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Beyond My COPD

COPD is a progressive chronic illness that starts slowly over a long period of time. Most of us are aware of the symptoms but we're not sure what these symptoms point to.

It's frightening and so we try to hide them thinking that if we ignore it, it will go away. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Diagnosis and information overload

By the time we are diagnosed it is often late in the game. All of that hiding and denying that we did earlier will come back to haunt us and make our symptoms that much more severe.

COPD is often diagnosed in an emergency situation. For many of us it is the first ride in an ambulance to the hospital.

We often have information overload because we can only take in so much information at a time. There is so much to learn and many people to learn it from.

Doctors and nurses that see this every day deal with it nonchalantly, but for those of us that have COPD, there is nothing nonchalant about it. It is the scariest situation to be in when you can't catch your breath.

From hospital to home

When in hospital somebody is coming into our room with information and solutions to our issues. However, when we go home we are once again left to our own devices to do what we can to figure it out.

There are few resources for people with COPD and sometimes being home is the worst place you can possibly land.

The best resource for somebody with COPD is definitely respiratory rehab. You have access to respiratory rehab every time you end up in the hospital. Since the pandemic of 2020 a good amount of resp rehab has been virtual and on line.

Check out your COPD foundations and organizations and ask about the services they offer. Then you can ask your doctor to sign you up.

Prioritizing mental wellness

The next part of your journey with COPD will be doing a mental wellness check. It is so easy to fall into a negativity. When you talk about yourself your brain is listening, so when you say you're stupid or you're useless your brain hears that, and you become stupid and useless.

Recognizing your comments as negative and paying attention to how they make you feel is a positive first step. Making a conscious effort to change negative thoughts into positive thoughts is aa must.

I believe that your disease is not your fault. Join a support group and meet others with your disease.

Exploring spirituality and mindfulness in COPD management

Once you're involved with respiratory rehab, and you've done a mental wellness check, it's time to move on to spirituality. Regardless of your faith we usually have a higher power.

Find yours by practicing mindfulness and meditation and by staying in the moment, and paying attention to the moment. Start practicing today and if you find it hard to maintain then practice twice a day.

The benefits far away the work that you put into it.

Editor’s Note: We are extremely saddened to say that on January 7th, 2024, Barbara Moore passed away. Barbara’s advocacy efforts and writing continue to reach many. She will be deeply missed.

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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.

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