Moving Into Fall
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As we come to the close of October, schools on, we’re able to enjoy the harvest from our gardens and we’re moving into fall.

In the small towns, we may notice the dust from farmers in their fields; the large cities may notice a change in the environment; some of the south is reeling from floods and others are noticing a change in humidity, and others dryness. Some of the west is coping with smoke from the ongoing fires. The Midwest looks for rain while other areas look for dryness. It seems everyone is looking for better crops, cheaper feed and better breathing!

Yes, better breathing. We can hope for better things in the environment, but right here, right now, someone is struggling to breathe. There is so much dust in the air, smoke, pollen and mold. The leaves have begun to fall.

I remember when I was younger and able, out walking and hearing the crispness of the leaves, so enjoying the lower temperatures.

Smelling the changing air. It doesn’t seem that long ago. Now breathing that air seems to make me cough, maybe sneeze and sometimes I struggle to breathe. In some places, I’ve had to use my inhaler. Sometimes I may have to use my nebulizer, other times not. Allergy pills are a must. I can’t wait to get into the house.

When you’re out and about, be sure to wash your face and hands. You get out the dust and pollen that you breathed in when you were outside. If you leave it, you will continue to breathe in those particles. This is so important too, if you have allergies.

Have you ever done a sinus rinse? That can make such a difference. When doing a sinus rinse, I get out my Neti-Pot and pour in distilled water. Distilled is so important, because there is less chance of bacteria. I put it in the microwave for 15 seconds to warm it and then add the crystals. Then squirt some in each nostril according to the instructions. Some people think that sounds disgusting, but it can really help. Even if you have a cold and the flu, it helps to clean those sinus’ and remove anything that might be collecting on your nose hair. This is a very healthy thing to do. Your COPD will appreciate it.

Everyday health is so important.

Have you ever had an exacerbation? I’m sure many of us have. A COPD exacerbation is a sudden worsening of your COPD symptoms. You will often notice a shortness of breath, increased quantity of phlegm that might be yellow or green. A bacterial infection, virus or even environmental pollutants can trigger an exacerbation. It’s very important that you don’t wait very long before going to the doctor, you don’t want your COPD to worsen.

When you go to the doctor, you may be given a steroid injection; you will likely be given a prescription for a steroid and an antibiotic. You may also be given a chest x-ray to see if you have pneumonia. It will be important that you rest, but it will also be important for you to get your exercise. At least walk through your house to keep your circulation going and it will help your lungs and breathing as well. Pace yourself.

As we move into fall, try to enjoy it.

I can’t be out, but will do my best to enjoy from indoors. Somedays, it feels sad to only enjoy from a distance, but I think that I will find a window with a view in my house, put the card table in front of it and work on a wreath or even create a greeting call. I can bring fall indoors. This would also be something to write about and put in a memory book for my kids and grandkids, so they can enjoy my memory as well.

I hope that as you move into fall, you’re able to enjoy the changing of the seasons and that your COPD doesn’t bring you any challenges.

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