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Protect Yourself During This Triple Threat Time

Last updated: March 2023

Leaving the house means braving the cold air that makes my lungs ache each time I try to inhale. So many episodes of shortness of breath take their toll.

As my lung function declines, the episodes become more frequent than ever. Being isolated for two years since the pandemic seems to have made things worse rather than better.

Protecting yourself this winter

With little to no immunities, we have no ammo to fight with. Worldwide, we are experiencing the triple threat of the ever-changing Covid-19, flu, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

Boosters and vaccines

Take the guesswork out of boosters. Everything has changed, so be sure to talk to your doctor. Discuss what vaccinations you’ve had, others necessary, and how to get them in.

Consider getting the latest Covid-19 boosters, if you get them), along with flu, pneumonia, and shingle vaccine.

Keep your journal records to be sure the charting date is accurate.

Staying warm

As I get deeper into COPD, I have difficulty maintaining my core body temperature. It’s the probable reason why I feel cold all the time.

I always wear sweaters. The only thing that changes about my sweaters is their weight. Blankets are on standby, and I wear warm socks on my feet.

Layering with blankets soothes my claustrophobic mind because it allows me to move freely. Hence my anxiety is averted.

Masks and Face Warmers

Although I have a tough time wearing a mask in the heat of summer, during the winter, wearing a mask is my lifesaver. Covid-19 taught us the value of masking, and on cold and windy days, it helps keep my breath warm and keeps me safe from airborne germs and viruses from others.

Be vigilant when you are around others. No hugging, no kissing, no touching. It is a tough time for huggers, but it is necessary.

Cannula warming

The cannula is an exposed piece of plastic that carries a gas called oxygen. Its temperature will be determined by its surroundings.

Exposure to the cold makes the oxygen colder; when that oxygen hits my lungs, my lungs freeze. To help me manage my lung freezing episodes, my husband used a common 2.5-inch weather stripping and enclosed the cannula to keep my 02 warm.

It works wonders, and it helps to keep my lungs happy and incident free.

Coats and capes

Leaving the house is another issue because the weight of a normal coat is too much for me to carry. Jackets offer little to no warmth. Capes have become my style because they are big and roomy while keeping me warm and comfortable. Layering with a sweater is the key.

Warm feet

I tend to stick to a good running shoe with adequate support for my feet and ankles. Whenever I don't go out, I wear a pair of thick work socks in men's sizes.

Keep a comfortable pair of gloves handy. They allow for good dexterity. Your hands will likely be exposed as you carry your tank.

Share your tips to stay warm and protected in the comments.

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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 COPD.net 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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