A Day In A Life With COPD
This article took a lot of thought. I have other health issues aside from COPD, and one compounds the other. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell what’s causing what. My husband and I used to try to figure it out, but we finally decided to treat the symptoms and stop diagnosing. It’s important to journal, not only health, but anything else that stands out too. Then I’m able to show each doctor what is going on. I keep updated medication lists too, so there is never a question what I take.
Here's an average day in my life with COPD:
A normal day begins with opening the door for pups to go out. I do my coughing if needed, then it’s “medication time.” I always chuckle over that while taking my meds, both inhaled and pill. I can still hear Jack Nicholson saying that in "One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest." Rinsing well is important too because I get thrush so easily. After rinsing, I brush my teeth. I use my nebulizer if needed. Laying down for a bit to let medications kick in helps. I call that “my time.” The pups and I generally snuggle and watch a show.
Once I'm up, I tidy up, in case something didn’t get done last night. I’ll have a bowl of cereal. Hubby works strange hours, so I'll make something for him whenever he gets up and moving or comes home from work. He’s good; on a hard day for me, he’ll pick something up for us or make a sandwich.
Checking Facebook, messages, texts and email can get crazy, so I prioritize. I’m learning that if I’m not reading the junk emails and messages, I unsubscribe and delete. Those that are important are placed in a folder.
Every hour when not sleeping, I get up and moving for at least 10 minutes. It doesn’t have to be special, it can be walking around inside the house. That helps circulation, oxygenation and mobility. I might do light dusting or cleaning. When finished, I wash my face, do a nasal rinse and shower. Then it’s time to check Facebook again and respond to posts.
Mid-afternoon is down time again. I take my meds, lay down and watch a show, or maybe nap. That’s usually when I get my best thinking and planning done. Puppies and I have playtime and maybe I’ll work on some hobbies. I also like to write. My mom asks why I didn’t keep the things that I wrote when I was young, because she liked the poetry and stories. I don’t know what happened, so I’m going to do a special book for her. My oldest daughter took my old drawings; she has wanted them for some time. I’m also trying to organize my spaces, to reduce clutter and to make things more accommodating.
Exercise, is so important. During uptime, I walk, stretch, use arm weights, and other types of exercise that focuses on different parts of my body. I do my own weird type of cardio, in my chair and out. On days when I’m unable to be on my feet, I exercise sitting or laying down. We don’t have pulmonary rehab here, so I find exercises on You Tube, do my physical therapy exercises or I get creative and do my own. If you have an opportunity to do pulmonary rehab, do it! If not, talk to your doctor about what type of exercise program you should do.
Cooking can be a bit of a challenge, too. More often I notice that boiling water adds such a humidity to the air it really affects my breathing. Even cooking smells can be difficult. Time to step outside in the cooler air. These things can all be a hindrance in a day. They can be a dark cloud hanging overhead or cause a person to sink in depression. Or, there can be a Jack Nicholson or something that triggers a smile in your day. Be sure to share a smile to someone else may need one. And next time you hear medication time, know that 2 little words can cause a smile.
Do you have words or something that makes your day brighter?
Have you taken our COPD In America Survey yet?