COPD site moderator)

      1. thank you for the ideas. The flower one fits me perfectly. I’ll do it!!

    2. hi.
      I hear and understand your concern about barbecues and going out to buy flowers. You mentioned being afraid to go anywhere. My heart goes out to you.

      If you are at a distance away from the fire in the bbq grill, you could possibly be okay. Do check with your doctor just to be sure.

      Personally, I can’t breathe around things takes my breath away. I have a reaction around flowers because of allergies, they take my breath away. They can possibly affect my COPD as well.

      It’s important to realize that we are all different and things affect others differently. Some can be around fire pits and grills. Some can be around flowers.

      It’s important that you stay to your doctor. See what he/she advises. Please let us know what you find out.

      Janet (site moderator)

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