How I "cured" my COPD symptoms completely.
I am embarrassed that this story is going to sound like me, me, me but I am excited to share my "discovery" in the hope that it may help others suffering similar symptoms. It is, therefore, necessary for you to understand how far down the COPD journey I am, so please bear with me.
My COPD journey
I am a 74-year-old male who other than COPD am in fairly good shape. I am 6' and weigh 88 kg so I am not overweight. I started suffering from COPD symptoms at about the age of 60. I was a heavy smoker and coughed badly every morning and was spitting out phlegm. About 6 years ago I went to my doctor who referred me to a pulmonologist who tested me and told me I was suffering from COPD and had only about 70% lung function. About that time I had given up smoking.
I was put on Novartis Seebri breezhaler (a powder medication that you inhaled every morning) I would have 6 monthly visitations with the pulmonologist who monitored my condition. It appeared that things were not deteriorating too rapidly.
2 years ago I immigrated to the USA (from South Africa) and the medication I was using is not available in the USA so I was switched to Spiriva Respimat (a gas medication that you inhale every morning)
My condition was that I could function fairly normally but suffered morning bouts of coughing where I would cough because of an irritation where I am trying to cough the phlegm out. The coughing is quite bad and until I had coughed enough phlegm out, it would carry on. On average I would need to get rid of at least 6 large amounts of phlegm after which I stopped coughing completely for the rest of the day. There were times when it was so bad I would vomit it out - horrible as that was, it at least signaled the end of the morning coughing session. To understand how bad it was, there were times that I nearly blacked out from the coughing. Now sometimes I have coughing sessions again in the evening and it is similar to the morning sessions but perhaps not as severe. I cough and spit out phlegm until it's cleared away then things go back to normal. As far as activity goes, I try and walk. Provided it is flat, I can hike quite far. 6 miles is not a problem but if there are uphills I get terribly out of breath. Even a simple job like changing a car wheel has me puffing from squatting and then standing and man-handling the spare wheel.
What is working for me
Do you recognize these symptoms/reactions? If you do then I may have good news for you!
I always sleep on my side. I am a bit restless and I turn from side to side during the night. I never sleep on my back. I have 2 pillows.
Quite by chance, I discovered that when I sleep on my stomach, using only 1 pillow, the phlegm which I produce goes down my digestive tract whilst I sleep. It's really only in the form of thickened saliva at this point. The result is there is no phlegm in the morning and therefore ZERO coughing! And there is zero coughing at any other time of the day either!
That the solution is so simple as to be just the way you sleep! The change in me is simply near miraculous. I really hope that this can help others suffering from the same symptoms.
I find that lying on my stomach, my head needs to face either left or right in order to breathe. When my head is to the left, I bend my left leg whilst keeping my right leg straight. When my head is to the right, I cock my right leg. Please give me feedback if this helps you too.
Do you have a COPD caregiver?