A person is having a video call with a doctor on her laptop.

Medicine Going Forward in the New World

At the end of 2019, I saw a pulmonary specialist. The frequency of visits is twice a year unless I need him in between. I was given an action plan of antibiotics and steroids and I was trained on how to use them and when to and when not to take them. I have been stable for over a year and a half and really haven’t needed to take my action plan. My doctor is very pleased about this and has no worries going forward about how often I need to see him.

Mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness daily has become my ‘go-to’ when in need of solace. I go slowly and pay attention to what I am doing, only doing one thing at a time. This has been an immense help to me as I have slowed down and simplified everything I do.

When I become short of breath, I go to mindfulness and practice pursed-lip breathing until my breathing becomes normal again. This has helped to alleviate anxiety and lets me be in control of what I can and cannot accomplish. Meditation is also a great help and allows me to ground myself so I can start fresh.

Searching for answers

At the beginning of my diagnosis, in my 60th year, I was curious about the causes, symptoms, and remedies of COPD. I asked a lot of questions to anyone who would answer them, usually recorded my doctor’s visits, and dug deep into social media for support online and to gain knowledge from others who had more experience with COPD. I also did numerous google searches and created many boards on Pinterest and on YouTube.

My health tracker journal

Journaling everyday, I began to set up charts, tracking what triggered my symptoms and followed the methodology called Bullet Journaling.

Once I found my clue, I set up a chart to track my symptoms, and soon the story would start to emerge of what caused my symptoms to increase and what I did to help them decrease. My journal became my bible and I looked back constantly to gain knowledge.

ZOOM with me

When I saw the doctor, he commented on how stable I was and asked if I wanted to report virtually through a ZOOM conference call instead of coming to the office. I thought about it for a second and jumped at the chance.

This means 1 less doctor appointment per year, no travelling time, no parking fees, no sitting in the waiting room while others are hacking up a lung! There is no need to go out when you are deathly ill just to have a doctor confirm it.

Going forward

This new world of medicine going forward appeals to me. In my business I use ZOOM to meet and greet clients. I am interested in what could be for the healthcare field as well. This means fewer hospital stays and less cost to all of us.

I will be very careful to have a list of questions ready. I will also record my sessions with the doctor so that I can replay them, at my leisure to make sure I understand. Now, I get the benefit of the entire conversation from my home.

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