January 2021 Journal: Where Does the Day Go?
As I climbed into bed for the night, I thought back on my day. Where does the time go? I woke up this morning feeling good. Once I realized it seemed to be a good breathing day, my “to do” list got a little longer. I looked forward to tackling some of the projects. I hopped out of bed, or at least in my mind I did. It was really more like a slow crawl - I untangled myself from the oxygen hose that usually gets wrapped around me in the middle of the night and was ready to start the day.
We have lift-off
First, two hits from inhaler number one to jump-start the lungs. Then a few minutes of rest on the couch to let the medicine get to work. A wheeze, a cough, and finally a deep breath - we have lift-off! Coffee first! Nothing gets accomplished until then. By the time I finally sit at the table with my cup of prized caffeine, at least a half-hour to forty-five minutes has gone by. Coffee, breakfast, second inhaler, other medicines, blood sugar check, insulin, a quick, or not so quick, peek through online support groups, another hour has gone by.
The clock is ticking
Since I’m not struggling to breathe today, I will take the opportunity to shower before moving on. This has become such an easier task because of regular exercise. No longer dreading it as I used to, it will still take another hour of washing, drying, styling my hair, and dressing. Time to make the bed. This too has become an easier chore since I switched to using just a bottom sheet and quilt. I keep blankets for cold nights folded in a basket, but usually don’t need them. I like my bed made daily because it always makes the room look neater - I make one side, sit in a chair and rest for a few moments, then make the other side. Again, I rest before the next task.
Exercise before lunch
I put in a load of laundry to wash, and rest again for a few moments. I like to make dinner in the morning whenever possible because my energy is higher. All the fixings for a pot roast dinner go into my well-used crockpot. After a few breathing breaks, the kitchen is cleaned up and I head off to my exercise peddler. I have made a rule with myself, no lunch until I exercise. Opening my video program of walking tours, I start pedaling away. I found several programs with nature walks that I really enjoy. They keep my mind off the clock. I always need a one or two-minute break every so often, but I make it through the thirty-minute video very satisfied with my progress. It is twelve twenty and my stomach is yelling for lunch.
Sitting down to a small bowl of soup, I scan over my list of projects. I know it will be one o’clock before I can begin to tackle anything. I get a little frustrated that the morning is gone already. Frustrated that I can’t move as fast as I used to and many breathing breaks are needed to get through my day. As I sip on my soup, I remind myself how far I have come and am grateful I can still take care of my home, even if it is at a slower pace.
Looking at my list, I decide to tackle washing my den floor. I have put it off. It is a large room and strenuous work. Luckily, the only real foot traffic in this room is me. It is my exercise, meditation, writing, reading, hobby room! I own a little stool on wheels. With a small lightweight vacuum and light mop, some standing, some rolling around on my stool, an hour and a half later, the floor is clean. I am proud of myself for finding ways to complete these types of chores on my own. My husband will gladly help, but he has his own work to do and his own health issues. I like to do as much as I can and ask for help when I really need it.
It is now late afternoon. I am in need of my afternoon break with my tea. This is my meditation time. It is a time to wind down, to reflect on the day. I may not have gotten done as much as I wanted on my to-do list, but I am grateful I can cross off one item.
What type of day do you have? Do you have any tips to get more done? Do you keep a list of things to do when you are having a good day? I would love to hear your thoughts.
What helps you manage your COPD? Do you rely solely on your doctor for information or look elsewhere? Do you believe attitude makes a difference in living life with this disease? Are you a Is That All There Is type person or Let's Keep Dancing Person? I would love to hear your thoughts!
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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