Is it Food Addiction or Simply a Case of Emotional Eating?

Is it Food Addiction or Simply a Case of Emotional Eating?

“If hunger is not the problem, food is not the answer”

Excerpted from What, Exactly, Is Emotional Eating? | A Black Girl’s Guide To Weight Loss

This is a real problem to a lot of people and I am not ashamed to say that I am one of them. I am addicted to carbs and it is taking one hell of a lot to get it under control, together with my emotional eating this can become a perfect storm, turning into a  high calorie, high carb, high sugar blow out! So what is happening when I have one of these blow outs, am I suffering from emotional eating or just an addiction to certain food types?

Food can become a way to cope with emotional matters, and the repetition of this coping mechanism can breed an addiction. By using food as a means to deal with anxiety, stress, grief, and the like, the body becomes conditioned to crave that process to feel relief.

People often associate pleasure with foods that contain fat, sugar and salt. As innocent as it may seem, this starts at a young age when candy and soda are given as a “treat” or “reward” for good behavior, grades or a celebration. Research studies have shown the reward centers of the brain to light up and release dopamine when pleasurable foods are consumed. Could this be that we’ve conditioned our bodies to react this way? The following is a great way to explain what is happening to us when we feel compelled to eat when not hungry, its from another blog by Erika, she feels that this is what compels us to believe that emotional eating is the answer.

Once upon a time, in a land not very far from your home… lived mankind. No fast cars, no shiny structures, no skyscrapers, nothing. Just man.. rock… and animals.

See, this worked for man because his only task was to hunt wildlife, and gather his kill for his family. That was his responsibility. His purpose was to bring the salt and fat from the animal to the family. Not work, not bills… just hunt. Because life was much simpler then, this was man’s sole source of stress.

One day, man could not hunt. Every time he threw his spear, he’d miss his prey. He just couldn’t catch SQUAT! His family was to go hungry and he just… he couldn’t take it. The stress started to build up inside of him.

Because stress about the inability to eat is the only source of stress for man, his body became used to the eventual chain of events. His body knows: Lots of stress = lack of food coming in. How did his body react? His body decided to hold on to what it had – by way of diminishing the amount of energy his body could exert all at one time, by way of making sure his body took a very long time to lose weight, by way of making sure it held onto every pound and fat cell it could. This bodily reaction would only further compel man to step up his hunting skills… why? Because he didn’t want to feel that way! He didn’t want his family to feel that way! He had to get his caveman hustle on! When man was finally able to tackle that antelope or whatever-what-have-you, the fats and salts in the meat were sooooo satisfying that they would cure man of the bodily reaction to stress.

Compare this to emotional eating. The body’s reaction doesn’t change no matter what variables you swap out. Regardless if the stress comes from traffic, bad work day, or family problems… the body’s reaction to stress has not evolved as fast as society has. Now, we can get food within ten minutes if we drive or own a microwave. So presuming our body believes that stress is caused by a “famine on the way,” then it’s going to trigger feelings to make you go hunt! Our bodies just don’t know how easy it is to get food just yet. It hasn’t caught up.

Excerpted from Telling A Tale of Stress and Emotional Eating | A Black Girl’s Guide To Weight Loss

Cllick the links below to read more –

 5 Steps to Take Control of Food Addiction | MyFitnessPal

What exactly is emotional eating

WELL I NEVER KNEW THAT- On the subject of bloating

Diaphragmatic breathing and Losing Belly Fat – This can improve your life!

Was reading a very interesting piece this morning on bloating and COPD. I have suffered this for a few years now and I thought it was the steroids that I have consumed over the past 5 years. However, now I am wondering if there is more to this problem than I previously realised and, if there is, can I do anything to improve my round tummy as well as dieting of course!images (1)

After reading a number of other articles on the subject my interest was really peaking. Apparently the diaphragm can get pushed by the stomach and it can change shape as COPD worsens. I also found out that 70% of your oxygen comes from the bottom part of your lungs, interesting, seen as how I don’t need supplemental oxygen and its the top of my lungs that is my problem. That explains a lot! And, I was quite cheered up to realise after a quick bit of mental arithmetic that the top of your lungs, where my problem is, only 30% is responsible for making oxygen. Well, if this is true, what else could be interfering with my big 70% allowance. So after reading this wonderful piece by a well know UK writer of COPD, I decided to research if fat played an even bigger role than bloating and I was so surprised at what I found. I put ‘fat stomach and breathing’ into the search engine and I was inundated with loads of information. This information, I have condensed and related below, I am definitely going to do exercise and lose as much weight as I possibly can after reading this research.

Large Waist Size May Lead to Troubled Breathing

Excess belly fat is strongly associated with impaired lung function. Researchers analyzed images (12)information from more than 120,000 people and found that the larger a person’s waist size, the smaller their forced vital capacity -the maximum volume of air that a person can exhale after breathing in as much air as possible. One factor that may contribute to the problem is the inflammation associated with fat tissue. But excess fat may also constrict the lungs, making it harder to breathe. The weight of the fat on the chest wall decreases the amount of room for the lungs. It also pushes up on the diaphragm, restricting its movement, particularly when bending over or lying down. I dont know if you have ever noticed that when you bend down to do something you are more out of breath, it happens to me when I am filling and emptying the washer.

“Carrying around extra weight is work,” says Gail Weinmann, MD, the deputy director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institutes Division of Lung Diseases. “The more you weigh, the more work it is to carry it around. Its like carrying a backpack. For someone who has a reduced lung capacity, the extra weight would be like carrying suitcases.”

Women and men with abdominal obesity were twice as likely as those with a normal waist size to have a low forced vital capacity. The association between waist size and lung function was seen even in people of normal weight.

Excess belly fat may affect breathing by pushing on the diaphragm and chest wall, makinglesson-10-nutrition-and-lung-disease-9-638 it harder for the lungs to fill with air. The American Heart Association considers a waist circumference of more than 35 inches for women (mine is over 40!) or 40 inches for men to be abnormal. And, as I have mentioned in another of my posts, steroids actually make you put weight on in that particular place, see Making Life Easier With COPD. Sometimes, I wonder if all the steroids I’ve taken and the weight I have gained have actually caused my COPD to get worse, as I have asthma as well, this can be an additional problem. The study didn’t look at whether losing weight can help improve lung function, but previous research and common sense suggest that it can.

Being overweight puts a burden on your entire body, says Norman Edelman, MD, the chief medical officer at the American Lung Association. More oxygen must be moved around for the excess tissues; this causes the heart to work harder and places a greater burden on the cardiovascular system. It is also more difficult to breathe when someone is overweight. Dr. Edelman says diseases like asthma tend to be more severe in heavier individuals. (Many people with COPD have asthma too.)

Source:American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Volume 179, page 509; March 15, 2009

long-breath-diet-revealed-01sSo what can be done about this, well as I previously mentioned losing weight is probably a necessity and also getting those core muscle groups toned is another. Its very difficult though when you have COPD, its difficult to breathe at the best of times. So, probably the best thing is to start getting the weight down first and then gradually feed in the exercises. One exercise that can be done whilst losing that weight is ‘Diaphragmatic Breathing Exercises’. You can actually lose weight just by doing those regularly, this was news to me! So I am now very keen on getting into this.

HOW TO DO DIAPHRAGMATIC BREATHING

It is said that when you sigh and when you are sleeping the breathing technique that people most use is in fact this diaphragmatic breathing. I think I am going to sleep with a tape across my mouth now, no not really, only joking. But, I think that I must do this when I am sleeping because I snore a lot when I am asleep, or so my daughter says. Well, here is a video showing you diaphragmatic breathing and it’s supposed to help you get the tone back into your tummy muscles too. So that can’t be bad.

Also this other video I have found I think explains it very well. I think that Yoga uses this technique in the breathing exercises and when you sing you also can use this type of breathing technique.

I also trawled the net looking for information on losing weight from the stomach and I gained the following information –

  1. Stop using salt because it encourages bloating. My family have been telling me this for years, I love salt. So now I really am going to do without salt and processed meats and processed foods, I am going to seriously give this a go.
  2. Get a good nights sleep at lease 7 hours a night.
  3. Drink Lemon juice, this you can make yourself. In one video I saw them mix in ginger, cucumber and mint with the drink. This suits me very well because I am addicted to lemon juice, I drink a lot of it!
  4. Grapefruit, eat a grapefruit before every meal, no probs I love grapefruit and can eat it like an orange.
  5. Snack on healthy things all day to stop your blood sugar levels from falling and sending your body into starvation mode, sweet things that you crave can be stored as fat in the abdominal region.
  6. Also don’t get stressed because, if you allow yourself to become mentally stressed, scientific studies have shown that when stress levels are high it increases your appetite, your cravings for sugar and this is typically stored in the abdominal region.

So I am going to try the above methods for a few weeks, I have another appointment at Jimmy’s in Leeds on the 9th March, lets see how I get on getting this tummy of mine down. Are you going to have a go with me?

PLEASE HIT THE LIKE BUTTON IF THIS INTERESTED YOU

If you want to read more on the subject there is another post on COPD net COPD BLOATING 1    COPD BLOATING 2

MAKING THE MOST OF EVERY DAY – Use it or lose it!

Sometimes, I look back on my life and wonder if I’ve dreamt it! Was that really me running around Marine Drive in the sleet and snow, or running up all the steps and inclines at Peasholm Park, swimming 20 lengths at the indoor pool or staying for a second aerobic We-often-take-for-granted-the-very-thingssession at the church hall because the first one was too easy. It just seems so surreal that I have lived that life and now it takes me all my time to do a 15 mins cycle on my exercise bike. They say life rolls on and it’s so true you have to grab it with both hands, before it floats away, before you have managed to colour it in, like an unfinished drawing.

How do you know that you have completed each bit of your life to the full? All you can do is hope that you have before it is too late I suppose, take every moment and do as much with it as humanly possible at that time. The older you get the more you appreciate the lack of quality time left to you, much more than when you are young and have loads to squander. I suppose its like money, you only really care about it when it’s in short supply. A bit like that song by passenger! Most importantly you only miss good health when you have lost it. We all take good health for granted.

866563ec8c9a2c61ede792f4da9c86e1It’s important therefore when you have any life altering kind of illness to make the most of every day and that includes rest days.  Before I could do this, I had to make friends with my illness, I had to accept it, not be afraid to ask questions from the Doctors about it and also not be afraid to ask for help. People surprise me all the time in their care and understanding.

With COPD you have good days, normal days and bad days. I try to maximize my surroundings so that I can make the most out4eb4df4206eb95b0df9706d196558496 of those good days and normal days, (see for more information on this). And, in order to enjoy and make the most out of  these good and normal days as much as possible you have to be as healthy as possible. Because of this, I have started exercising. I really had to force myself to get on with this exercise thing its so important to keep up with your exercise routines when you have COPD. The saying ‘use it or lose it’, is doubly important with this disease. But, I was finding this challenging! What makes you want to exercise? It has always been music for me and dancing is a great form of exercise and I also used to ride my bike and have my radio in the basket at the back as a teenager, I used to be singing along while I was riding to my friends.

So I suppose the experience of exercise is very personal to our own motivators. If someone said you have to do three turns around the field every morning, I would, I suppose, do it once but then I would think of any excuse possible not to do it again. You have to dogirl-exercise-bike-22093486 something that is achievable and something that you really enjoy, so my first venture into exercise this time will be on my exercise bike and to music maybe singing when I have the breath. I decided to record my achievement and how I felt each time and record my oxygen level and pulse rate. I also videoed myself which was quite amusing really, I spent a lot of time laughing at myself – is that good exercise! Seeing improvement for me is a good motivator and will keep me going! For someone who’s favourite exercise was walking miles and giving the hoover some wellie, it is difficult to really stick to this static biking thing, so I have to make this as interesting and motivating as possible.

The video diary that I am making will eventually be edited  and put onto my site to show how much better my quality of life is with just this small input of exercise every day. I expect to increase my exercise by a couple of mins a week so that eventually I will manage half an hour a day on the bike. Eventually, I am hoping to do more walking and will follow the regime below once I have mastered the biking.

The Walk –

I have had an idea about increasing walking tolerance and that is. I will start off from my house and walk for as long as I can, time it and see which house number I end up next to. Icanstock20253718 will then rest and make my way back home. I will carry on doing this each day seeing what house number I land on each day in the allotted time. In theory I should be able to increase the house numbers and time I can walk, reaching further down the street the better I get. Well that is the idea!

I will continue this as I progress so see you later!

 

MY STOPPING SMOKING SAGA- If I can stop anyone can!

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams - Henry David ThoreanWhat can I say to persuade people with COPD to stop smoking because so many people carry on with the habit after diagnosis. I can understand why in some respects but if you had cancer would you stop? I think you would. Patients are under the impression and are misinformed that even if they stop smoking their condition will get worse. This is wrong!! Please read on for more information on quitting and see this link by the British Lung Foundation.

A few words about smoking with COPD. Smoking is a very addictive habit and it’s no joke stopping if you have psychologically relied on them for many years. You also have the physical addiction too, it’s not easy to stop. What makes it even harder is the fact that if your COPD is quite severe it becomes worse initially for some people when they give up the habit.

According to a report released by Am J Public Help, findings indicated that more than 100 of 599 documented cigarette additives have pharmacological actions that  mask symptoms and illnesses associated with smoking behaviors.The use of additives with additional or synergistic addictive potential, anesthetic properties, or bronchodilator effects. These common chemicals that give this bronchodilator effect mask some of the damage that has been done to your lungs and it’s not until you actually stop smoking and have to rely on life without this extra help that you really notice how bad things have really got, you really miss this bit of extra help!

a372d21cff6c3dd767170a477e6c5b5bThis happened to me you just have to go with it and persevere, in the end I can promise you it is well worth the misery. I tried all the help available, the patches, the spray, the lozenges and the inhalater. I made a right meal out of my quit and used every available help even hypnosis. My friends used to say, ‘If you can give up, anyone can’. I wasn’t a 40 or 60 a day smoker. I was a binge smoker. I would do all my housework and promise myself a nice cig and a coffee when I had finished. And it would be 2 or 3 cigs and 2 cups of coffee. I used to go through about 20 a day at my worst. I couldn’t afford any more. Below Leonard Nimoy talks about his life and COPD.

In order to give yourself the best chance of a successful quit I found that I had to plan in advance, tell my family and go to the Doctors for help. I tried loads of nicotine replacement therapies. I found the nicotine replacements all very different, the spray made me as sick as a dog and I only used that one once, the mint lozenges were quite good but I was going through so many that made me sick as well and the chewing gum made my jaws ache I was chewing that blinking much and looked like a hamster. In the end I opted for the patches and the inhalater at the same time which I found a great combination. I used the NHS Quit Line also, which was very good and sent me lots of neat little bits and pieces to help me along. Such as a large poster to chart my progress. The following is also helpful video which advises you on food to eat to help your quit.

I found it was better to quit when you are not in hospital,  as I mentioned before things get worse at first and if you are already high with an infection, things get a lot worse and I experienced this twice, the last time I vowed I would never touch another cigarette and I didn’t. So before you get so ill you end up in hospital, please stop, its no joke stopping in there.

Stopping smoking is the single most important piece of advice anyone can be given when they are diagnosed with COPD, as this quote from Patient UK explains.

If you stop smoking in the early stages of COPD it will make a huge difference. Damage already done to your airways cannot be reversed. However, stopping smoking prevents the disease from worsening. It is never too late to stop smoking, at any stage of the disease. Even if you have fairly advanced COPD, you are likely to benefit and prevent further progression of the disease.

Your cough may get worse for a while when you give up smoking. This often happens as the lining of the airways ‘comes back to life’. Resist the temptation to start smoking again to ease the cough. An increase in cough after you stop smoking usually settles in a few weeks.

The National Health Service (NHS) provides free help and advice for people having difficulty in stopping smoking. Medication, such as varenicline and bupropion, and nicotine replacement therapy  (such as patches and chewing gum) can be prescribed, and counselling offered. You could see your GP or practice nurse for further advice, or visit the NHS Smokefree website

In the end you know yourself that you have to stop smoking or die because that is the raw truth with this illness, COPD and smoking do not mix and the progress of the illness is very fast if you don’t call it a day. Not to stop smoking when you have COPD is mind-numbingly stupid, but, if that’s the way you feel, go on that suicide mission. Think of it as Darwinism in action. This advert says it all ……………………………….

And hey I wasn’t going to pay the government to kill me through all the tax they obtain from these poor smokers (but more facts on that later), nor was I on a suicide mission! So this is how I did it.

This is my stopping smoking story –

26490a6e04557d841952b7cdcda924faIn 2006, I managed to stop smoking for over a year, 18 months in fact, I felt brilliant after the first few weeks, up until then I felt like I was loosing my mind. I can remember driving home from a friends house one Sunday, she lived in Sheffield and we had been to some art exhibition and I sat in the car crying all the way home. I was finding things THAT difficult its no exaggeration! All I did was think of cigs all the time and I missed smoking like mad, I just felt totally deprived. I felt my best friend had deserted me and could not carry on without them. Every problem I have ever had was shared over a cup of tea and a cigarette, they had got me through so much. And now I was going to put weight on too! As it turns out they were not my best friend they were actually my worst enemy. Shame I couldn’t realise it at the time. I new I had to stop smoking, I was like a kid having his dummy taken away. Whenever I went to the doctors they used to ask me how I was getting on and I used to say, ‘I haven’t had any cigs and they used to say very good. then I would always reply, ‘I have no choice in the matter have I’. I was not often joyous about the fact I had quit, thinking it only a penance for getting this horrible chest I had. ‘You’ve got a bad chest so we are taking your toys away, sort of attitude’.

On the 25th March, I went out for a family meal to celebrate my daughter’s birthday and what a day that was. I felt so sorry for my daughter. Her 18th Birthday and I was just out of hospital and so was her brother. He had just undergone a brain operation to seal parts of the brain as he had spinal fluid leaking through which can cause meningitis. So her birthday was totally ruined really, but she was so stoic about it all. I had stopped whilst I was in hospital on the 13th March. I felt terrible and I decided there and then that I had to buy a journal to write down my progress. I knew this would give me a better chance of succeeding. I needed to for my family, for my daughter! I wouldn’t have been in hospital this time if I had stopped smoking before, I knew it was my own fault!

I wrote in that journal for weeks and it helped keep me on track and encouraged me to keep going when I looked back on my entries. I also bought a book, a very important book in fact, without which I don’t think I would have succeeded, my friend says it brain washes you. It was called,  Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking, seems ironic now as Allen Carr died of lung cancer in the end, but anyway it worked! I read the book from front to end and I didn’t start smoking again for almost a year and a half! This is an excerpt from my journal –

Today is Elise’s 18th birthday I am not smoking and I am on day 13 of my quit. This cig thing is terrible I felt like one desperately this evening but week 3 starts tomorrow and things WILL get easier from now on. Stopping smoking has taken over my life at the moment. I know i will feel so much better once I have cracked it. I have so much to gain staying with it and nothing to lose!

and on day 15 –

This has been an even worse day – went to the doctors and my chest is improving but the no smoking thing is at its height I think. It has been a long day today as I was up quite early. Tonight things have seemed a bit better and for the first time in ages I feel a if I have got some energy and I don’t feel so depressed. The craving is still there but not as bad, lets see when tomorrow brings

Taking things a day at a time was one thing I found made things much easier to handle. One entry I made in my journal was –

The reason it is so hard to stop smoking is FEAR!! of giving up a lifetime without cigs! I suffer from the ‘smokers itch’, the belief that smoking supplies support to your life is an illusion! I have been stopped smoking now for a month, what is it like one month on? A lot easier in some ways but I still crave a cig and could go to the shop for one now! But I stick my inhalater in my mouth and hope this feeling goes away at the end of this second month. That I will feel like a non-smoker. I don’t get bad tempered any more or suffer from the thick head and the terrible neck ache I had, these are now gone.

By the beginning of 2007 I had put on almost 2 stone from stopping smoking and my breathing was badly affected by this weight gain, (see the section about Tummy Fat and Breathing), my emotions were all over the place too as I had gone on the dreaded change of life, the menopause some people refer to it as. And, I had developed an underactive thyroid for some reason.

9e3614a4eddcea3763628274a5ddcb32In September 2006, I had changed my job and it was one of the worst moves I have ever made in my life. I think I have already spoken about it in my section about working with COPD. The department I moved to was terrible,  the deputy manager in the department was a real harridan and she seemed to have sucked most of the staff in so badly that many of them were acting as she was. I think they were just afraid of her to be honest and were just content in looking after their own backs. The ones who were more honest either left or were also made ill by her. By July 2007, I was smoking again!

I would say, the next five years at work were the worst of my life. She totally wore me downimages (8) the thing that surprises me the most is how she managed to get away with it! If my time in that department had not been hounded by my increasingly bad chest and the deaths of close members of my family, one who was my son and the, ‘you look after your back and I’ll look after mine’, attitude of the staff at work. I think I could have put up a good fight and put her in her place, but instead, after my July review at work, I was in buckets of tears and went and bought a packet of cigarettes. That seemed very much the pattern in that job and looking back I wonder why I had never left sooner. But well paid jobs are hard to come by and I loved my actual job, I managed to go through a few years just teaching, doing what I loved and not really mixing with the staff, (well, I will talk a bit more about this later).

It is very important that you are mentally ready to quit smoking, as this process is not an easy thing for some of us to do and you need to be 100% behind your decision and totally committed. I can’t remember ever thinking through those early years of quitting that I really wanted to! I know I had to for my health but wanting to and having to are two very different states of mind. And as I already said, you need to be in a good state of mind to quit.

Pity I started again, but one problem we addicts have is thinking that we can just have one, one cig and then I won’t have any more, which turns into one pack and then before you know it you are smoking again, I certainly won’t fall for that one again!

The law of physiological addiction states that, “administration of a drug to an addict will cause reestablishment of the dependence on that substance”. This means, by taking a puff, the smoker either goes back to full-fledged smoking or goes through the withdrawal process associated with quitting.  Most don’t opt for the withdrawal. Don’t look for loopholes in the law of addiction.  You will be convicting yourself back to smoking.  While it may seem harsh and unfair, to many, smoking is a crime punishable by death.  Don’t try to cheat the system – NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!

I actually did quite well because I never got back to smoking a pack a day again and I managed quite a few good quit attempts before I FINALLY managed to stop completely YAY!! I have at the moment been a non smoker for almost 3 years and I can promise you I will never ever smoke again it stinks, honestly that is how I feel now but it wasn’t always that easy.

live-life-in-colorFrom mid 2007 to 2012, I was on and off that blinking wagon more times than I can remember, those wheels just would not stay on for long enough and kept repeatedly falling off. I tried Champix and all manner of nicotine substitutes. I even started a blog called  “Too stressed to stop smoking” and joined a nicotine busters site. I really made a right meal out of stopping smoking and made it much harder than it actually is.

Here is an extract of my effort to stop in 2010 –

Today is day 22 of my quit this time! And I know it will be my last quit because I have finally cracked what motivates my need of this very dangerous and smelly habit. Shame I could not have found this out years ago. That does not mean to say that it has been a piece of cake to quit this time, I just understand myself and the addiction more, that’s all.


I stopped smoking, for the first time, in 1999 when I was in hospital with pneumonia. After 14 days in hospital and chewing umpteen bits of nicotine chewing gum and resembling something like my sons gerbil, I went home and started smoking again. Crazy or what? I just could not get around the smoking thing and why I was smoking never really entered my head!


I tried to hide the fact from everyone that I had started again even swearing the woman in the corner shop to secrecy (how pathetic us addicts are). It was during a cig break in our outside toilet that my son and his friends saw me through the opaque window dragging furiously on my secret fag. The game was up!My son had found out and immediately went around the neighbourhood telling everyone his mum had failed and broken her promise. He was 10 years old then and not a smoker obviously at that age. He is now though and I wonder how much my previous attitude to cigs and stopping influenced him to take up this horrible habit.


Well that is part one of my blog and I will continue with my smoking/nonsmoking story as I get chance to put key to blog.

smoking

When I read this over I feel so sad that I did not know the real importance of stopping smoking with this illness, it’s no joke, nothing to play with it’s your LIFE!

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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.

At that time I was still working and walking around with little problem, just finding it a bit hard climbing stairs and doing anything strenuous. And at this time, most importantly, I didn’t realise how bad this disease can get, how debilitating and how much it can interfere with your life in every way.

Even videos like this didn’t really sink in as I hope they will for any smoking reader who views this page. I used to turn the television over when I saw adverts like this. Does this ring a bell?

SO THOSE WHEELS KEPT GOING ON AND COMING OFF

1622844_1458995784320018_1595455121_nBy 2010, I was only smoking part time  but because I was on one quit after another I was constantly stressed out. I have learnt since that its harder to smoke part time than to just give up. Unfortunately, I ended up with Pneumonia and being taken into hospital for the first time in years. It all really pushed me over the edge. Of course, I stopped completely again, but just couldnt keep off them completely when the day after my release, I was told my son had died (but that’s another story). Now, I could handle it all and not start again, it’s not something I am really bothered about any more and I think it was the Hypnotist that did that, it was well worth the £150 I paid.

Sometimes, you have to give yourself additional reasons to stop smoking. One fantastic thing that had been happening over the last year or so which had really helped with all the upset and grief in my life at that time, was the arrival of my first Grandchild, she was a wonderful distraction. Such a happy little madam and the light of my life and then one became five, when my daughter produced twins and not long after another boy. And my son produced a brother for his daughter. But, as families are, problems arose which you have to deal with and I found it difficult to deal with problems without my cigarettes at the time. I was totally convinced that I would fall to pieces without them. Which is utter rubbish of course. So I read my journal and the book again!

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By 2012, I had five grandchildren and even more reasons to stop smoking permanently and get my life in order. If they weren’t worth the struggle then what was? And my daughter needed my help too her twins were so hard for her to look after, she was as total stress head at the time. Another thing that added a plus to my quit was the money, I was so much better off not smoking and also it annoyed me how much the government benefited from my poor health and empty bank account, see the following link for more information on, how the government benefits.

I had been through so much over the past few years it started with my Dad dying, then my Son and then my Mum all in the space of 19 months and then work slapped a disciplinary on me for swearing about the harridan when I was stressed. My youngest son was also going through loads of problems with his partner and was on countless suicide missions, my life at this time was very difficult. I ended up having to give up my job because the thought of going into work after I had been given this disciplinary gave me panic attacks. I felt like I was drowning and it was so hard to keep off the cigarettes.

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In March 2012, I had a massive asthma attack and ended up in Hospital for 3 weeks. I had never been so ill and I was gasping for breath for days, they prepped me for ICU but fortunately I didn’t need to go in the end and ended up on the High Dependency Ward, I was so scared. It was an experience I never wanted to repeat and touch wood never have since. This extended stay in hospital really made me realise how bad things were getting and I prayed to God that I would never ever smoke again if he got me through this. images (9)I was desperate and I have never touched another cigarette since. Do I believe in a higher power who turned my life right round, yes I definitely do, you can call me all manner of crackpots if you like but my fight with cigs ended after that stay.

The first two years of my stopping smoking were not easy health wise. You have to remember that you have smoked for years and any benefits you receive from stopping  is not just going to happen overnight. In fact for me I got worse to start with which was very frustrating and after about a year I did start to feel a bit better and after two years I seemed to turn around.  My own doctor said that if I had not stopped smoking I would have been dead by now and I can believe it. Some of us are just not meant to smoke, as previously stated for some of us this smoke is so toxic it can kill us. It doesn’t make you feel any better when it is reported that only 20% (statistics are a bit wooly about this some state its nearer 50%, because of underdiagnosis) of people who smoke end up like myself, the ‘why me’ button is then pressed, but I expect people with cancer and any other life altering illness think the same.

I have now made sure my condition doesn’t get any worse, in fact the deterioration of my lungs will be no worse now than a never smoker, so it makes me feel very good. However, I should have stopped a long time ago when I was not so ill. The fact that I have put on a lot of weight from stopping smoking does not help me to see fully the improvement from stopping smoking. I will keep you posted on that one! I have also secured a chance of improvement by being a good candidate for the Zephyr Valves, something I would never have had the opportunity to do if I had continued smoking.

Remember when you read this that it is worthwhile stopping smoking and that when you do stop you may feel worse at first, just go with it and enjoy each day as it comes as you clear your lungs of the crap you have collected over the years. You will feel better eventually I promise!

Please let me know if any of this has helped you and if there is anything else I could include in this section.

LIVING WITH COPD- Whats it like? – ‘Take action today, breathe better tomorrow’

In this section, I am going to try to explain what it is like living with COPD. The first thing I would like to say however, is that if you are diagnosed with COPD at whatever stage in its development, if you are a smoker you must stop. I can’t emphasise this enough, if you don’t stop you are in for real trouble, the disease will progress rapidly and take your life.

One thing Doctors fail to tell patients is that once you stop smoking the future deterioration of your lungs will only be, in most cases, like that of a non-smoker. Everyone’s lungs deteriorate with age anyway, stopping smoking will halt the fast deterioration witnessed in smokers.

Because Doctors do not tell patients this, many patients carry on smoking with this disease thinking, what’s the point, and can you blame them? Its tragic.

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Its very difficult to explain what it is like living with COPD, I can only say its difficult, frustrating and at times embarrassing. The lady in the following video explains it very well and if you readers have any comments at all please leave them at the bottom of the page.

I have found a lot of information that tries to explain what it is like to live with this illness and hints and tips on how to self manage, some of the information included in this post, which is in fact Global, comes from a study carried out by an American company called Novartis. The ‘COPD: Life is Calling’ initiative was developed and made available for patients wanting more from their lives. It is interesting because the report is based on real patients’ personal stories, from the UK and America.

‘If you get it wrong at the beginning…then you’re on the highway to the wrong regime.’
Prof David Price, University of Aberdeen, UK

SO WHAT IS IT REALLY LIKE LIVING WITH THIS ILLNESS?

A short film that show’s what it can be like with COPD

Imagine gasping for breath after taking just a few steps. Or not being able to play with your grandchildren for fearimages (18) you could pass out. Think what it must be like having to plan every minute of your trip in advance mentally to the shops, to take into account stair cases, rest stops, ease of toilet facilities, convenient parking spaces and on top of this, trying to make yourself not look too out of breath, you don’t want to draw attention to yourself too much, as this can be embarrassing. All this can contribute to a very stressful trip out. This is the daily reality for thousands of people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a chronic and life-threatening respiratory condition.

One very sad but illuminating thing that happened last year was the death of Star Trek Leonard Nimoy due to COPD. His daughter, has used his demise to publicise this illness as he wanted it to be.

“Star Trek icon Leonard Nimoy’s death in February put the spotlight on COPD, or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, the illness that claimed the actor’s life. Most people aren’t aware of the condition, even though it’s one of the most-prevalent lung diseases diagnosed today and despite the fact that it ranks as the third most-common cause of death in America. Nimoy disclosed his diagnosis in 2014 and spent his remaining days talking and tweeting about the illness, revealing how his years of smoking caused it, and imploring anyone who smoked to do the logical thing and quit. More about this can be found on his web site Documentary about Star Trek’s Leonard Nimoy.”

By 2030, COPD is set to become the third leading cause of death globally, exceeded only by stroke and heart disease. Although smoking is one of the major risk factors for COPD, the reality is that only one in five smokers will develop the condition, (this figure is contradicted in many reports the figure seems to gravitate between 20 and 50%). Although considered an ‘old person’s’ disease, COPD also affects younger people, such as those in their 40’s. COPD is already a serious global health epidemic with a significant impact on health services and the economy. Many people are diagnosed late leading to worsening symptoms – sometimes even hospitalisation – which places a strain on health services, and the taxpayer due to the loss of working days. The disease has a devastating impact on patients by damaging the tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs. This leads to conditions which make it hard for sufferers to breathe such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema and chronic obstructive airways disease.

fc8b730632774c88f9cdc0982eb4bb05The association with smoking means that patients often feel a sense of guilt, and they also experience stigma because of the link with cigarettes. Without appropriate management, COPD negatively affects not only quality of life, but also has a significant impact on the lives of carers, friends and families. Many people remain symptomatic despite available treatments. A new approach is needed to support people with COPD and others affected by this devastating condition. The right support and motivational support can bring huge benefits for patients. Take for example Dee Schofield, a mother-of-six who avoided going upstairs for fear of ending up breathless. Today, Dee is enjoying life again and recently completed an eight-mile walk for charity thanks to the support of her consultant. Says Dee: ‘It’s (COPD) not my identity. I’m still me, I just happen to have COPD.’

Washing, getting dressed, walking up stairs – these are daily activitiesimages most people take for granted. Yet such activities often pose a great challenge for people with COPD. The breathing difficulties they experience when physically exerting themselves can lead to panic and embarrassment and can mean they avoid altogether activities that trigger feelings of breathlessness. This avoidance can lead to a downward spiral, making physical activity increasingly difficult and frightening.

the biggest diseaseBy limiting their horizons, people with COPD can become socially isolated, which in turn can lead to depression. Friends may fall by the wayside, believing that their once active friend no longer wants to spend time with them – especially if he or she fails to confide in them about the condition (which is common). But even when they do people don’t understand it anyway. There’s an emotional burden too – some people with COPD don’t want to tell their boss or their wider family for fear of being judged.

The growth of the digital environment and the availability of social media groups and forums offer another avenue of support forimages (1) people with COPD. However whilst some people with COPD find online communities helpful and supportive, others find them a ‘turn-off.’ Our interviews with patients reveal that people who share their experiences on such sites can appear ‘needy’ or ‘like victims’ on occasion. This is totally wrong, most people who join the COPD sites are feeling scared and alone and any form of communication is great for them and can really make a positive difference to their world. Through talking to people who have this illness and have found strategies to help, it can widen their horizons and give those who feel they have lost all hope, a new hope for the future!

These are just some of the comments made by some COPD sufferers –

‘I just thought ‘I’ve got a smoker’s cough…There’s no point going to the doctor…because it’s my own fault.’ Dee Schofield

‘Humans have to achieve. If we don’t have goals…you will spiral downwards into depression which is as much a killer as your COPD will be.’ Pamela Sutherland

‘Stairs are a really, really good way of getting the kind of activity that you need…you can shout at The Archers (BBC radio program) while you’re walking up and down.’ Paul Towning

‘I find it very difficult to slow down….and that, in turn, leads to breathlessness.’ Ian Venamore

‘I’m a Ferrari with no wheels. My mind works as a Ferrari but with bicycle wheels.’ Luisa Branco

‘The better informed he (the patient) is, the better he can manage his disease.’ Jose Albino

John Walsh, co-founder and president of the COPD Foundation says breath-in-inspiration-trust-yourself-life-quotes-sayings-pictures‘Don’t be afraid to ask for somebody to listen’. In his experience, people find it hard to share their COPD stories. John is both advocate and patient – he has an inherited disease that causes genetic COPD in adults. His mother died of onset emphysema aged 46; his twin brother Freddy has COPD as does one of his sisters. For five years, doctors believed John had asthma until he was correctly diagnosed with COPD. John travels regularly because of his job and daily activities such as carrying a suitcase can leave him short of breath if he is in a rush. At times, the reaction from others – the desire to help – can make him feel ‘disabled’. However, by managing his condition well with daily activity and planning enough time to get from A to B, he travels 252 days a year and only needs to use oxygen whilst in flight. Ten years ago, it was a different story – John dreaded walking from the gate through passport control at Heathrow airport because he’d be ‘completely out of breath.’ Today, he can complete the task without stopping. His message to others with COPD is to get up and move, ‘do more tomorrow than you did today’, ‘take action today, breathe better tomorrow.’ GOAL: John takes 10,000 steps before even starting his day and challenges himself to take 25,000 steps a day in total. Guilt and denial are other significant emotional barriers to overcome for people with COPD. Smokers may feel they are ‘to blame’ for their symptoms so don’t feel compelled to see their doctor – or their doctor simply doesn’t recognise these symptoms to be indicative of COPD and their diagnosis is delayed.

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Luisa Branco explains her experience with COPD

‘It’s like being underwater diving and someone pulls off the oxygenpost_682269_634925775384404477 bottle,’ is how 63-year-old Luisa Branco describes a COPD exacerbation. Diagnosed with COPD in 2001, she has been hospitalised twice so knows first-hand how limiting COPD can be but, as she says, ‘life goes on.’
Her doctor has been instrumental in helping her learn how to conserve energy when doing everyday tasks. She’s happy if it takes an hour to get up, shower and make her bed at her home in Lisbon, in Portugal, although some days this can take much longer which can leave her frustrated. Luisa, who worked as a psychologist in an institution for people with disabilities, says: ‘It’s like The Tortoise and Hare fable – I’ll make it but at a slower pace.’ When Luisa was first diagnosed, pulmonary rehab wasn’t available at the hospital where she received treatment but one has opened subsequently so there is more support for people with COPD. For Luisa, her condition is a learning process, ‘a constant fight to keep my mind sane when the body does not want to obey.’ One of the biggest challenges for her has been using oxygen and she has been involved in writing a book about what it’s like to travel in Europe with oxygen such as the charges made by airlines. Luisa did smoke before her diagnosis, a habit she says was ‘socially accepted’ when she started. Her aim is to prevent children using tobacco and is a member of a patient support group which goes into schools to talk about the health risks of smoking. They use a device which children put in their noses to restrict their breathing and this gives a first-hand experience of what COPD is like.

Her advice to patients with COPD is ‘It’s hard but not desperately hard and…the associations are there exactly to help people succeed together in overcoming the day-to-day difficulties.’

People with COPD revealed that they had limited understanding or knowledge about ‘COPD’ before theirinform-and-educate diagnosis. Coming to terms with the diagnosis can leave some in denial whilst others experience feelings of anger or hopelessness. Some continue to smoke because they are unable to overcome their addiction. With the right support though, people with COPD can be better informed so they become more active thereby improving their lung function and breathing. Many of the people we spoke to had benefited from setting and reaching achievable goals through pulmonary rehabilitation (PR), a scheme offered in hospitals or the community to help achieve optimum breathing. Those who enjoy fulfilling lives have had to accept their limitations – they know they can no longer scuba dive or climb Machu Picchu, but are still able to travel and enjoy hobbies and interests that they had before diagnosis.

The message that came across strongly through the interviews was that goals are important, but must be realistic with the person with COPD always taking the lead. Also the right support and motivational support can bring huge benefits for patients. Take for example Dee Schofield, a mother-of-six who avoided going upstairs for fear of ending up breathless. Today, Dee is enjoying life again and recently completed an eight-mile walk for charity thanks to the support of her consultant. Says Dee: ‘It’s (COPD) not my identity. I’m still me, I just happen to have COPD.’

Novartis undertook a series of interviews with people with COPD, family members, healthcare professionals, COPD patient organisations and the media. From these insights, desk research and a long heritage in this disease area, the COPD: Life is Calling  initiative was developed and made available for patients wanting more from their lives. Better understanding leading to a new approach.

Download Full Report Here

All of the above information should not be taken as medical advice. COPD patients should discuss their condition with a healthcare provider before making treatment decisions or health-related changes.

MOOD LIFTERS

My daughter told me some really bad news today its only 8 weeks to Xmas YIKES!!!!

PINTEREST – MY NEW MOOD LIFTER

Signed up to pinterest today its fascinating and somewhere for me to put all my lovely quotes and cute pictures and keep them organised.

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We all need our mood lifting from time to time especially when you have a chronic illness and can be housebound for days on end. This selection of posts will be devoted to what cheers me up! I hope this will cheer you up too!

I want one of these they look great – Something stupid for today

Might know it was from China they are so inventive those Chinese people, love their flare!

Wow saw a great Advert today for Burberry love the ‘Xmas Adds’ when they start coming out. Marks and Spencers usually does a good one and I loved the one that was done by John Lewis last Xmas (or was it the year before) featuring the song by Lilly Allen. Here it is –

 

SHOPPING THERAPY

Shopping was ok today I love shopping and it always lifts my mood going out and buying something nice, but still had to hang onto the trolley to get me around Sainsbury’s. However on the bright side was just thanking my lucky stars that I could still get around the supermarket on two feet.

At the same time I was  also wondering what it would be like to be able to buy just what you wanted without having to count the pennies, saw some lovely stuff I would have liked to buy, so I just daydreamed about buying them instead.  It reminded me of guess what? Yes another song and this is it –

I was also told , by a COPD friend of mine who lives down South about an online Card Factory web site which is great for those of us who cant struggle anymore in those packed out card shops. Even standing in one place for a long time gets my breath now (roll on my lung reduction),

Card Factory (Buy all your special cards online)