a blueprint of a house with a door, a window, a shower curtain, and an inhaler

Time for the Home Remodel With COPD

Ten years and eight months ago, we purchased our house. Besides cleaning house and shampooing carpets, we haven't made any real improvements. Finally, it was time for our much-anticipated remodel.

Supplies and safety preparations

Never having done this before, my perception of how things were going to happen was so off. It depended on whether supplies came in, depending on the weather, and whether the whole crew could work. As important as it is to have the supplies for the remodel, it was just as or even more important to have safety preparations for health, or for anything that might come up.


  • Flooring
  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Siding

Safety preparations

My husband put the camper in the driveway for me and the pups. It most certainly opened my eyes how things would go and they surely didn’t go as planned.

I struggled to get in and out of the camper with those camper steps and my bad back, legs, and joints. Getting pups to our fenced yard was something else and hubby would help me with that. We had to find our 11-year-old shih tzu that got out of the yard twice. The second time, someone found her going onto the interstate. Thankfully this wonderful Canadian couple picked up my Princess and took her to our vet. Hubby fixed that hole. No one can get out of it anymore. It turned out that the rain made an opening that only my Princess would find.

Ready for my own bed

This up and down and in and out of the camper for myself and for pups was too much. Two nights later, I needed my bed. We moved into the house. Feeling horrible about “I can’t do this or that, still, yet, and again”. Then to not even be able to cry because of dry eyes, left me feeling useless.

I went into the house to stay. No more risk or falling as I climbed in and out of the camper, with pups on a leash. My hubby was most supportive and tried to get things set up for me to be in the midst of construction, or remodel as I liked to call it.

They found mold

Hearing “should we tell her?” made me stop in my tracks. Apparently, they found mold in the wall, so they removed sheetrock and insulation as far as they needed to go. To my hubby, I said, “See, this house is trying to kill me. No wonder why I'm sick so often."

I was really going through a woe is me time. Mad at everything because I felt so sick and bummed because I’m so housebound and it seems around every corner there is something to knock me down, even in a motel, so it didn't make sense to go anywhere. Plus, who knows how long this is going to take and how expensive a motel would be?

Now, when they are working in the house, I go to my bedroom or office. My bed is covered with shower curtains which I carefully take off at the end of the day. I move from room to room to stay out of the workers' way. It seems like never-ending sheetrock dust as they put windows in.

The crew had to go finish another job. I hope they get back soon to get doors and windows in soon, then they should be doing siding outside. I guess they work even in the snow and cold.

Allergies come to life

I told hubby it might be time to move back to the camper, even in storage. Every day that they are here, allergies are triggered and my reactive airway comes to life. Eyes swell and I sob while feeling like I'm eating dust. My inhaler and nebulizer are so important to have handy and use as needed. When I'm not feeling well, my doctor recommends the nebulizer. It's nice to know that they are almost finished inside the house.

It's so easy to get short of breath, sick to my stomach, and have headaches. Dusting, wiping down walls, and floors is an ongoing task. Even though I can't do much, it feels good to participate, even dusting and wiping down walls. Down the road, it seems as if we are going to have washing walls and painting parties.

Sorry about the whine. I usually ask for a little cheese to go with my whine. Thankfully we are getting closer to getting done.

Getting excited

Yet, I’m so happy and excited. Getting that carpet removed was an instant clean air sensation. The air smells so much better in this house with that carpet gone! The windows open and close, they aren’t loose anymore. No leaks anymore!

How exciting it will be to get siding up. Some of the old siding was even rotted. Once this is all done, there will definitely be a sealed house with better breathing and healthier air. This should help reduce our utility bills too. It’s high time for a remodel.

You may be wondering why I’m telling you all of this. Whether you are renovating a house or doing some household chores, it's important that you are prepared. Your health can be easily compromised.

  • Be ready for your personal safety: masks, goggles, and even oxygen when needed.
  • Possible hidden mold awareness.
  • Are you reactive to dust? Be prepared.
  • Know when you are in trouble with your health.
  • Knowledge when you need to go to your emergency department.
  • It's vital that a person knows to request cheese to go with his/her whines!
  • Knowing that writing articles and sharing with others can be a good thing, it’s a support system.

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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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