Purple car driving with fall leaves falling around it.

Moving into Fall with COPD

Yesterday, someone posed a question asking about our favorite season. Is it spring or fall? When I responded, I went  right into winter, stating that fall is a big allergy time, and that discussing winter as the best season is a first. It will be much nicer to breathe. Well, I’m putting on the brakes to my thoughts of skipping fall.

Fall was always one of my favorites.

Actually, I always said that fall and spring, between 60 and 80 degrees were the perfect temperatures, hence seasons. That changed with my COPD and allergies.

Fall, the sound of feet, walking across the fallen leaves and hearing the crispness of the leaves. Seeing the blanket of yellows, oranges, and red leaves always brought such beauty, as well as temperatures that made fall bring life after the heat of summer.

It makes me wonder how I could just want to skip through it. How many other things do I skip through? My health makes it so hard to get out and about. I’m not able to attend get-togethers because of severe reactions to scents and things. Outdoors reminds me of stepping into a vase full of noxious flowers. The humidity is like being dropped into a fishbowl without oxygen.

I’m so grateful for family members who send photos of parties and events. And for those who come to visit. It’s wonderful to be part of things. What does that have to do with fall? It reminds me that I should be able to find a way to enjoy fall, that something that I enjoyed so much, should still be able to be enjoyed.

How can I still enjoy fall?

Let’s see…

  • I can put on goggles and a mask. Then go outside for a walk in the crisp outdoors.
  • I can do a fall craft project that brings in the colors and joy of the fall season. Maybe I will make a wreath.
  • I can work on holiday crafts and gifts.
  • I can go on a drive with my hubby and one of us can take photos of the magnificent colors and hopefully wildlife too.
  • I can bake something with pumpkin, that smells like fall.

That is a lot of I, I, I. But adding thoughts of things that I can do, reminds me that I can find ways to enjoy this season, actually the beginning of the holiday season, with Thanksgiving just around the corner. This gives me hope that I do have something to look forward to. Also excitement, because each of our kids and their families will be coming to visit sometime between September through December. Between my hubby and I, we have 8 kids, 6 kids-in-law and 13 grandchildren. Treasured times.

Yes, there will be lonely times, and missing family times.

Knowing this ahead, will help to get through it and planning ahead can set up special times, such as FaceTime, Skype and more.

Then, there is COPD, sob, fatigue, medication, germs, exacerbation, emotions, coughing, Facebook friends, pursed lip breathing and more. There is no end to anything we may experience or look forward too. Yet, hopefully, we can find things to do, even in a limited way.

Here, we all have one thing in common, it’s called COPD. We don’t know from one hour to the next how we are going to feel, what we will be able to do. We may make plans and have to change them at the last minute. Because of this, it may be difficult to look forward to things or to plan ahead, but for now, we can only do what we can do. Why even bother? Because we still have living to do. There should be something that will bring a smile to our faces and hopefully memories to share.

For those that don’t know, COPD is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs. This makes it difficult to breathe. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are two types of COPD. Alpha-1 Antitrypsin is the genetic form of COPD. Even though smoking is the leading cause of COPD; chemicals, pollutants and even second-hand smoke can cause COPD. COPD is a progressive disease, it will never go away. However, by quitting smoking; staying away from 2nd hand smoke, chemicals and more; taking medications as prescribed; exercise; proper nutrition; and with oxygen when needed, a person can possibly slow the progression of their disease.

In the meantime, we need to find things that we can do, and hopefully, something to put a smile on our faces and others as well. Even for a little while.

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.

Comments

View Comments (6)
  • Barbara Moore moderator
    4 months ago

    Great article Janet,
    This effects most of us and for me, I had to learn the hard way. Thank you for the insight.
    Barbara Moore (Site Moderator)

  • Janet Plank author
    4 months ago

    Thank you Barbara. Learning the hard way seems to be the COPD way.

    I hope you have a breathe-easy day/night!
    Janet (site moderator)

  • Baron
    4 months ago

    This is a very telling and thoughtful article. My response would be any season is OK as long as the humidity is around 50% or less which for the UK is quite rare. As soon as humidity rises my capabilities fall. As my disease has progressed, I have come to dread winter and the limited opportunities for excursions that result. Following several months of curtailed activity I find it always takes much longer to ‘get back on song’ in the Spring, which is why it’s important to keep as active as possible. COPD is an unforgiving disease – if you become a couch potato during winter there will be a price to pay. I’m sorry if my message is not more uplifting, but this is the reality of COPD. You must meet it head-on and thus slow it’s progress.

  • Barbara Moore moderator
    4 months ago

    Hi Baron,
    Thank you for reminding us that we can’t just turn tail in fall and wait for spring.
    We all need an exercise regime everyday and with that keep up our spirits and mind our mental health.
    There are plenty of exercises that can be done inside and if venturing out make sure you do it wisely. Some people like covering their mouth to keep inhaling warm air. Another trick is to keep your 02 tubing under your clothing.
    Barbara Moore (Site Moderator)

  • Janet Plank author
    4 months ago

    Baron, thank you for sharing you. Never apologize for your messages in your COPD journey.
    I do find your message uplifting and encouraging. We do need to meet it head-on and we do need to be as active as we can be… maybe even push a little bit harder with this unforgiving disease.
    As Leon mentioned, some people have other approaches, that can make us unique in our own disease.
    Again, thank you for sharing.
    Janet (site moderator)

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    4 months ago

    Hi again, Baron and thanks for your post. You’ve posted similarly in reply to other articles here on COPD.net and we appreciate it. Meeting this condition ‘head on’ is the way to go, when one is able. Some choose other approaches and are equally successful. The idea is to keep a positive attitude, follow one’s treatment plan and medication regimen. I thought you might find it helpful to look over this material on that very topic:https://copd.net/treatment/guidelines/. Warm regards, Leon (site moderator)

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