If You Don

If You Don’t Like The Weather, It Will Always Change

It’s early March 2018 and so many here in the United States have been going through flooding, for many others, it’s blizzards. My heart goes out to so many and there has already been loss of life to the east. Here in the Midwest it’s snowing and blowing, interstate is closed and no travel. My husband is a deputy sheriff, so he is out in the middle of it. My mind goes to safety for everyone, now and in the aftermath.

How does weather affect my COPD?

Flooding is horrendous. I have been through some of that with two of my kids who had massive flooding. For many in these flood areas, additional problems came when it soon became a blizzard. Blizzards can be normal during this time of the year. With COPD or other lung disease, come additional health issues. Weather rain or snow, the barometer can go goofy and affect your breathing. Humidity can also make it difficult to breathe. Do wear a face mask when out and when needed, especially in the wind. That can be so very important. If possible, find someplace to be where there is better breathing. Mold is possible, especially in the flooded areas. It can be very serious and breathing it in can cause lung infections, exacerbations and more. Do be prepared and find a way to provide ventilation. It’s best if you have someone else that can do the cleanup, especially with the mold and if possible, you go someplace else.

Remember, if you don’t like the weather, it will always change.

Snow storms and blizzards can often be predicted. Hopefully you had time to stock up before they hit. I know here in South Dakota, they have been forecasting here for about a week. So, schools are closed. There are differences in the cities, towns and areas, so in some areas, if you are in the brunt of the storms you may be affected in different ways. Hopefully people heed the warnings and stay home, if it’s necessary, depending on your area. With the blowing snow, visibility is decreased. With the weather as it is here, I hope that if it’s the same there, you are able to reschedule any appointments.

Preparing for winter weather with COPD

Regardless, there is some winter to get through yet, so it’s important to be prepared. If you do go out, make sure that your cell phone is fully charged and with you. Do wear your head and scarf, balaclava, face mask or other and if you are on oxygen, wear you’re tubing inside of your coat.

Have your emergency kit ready and take with you: Winter hat, gloves, medication & rescue inhaler, cell phone, cell phone charger, flashlight, water, snacks, blanket, money, extra clothing, Poise, Depends, etc. Take an extra oxygen tank with you, just in case your other tank runs out. Always let someone know where you are going.

If you get stalled or stuck

  • Turn on your road hazard flashers on car
  • Stay with your vehicle.
  • Call 911 and give the best description that you can, do let them know you have COPD
  • Leave your phone on, so that they can try to ping your phone, to find out exactly where you are
  • If you need the heater, turn on for a short time then off, to save your gas
  • Be sure to clear the tailpipe to reduce the chance for carbon dioxide
  • Crack your window when you are running the car
  • Drink water to stay hydrated, if you don’t have water use snow. You can easily melt it near your car heater
  • Use your rescue inhaler as needed
  • Wiggle and exercise what you can while in your vehicle, to keep oxygen flowing, circulation & warmth
  • Hopefully someone will find you soon

Spring is just around the corner!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The COPD.net 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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