Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer

Odds & Ends (Part 2)

From speaking with other folks who have COPD and/or chatting online in dedicated groups, you sometimes pick up some good tips for dealing with things or addressing situations.

Here are some more I’ve come across recently.

Flu shot

I don’t think there’s much of a debate among COPD folks whether or not they’re necessary. I think they’re a matter of life or breath. (lol).

Seriously, years ago, I’d put it off because I had to make an appointment and it was too much trouble. But now, they’re available at most pharmacy chains (mine is CVS) so, unless you’re homebound, there’s no excuse not to get one.

Hand washing

I have gotten much more conscious about (and better at taking preventive measures against) contagions.

I probably look like a weirdo but I’ll wrap my hand in the sleeve of my jacket or sweater before I use a door handle in a public place.

And the staff at my pulmonary rehabilitation facility strictly enforces the use of antiseptic wipes after we use the various exercise equipment there (i.e. treadmills, stationary bikes, etc.)

I honestly think it’s helped me in dodging the flu or getting milder forms of it over the past few years.


There was a recent debate on the website Inspire1 about the purpose of portable oxygen in the treatment of COPD.

Some argued that it should be used to prevent shortness of breath while others said it should be taken when there is a risk of oxygen “desaturation.”

I’m not going to weigh in on the purpose of oxygen but I would like to raise some questions about the side effects of general oxygen use.

I find myself “shedding.” (lol).

That is, I’m not losing hair or anything but I do notice that my skin has become very dry. This image is reinforced when I’ve come home after wearing a black sweater all evening.

I use various lotions and I try to hydrate myself as much as possible. But I think it’s a losing battle.

I find the same for my nostrils because of the oxygen/cannula combination. I’ve consulted with a few Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) doctors over the years because of sinus problems related to COPD.

But, the dryness of the nostril membrane has been of concern to me. Various saline solutions and ointments have been prescribed and recommended. And they seem to work well for a while. But the dryness often returns.

My medicine cabinet is getting a little crowded with rejects so I’m hoping I’ll find the cure soon!

Handicapped parking

I never thought about applying for a Handicapped Parking Permit. For the first couple of years of dealing with COPD, I got by without much trouble.

But as the years (and the disease) progress, I found myself waiting for those “closest to the mall” spots to open.

I was with my buddy Frank, one time, in that parking spot-waiting game.

He asked what I was doing and I told him about walking too far after parking.

So, he asked me, “Don’t you have a handicapped permit?”

“I don’t know if I’m eligible,” I said.

I’m not sure why I didn’t. I think in my mind, “handicapped” meant wheelchair.

“Well why don’t you apply and see,” he asked.

I did and now I’ve got one. If it’s a good breathing day, I try not to use it but, if I’m having a flare-up or something, the permit is now hung from my rear-view mirror.

Using A shopping cart as a walker

I had been doing this but then read a discussion about this in a posting on a COPD Facebook page.

I had a good laugh. I thought I was the only one!

The writer mentioned that she sometimes throws things into the cart that she has no intention of buying. But, that its less embarrassing than to be walking around a store with a completely empty cart.

I’m not that self-conscious!

I could have a set of shoelaces where a baby normally would sit and walk up to the checkout without thinking twice!

If you’ve got any advice, please post it! I’m sure I’m not the only one looking for advice.

For additional tips, be sure to check out part 1.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

  1. Are portable O2 tanks really necessary? - COPD - Inspire. Inspire. Published February 26, 2019. Accessed February 26, 2019.


  • luvmylife1948
    3 months ago

    Stop being self conscious. Whatever works for you. I use a shopping cart as a walker. I put my 2 walking canes in the shopping cart and walk around like this. Even if I bought something small I would not be embarrassed as this use meets my needs. So You don’t have any walking canes? But if someone came up to you and said something e.g. why do you have an empty cart? or couldn’t you not find what you wanted? You could always say NO! or tell them you need the support of a cart for walking around in case you needed something. I am sure any sensible thinking person would have no objection.

  • KevinDavitt author
    3 months ago

    I’m not self-conscious! I wrote, ”
    I could have a set of shoelaces where a baby normally would sit and walk up to the checkout without thinking twice!”


  • Lyn Harper, RRT moderator
    3 months ago

    Good for you, luvmylife1948! It sounds like you do what works for you and aren’t concerned about what others think. I applaud that! It means you can get out and about and live your life. That’s what’s important.
    Lyn (site moderator)

  • Poll