Taking Time After a Flare-Up
Wouldn’t it be nice if we were able to bounce back immediately after a COPD flare-up? To be able to have some energy and fall back into our regular routines? If only it were that simple.
Body in overdrive
Unfortunately for the vast majority of us, it couldn’t be further from the truth. It can take a good amount of time to get back to our regular selves no matter how much we want to be there immediately. When we struggle to breathe, our entire body goes into overdrive to help keep us oxygenated. It can feel like we just ran a marathon without ever getting out of bed. Here are some tips to help get through post-flare-up exhaustion.
You are going to need a good amount of time to allow your body to rest and recharge. Each person will fall into a different timeframe. We won’t all bounce back at the same time. Also, take into consideration the severity of the COPD flare-up. I am a big fan of afternoon naps and taking an extra one here or there when I’m not feeling well. Not only do they give me an energy boost, but they allow my body (specifically my lungs) to continue the healing process.
Allow yourself grace
Those dishes in the sink can wait. The pile of clean laundry in the basket can wait. It is okay to turn down dinner with friends. Try not to beat yourself up when it comes to putting yourself first. Small tasks that are normally no big deal now seem like giant feats to overcome. Take things really slow. Only fold a few pieces of laundry at a time or sweep a small area instead of the entire kitchen.
Ask for help
This one is a tough one for me. I am a very independent person and I sometimes have trouble asking for help. I do not like having to admit that I need help. For a long time, I would just keep going and my recovery times from major flare-ups were pretty long as I wasn’t allowing myself the time I needed to focus on getting my strength back.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help with household chores or errands that need to be run. You might be surprised at how many are willing to help. If you don’t have any family or friends close by, check into if your area has any support groups or resources that can help you out! Many stores are now offering home delivery which can be a huge help for people who are unable to get out of their homes.
Getting back to your pre COPD flare-up state is going to take time. If you are as impatient as I am, this can be quite a struggle! Be sure to stay hydrated and don’t forget to take your medications as prescribed by your doctor. Also, keep that line of communication open with your medical team just in case. We aren’t Superman after a flare-up but if we take the time to rest and recharge our batteries we’ll be back out there in no time!
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, RLS, sleep apnea) in addition to COPD?