Talking to Your Doctor

I talk to people every day that tell me they have no idea how to ask questions of their doctor. Many of us have little understanding of what is actually happening to us, and sometimes doctors seem unsympathetic or appear to have no understanding of their patients' needs.

Keeping a medical history

It is up to me to keep a running history of tests, shots, and other medical appointments or doctors that I have seen. The information about me is not always easily transferred to other hospitals or doctors. It is so much easier if I have this information at my fingertips. I always follow up with doctors for any test results. Keeping track keeps the information available to anyone that is asking.

Triggers annd trackers

Trackers help you to manage, track, and chart the things that cause your COPD to become better or worse. Triggers that cause shortness of breath can result from exercise, weather, anxiety, pain, blood sugar, blood pressure. Let’s not forget to manage our water intake and monitor our sleep.

These are the trackers that I use to tell my story to the doctor. Keeping your trackers up to date will give your doctor evidence-based information on how you are doing and what changes need to be made. You can keep track of information on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

Staying positive

There is no better way of staying positive than by keeping a gratitude journal. Acknowledging what you are grateful for can give your life a brand new perspective. All my life I have always been able to find things to be grateful for but when I got sick, I found life itself was what I was grateful for. Then, 2 years later, my grandson was born. How grateful am I to have a grandson? I give thanks every day for him and for the rest of my family who have walked beside me through this journey.

Nutrition and meals

Sometimes as our COPD advances, we can find that certain foods have a negative effect on our breathing. Many have commented about this in past posts. My Irish heritage dictates that roast beef, potatoes, and gravy are the main stays. We usually have beef for our biggest meal of the day, and we have been known to have it on consecutive nights.

How do you find out what agrees with you and what does not? A nutrition tracker is key. I found out the hard way that roast beef and I do not get along anymore. Beef is heavy meat and seems harder for me to digest than chicken or fish. I often become so bloated that I can’t get a deep breath in. It is a very uncomfortable feeling and will last most of the evening.

Now that I am over roast beef I also find that breaking meals up and eating smaller portion more frequently often helps as well. This doesn't mean eating more meals, it means having half your meal now and saving a portion for later. Eating smaller meals more frequently is also one way of shedding pounds.

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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 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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