COPD/Asthma & Me 4 Today – Good Breath, Bad Breath

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cropped-health-breathe-002.jpg No matter what kind of day I may be having when I made the commitment to be willing to share with others the path I am traveling while battling COPD and Asthma I knew that this social media stuff comes with a responsibility which means staying on top of what you may have said or promised within that social media.

It’s a responsibility I want to take seriously because I understand the importance of making even just one person feel better or more knowledgeable about their own battle with COPD, Asthma or any life threatening disease.

Possible the most frustrating part of this trip with COPD/Asthma is not always knowing when waking up each morning whether I am going to have (as I call them) a ‘good breath’ day or a ‘bad breath’ day.

Every morning after fully waking up I spend at least 10-15 minutes sucking on my nebulizer, taking in those deep breaths of meds to help make sure any overnight congestion gets worked up and hopefully worked out.  Once done with round 1 of my med routine I spend another 15-25 minutes on my exercise bike at least 4 times a week and even then depending on whether I will be out and about during the day where much of any walking will be involved.

Once we get past all that I start getting a good idea on the morning will be going, although even a good start does not always guarantee a whole good day ahead.

On the ‘good breath’ days I try to get as much done as possible without over doing it (which I am good at doing) and yet always find time to take the time to rest for a few moments when I feel my body/lungs telling me to “slow down or we may have a problem”.

Then there are those ‘bad breath’ days when my breathing continually feels tight and no matter how much I try to do anything I quickly get fatigued.  And on those ‘bad breath’ days I work on what I can do and always make time for rest, even if it is not an actually nap – but at a minimum of some down time of just sitting with my feet up and relaxing with maybe a good book and/or catching up on missed entertainment.

One thing to remember for my attitude – no matter whether it is a ‘good breath’ day or a ‘bad breath’ day, I always try and do something enjoyable for myself every day.

As I get farther into this travel with my sometimes very uncomfortable partner of COPD/Asthma I have learned to pace myself more than anything – which simply means do not try to get everything done every day and always make the weekend a two-day as one when it comes to my commitments of such things as pecking the keyboard for my musings on wheezing.com, papabillseasykitchen.wordpress.com, reflectivewriter.wordpress.com and alphabeticallife.com.

Today has been an easier day, lots of relaxing while watching some quality college basketball and just letting my body enjoy a day of basic rest, of course with the temp outside being around 20* and snow falling off and all helps keep me inside and out of trouble.

Hope you are having a ‘good breath’ day.

As always – if you or anyone you know have any symptoms involving lung and breathing functionality, and they linger over and over while disrupting a lifestyle – then please ask questions and get it checked out.

Remember always that without breathing a person is without life itself.

As always I bid to all – smiles, prayers, blessings and steady breathing – Mr. William.

(Copyright@2015, CrossDove Writer through wheezingaway.com)

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COPD/Asthma & Me 4 Today – Remembering

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Reflections--COPD Today is different though when I made the commitment to myself to be willing to share with others the path I am traveling while battling COPD and Asthma I knew that this social media stuff comes with a responsibility which means staying on top of what you may have said or promised within that social media.

It’s a responsibility I want to take seriously because I understand the importance of making even just one person feel better or more knowledgeable about their own battle with COPD, Asthma or any life threatening disease.

So today I take a moment with the help of CrossDove Writer and facebook group ‘COPD Travels’ to remember, remember those more famous names that have gone before us and died from complications due to COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease).

Of course front and center today is the passing of Leonard Nimoy at age 83.

Nimoy died from his COPD, a health issue brought on mostly from smoking despite the fact that he quit 30 years ago.

While most will honor his memory for his work as an actor portraying ‘Dr. Spock’ in the highly popular science fiction sage ‘Star Trek’ and surely we will over hear the phrase ‘live long and prosper’ by the end of the day, I for one appreciate Nimoy for his belated openness regarding his battle with COPD.

Our travels have had many, many more famous names attached to the disease of COPD though many of them never acknowledged the disease as publically as what would have been beneficial in more people being aware of it and what it does.

Among the more famous faces who battled COPD were Barbara Stanwyck, Maureen Stapleton, Janet Kagan, Dean Martin, Johnny Carson, Elizabeth Taylor,Christy Turlington, Leonard Bernstein, Don Imus (still alive) and of course Phil Everly.

Sadly, none of these names were very upfront about what was making them so sick and several kept it under wraps until after their death.

Sometimes I look at our battle with COPD/Asthma and wonder where are the high profile names to bring our struggles to the masses like they have with other diseases like cancer and even arthritis.

Currently the highest profile names which I am aware of are NASCAR driver Danica Patrick and actress Loni Anderson.

I was so excited when Danica Patrick went on the Food Network’s reality show ‘Chopped’ and won as a sponsor of the COPD Foundation.  Something just was emotional hearing her talk about Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease with such passion and using that passion to drive through the competition and cook a winning desert – I just couldn’t stop smiling while I watch it.

So while the whole world seems to be remembering Leonard Nimoy today, maybe we should use those acknowledgements to remind family, friends, neighbors and just any people the real reason for Nimoy’s demise – it came from COPD, while sad it may be, it is also a great platform if only for a few days to get the word out that this is a disease that is growing in numbers every day.

In ending, even I will honor Nimoys prized character portrayal of Dr. Spock by saying “rest in peace my friend, be relieved of the pains of your COPD and yes we all know on your behalf to always ‘live long and prosper’”.

As always – if you or anyone you know have any symptoms involving lung and breathing functionality, and they linger over and over while disrupting a lifestyle – then please ask questions and get it checked out.

Remember always that without breathing a person is without life itself.

As always I bid to all – smiles, prayers, blessings and steady breathing – Mr. William.

(Copyright@2015, CrossDove Writer through wheezingaway.com)

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COPD/Asthma & Me 4 Today – To Do Observations

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Reflections--COPD When I made the commitment to myself to be willing to share with others the path I am traveling while battling COPD and Asthma I quickly realized that this social media stuff comes with a responsibility which means staying on top of what you may have said or promised within that social media.

It’s a responsibility I want to take seriously because I understand the importance of making even just one person feel better or more knowledgeable about their own battle with COPD, Asthma or any life threatening disease.

Some of what I call our ‘To Do Observations’:

  • * * I am needing to do a better job of following several of the COPD/Asthma related facebook groups – by following I mean not only reading more posts but also acknowledging my interest in the post and taking a moment to leave a comment or observation either on the post itself or on the blog it came from, or doing both.
  • * * Acknowledging the enormous affect that a fellow COPDer like Kaycie Chapman has had not only on myself but countless others for her sharing on facebook her positive, uplifting attitude and smile in the face of major adversity. If you are not familiar with her name then I recommend you check it out.
  • * * Appreciations for facebook pages like ‘COPD Let’s Talk’ administered by Chipper Treichel Zehnder as it does its very best at dropping a little humor and light hearted tidbits into the COPD world that gets way to serious for a reason – but we always need to remember that “laughter is like music for the soul”.
  • * * Continue to keep plugging away with my blog (https://wheezingaway.com/ ) and my own facebook group page (COPD Travels at facebook.com/groups/438292009634533/), learning how to get more active members on the facebook page and more followers plus comments/feedback on the blog – because I want to share with others and listen to others about this battle with COPD and/or Asthma.
  • * * Continue to take that ‘symbicort@’ that my new pulmonologist wants me to take for a full month, despite how it seems to be affecting my vocal chords and talking as well as my sinuses.

There you have it, my personal inventory today of a few items for which I have observed as something I need to do a better job at staying on top of.

As always – if you or anyone you know have any symptoms involving lung and breathing functionality, and they linger over and over while disrupting a lifestyle – then please ask questions and get it checked out.

Remember always that without breathing a person is without life itself.

As always I bid to all – smiles, prayers, blessings and steady breathing – Mr. William.

(Copyright@2015, CrossDove Writer)

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COPD/Asthma & Pulmonary Rehab – the HOW

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Health--COPD--ThreeBranches As I keep saying – part of my survival with late stage III COPD is to continually read and learn as much as I can about my ailment and those ailments closely related to it.

Working to pass on some of this information is part of my acceptance of my condition and all it entails, which means sharing what I may learn, read and experience with others so they know they are not alone and just maybe may find or be refreshed about some new tidbit of information to help with their own struggles with COPD and/or life altering disease.

So as with previous postings I share with hopes of raising awareness among others about COPD – this time with some questions and discussion about ‘Pulmonary Rehab’.

‘Pulmonary Rehab’ in any sense is needed to help delay the eventual loss of ability to do things we are used to doing and have control over – especially our ability to breath.

The ‘HOW’ of pulmonary rehab would entail the starting, doing, progressing and paying for your pulmonary rehab so that you can work to improve your battle with COPD/Asthma.

The ‘how’ to get started may possible start with your physician and/or pulmonologist as they would have to give a written referral or prescription for pulmonary rehab in order for Medicare and/or most insurance groups to cover some and/or all the costs involved.

Many times Medicare and/or insurance groups will also require an updated spirometry and/or complete pulmonary function testing done, most likely within the last year at the minimum.

A lot of times the pulmonary rehab will be set out over a period of time or guided by a set number of goals to be reached before Medicare and/or an insurance group will most likely stop covering the costs.

Many times individuals will find a way to continue their pulmonary rehab, even if on a reduced time frame (say like two times per week) because they find the rehab does wonderful things to making them feel better, think better and keep a better outlook toward the future of life with COPD and/or asthma.

Once done with pulmonary rehab the ‘how’ for so many will then become a very personal, individual path as most will want to continue the workout levels of rehab at home on their own because the benefits of continued exercising is measured for what it can do for the body, mind and soul.

Do you understand the ‘how’ of getting a pulmonary rehab program going?

Do you understand and see the ‘how’ a pulmonary rehab program continued long term can be so beneficial to those of us battling COPD and/or asthma?

As with any other of the who, what, where, when and why of pulmonary rehab – the ‘how’ is up to you, and knowing the number of benefits from both a short term concentrated and long term pulmonary rehab program we all should take the ‘how’ and make it a ‘doing and done’.

As always – if you or anyone you know have any symptoms involving lung and breathing functionality, and they linger over and over while disrupting a lifestyle – then please ask questions and get it checked out.

Remember always that without breathing a person is without life itself.

With that I bid to all – smiles, prayers, blessings and steady breathing – Mr. William.

(Copyright@2015, CrossDove Writer)

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(Information gathered from various news/health websites, the book “Live Your Life with COPD” by Jane M. Martin and COPD Foundation’s “Big Fat Reference Guide on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

COPD/Asthma & Me 4 Today – Listening

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Reflections--COPD In my most recent posting I talked about going to a different pulmonologist for a second opinion about where I was in my own personal battle with COPD and Asthma.

Yes this second opinion was one that left me a bit confused and bewildered as the new pulmonologist reacted like my problem was more asthma than COPD even though my FEV1 number is still sitting at 32.

So the biggest change at the moment was being put on ‘symbicort@’ for four weeks, at which time I go back in to see this pulmonologist and re-evaluate just what is happening with my breathing and lungs.

After being on ‘symbicort@’ for six full days I have already seen a few changes:

  1. Instead of having so much tightness in breathing I am able to take a more deeper breathe with the only factor being is it is nearly always followed by a short cough of some sort.
  2. My voice has been affected – when I talk for any lengthy conversations (lengthy being more than 4-5 minutes), I find my throat getting a bit scratchy, my voice gets an airy sound to it and I start to sound like my voice is going out on me.
  3. I seem to be a bit more antsy or almost like nervous.
  4. My appetite is up and I find it much more difficult to feel full when eating.
  5. When I try to imitate that ‘full breath then let it out as fast and hard as I can test’ from the spryometry test – I still struggle with the blow it out as fast and hard as I can without coughing a lot, though now I seem to cough up something at the same time.

So that is what I see, feel and hear going on since being put on the ‘symbicort@’ inhaler thing – not sure what any of it means, but know that I have three weeks to go with it and then we will see what this new pulmonologist thinks.  In the mean time I will also update my own regular physician as there are moments when I think he knows as much as anybody.

While I sit here having one of those regular coughing spells I am getting once again I throw out to my dependable followers, readers and fellow COPDers/Asthmatics to give me their thoughts about the following questions – and please share your answers, ideas and/or feedback on my blog if you would – although on facebook group pages work just as well.

Here are the questions for answers, ideas and/or feedback:

  • >> Have you or someone you know used ‘symbicort@’ and if so how did it go for you and/or them?
  • >> Has anyone gone for a second opinion about their COPD and/or Asthma and felt like they took a step backward?

Thanking you all ahead of time – sharing among each other is and should be one of the greatest gifts and satisfaction we give and get to and from others while we battle either of these uncomfortable diseases of COPD and/or Asthma.

As always – if you or anyone you know have any symptoms involving lung and breathing functionality, and they linger over and over while disrupting a lifestyle – then please ask questions and get it checked out.

Remember always that without breathing a person is without life itself.

As always I bid to all – smiles, prayers, blessings and steady breathing – Mr. William.

(Copyright@2015, CrossDove Writer)

(Image used cleared for use by yahoo.com and/or google.images.com)

COPD/Asthma & Pulmonary Rehab – the WHERE

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Health--COPD--ThreeBranches As I keep saying – part of my survival with late stage III COPD is to continually read and learn as much as I can about my ailment and those ailments closely related to it.

Working to pass on some of this information is part of my acceptance of my condition and all it entails, which means sharing what I may learn, read and experience with others so they know they are not alone and just maybe may find or be refreshed about some new tidbit of information to help with their own struggles with COPD and/or life altering disease.

So as with previous postings I share with hopes of raising awareness among others about COPD – this time with some questions and discussion about ‘Pulmonary Rehab’.

‘Pulmonary Rehab’ in any sense is needed to help delay the eventual loss of ability to do things we are used to doing and have control over – especially our ability to breath.

The ‘where’ of pulmonary rehab will also require the participation of some important players in your battle with COPD.

The ‘where’ requires the recommendations of your physician, your pulmonologist and your cardiologist (if you have one), with the three recommending an area rehab center that can give the much needed guidance/focus on your needs in your battle with COPD.

The ‘where’ you may participate in a pulmonary rehab program should include the following combination of programs:

  • > > an educational program to help you learn as much about COPD as you can to prepare you for the battles ahead.
  • > > the ability to provide medical treatment in case you have and/or develop any medical problems and/or needs during pulmonary rehab.
  • > > provide the proper exercise equipment/facilities to give you the best opportunity to build your stamina and help keep the lungs working properly.
  • > > provide counselors to help you deal with the emotional and psychological side of pulmonary rehab and battles with COPD.
  • > > provide a nutritionist and/or nutritional information so you can learn what the best foods and eating lifestyle will work the best in helping you battle your individual fight with COPD.

With the help of your physician, pulmonologist and cardiologist (if you have one) – you should be able to find and receive the proper and needed pulmonary rehab for your individual battle with your COPD.

Have you and your medical advisors found the right pulmonary rehab for your battle?

Do you understand the importance of the ‘where’ you may go for your pulmonary rehab program?

Only you can make the final decision of using a pulmonary rehab program to make your life physically more ready for that battle ahead, have you made or done it?

As always – if you or anyone you know have any symptoms involving lung and breathing functionality, and they linger over and over while disrupting a lifestyle – then please ask questions and get it checked out.

Remember always that without breathing a person is without life itself.

With that I bid to all – smiles, prayers, blessings and steady breathing – Mr. William.

(Copyright@2015, CrossDove Writer)

(Image used cleared for use by yahoo.com and/or google.images.com)

(Information gathered from various news/health websites, the book “Live Your Life with COPD” by Jane M. Martin, the book “COPD for Dummies” and COPD Foundation’s “Big Fat Reference Guide on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

Must Know Words of COPD/Asthma – Today is ‘Alveoli’

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Health--COPD--I-Am-A-Warrior  While having to battle life threatening diseases like COPD and Asthma we always need to be prepared and that preparation includes many, many items of information to help our battles be successful.

Those of us with Wheezingaway.com, COPD Travels and CrossDove Writer continually and dutifully work toward helping raise awareness among others about these two diseases of COPD and Asthma because “without breath we are without life itself”.

Those with COPD and/or Asthma have the duty to learn and know the language of these dreadful lung diseases.

With that idea we discuss some of what we call ‘must know words’ of life with COPD/Asthma – and today we talk the word ‘Alveoli’.

‘Alveoli’ is the microscopic air sac-like structures found at the ends of the smallest airways in the lungs and are responsible for facilitating the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide.

Notable Fact of Alveoli – each alveoli is just one cell thick or about the same thickness as the wall of a soap bubble and there are more than 300 million ‘alveoli’ in a set of normal healthy lungs.  If you laid all the airways and air sacs of healthy lungs flat on the ground they would cover over 100 square yards.

While ‘Alveoli’ are so small, their numbers are great and they handle one of the most important exchanging the incoming oxygen for the much needed removal of carbon dioxide.

When your air sacs or ‘Alveoli’ do not perform properly you will at times get air trapped in your ‘alveoli’ which makes it harder for you to exhale the air you took in and get the carbon dioxide out – when this happens you may feel a full or tightness in your chest.

When you air sacs or ‘alveoli’ become damaged or even destroyed, this will leave fewer ‘alveoli’ to get the oxygen into the blood while taking the carbon dioxide out.  The decrease in efficiency of this gas exchange will make you feel short of breath.

So while airways get your air down into the lungs, know that the most important piece of your lung puzzle is the ‘alveoli’ for its ability to exchange oxygen for carbon dioxide within each and every breath you take.

In your own individual battle with COPD and/or asthma be sure to learn and understand the words of importance in understanding what is going on within these battles – today one of those words was ‘alveoli’.

As always – if you or anyone you know have any symptoms involving lung and breathing functionality, and they linger over and over while disrupting a lifestyle – then please ask questions and get it checked out.

Remember always that without breathing a person is without life itself.

With that I bid to all – smiles, prayers, blessings and steady breathing – Mr. William.

(Copyright@2015, CrossDove Writer)

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(Information gathered from various books and internet sources discussing COPD, Asthma and other lung diseases)