Milestones and My Continued Journey With COPD
Last updated: November 2021
We recently moved into our new home and so much has happened since then. As you may know, most homes in the UK have many stairs to climb. In my family's infinite wisdom, we now have a three-story house and two flights of stairs for me to navigate.
I don't really mind as it gives me the chance to exercise every day and to build my muscles up, so I can get stronger. For the first time since leaving South Africa, I feel like my life is moving in a very positive and healthy direction.
Cooking a meal
This past week has been an eye-opener for me. I've managed to do so many new things that I have been absolutely terrified of doing over the past 4 years - the most important being cooking a meal. It may seem very mundane to most people, but for me, it is life-changing.
Ever since my breast cancer diagnosis in 2017, I haven't been able to cook anything in any kitchen. My fear was exacerbated by my lack of confidence due to my COPD. I really felt vulnerable in that kind of setting and I lost all my self-confidence.
On Sunday, I took the plunge and made my first meal in 4 years. Roast chicken, vegetables, and Yorkshire pudding. It was a hit and I was overjoyed at how it turned out. The bonus was my family's pride in my achievement.
What did I learn?
I learned that I don't have to be afraid of my abilities and that I am a very capable person. I know I have limitations, but I can do so much more than I thought I could. By pushing myself a little bit harder, I can do almost anything I set my mind to.
I personally understand what fear can do to a person. I'm an absolute worrywart - in fact, I think it's my middle name. If I can help anyone get over their fears of living their lives as normally as possible, it would make me really happy.
First, don't let your mind play games with you. Sit for a while and plan what you need to get done. If it's making your bed, visualize exactly how you need to maneuver around the bed to make sure you can breathe better. Then plan how you will make your bed. The fewer pillows and bedding you have, the better. Once you've done that, take it slow and pace yourself, even if you have to stop in between actions. I find this really helps me.
This same visualization technique works for all the activities I do during the day. Planning ahead is vital, as it limits the amount of time and energy you use. If you know what to do in each situation, you will definitely get more done.
I feel so empowered again after all these years, and this is only the beginning. I can't wait to see what the rest of my life has in store for me.
Editor's Note: We are heartbroken to share that Liana passed away in November of 2021. She is deeply missed but her encouragement and positivity live on through her articles. Thank you for everything, Liana.
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