Being Aware When You Have COPD
This is one of the hardest tasks for us as we proceed through our stages of COPD. Using a shower stool is very helpful allowing you to sit rather than stand to shower. Have shampoo, towels, robes, and body conditioners ready and at your fingertips before you get in the shower.
Ask for help if you find it hard to wash your own hair. Raising your hands over your head is often very hard and leaves us short of breath. Keeping the door and window open a crack allows for better ventilation as humidity rises. Don't take hot showers - keep water on the cooler side which keeps humidity lower. Use a terry robe to wrap yourself in after you shower to save your energy while drying yourself.
This is so necessary for our overall well-being. Work hard at getting a good night’s sleep when you can. Sleeping with a wedge pillow helps to keep your upper body elevated and keeps airway passages open, making it easier to breathe. I also sleep with a body pillow to keep me on my side. Have a fan going either on the ceiling or on a side table to help keep the air circulating. I use both ceiling and table fans and have them going all year round.
When your doctor prescribes it, use your supplemental 02 and your BiPap or CPap on a regular basis. Your BiPap and CPap mask should be rinsed daily in warm water and dish soap. Oxygen cannulas should be changed once a week or more often if you have a cold. Setting a regular bedtime and waking at the same time every morning helps you get on a regular schedule. To help you achieve this, sleep with the curtains open.
We all need to keep our environment as clean and dust-free as possible. So, for those of us with COPD, we need to be able to do a little bit each day to help make sure we live in a clean and dust-free environment.
Eliminate commercial cleaning products with their heavy scents and develop your own natural cleaning products using a citrus-like lemon or oranges. Consider removing all carpets and buying a robotic vacuum cleaner, cleaning a room at a time. Try using a bottle of regular Coca-Cola to clean toilets. It has no smell or and leaves no residue. A long-handled feather duster hides a multitude of sins. You might use a mask when completing this task.
Now that you have been diagnosed with COPD, your main job is to take care of yourself. Learn to pace yourself and not to plow through tasks. Ask for help if you need it. Get on a diet of lean meats, veggies, and fruits. Eliminating sugar and carbs helps to prevent bloat.
Practice mindfulness daily so that when you do get short of breath and your mind wanders you will know how to get back to control. Get into a habit of exercising daily. Try to push yourself to do some of the things that make you anxious such as stairs. Nobody likes them but you will encounter them once in a while.
Start a daily journal
Leave a legacy of your journey with COPD. Keep a list of all medications and keep them on your phone and in your journal. Making a gratitude list daily helps to keep your gratitude in perspective. Never stop saying please and thank you. Keeping track of your exercise regiment lets you know where to add new ones. Try to learn something new every week and brag about it in your journal.
I hope that you try to adopt some of my suggestions and that they help you to make every day a COPD awareness day.
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, RLS, sleep apnea) in addition to COPD?