NOT AGAIN – When Your Having A Bad Day – a bad air day?

pooh-having-a-bad-day

I decided to write this post after I started experiencing a worsening of my symptoms for no apparent reason on Friday night; driving my car to the chip shop. I knew instinctively that a bad day was on the way! Anyone who has stage three or four COPD will be familiar with these days. You feel like there is just not enough air to go round and everything takes so much more effort and it’s exhausting.

Like many people, when I was first diagnosed with COPD it was already quite severe and these days were very frequent and puzzling to me. Back then I used to get many more bad days than good days. Since I have adjusted my life a bit I do not have so many but when I do it always annoys and frustrates me. I run through all the reasons in my head why this day has come on me, such as, am Idownload (1) starting with a virus, have I eaten, drank something too sugary, is the air pressure low, that can cause poor oxygen in the atmosphere or have I been in contact with any allergens, maybe I have done too much. The answer isn’t always obvious sometimes there is no reason and any plans I have made for a shopping trip, visiting friends etc has to be put on hold. More frustrating, is my immediate family don’t seem to understand this anomaly at all. I’m sure they think I am malingering at times – you know, as if I really enjoy those days not being able to breath? They make comments like you are always breathless what’s the difference or your always ill as if it’s just another day! Then I try to explain yes, but its the degree of breathlessness! It is almost impossible to explain it.

So what do I do about it? Well, I find a lot of patience comes in handy especially if this daydownload (2) or days, I forgot to mention it can last for a couple of days, falls on a cleaning day or a shopping day or a day I had plans or especially if someone else is relying on me, (that can be tricky). Firstly, I hunt out my emergency antibiotics and steroids and try to decide if they will be needed. I take my peak flow and measure my oxygen levels, am I wheezing more? This usually tells me if steroids are needed and if I start coughing up gunk then there may be an infection on the way so I add on the antibiotics. If it is an infection, then it will turn into as full blown exacerbation and won’t be gone in a day or two. But if as often is the case it’s nothing like that then I will get my nebuliser out and  make myself comfortable on the settee and put 110_E2BFposter_zcatch up TV on and have a nice cup of tea (thats if I am well enough to make one). This is where exercising has really come to benefit me. These mini flare ups are not as bad when they come and I am able to get my food and drinks. Whereas in the past pre exercise me, well, I went for hours without even having a cup of tea and these mini flare ups could go on for longer and the chance of them developing into an infection were higher. Keeping fit and eating nutritious food is really important to keep in control of your symptoms. Below is a video where a respiratory nurse explains about keeping a journal helps.

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My Second Appointment at Jimmys

disappointment-signIt has taken me a couple of days to get over this appointment, as it just did not go as I wanted at all. Firstly, I went on my own, I had lost a lot of my confidence in actually going anywhere without my daughter but she was working, so I had to do it alone. And, I did it very well and enjoyed the day out. I was mostly worried about all the walking that would be involved because the car park is quite a long way from the front door and once inside, there is loads of walking to do. I surprised myself and managed quite well with the walking. It was about 400+ metres from the car park to the x ray department and I stopped a number of times but absolutely loved the fresh air it was quite windy and the blow did me the world of good.  Negotiating the centre of Leeds was also worrying me, I hate driving in Leeds its so busy and I was travelling at rush hour. I managed to p*** off a few drivers and got honked at a few times but overall did quite well.

I had my x ray first and then walked back to the Thoracic Surgery Department to see my consultant. By the time I had sat down in the waiting room, it was not long before I was called to see him and I must admit after all that walking I felt so much better, I almost ran in.  However, I didn’t run out, after talking to him for about 10 minutes (a very short time really), I became under the impression that he really was not comfortable about doing endobronchial valves, he didn’t seem to have a lot of success with them. He made up loads of excuses, the first one was my heart.

I have got a stupid arrhythmia the cardiologist said it is not dangerous and shouldRoyalty-free clipart picture of a right itself as it usually does. I have had it for years (palpitations); ever since my son had an accident and fell 25 foot through a roof and was in ICU in Leeds. It normally puts itself back to normal but the last time I had to go into hospital for 4 days so they could get it under control. Now, I am on tablets for a short while and have to have a cardiogram next week just to check everything is fine, so I am crossing my fingers that it is. So, obviously the first thing the consultant talked about was this heart thing and said it needed to be sorted before he could consider the valves. I told him that I had mentioned it to my cardiologist and he had declared me good to go for an operation. Anyway, he wasn’t having any of that at all and moved on to his next objection which was the fact that I wasn’t on oxygen so was not an urgent case. Actually, I found his bedside manner terrible, I was beginning to wonder if his wife had given him a poor breakfast or had a row or something before he came to work. The next objection to the 12301208_878550378906854_74531362_nvalves was the fact that they don’t work for everyone and he didn’t have very much success with them, he also stated that they only lasted for 3 years anyway! He said you will get worse anyway I can’t make you better! Oh blooming heck,  I knew this already did he think I was stupid or something. I just want a little bit of lung function back, I was hoping the operation might turn back time a bit for me; and enable me to do lots of exercise and allow me to go on an upward spiral instead of the downward spiral that I am in at the moment. I must admit I started to cry with frustration because, I know that they last longer than 3 years in the US they stated 10 years but even if you half that for optimism that is 5 years. I just felt that he did not want to do it! He said I needed to do another Pulmonary Rehab Course, I told him that I did a lot of exercise at home anyway and was active. But he said I needed to do a full course which I am happy to do anyway and he also said I had to do a 6 minute walk test. When I asked him what he would learn from that test he didn’t give me a real answer. Just mumbled something I couldn’t understand.download I hate this about some doctors they just don’t explain themselves; but I can remember being guilty of this when I first started teaching. People, need very simple explanations in order to follow unfamiliar subjects. Drawings and diagrams are preferable!

And this is what I like to hear from Doctors someone being positive –

Anyway, the interview ended with me walking out of the room very disappointed and bemused and wondering exactly what had taken place. He definitely was not working on the same page as me. Since I have had time to think about his response, I feel that I need to search for a consultant who has moredownload (2) experience and success with fitting these valves like the guy in the video. That is something I had not thought of before. Its the same as anything, if you were going to have a new conservatory built you would ask about and choose the best builder; but we regularly hand our health over to Drs, Consultants, Specialists who we have no knowledge of at all. We trust that they are the fountain of knowledge and fantastic at their job. Well, I think I will have to think seriously who I trust with what’s left of my lungs, I can’t afford to waste any more. And this experience has in no way deterred me in my mission to find ways to improve my life, I just need to look elsewhere! The fight is not over!!!  Look out for next episode.

IS COPD TERMINAL – AM I GOING TO DIE?

images (3)During one of my hospitalisations with my Asthma the news was broken to me that I could have developed COPD (this was confirmed at a much later date), I will NEVER forget the feeling, when they handed me a leaflet on Emphysema and COPD and just left me to deal with the news alone. I spent all night in the bathroom looking out of the window and crying. I just couldn’t handle it at that time. I said ‘will I die from this?’ and the nurse said, ‘we all have to die of something’, that definitely wasn’t what I wanted to hear at that time.

My Grandad had died of emphysema, I hadn’t been very close to him unfortunately so did not know what he went through with it or how he managed it but I knew it was terrible, whatever it was and I was basically frightened of the unknown.
The truth is, how long you live once you have been diagnosed is up to you. Your life and how long you survive once diagnosed is literally in your own hands. How long you survive will depend on your actions because although COPD is progressive that progress, providing you do not smoke, is very slow. 
 
The following piece has been written by Derek Cummings who has lived with the disease for 28 years and I really wish I could have read this when I was told I MIGHT have it.  The way you react when first told you have this illness needs to be positive, you need to know that you are not going to die and how you can make your life better, also what you can do to improve your life and slow the disease down – I so wish I had known this. I was like many people at first, I just felt that this was it the end of my life, what was the point of doing anything, I was depressed basically and scared! Below is this piece and some links have been kept in for your further reading.

knowledge_is_power_by_haleyspeers-d4nqjj7As someone who has written a journal on my journey with COPD for several years I often receive emails from frightened readers. Or notice a search engine query asking if COPD is a death sentence or how long do I have to live with COPD? “Will I live long enough to see my children grow up? Does this mean I will not see my daughter grow up, get married, start her own family? Or ever know my future grandchildren?” are often the first questions I read in emails I receive.

Many times this is followed by a Google session as the frightened patient types “how long do I have to live with COPD?”. To then receive some good, but sometimes frightening advice. One page I know informs the reader you will live five years at most from diagnosis. How wrong is that? I have suffered COPD for 28 years now. I have friends on my COPD network that have lived with this illness for longer than I. If that advice had been right, I would have been dust by 1992.

None of us will beat the reaper. We are all sadly going to die at some time in the future. But more than likely with COPD and not because of it, despite COPD being one of the major causes of death in both the USA and UK. I am not going to lie, COPD will finish some of us. But most will have managed their condition for very many years, with lots of fun-packed times put in before the inevitable happens.

The truth is how long you live once you have been diagnosed is up to you. Your life and how long you survive once diagnosed is literally in your own hands. How long you survive will depend on your actions because although COPD is progressive that progress, providing you do not smoke, is very slow. Just simple lifestyle changes can and will add years to your life. As your illness progresses through the stages there is no denying there will be many challenges, and if you reach stage 4, there might come a time when you need to use oxygen therapy. But the truth is you are much more likely to die of something other than COPD.

Terminal to me is having cancer and being told you have weeks or months to live. That is the time to do all the things you have been scared to do. A parachute or bungee jump for instance. Can you imagine me jumping out a plane with an 8 pounds oxygen cylinder on my back? I guess my jump will speed up a bit but have to admit to laughing when I think about it. Our job with COPD is to make sure the reaper waits as long as possible. To do that, all you need to do is manage your condition. Take your medications when you need them. Oxygen if prescribed. Do not smoke. Else you might not last five years. Quitting smoking slows the pace of COPD dramatically. Exercise as much as you are able. This will exercise the lungs and help to keep muscles toned. Muscle uses least oxygen. Try not to get stressed as stress causes lots of breathing problems. Try to stay positive and to keep positive people around you. Have ‘It’s good to laugh’, as your motto and laugh often. Ask your consultant for a COPD management plan and stick to it. Make sure you get a flu shot each year and pneumonia shot. If you become unusually breathless seek medical attention as soon as you can. If you do that, like me, you can live for very many years. In two years I have an anniversary. It will then be 30 years I will have lived with COPD – yet despite stage four I am still enjoying life.

Two years ago I learned of the death of a 66-year-old man from COPD. It was with sadness I read the reason. Despite having been prescribed oxygen, a false pride meant he would not use it. To him it was seen as a weakness to be seen using oxygen. Sadly his heart gave out under the strain of trying to give his body theoxygen he needed, and he died.

If you are prescribed oxygen it is to protect your vital organs including your heart. Oxygen when needed helps us to feel well and to breathe easier. I use oxygen for mobility and have no such false pride. Sometimes people look but everyone is polite and helpful. During the three years I have used oxygen not one has been rude. It is equally sad that many that do have mobile oxygen do not venture out their homes, in fear of what others might say. My thoughts have always been if someone has a problem with my cannula that is their problem. Not mine.

I hope this short piece has helped allay some of your fears of COPD, leaving you more able to start to feel less stressed and more able to move forward. Till I write again, keep that smile. But most of all, Breathe Easy.

I was diagnosed with mild COPD in 1987 when 39 years of age. Now at the very severe stage, I use oxygen for mobility and am disabled by my illness. Despite this I still have an extremely active life, and after more than 27 years of living with bad lungs, am living proof that we with COPD can enjoy a long life. I am often seen at events, meetings, restaurants, and publicity events though I wear a ‘nose hose’ for oxygen when mobile and a mobility scooter to get around.

See Also  How long will I live Another Wonderful Piece

Thought I had a Heart of Gold? – Another stay in HRI

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Just when I thought I had a heart of gold, well I like to think I have, it decided to act more like a jumping jack or a runaway train, it was going at 160 beats per minute. I was so used to this happening in the past and had never complained to my doctor about it as normally it put itself right in a few hours but this time it kept going at speed for 3 days. So I thought a call to the doctor would be a good idea! I was right and I had to go straight to the surgery for an ECG. I think my Doctor was shocked, I dont think she expected it to be so high and was so surprised that I had left it for 3 days. She said it was called ‘supraventricular tachycardia’ an irregular heartbeat in layman’s terms.

8514563790_348d8d832f_oThe problem is with a chronic illness like COPD  all you do is concentrate on breathing, it becomes the most important thing in your life and a little thing like a high pulse rate doesn’t get much attention. However, it could have been quite dangerous and it also contributes to your breathlessness, something I had never thought of. Now, I realised its importance especially when my Doctor said, “I’m just going to get the defibrillator, but dont panic its just incase” and I was sent straight to Huddersfield Royal AGAIN! The ambulance took me with lights and sirens blaring and after this experience if my heartbeat wasn’t going ten to the dozen anyway it was now. Even more alarmingly I was taken straight into resus and had more pads stuck to my chest and readings taken. I was asked to do various things such as pinch my nose and blow hard called the ‘valsalva maneuver’, bear down like you need the toilet and blow into various things very hard.  They also tried the carotid maneuver, the carotid artery runs down your throat next to the vagal nerve. The Doctor gave the artery a gentle massage with his fingertips to help stimulate the neighboring nerve into slowing my heart rate down. All these procedures were done in an effort to get my pulse to jump start itself again! I can’t really remember much, I was in shock, after all, I had just had a routine visit to my doctors and now I was here! Life can be so unpredictable.

I spent four days in hospital and found out that I was in no danger, although they kept me strapped to a monitor for three days. Two days were over the weekend, so I had to wait for the consultant to come in on Monday before I found out what was really  going on. I was sooo tired too and slept a lot. No wonder I had been doing a marathon for three days! The consultant was brilliant and explained everything very easily, he put me on three different types of tablets one was a blood thinner and two different types of tablet to keep my heart rate down. He said that he hopes my heart rate will go back to normal eventually as it has done in the past and said that I will have had it for years and not known about it. Unfortunately, if it doesn’t go back into a normal rhythm itself the next lot of treatment will involve a small operation where they will shock my heart back into rhythm, OUCH!! Until my follow up appointment in outpatients, I have to take these tablets and have a angiogram in 6 weeks.

I am now wondering how much this has contributed to putting me over the edge when I have had previous flare ups, ending in a hospital admission! My breathing is improving noticeably. It wasn’t too great this morning and I took my pulse and it was high again! The consultant told me that this condition is common in people with lung problems and asthma sufferers. That it wasn’t dangerous or life threatening; (could he tell my doctor that I wonder?). So of course as soon as I was well enough I decided to do some digging to find out exactly what caused this. I found this on NHS Choices site and it explains it quite well –

Heartbeats are normally initiated by a small group of cells at the top of the heart called the sinoatrial node, which acts as the heart’s natural pacemaker. Episodes of SVT occur when a problem develops in this system. This causes faster signals to be sent around the heart, increasing the speed at which the heart beats. In most cases, the problem is temporary and lasts for a few seconds, minutes, or in some cases hours. (Unfortunately mine got stuck for days this time)

SVT is usually triggered by extra heartbeats (ectopic beats), which everyone has. It may also be triggered by:

  • some medications, including asthma medications, herbal supplements and cold remedies
  • drinking large amounts of caffeine or alcohol – (I dont drink tea or coffee or drink alcohol much)
  • tiredness, stress or emotional upset
  • smoking lots of cigarettes – (that’s not me I dont smoke)

However, in the majority of cases, there’s no identifiable trigger for SVT.

After reading this I realised that it could be tiredness, stress or emotional upset or asthma medications that have been the rout of the problem.

I found a lot of information and I have included the links below but there is mountains of stuff out there about Heart Arrhythmias and these are just a couple –

Supraventricular Tachycardia

This piece is very good, it does focus more on young people but also goes on to say that adults also with COPD can also be effected. The medication they are talking about IACs is typically SPIRIVA type meds.

Asthma Meds Linked to Heart Arrhythmias – IACs

They halt airflow obstruction by relaxing airway muscles during asthma attacks — thereby allowing the person with asthma to breath easier — but inhaled anticholinergics (IACs) may have a heart rhythm–related downside. 

But that’s not the only anticholinergic-related research out there. Some raise concern about IACs and heart risk in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The 10-Step Programe – does it work?

Ten Steps – Ten Weeks

I bought this book after seeing a very small review of it on another blog and it has been well worth the money I paid for it. It can be bought through Ebay for around £11.

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The author states –

The COPD Solution is a comprehensive, 10 step program for managing life with chronic lung disease. It bridges the gap between merely surviving, or just getting through each day and completely thriving. its about treating, educating and implementing life saving modifications for anyone suffering with COPD. Dawn also says, that when you hear the rest of Linda’s story you will cry tears of your own and maybe, for the first time you will feel hope for yourself or your loved one.

images (14)The first thing I will do before starting any of the program is the 6 min walk test and I will post the results in the section Exercising and COPD, it gives you a base measurement to go by. I will try to do a video as well so when I have finished the course I can compare videos with progress that I have made. I will measure a 75 feet circle or length in my room (as described in the book) and walk as far as I can do without stopping and at the end of the 6 mins measure how far I have actually managed to walk in the 6 mins taking the stops into account. Its very similar to the way I have been doing my cycling which I started at the beginning of January. I did 15 mins cycling. At first it took me about 30 mins to do 15 mins cycling I was so breathless and just before I had to stop because I was ill, I was managing 15 mins in less than 20 mins.So I was slowly improving.

The book covers food that makes it more difficult to breath, so you will be taught what and what not to eat. How to become stronger, you will learn about your oxygen and about using energy. You will learn about your muscles and how your body uses oxygen and how to properly breath, how you got this disease and what has happened inside your lungs so you can better understand what your struggle is and how to cough the right way to bring up the mucus and how to take your meds properly so they will be more effective.

Dawn Fielding explained to Linda that by carrying out her program she would expect her to dramatically improve on her present performance. Lets see if I do! I need my breath for singing. After reading this book would I recommend it? Yes I would indeed it was worth every penny, they should give it out on the NHS! The following is a run down on the books’ contents, what are you getting for your money?

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The appendix

At the rear of the book you will find a lot of trackers and organisers  that you can photocopy and fill in to help you organise certain aspects of your COPD. A good idea if you like writing things down.

Step One – Coming to Terms with COPD

Step one of the 10-week plan is Making Peace with COPD, I have mentioned this myself at length in the section Coming to Terms with Your Diagnosis. Before I could move forward and make any sense of this illness I had to come to terms with what I had, how bad it was and really look the dragon in the face. Many different emotions are felt at this point the main one is grief, the loss of something but you are not alone these feelings are common among many people with life changing illnesses. What helped me was reaching out for help, meeting people who were in the same boat as myself, joining support groups etc. The author explains this step very well and talks about fear, depression and anxiety also. Well, it looks like I have worked through this step without any help from the book already, so I can move on to the next step.

Step Two – Oxygen Therapy

Step two is oxygen therapy. In the USA a lot of people are on oxygen therapy, they use it a great deal more than we do in Great Britain, we do get given it eventually but our specialists tend to wait and see if you pick up on your own after pulmonary rehab. As long as your 02 stats are above 90 or so when resting they are happy. You can get dependent on oxygen, when I am in hospital and recovering from a bad chest infection I need some supplemental oxygen and its surprising how quickly you become dependent on it. They then wean me off it as soon as they can and usually when I go home my oxygen sats are at 94 and rise to 97 after a short time. However, when oxygen is really needed it is vital to use it because your main organs can be affected by lack of oxygen, such as your heart! It’s a very good section that she has written on oxygen and covers all the delivery methods and sleep apnea also.

Step Three – The 3p’s Patience, Pacing and Persistence your 3 Best Friends

Downward-spiralThe next step is about breathing exercises and ways to breath to help you recover quicker. Its a great chapter. She starts by explaining that your stress levels directly impact your lung disease and your ability to breath. This is called the cycle of dyspnea, referred to as the COPD Downward Spiral. When you struggle to breath, your stress levels naturally increase, which makes it more difficult to breath and repeat, repeat, if you get the jist of it. She explains controlled breathing techniques which I do at times and I have done a section on some of this already. Controlled breathing actually releases endorphins in your body, dilating blood vessels and increasing blood supply to the tissues, lowering, heart rate and blood pressure. Controlled breathing is pursed lip breathing which I use a lot, belly breathing (diaphragmatic breathing) and positioning. The belly breathing is practiced during singing so that is why singing is so good for you. Its the only way I can do the diaphragmatic breathing properly. You need to practice these things on a daily basis. These are some sections on my blog that cover breathing …. Breathing, Breathing  and Exercise, Breathing 4. I practice these different types of breathing all the time, my sons always complaining, ‘do you have to make that noise’, I just ignore him and get on with it.

Step Four – Conserve your Energyimages (11)

I have covered this already on my blog a number of times and it is important to pace yourself and it is also important to relax and meditate. The following links have all got within them ideas for conserving your energy and getting the most out of each day –

Making the most of every day
COPD, how to claw some  of your life back
If you want the rainbow you have to put up with the rain
The spoon theory

The author of the book has some great ideas and advice so it’s well worth reading this section.

Step Five – Prevent Flare-Ups: Use Your Meds Effectively

This is another useful chapter, it is very important to use your meds effectively. It is very complex and there are so many medications that I really do not cover this on my blog because I am not a medical person. I learnt a few things when I read this chapter one was the existence of another medication that I knew nothing about. However, it doesn’t come without a number of possible side effects. It is called Daliresp and this is the brand name for the prescription drug, roflumilast, which is a phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitor used in cases of severe COPD to reduce the number of exacerbations.

Dawn also explains about the importance of having peak flow readings daily. I know this is important for spotting when an exacerbation is on its way but I hate doing these peak flows. At the rear of the book you will find an appendix which contains lots of different forms for you to use especially tracking charts. These can be photocopied and used to help you plot your peak flow readings. There are a lot of forms which are referred to in this chapter such as your COPD Action Plan and I am sure that I will use a lot of these forms.

Step Six – Pulmonary Rehab

Pulmonary Rehab is described as the key to the COPD solution

The author uses inspiring quotes at the start of each chapter which I like and this is the one for this particular chapter which I find very motivating –

When I loved myself enough, I began leaving whatever wasn’t healthy. This meant people, jobs, my own beliefs, and habits – anything that kept me small. My judgment called it disloyal. Now I see it as self loving. (Kim McMillen)

This chapter is very important in the book because from experience and also from many other peoples’ experience, exercise is the key to regaining a chunk of your mobility back. I like the quote because although exercise is one of the main things you can do to improve your life it is also very hard. The author states that Pulmonary Rehab is designed to  –

“support your circle of therapies, to help slow the progression of your lung disease, improve your daily life and decrease your symptoms, ask your doctor for a referral to Pulmonary Rehab…Pulmonary rehab is designed to improve your physical, emotional and psychological health.”

The Anxiety/Dyspnea Deconditioning Cycle

In plain English this means that when you are very out of breath you can become anxious and in this situation you will refrain from carrying on with whatever you were doing when this happened.  It could be perhaps just walking to the door, going downstairs for a cup of tea on an evening or maybe just hanging the washing out. When this happens and you stop doing these things you become more breathless as you are less fit. I think this can happen particularly after an exacerbation or a stay in hospital, that is why you feel that you never quite get back to your pre exacerbation state. You are mainly just out of condition due to being sat about for a couple of weeks waiting for the exacerbation to pass. That is why pulmonary rehab is so important it gets you fitter and more able to use the oxygen that you are breathing in more efficiently. Toned muscles use less oxygen.

A pulmonary rehab course covers a few things including exercise, half of the class usually has feature speakers talking about medication, lifestyle, breathing techniques and more. Physical reconditioning is very important, did you know that a 2 week exacerbation is all it takes to wipe out loads of your physical fitness? The strength and tone it took a week to gain will be lost in 2 days!  PR is also a chance to chat with other people who have the same illness as you. I will be reading this chapter over and over again because it is something I want to do but have also found very difficult.You have to realise that it is OK to get out of breath, the more exercise you do the more you will be able to do without getting so very short of breath. You can also read quite a few posts on my blog about P and exercise –

As stated previously this chapter is very important and I shall be revisiting it regularly.

Step Seven – Quit Smoking

hqdefaultI am not altogether sure that this should be step seven because of its importance with this disease and the benefits attached to stopping this habit are very high. I would have put this step as 2 or 3. In the section of my blog called ‘my stopping smoking saga‘, I explained how difficult I found this to be, you are struggling with two things really the fact that you want to quit for your health and money of course; but also I was struggling with the fact that I was going to gain weight and that is also unhealthy. Its like the devil and the deep blue sea in a way. So, I tried to minimize the weight gain as much as possible!

The addiction of nicotine and all the other chemicals that they put in cigarettes is no joke, I found the following piece very helpful to read it really explains about the addition.

Nicotine Addiction 101 – Best piece I Have Read On Nicotine Dependency!

Step Eight – Choose Foods for better breathing

tumblr_mqi7rwm8Y71rjetaio1_500Having enough food to eat of the good kind is very important as people with COPD require more nutrients and tend to be malnourished even the fat ones, like me! She explains the cycle of malnutrition very well and to be honest its not something I have thought about until now! Like everyone else you think that if you are overweight you are ok nutrition wise NOT TRUE! I think this is a great chapter and I will enjoy reading this one and researching nutrients.Apparently not getting enough vital nutrients adds to the deconditioning (loss of your overall physical fitness). I know I do not get enough of some nutrients because of my diet, I am almost vegan. Because of this it might be a good idea to take a supplement as you need to feed your muscles to keep up their strength. This is a fascinating chapter and well worth the cost of the book for this chapter alone. Another chapter that I will be visiting again.

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One interesting thing that the author points out is the subject of  Carbon Dioxide (CO2). If you consume a lot of carbonated sugary drinks, such as coke and sugary foods you can after a short while find yourself more breathless. And this has definitely happened to me but I did not know at the time why it had happened. The point is when sugars are metabolised they break down to form excess CO2. The only place that this can be done efficiently is with your breathing, you end up breathing the CO2 back to normal levels, this is a natural response for your body in this situation. This is not good for people with COPD because it puts your respiratory rate up making it harder to breath. A much better explanation of this is on page 215 of the book. Sugary foods can have the same effect so say no to sugar!

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This section also stresses the importance of not being too overweight because unnecessary weight can make it more difficult to breath. Belly weight of which I have loads, can hinder the ability of your diaphragm to descend lessening the space your lungs have for expansion. So, I am in trouble from the top and the bottom. The top where my emphysema is and the bottom where my fat is!

Step Nine – Try Yoga

As a young woman I did a lot of Yoga and I must admit I will enjoy taking this up again on my own. There are lots of videos on YouTube that you can watch. I enjoy Yoga because it focuses more on breathing and holding various poses. It is not an aerobic type of exercise but when I first started to do Yoga when I was about 16 I can remember losing half a stone very quickly.

Step Ten – Stay Connected – Take Charge of Your Life!

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It is very easy to become out of touch when your COPD progresses, I have included a piece on this in my blog, this is the link – Loneliness and Isolation. It is so easy to become housebound and there is no need. It is all about maintaining your relationships and friendships, communicating and staying connected to others. You might say this is easier said than done! But with all the equipment we have these days, phones, laptops, tablets you don’t need to leave home to have company. Staying connected with your friends can be very difficult  because many just cannot deal with their friend having this disease. I have had to make some new friends and most of my new friends have COPD themselves.

There are many groups on facebook where you can meet hundreds of people who have COPD and are in the same boat as you are. Going to church is another method of meeting people and becoming involved with your community. At the PR group you will also meet more people and have a chat over a cup of tea and biscuits. My local hospice also has a lot of different courses that they run such as pilates and art class, give yours a call and see if there is anything that would suit you.

 

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A Short Walk a Day Helps COPD Patients Stay Out of the Hospital

In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers have investigated the impact of different walking aids on patients with chronic obstructive disease (COPD). Walking with the help of a rollator (a frame with wheels, handlebars, and a built-in seat) resulted in the longest distance walked and most time spent walking. The use of walking with assistance of a draisine (a bicycle without pedals) improved walking speed with fewer strides but did not improve the time spent walking by COPD patients to cover a longer distance.To the right is an example of a walking frame this one can be purchased for around £80. But I think I would prefer the bike without pedals below.

respirology-draisine“Patients with COPD walked significantly further and longer during unaided walking compared with draisine-aided walking,” said Dr. Anouk Vaes, lead author of the Respirology study.he findings suggest that a rollator improves walking in patients with COPD, whereas a draisine has detrimental effects compared with unaided walking.

By exercising i have managed to half the length of my stay in hospital this year need to get on with my walking this week see the following posts for more on this Exercise and COPD. Another option of course is the treadmill.

A new study has also found that people who walked about two to three miles per day were less likely to be hospitalized for COPD problems.

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Source: A Short Walk a Day Helps COPD Patients Stay Out of the Hospital