Every Breath is Precious
I've come to realize that since my diagnosis of COPD every breath I take is precious. We take our lives and breathing for granted until something drastic happens and we realize how precious our lives are.
Life is for living
Now nearly three years on, I make the most of my life and the way I live. As we know, life is for living, but we're reminded to look after ourselves. I'm all for making my life easier but also for being fitter and healthier.
We're blessed here in the United Kingdom to have an NHS. I have all my medication at hand and have no worries about costs like in other countries. It's not a brag - I've just come to realize how lucky I am. It must be so stressful not knowing how I will get my next prescription.
I've had help in the form of modifications to my seats and chairs. We have a walk-in shower with a chair and handrails. A toilet seat raiser and wheelchair (I cannot walk a distance). In return, I want to share my story and what I've learned since my diagnosis of COPD.
I fight to keep well
I fight to stay well and to keep active as possible. I am unable to walk outside much so I double up on other exercises. Squats (as far as my knees let me), wall presses, leg raises, star jacks, exercise bike, and rowing machine (when at the gym).
Make the most of your life
Life is precious, life is a gift. We need to use it to the best of our ability. Let's support ourselves and others who have COPD. Encourage activity and set our own goals. Keep a diary of what you have achieved and look back to see how far you have come. It can be surprising to see how far you come in just a couple of weeks.
It is there for you to live
Make the most of your life in a positive way - it is there for you to live. We must not let COPD define us and rule our lives. We must live our lives every day. On the days that we cannot be as active, pick up a book and make it a relaxation day. Don't dwell on the fact you cannot go out or cook a roast. Rather, do a puzzle or something you enjoy that won't sap you of the little energy you have.
Grasp it with both hands
Don't dwell on what you had, live with what you have. Yes, it's a different life, but it is still a life and you're still living (more than some). Never blame yourself for smoking or working in dust and fumes. It happened and it's with us, live around it and make the most of what we have. We can't really change it. If we live with the what-ifs or 'I wish I hadn't' we will never get anywhere in life. Just stuck where we are, dwelling and only going backward. Life is too short on a good day, so grasp it with both hands and live your life to the best of your ability. Smile, laugh, and love. It's a second chance and you don't get many of them.
How has your experience been navigating the healthcare system as someone with COPD?