Goals Before I Go
My breathing was becoming more labored and I couldn’t cross the room without having to sit down to regain my breath. My son was always asking what could he do to “make me whole again”. He would ask, “Do I need to buy you new lungs?” I would laugh and tell him I didn’t qualify because I wasn’t at that stage.
Managing multiple lung conditions
I have COPD with chronic asthma. I see my doctor regularly and use my inhaler as instructed. After many incidences of bronchitis bordering pneumonia, we changed my inhaler to Dulera. From that point on my incidences of bronchitis have all but ceased.
My son was still concerned. He and his family work out daily with a trainer and eat healthy foods. I asked him at one time if he knew a trainer who worked with COPD patients. He said he’d check. A few days later he put me in touch with his trainer and we made a date to begin in my home.
Prioritizing fitness and health
Eddie, my trainer, walked through the door that first day and was a ray of sunshine and spoke only positive words. The more he talked the more I was finding hope. He really has the capability to lift people up. Eddie was formerly with a couple of NFL teams until injuries forced him out. He was already familiar with training…and sometimes grueling training.
In the course of talking with him I asked him if he was familiar with COPD and respiratory problems. He said he had a very close friend who had COPD. I told him of my attempt to do physical therapy and how it was so crowded that they didn’t have enough personnel to properly train. I told them I would just use YouTube and find exercises.
I told Eddie I wasn’t afraid of dying but I did want to live my best life with what time I had left. He smiled and said, “Momma V, we’re gonna do it!” That started out my cycle of slowly becoming more mobile and increasing the air into my lungs. We do this every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for one hour. He encourages me as I exercise and he watches my hand signals when I need a break from either no air or lightheadedness. He always tells me to sit down at those times and to focus on deep breathing. All the while I’m doing that he is giving me encouraging words and positive reinforcement. We are a real sight as I walked from my front door to the back door (thank goodness for open space living). I have Eddie, my husband and our dog all walking behind me having my back.
Recognizing my goals
My first goal in this exercise regimen is to be able to dance with my husband. It used to be when we were listening to music that a song would come on and I’d grab my husband and say, “Let’s dance”. I really miss doing that.
In the past when my son would appear frustrated because I wasn’t my usual self. I would say “If you could only spend one day in my body you'd know how I feel.” Now my second goal is to say to my son, “If you could spend only one day in my body you’d know how much better I feel”.
I know how this story ends and I’m at peace with that… only after I’ve danced with my husband and given my son hope.
Which of the following best describes your COPD diagnosis?