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Do This, Don’t Do That

In our COPD life we often hear about things that we should do and shouldn’t do. There are some baffling things. I will elaborate on some of them here.

Things we should and shouldn’t do with COPD

Always have open communication with your doctor

Do discuss your diagnosis, test results, medications, treatments, recommendations, and an exercise program or pulmonary rehab with your doctor(s).

Don’t make another person’s diagnosis, treatments, or programs for you. Don’t make them your own without the approval of your doctor.

Avoid COPD triggers and practice healthy lifestyle changes

Do stop smoking and avoid smoke (wood-burning and otherwise). Avoid chemicals, pollution, and scented products. Have someone else dust and vacuum if possible, since dust can be a trigger.

Don’t think that you will be able to see positive changes right away, it takes time as most things do.

Take medications as prescribed

Do take your medications as prescribed. For example, Singulair. This medication should be taken at bedtime. If prescribed differently, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. It’s important that you know the medications that you are taking.

Don’t give, share, or sell your medications, and don’t take other medications not prescribed to you. Don’t discontinue your medications without discussing it with your doctor. Some medications need to be discontinued slowly. Don’t assume that if other people are prescribed a certain medication that it’s okay if you take those meds too. Only your doctor should prescribe your medication since he/she knows everything that you are taking.

Exercise is important for COPD

Do exercise. Your doctor may refer you to a pulmonary rehabilitation program if there is one in your area. If you are restricted and unable to exercise on your own or have no one to help you, perhaps your doctor will refer you to pulmonary rehabilitation or even physical therapy, in your house or outside.

Don’t start an exercise program on your own without discussing it with your doctor ahead of time.

Support and understanding of COPD

Do get a support system. It’s important to have someone to talk with that understands some of what you are going through. This can be a therapist, a Better Breather’s Club meeting, or another support group. Maybe you will find a support group online.

Don’t expect everyone to understand what you are going through. Don’t repeat what others have told you in these groups or who attended the meetings. It needs to be “what’s said at the meetings, stays at the meetings”. This applies to in-person and online groups too.

Do support people who will be taking hospice as well as those who will get lung transplants, when it’s time.

Don’t get upset with those who are going into hospice or going home. Some people will never have the option of getting a lung transplant, or even a LVRS (lung volume reduction surgery). They, as well as everyone else, need support.

Always know that there our sites have a lot of information, and more importantly, many people who care about your well-being.

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.