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A pocket with a heart stitched on it

What’s In Your Pocket?

A few weeks ago, tears trickled out my eyes. With dry eyes, that doesn’t happen easily. Later when I talked to my hubby, I told him that today is one of those hard days. He said that it’s expected at times. He knows I struggle because of so many things I can’t do anymore. Because of all of the pain in my back and hips. My knee that I had surgery on a couple of months ago is excellent and little pain. I fell again.

The emotions

There was some loneliness too. Those emotions bring on the coughing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. Remember what comes up, spit out, don’t swallow. The most important thing that I can think of to do, is to get control of my breathing. Pursed lip breathing is so important, it helps me to breathe normally as I breathe in oxygen. This helps my shortness of breath, it helps me to relax and it also relieves me of any carbon dioxide when I exhale. I also use my inhaler if needed.

Thankfully, I don’t get emotional like this very often. It seems that I get sad, when something happens, like when I have to miss an important event or can’t even clean the house the way I used to do. I do accept most things, because I know they aren’t possible. My mood actually took less time than it has taken me to type this paragraph. Yes, that’s true.

Folding clothes, I started pulling Kleenexes out of the pockets and sleeves. Oops I must have missed taking them out of before washing. Automatically, I realized I had been sticking them in my left cardigan pocket and both sleeves LOL. I always have to make sure that I have one. Not good through the washer and dryer though.

What’s been in my pockets

Thinking back to things that I have found when emptying my pockets besides Kleenex: Cell phone, house phone as well, Pro-Air inhaler, Halls lozenges, paper, paper clips, coins, receipts, dog bone and even an unopened can of pop or water (yes, they fit). To me, it’s funny to think of what I find there.

I find it helpful to laugh at myself

You see, it’s important to find things to laugh about, giggle and chuckle about. That’s what keeps a person sane? Funny things make the world go ‘round. My hubby doesn’t always get my humor, my daughter usually does. As long as I check my pockets, I’m able to enjoy the little things. Most of the time, I put things in my pockets automatically and seldom give it a thought. So it’s a surprise at the end of the day or whenever I empty my pockets. You see, if we can’t laugh at ourselves it’s hard to laugh at other things. Laughter makes the world go ‘round.

Sometimes to lighten the day, I’ll send gifs and cute pictures to family and friends. Making others smile, brings such joy. Our kids and their loved ones as well. They and our grandkids often respond with their happiness or even comments of a bad day that we can talk about it. Often they send selfies of themselves and others. Oh, then there are the “I love yous”. See? It all came because emptying pockets can be an adventure!

Realizing our lives have changed with COPD

You see, we (myself and others with COPD) have a chronic illness. Chronic illnesses often cause us to be emotional and depressed. It’s hard to live that, day in and day out. It’s hard to be upbeat all of the time when we struggle to breathe, when we cope with pain, when we realize that we can’t do the things that we used to do. When we realize that our lives are changed. It’s so important to have a support system, face to face or online.

It’s important that we grieve our old lives! Writing that article helped change me, helped change my thinking. I read it periodically to remind myself that I can’t carry the burden, that I choose not to carry it anymore, that’s just heavyweight. I can use this to help me know how to grieve and how to use this with many things that are a burden.

Finding joy in the little things

It’s important to let go, to give ourselves peace and to find joy in even the little things. I have led a full day doing all types of things, however, the peace and comfort I have is all because of the joy I had when I checked my pockets and the peace that I have within me. Yeah, that may sound silly, but I’ll make and take whatever I can to find joy in my day.

So, what’s in your pocket?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Squirrels Holt
    2 months ago

    Thank you for your reply and your understanding words of support will stay with me. Tough days ahead but we are ready for mum to finally be at peace when she decides it’s time to rest. Thank you for all the brilliant articles,true life accounts and so much more which I read religiously. You are a very exceptional group of people….but then us COPD’ers are,aren’t we?

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    2 months ago

    It’s all our pleasure to be of assistance, Squirrels Holt. We’re so glad to have you as a member of our community. And yes, is the answer to your question!
    Warmest regards,
    Leon (site moderator)

  • grammysue1
    2 months ago

    Thank you for sharing. It is good to laugh. :). This winter has been rough.

  • Lyn Harper, RRT moderator
    2 months ago

    Hi grammysue1 – Sometimes a laugh can get us through the day, can’t it? Glad you liked the article. I’m sorry the winter has been rough. I hope spring is around the corner and it proves to be better for you.
    -Lyn (site moderator)

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    2 months ago

    Hi grammysue1 and thanks for your post. Laughter can be good medicine – it IS good to laugh! I thought you might find this article to be interesting in that same regard: I hope you find it to be helpful as well. Leon (site moderator)

  • Squirrels Holt
    2 months ago

    I loved your article and I’m sort of certain that I will be ready to let go of many feelings, as I’m currently watching my beautiful mother go into palliative care(hospice) after having a severe stroke on top of dementia and cancer in her poor little lungs. Not long now and she will be at peace and can be calm and no longer frightened. I feel desperately sad to loose her under such a multitude of illnesses, but she reached a magnificent 86 years and is a very special lady. Sorry to be so gloomy…..but I’m from the UK and its a problematic time for everybody.
    Thanks for reading.x

  • Janet Plank moderator author
    2 months ago

    Hi Squirrels,
    My heart goes out to your mother, and her journey. Also to you and your family. It’s so hard seeing our loved ones suffer. Your tender words when you talk about your mother, are those of heart.
    Gloomy you are not. We are here in support and want you to know that we are thankful that you reached out. Please stay in touch and let us know how your mother is doing, also how you are doing, know that we are here for you.
    Janet (author, site moderator)

  • pat02
    2 months ago

    I love this, thank you so much for making a hard day better. Hope your day is a good one. 🙂 🙂


  • Janet Plank moderator author
    2 months ago

    Thank you pat02. Hoping you have a breathe-easy day.
    Janet (author, site moderator)

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