a lineup of varying doctors making up a team, As they stand with a basketball court behind them.

Your COPD Dream Team

My favorite team of all time was the Chicago Bulls of 1995-1996. They became the first team to win 70 regular season games and an NBA title in a single season. The lineup consisted of Coach Phil Jackson, Toni Kukoc, Steve Kerr, Dennis Rodman, and the super duo of Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan.

When people think of the Bulls, the first name that comes to mind is usually Michael Jordan, but what made the team successful was that every player contributed on both sides of the court.

They could go seven to eight players deep into the roster if needed, and every player could step up and excel on the spot. The team was a Dream Team.

Building your COPD Dream Team

When assembling your medical dream team, it is vital to have a primary care doctor who can execute your care plan with the wisdom of Phil Jackson.

You will see the nursing staff several times a year, and you may speak to the receptionists at regular intervals, so much so that you speak to them more than your extended family.

Technology will allow you to send messages to your care team at any time of day or night and access your medical records with one click of the mouse.

Additions to your COPD Dream Team will likely include a pulmonologist and a respiratory therapist. Like the greatest athletes, you will seek ways to maintain your lung function by using techniques like pursed-lip breathing and other strength conditioning exercises.

You may start with a common rescue inhaler when you feel short of breath. That may increase to other inhaled medications as needed, and then they may become daily medications to your routine. You may have many years that you can escape the need for supplemental oxygen.

Embracing change

With each change, you must meet the evolution of your COPD with self-compassion and determination to thrive amidst uncertainty. Michael Jordan missed more shots than he made in his career.

The most memorable ones he took were when he had the flu in 1997. He scored 38 points and landed a 3-pointer with less than a minute on the clock. This gave the Bulls the lead and won the all-important game five against the Utah Jazz.

Fighting for a common goal

A medical team and a famous sports team are both made up of people who share a common goal. In your case, it is to battle against a disease that aims to diminish the very air that you breathe each and every moment.

Remaining proactive about your health and assembling a team that will encourage you along your COPD journey can and will make all the difference.

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