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Alphabet Soup (Part 2)

This is a continuation of my positive word list from Alphabet Soup (Part 1).

More positive words for COPD patients

N - Nourishment. I had to learn to eat healthy for my disease. Eating heavy meals and large portions leave me very short of breath. Nourishment isn’t just about food. My mental health and spiritual health is also in need of nourishment.

O - Optimism. I have always walked through life believing tomorrow will be a better day. That optimistic belief has always gotten me through bad days and times. It keeps me breathing, even when I feel like I can’t. The next breath will be longer. The next breath will be deeper. It will be okay. Believing that usually makes it okay.

P - Persevere. I know there isn’t a cure for COPD. In spite of that, I will continue to live the best life I can. I work at it, I believe in it, in spite of the progression. I continue to find ways to manage my life with this disease.

Q - Quality of life. I believe we all want a good quality of life. The expectations of what that is may differ with each person. I know mine will have each day where time is used to manage my disease. There are times I will be short of breath and I will need to pace my activities. I still expect my life to have a quality that provides me with joy, including my husband’s life.

R - Relaxation. It is important for our overall well being to relax. I spend my days taking care of my home, writing, cooking, and exercising. I look forward to that time after dinner when my husband and I head to the living room and put our feet up. I know my day is done and I let out a sigh of relief. We might talk for a bit, watch some television or read. I can unwind, knowing I don’t have to think about being short of breath for the remainder of the day.

S - Support. With a chronic illness, a good support team is necessary and adds to my quality of life. Mine is my husband. I have two brothers and a few cousins I can reach out to. My son is available through phone, messaging, or Facetime. I am also part of several excellent support groups and have made friends along the way. Other friends have moved away or have their own health issues, but we stay in touch. I also have faith in my medical team and have found other services available to me through the local senior center and the Council On Aging.

T - Transformation. There were so many life changes I had to make with this disease. It took a lot of time for the transformation. It seems to always be a work in progress, but there is no rush. I am enjoying the process.

U - Unbreakable. I have never really been fond of the phrase, “I am broken”. It reminds me of a ceramic doll in pieces and needs to be put back together with glue. I have been very ill at times and overwhelmed by the illness. I have grieved for the loss of a previous life. Strength, faith, and hope pulled me through.

V - Value. I have heard many people say they no longer have value because of their illness. I have felt that many times. No longer working and needing help, I felt like a burden. It goes back to Transformation. Reinvent your life.  We each have value as a person.

W - Wellness. My own overall wellness encompasses my physical, mental, and spiritual. The three are very much connected and I work to keep them in balance. When one is suffering it has an effect on the others.

X - Xanadu. I worked hard to find this word, but it was perfect! It is a place of beauty or contentment. I think we all strive for that. When I meditate, I have created such a place in my mind. We all should. When feeling anxious, feel the tranquility of the place you have created. It might be the seashore, a garden filled with flowers, the forest, or even your version of Heaven. When my mind enters the garden I have created, I am immediately relaxed.

Y - Young At Heart. Never forget to laugh and feel like a child again. I might move slower than I used to, but I can still jump in a puddle and race you with my mobility scooter!

Z - Zen. My definition of zen encompasses mindfulness and meditation or learning techniques of calmness. I write in my journal each day to gain that feeling. I have created a home to gain that feeling. I have created a special corner for meditating that brings me peace. I think everyone should have a special retreat in their home.

These are my words A-Z that are coping words or actions that I bring into my daily life.

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 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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