A moving truck ready to unload into a brand new home.

Moving and Downsizing With COPD 

I have been talking about moving for about three years. My first plan was to move to Texas from Massachusetts to be closer to my son, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren. I was all prepared, did research, ready to put my house up for sale and the pandemic started.

Fast forward through a great deal of uncertainty as to what my husband and I were going to do, and we made a complete change in our decision. We just moved into a new home in South Carolina! It is exciting, yet scary at the same time.

Letting go

I have lived in the same home for almost forty years. Every inch of that house has a memory attached to it, as do the belongings. How do I decide what to keep? Is one memory more important than the other? Living life with COPD means I have already given up quite a bit of my past life. I was ready to start a new life in a new state, but I was filled with uncertainty as I sifted through my life’s possessions.

All the questions went through my mind continually. What if I don’t like it? What if I do, but my husband doesn’t? What if I can’t find a doctor? What if the humidity is too much? What if, what if, what if? The questions became more ludicrous and the anxiety got out of control, as did my breathing.

Calming down

If I wanted to get through this, I had to find ways to calm down. I stepped away from packing for a couple of days. With an empty notebook and pen in hand, I went through every doubt and question in my head, even the foolish ones.

Months and months had been spent completing research. Confident in the information gathered, I had to remind myself of that. I had names of doctors from several people. I recognized it was fear of the unknown that was causing all the anxiety. Moving day was fast approaching and I knew I could not finish the job myself. I hired someone to help with the remainder of the packing. It was the best decision I had made. They kept me focused on the job in front of me, not what was behind me or worrying about the future.

Moving day

Everyone handles moving differently. Some hire movers to do everything. My two brothers offered to help. One lives in Massachusetts and drove the moving truck we rented. The other brother lives in Florida, 8 hours away from my new home. He offered to meet us there. Nephews showed up the day before and loaded up the truck. We were ready!

We hit a few snags along the way. The GPS was for automobiles, not trucks. At one point we had to get rerouted because commercial vehicles were not allowed on the portion of highway we were on. Not all hotels allow dogs, not even eight-pound chihuahuas. There was a missing document needed for the closing on the house that we had to scramble to get. I was starting with an exacerbation and getting very anxious about that.

We made it! The house was ours. I brought my prednisone and antibiotics with me and started them immediately. Within forty-eight hours I was feeling normal again.

Let’s talk about it

I learned a lot moving with COPD. A well-executed plan is a necessity. It is okay to admit you are scared. I bought a house over the internet in a state I have never been to. I packed up an entire home while my husband continued to work. The experience gave me back the confidence that I lost since being diagnosed with COPD. If I can do this, I can do anything!

What about you? Have you moved? What experiences did you have? Let’s chat!

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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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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