a person wearing a mustard sweater journals

November Journal 2020

Dear Journal,

Another month has come and gone. The trees are getting bare of their leaves. I think it is going to be a long winter. I won’t miss the horrible humidity we experienced this summer, but I'm not looking forward to the bitter cold either. Just opening the door, I can feel my lungs freeze. I hold my breath, hoping not to feel it.

Going out with the additional weight of a winter coat and scarf seems to add to the breathlessness. So does the shivering, waiting for the car to get warm. I’ve been preparing. My reading material is almost complete, as is my craft supplies. I am looking forward to watching the list of craft tutorials I’ve been collecting. It might get cold out, but I will have plenty to occupy myself in a nice, warm house!

Where has my appetite gone?

Dear Journal,

I am eating less and less at meals. I am losing my interest in a lot of foods because I get full so quickly. When first diagnosed, I remember reading that this was a symptom. I couldn’t imagine it happening to me because I love all foods. Well, here we are! I realize part of it is age and not the illness. I see it happening with my husband. He is eating half of what I put on his plate. I’m trying to put less food on there, but it is a thirty-nine-year-old habit! If I did not have him to make meals for, I am sure I would nibble all day and not sit down to meals.

I think it might be time to break up with my kitchen! It takes a great deal of time to cook a meal every day. If I can’t eat that much, why spend so much time doing it? It is a habit. We all have to eat. We learn to cook these wonderful meals and prep and spend a fortune on gadgets, only to lose interest as we get older.


Dear Journal,

An article I was reading today caused some serious contemplation. The article asked what has changed about you since becoming ill. I think it is natural to start with all the negatives this disease has caused. I did just that and then stopped. My life isn’t all bad. In fact, there are many good things about it.

Since my hospitalization, my breathing has gotten better. I may be stage 4 and on oxygen, but I have learned so much in six years. I know how to control when I get short of breath. I do more and I exercise daily. Many people have disappeared from my life. Some have their own health issues now to deal with and some have moved. Some could not deal with the changes in my life. I have a much stronger bond with those that stayed and supported me and allowed me to support them through their own trials.

I am rediscovering myself and the path I want to be on for whatever years I have left. That is a daily journey, constantly shifting and I am enjoying every moment of it. The experiences I have in life and the people I share them with have become much more important than material items. I think accepting this disease and learning how to live with it instead of fighting it is key to remaining happy.

Final thoughts

I love hearing your thoughts. So often they can help me or another reading them. We can learn by discussing our disease with each other.

Are you ready for winter? How does it affect you and do you have any tips?

Has your appetite changed? Do you cook less? What cooking tips can you share when your appetite decreases?

We all talk about the negative COPD has brought into our lives. I would love for you to share some positive stories.

Editor's Note: We are heartbroken to share that Carol passed away in February of 2022. Carol's storytelling and advocacy will be deeply missed, but her legacy lives on through her articles and in all the people she inspired.

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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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