Life is Never Dull!
I think it's safe to say "life is never dull", especially when you have COPD. No two days are ever the same. It's difficult to plan ahead as you never know how you will be until you have woken up. It's true with COPD - everything you do revolves around this disease.
How do I feel today?
You wake up and you wait to see how you feel. Then you check the weather - yep that dreaded weather. Depending on where you live, how much snow is out there or how wet and windy or even how hot it is. All these play such a factor in what we can or cannot do.
Where do we go?
If we're feeling well enough to go out, where do we go and what do we avoid? No scented places. If it's a very hot day we need somewhere that has good air conditioning. If it's raining we need somewhere that is enclosed. For some like me, it can be difficult to use an umbrella and have your arm stretched up for a long time.
After all the factors are taken into account, we then need to plan our outing in terms of what medication we need to take with us, hand sanitizer, and oxygen if necessary. Wow, the day is slowly creeping past before we even get outside the door. Then a deep breath in and sigh a sigh of relief we have left the home. All this into consideration to have a few hours out. The thought makes me tired.
We do have to be careful
On a serious note, it is difficult living with COPD and we do have to be careful about what we do and where we go. We do have to avoid places that can trigger an exacerbation (flare-up). I can no longer go to a hairdresser. I cringe if I have to go past the sweet-smelling candle shops in which the smell is so strong I can taste and smell it at the same time.
One of the main problems I have come across is that we don't have a car - we use public transport buses or taxis. Well, we're on the bus and someone will either spray deodorant or perfume. Yep, panic mode strikes. There is nothing we can do but sit the journey out. Yes, we open a window, but the spray lingers down the bus.
As for using a taxi, they have those smelly trees hanging from their mirror at the front of the taxi. It's like eating something scented. The battle at times is endless. All this for a few hours out somewhere different. People don't realize these hazards are so real and dangerous for people with respiratory problems. Again, it is down to the lack of understanding of the general public.
When we go out and I'm either on the buggy or using the wheelchair. We hit someone in front of us with an e-cig it's like we're traveling back to the future. A massive cloud of smoke appears. We can't see in front of us and we're swallowed up by smoke. No laughing now as I say in a loud voice "these e-cigs should be banned". Wow, that's a few days in my life Living with COPD. It's never dull!
How has your experience been navigating the healthcare system as someone with COPD?