Get the Support You Need
Last updated: October 2021
It can be so difficult to ask for help, especially if you have always managed to do things yourself. Then the day comes when you really need help to do things yourself. You sort of know it's coming as things have been difficult for a while, but you try to shrug it off. Now the reality is here and you have to ask for help. You stripped the bed but it was making you so out of breath you had to ask for help to make it. There was an argument with the quilt cover and the quilt cover won.
Asking for help
Sometimes when we put things off it makes us feel physically ill and mentally drained. I'm all for keeping myself fit and well, but I do ask for help when needed. Yes, it does get to me at times, but I cannot change the way I am. I try not to let the thoughts linger around too long.
Making things easier is not a cop-out, we need to know what we can and cannot do. Asking for help is not easy but it will make life better for you. If we don't ask for help when we need to, people (including family members) will not know what's wrong when what was supposed to be done wasn't done. With COPD, it can be difficult for people to know when something is wrong, as they can't see the illness and hence don't understand it that well.
Working with breathlessness
Again, it's definitely not a cop-out. Asking for help will save your energy and breath for you to do something less strenuous. I found that with COPD, if we don't try to keep healthy by exercise, the breathlessness creeps in and the longer we don't push ourselves, the worse the breathlessness is. Make a note of the things you struggle with and try to work around them. Sometimes there is a way to still get them done by adapting.
Try not to beat yourself up asking for help. If you think about it, even healthy fit people struggle with that quilt cover from time to time. I have a lot of hurdles in my life that I need help to get over. Yes, it's hard. I have other health issues along with my COPD and life can get very frustrating for me. No one told me life was this difficult, but I've always been one of those who loves a challenge. I will conquer that challenge with the people who will help me. I'm no longer afraid to ask for help. I truly believe what you give out will come back 10 fold.
Family and friends would be easily upset if they knew you were struggling and you felt you couldn't ask them. I have a silent wheeze I get out of breath easily so not everyone can see me struggling/ I think people with a trained eye and family members and friends can now tell. Don't ever be afraid to ask for help. Maybe one day someone may ask you for help and you'll help them with something they can't do.
Editor's Note: We are heartbroken to share that Debz passed away in October of 2021. She is deeply missed but her positivity and resilience live on through her articles. Thank you for everything, Debz.
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