Bits & Pieces
Once in a while, I have a bunch of stuff that doesn’t necessarily fall easily into place for a story. I don’t know if you ever saw, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys.” Well… this is a variation on that – Kevin Davitt and the Group of Misfit Ideas– lol.
I write a lot.
I always carry a paper pad with me because I never know when a thought or something will strike me like a lightning bolt and become a story. Sometimes it comes from just a single word I’ve written on the page or ½ a sentence. Sometimes it can be observations or advice from articles, or something shared by another COPD patient on a website (I belong to 5 -lol), that are valuable enough (I think) to pass along.
It usually inspires me to write a story about whatever it was that came to mind. But sometimes, because they’re “misfit” – the kind that kind of just sit around.
Tidbits of my COPD journey
So here we go:
- Mucinex – when I was first diagnosed with COPD and continued to get massive amount of phlegm stuck in my chest, my nurse-practitioner, Lisa, suggested taking one Mucinex in the morning and one in the evening. If it was a very bad infection, she suggested two and two. This treatment has been extremely effective in preventing those kinds of attacks.
- Listerine – I didn’t use Listerine often before my diagnosis but, since then, at the advice of a friend, I use it every morning. If I’ve had congestion throughout the night or my throat feels like it’s “coated” with something, it works miracles.
- Nasal Spray – once again, this might be deadly for you so don’t be afraid to ask your doctor. But I have found generic saline spray to be good at clearing up my nose. I keep it in my pocket and probably use two or three times a day.
- AC – I have a window unit that I have on almost 365 days a year. Not so much to cool the room off (although when I set it at the right temperature, it does indeed do that), but to keep the humidity out and the room air nice and dry. Most of the time, I have the thermostat set at 69 or higher. It really makes the room air more “breathable.”
- As my own COPD progresses, I’ve noticed that if I’ve been sitting a while, especially when I’ve been driving, when I get up, I’m pretty breathless. When I stand up from a chair or the car seat, I take a moment before I proceed to wherever it is I’m going. Seems to help.
- Is coffee a bronchodilator? My COPD.net colleague, John Bottrell wrote a wonderful article about this subject but, it was posted on Asthma.net and you may have missed it. John writes:
“Caffeine is found in coffee, tea, cola drinks and cocoa. Caffeine is a drug that is very similar to theophylline. Theophylline is a bronchodilator drug that is taken to open up the airways in the lungs and therefore relieve the symptoms of asthma, such as wheezing, coughing and breathlessness.”1
- COLD (as opposed to COPD) – Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (I like it.)
- Thumb Drive with medical and pharmaceutical information. – I started doing this after reading about this somewhere (I can’t remember!). As I’ve been going through pre-testing for a lung transplant, and I’ve had to see at least 12 doctors with different specialties, it’s come in handy on a number of occasions.
- ID bracelet with COPD info and pharmaceutical information. – This was recommended to me by a buddy who works for the New York City Emergency Services. He has one with Name, Contact phone number, Critical Diagnosis (COPD) and prescriptions if there’s room. There’s a number of websites on the internet that supply this service.
- Small, foldable stool in backpack in case there are no seats. When we are SOB, and looking around for someplace to catch our breath, these can come in very handy. Again, a number of websites that have these.
Check with your doctor first!
And as always, check with your physician before following any advice I’ve written. We all have different chemistry and diagnoses. What was good for me might be very harmful to you.
I hope that these short-shots have made some kinda sense. As I said, my mind is all over the place at all times but it often can’t find that one idea I need for a story!
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- John Bottrell, The Effects of Coffee on Asthma, Jun 23, 2017, Asthma.net