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Woman standing in the bathroom looking at the toilet with a mop in hand raised overhead.

My Satisfaction In Cleaning

My hubby was working so I took advantage and decided to clean the bathroom. Usually he does most of it because of cleaning agents, even though we use a green product.

COPD and I do disagree quite often. Physically it reminds me of what I can’t do, even though it does allow me some quiet things, such as writing this paper. My biggest battle with COPD is not willing to lose my independence with life and things that I do, and sometimes things I don’t want to do.

Why I enjoy cleaning

There is so much satisfaction in cleaning, especially the bathroom. It almost felt like the old days, when I could clean the whole house in just a couple of hours. Cleaning the bathroom actually took 4 hours, with 3 breaks. I had to change my way of doing things because when doing the floor, I had to use a mop instead of getting on hands and knees which I so much prefer. When my hubby got home he had to finish putting some things back where they belong. I also saved the bathtub/shower. I had to quit because of coughing spells and a tight chest. I also got back spasms and so tired.

Even though I struggled, and there were sweat and tears, I succeeded. I couldn’t do it all. I couldn’t do it the way I prefer to do, but I succeeded. It looks and smells so clean. I know that it’s done corner to corner. Sure, I can’t count that bathtub, but it’s ok, I did wipe around faucets, ledges, and edges.

This weekend I’m going to finish a couple of craft projects and pack some of my craft supplies to make room for photo albums. I have all my mom’s photo albums and will be scanning them and then giving to my brothers. I have photo projects that I am going to do for my kids and my brothers, as well as their families for Christmas. It’s going to be wonderful, but I need the energy and “sticktoitness” to do this. “Sticktoitness” is another problem that I have, but that comes from letting my physical self become overwhelmed.

I have a problem with Sticktoitness

Stick-to-it-iveness is defined as: dogged perseverance, tenacity. This is a word that I use when I define to myself and what I need to do to continue doing what I started, even if it’s for a half hour or even a day. I would hope to do a couple of hours daily, scanning these family photos. And there are many albums. Sticktoitiveness, this is what I need from start to finish.

I have another word that I periodically use is befuddled. It is in the dictionary: utterly confused or puzzled, deeply perplexed. I can only remember this word when I need it or when talking with someone who is frustrated and can’t find a word to describe how they feel when coping with COPD or a loved one. This always came to me when taking care of my dad in his last days. He didn’t have COPD, he had other health issues. Yet, this word continues to help me and others.

And to think this was a story about cleaning the bathroom. It looks like it turned into one about cleaning my thoughts and finding ways to accept limitations, and yet being able to accomplish the task at hand. Even if it takes longer than it should. I am holding onto my independence, by accepting what I can do, even if there are health factors that cause me to slow down or even ask for help. You see, COPD has caused some change in my life, but it isn’t changing my spirit or tenacity 😊.


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.


  • Janet Plank moderator author
    11 months ago

    Hi WillDoe

    Thank you for your response. I so understand your difficulty in vacuuming. Floor are one of the worst, because those dust bunnies seem to come to life. Thankfully I have help with that most of the time. Do you have someone who could come in to help you with your floors and dusting? If I am without help some days, I put on my mask and pace myself. That is most important. Try to pace your breathing with your vacuuming that helps somewhat as well. Pursed lip breathing is so important when we start to struggle with our breathing.

    Welcome to the community here and always know someone is here for you.
    Janet (site moderator)

  • WillDoe
    11 months ago

    My ‘tough spot’ is vacuuming. The machine ‘exhales’ as it ‘inhales’! After a few minutes, I can hardly breath. My floors are in a real state…
    Thanks for the article. I feel ‘less’ isolated now.

  • Barbara Moore moderator
    11 months ago

    Hi WillDoe,
    I see you have found my weakness as well. Vacuuming is a certain problem for most of us and I think Leon’s answer hit the nail on the head when saying a mask is a must.
    Barbara Moore (site moderator)

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    11 months ago

    Hi WillDoe and thanks for your comment on Janet’s article. I find that when vacuuming, or, when emptying the vaccum, or when doing anything related to dusty situations (cleaning the fan blades, dusting furniture, etc.) that wearing a mask is invaluable. The barrier mask (fitted properly) protects my upper airway, nose and mouth, and keeps me from reacting to the dust. I can then get on with my day. Do you think that would help you? All the best, Leon (site moderator)

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