‘Lenny’ (my COPD/Asthma) & Me 4 Today – – The Ticker and More…

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Reflections--COPD Being willing to share with others the path I am traveling while battling ‘Lenny’ (name I have given my COPD/Asthma) is almost like therapy for me while also giving me the responsibility of taking my battle seriously.

With the help of social media I know I can also reach out to others who are also fighting similar battles and hopefully at time supply a little insight, little knowledge and maybe stir up some questions.

A few day ago I had my first follow up appointment with my cardiologist since my pacemaker was put in a week before Christmas.

My readings from my pacemaker showed it is working just fine and dandy while doing just what it is supposed to be doing in keeping my heart rate steady at between 70-80 beats per minute.

The history of high blood pressure seems almost lost in time now as I continue to have very decent blood pressure readings and x-rays taken made my cardiologist give me a happy smile.

Because of continued disruptions with my voice box when taking the inhaler ‘Symbicort’, my pulmonologist has told me to not use it at all for 1-2 weeks and see if my voice comes back more to normal, or in my case as normal as it can get.

And for the actual moments of today, well I am relaxing watching a little college basketball while waiting to attend the immersion baptism of two of my grandkids – all of which is set to distract me from dwelling on my appointment tomorrow to get my first ‘Xolair’ shot.

The distraction is necessary for me as yesterday in the mail I received a mailing going into detail some of the possible side effects from ‘Xolair’ and they left me a bit unsettled so today distractions are my norm.

Now to concentrate on a better diet as the past four days between appointments and a quick trip to my see my brother I know my eating routine has been walking off the path of a proper diet of health – so off to have a small salad and maybe a little vegetable soup.

And that my friends is where ‘Lenny’ (my COPD/Asthma) and Me are at 4 today.

Most postings I try to finish with a question, today I ask this question – What is the easiest distraction for you that can knock you off your path of healthier habits and appetite? I am saying thanx for your willingness to respond to my question of the posting, responses which I hope you will post at the posting website of wheezingaway.com.

NOTE TO REMEMBER: We only give descriptions and highlights of various aspects of having COPD and/or asthma and no way do we ever want our information to be considered medical treatment type of information, always consult your physician for more, clearer and more medical founded information.

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 – a person without breathing is a person without life itself.

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

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

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‘Lenny’ (my COPD/Asthma) & Me 4 Today – – It’s Xolair Time…….

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Reflections--COPD Here is a good example of how strong my commitment is in being willing to share with others the path I am traveling while battling ‘Lenny’ (name I have given my COPD/Asthma).  It is that responsibility which I want to take seriously even when I expose myself to my feelings of silly with sometimes little insight, little knowledge and a few questions.

But with this social media stuff I know I can reach out to others who are fighting the same or similar battles and hopefully get some input on others who may have had similar happenings and/or diagnoses with similar programs of medical attempts at help and/or remedies.

Recently I shared that my home physician along with my pulmonologist would like to try a drug called ‘Xolair’ and we were waiting to see how my health insurance would handle it or in my words – see how much of the high cost would I be stuck with and could I afford it.

‘Xolair’ is a humanized antibody originally designed to reduce sensitivity to inhaled or ingested allergens, to be used in the control of moderate to severe allergic asthma which may not be responding to other medications such as corticosteroids.  Like any pharmaceutical medication there are always a chance of side effects and as usual we run full speed into the dose with the utmost hope that I will not be a victim of any of those ‘possible’ side effects.

What does amaze me is the outrageous (my word) cost of such drugs as this once a month shot of ‘Xolair’ will cost nearly $4,000.  Thankfully between my current insurance and a grant from the folks that make ‘Xolair’ it will only cost me $50, so the deal is done and now we wait to get the appointment set for my first dosage of ‘Xolair’.

Since my COPD seems more developed from a lifetime of severe asthma that was not helped by my choices of environments presented by several jobs – my wife and I are hoping that maybe, just maybe this ‘Xolair’ thing will help me get past those SOBs (Short of Breaths) I suffer from when doing anything physical for more than 15 minutes.

So until that first shot of ‘Xolair’, life once again is in that mode of be patient and wait or is it wait and be patient.

And that my friends is where ‘Lenny’ (my COPD/Asthma) and Me are at 4 today.

Most postings I try to finish with a question, today I ask this question – What medications are working best for you and your battle with COPD/Asthma?  I am saying thanx for your willingness to respond to my question of the posting, responses which I hope you will post at the posting website of wheezingaway.com.

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 – a person without breathing is a person 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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‘Lenny’ (my COPD/Asthma) & Me 4 Today – – Doctors, Meds & Change, Again!

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Reflections--COPD Here is a good example of how strong my commitment to be willing to share with others the path I am traveling while battling ‘Lenny’ (name I have given my COPD/Asthma).  It is that responsibility which I want to take seriously even when I expose myself to my feelings of silly with sometimes little insight, little knowledge and a few questions.

But with this social media stuff I know I can reach out to others who are fighting the same or similar battles and hopefully get some input on others who may have had similar happenings and/or diagnoses with similar programs of medical attempts at help and/or remedies.

Since my wife and I decided that ‘Lenny’ needed a second opinion we have been tossed into an ebb and flow of ideas and new meds.

After a blood test to check what my major allergies may be that kick in the asthma part of ‘Lenny’ we now know I am still highly agitated by cat dander and dust pollutants – something we already knew well.

My physician suggested we try Xolair which is a shot and after checking into the insurance end of things I received a call today from my physician’s nurse stating the insurance will cover the shot, at least through July.  Now I am not sure how much the insurance will cost and neither did the nurse, so for now I will have to wait until tomorrow to talk to my physician himself.

So again I have ‘Lenny’ in what seems to be a holding pattern while we wait to see exactly when we will start the ‘Xolair’ and how it will affect my relationship with ‘Lenny’.

Oh, in the meantime I did have a very short appointment with my pulmonologist.  They gave me a breathing test, which they were thrilled to tell me of a marked improvement since my previous breathing test – although they were not thrilled when I told them I (absent minded I know) had taken a round of Symbicort within the hour before taking the test.  So were the results skewed?

My pulmonologist did advise me to re-up to two treatments of two puffs a day of the Symbicort – we will see if it messes with my voice as it did before as well as causing me many more coughing spells.

Sure wish ‘Lenny’ would just be consistent and let the need to knows of my life (my physician and pulmonologist) just exactly what is really causing my daily living fits – is it more asthma or more COPD.

And that my friends is where ‘Lenny’ (my COPD/Asthma) and me are at 4 today.

Most postings I try to finish with a question, but today I have no question on the mind or in the fingers banging on the keyboard.

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 – a person without breathing is a person 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 – Breathing a Haiku or Two

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cropped-health-breathe-002.jpg For me writing sometimes is a great relief to the ongoing frustrations that I seem to battle often when I battle my health companion ‘Lenny’ (COPD/Asthma).

Many times I will find myself wandering through ideas in my head while looking at ways to bring those issues with breathing a step closer to being more of just a companion than an irritating sidekick.

So compared to many of my postings/writings about my travels with ‘Lenny’ (COPD/Asthma) this particular one will just short, thoughtful and from a compilation of the mind and the heart.

Here I present another side of my writing with a couple of short ‘Haiku’s’ (a style of poetry) giving a quick perspective of live with COPD/Asthma.

Enjoy folks.

Haiku #1 – –

“MY LIFE with COPD” (@2015, CrossDove Writer)

My Life means Chronic

Obstuctive Pulmonary

Disease of Breathing.

Haiku #2 – –

“Breathe” (@2015, CrossDove Writer)

You breathe in and out

Oxygen gives us all life

You breathe in and out.

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 – a person without breathing is a person 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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‘Lenny’ (COPD/Asthma) & Me 4 Today – – Five Days Okay!!

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Reflections--COPD Now that I have given my COPD/Asthma a name (‘Lenny’) maybe it will make sharing a bit easier in the writing – maybe.

‘Lenny’ did me good last weekend as I was able to spend a very solid 4-5 hours at my oldest grandson’s wrestling tournament, mingling with his other family among others and not seeming to have a problem at all that I could not handle.  While it did get a bit warm in the building, I properly chose when the time was right to take a break and get some fresh air.

Of course it helps when my grandson does a great job of wrestling, finishing 3-0 on the day while getting in some much appreciated ‘Grandpa’ time.

Since that point, well outside of getting my time on the exercise bike and a few short walks – ‘Lenny’ has reminded me a few times that the SOB’s (short on breath) are still alive and willing to flare up just enough to make me check my frustration level for the day.

With the weather spurting along toward spring and near like summer it gets me all excited about taking more walks outside and getting ready for some yard and landscape work, well at least the little bit I will be able to extend myself.

What is nice is the opportunity to sit and relax with a good sized mug of tea on the back patio while enjoying the stars that stay visible through the growing number of city lights in our neck of town.

What is frustrating is wanting to be out enjoying the numerous building projects (a 64-unit apartment complex, 4-10 houses and a cul-da-sac) that are within a two block view of my backyard and realizing that the dust they are kicking up when the breeze is right will keep me watching from behind the protection of a sliding glass patio door.

One thing I do daily is to continue my reading and gathering COPD/Asthma information (at least 20 minutes a day) as I know that ‘Lenny’ still has a little bit of an upper hand on me at times, though some times when ‘Lenny’ throws a flare up my direction I know it is because I was not alert ready for the situation in which it happened – so I in my reading and gathering I am learning as well.

As always I will finish with a question and the question for this write is:  “Do you spend time each day reading and gathering information for your defense of your own personal battle with your ‘Lenny’ (COPD/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 – a person without breathing is a person 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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Dyspnea – Follow Up Info to A Must Know Word!

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Health--Breathe--002 Previously I posted in my series on ‘Must Know Words of COPD/Asthma’ the word Dyspnea in which I described the word itself and how it fits into our continued battles with COPD and/or Asthma.

Here I am submitting some follow-up information about ‘Dyspnea’ with some words from an article titled “Breaking the Dyspnea Cycle” by Deborah Leader, an RN and COPD Expert which was written in 2013.

“Have you ever noticed that when you are having trouble breathing, you become increasingly anxious, which makes you start to panic, which in turn causes you to become even more short of breath? This common sequence is known as the dyspnea cycle.

Dyspnea, more commonly known as shortness of breath, can be described as the sensation of having the urge to breathe which results from a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream. It is one of the hallmark symptoms of COPD, and can also be the most frightening.

Understanding the Cycle:

To learn how to break the dyspnea cycle, you must first understand it. When you start to feel short of breath, you worry you are not getting enough air, which causes anxiety. Anxiety makes you breathe harder and faster, which makes the dyspnea worse. This is when panic sets in.

When people experience this, it can be so distressing that they start to limit their activities in order to avoid anything that may cause them to feel shortness of breath. Not only does this eventually end up taking all the joy out of life, but being sedentary can lead to many other problems, like obesity, which makes it even tougher to breathe.

How to Break the Dyspnea Cycle:

Follow these steps to break the dyspnea cycle – –

Take control — During an episode of dyspnea, take control using diaphragmatic breathing with pursed lips.

Pace yourself — Pacing yourself helps to conserve energy which will allow you to do more before dyspnea gets out of hand.

Exercise — Daily exercise will help you handle more activity with less shortness of breath.

The dyspnea cycle is not only frightening, but can lead to feelings of sadness and worry. If these feelings become overwhelming, they can start to interfere with daily life. Depression is also linked to COPD exacerbation. The good news is that anxiety and depression are treatable medical conditions. Talk with your doctor to see what treatment options are available to you. Once depression and anxiety are under control, your overall health will improve and you can start to enjoy life again.”

The question today is – How do you break your dyspnea cycle? (Please share your tips and/or comments on the comments at wheezingaway.com)

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.

NOTE TO REMEMBER: We only give descriptions and highlights of various aspects of having COPD and/or asthma and no way do we ever want our information to be considered medical treatment type of information, always consult your physician for more, clearer and more medical founded information.

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)

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

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Health--AsthmaAndCOPD 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 ‘Dyspnea’.

‘Dyspnea’ as defined by ‘The American Thoracic Society’ is “a subjective experience of breathing discomfort that can vary in intensity”.  Other definitions would be “difficulty in breathing”, “disordered or inadequate breathing”, “uncomfortable awareness of breathing” and “the experience of breathlessness, either acute or chronic”.

‘Dyspnea’ is evaluated by assessing the intensity of the distinct sensations in an individual’s breathing, the degree of distress involved and its burden/impact on an individual’s daily living.  Some of the distinct sensations would include air hunger (the feeling of not having enough oxygen) and chest tightness.

Many studies have concluded that in 85% of the cases where an individual has ‘Dyspnea’ it will be caused by either asthma, pneumonia, acute coronary syndrome, congestive heart failure, pulmonary embolism and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.  In a few cases ‘Dyspnea’ can be caused by psychogenic reasons such as panic and anxiety disorders.

Any treatments for ‘Dyspnea’ would depend on the underlying cause.

Note to PONDER is the initial approach to evaluating ‘Dyspnea’ begins by assessment of the airway, breathing, and circulation followed by a medical history and physical examination.

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 that word of importance is ‘Dyspnea’.

NOTE TO REMEMBER: We only give descriptions and highlights of various aspects of having COPD and/or asthma and no way do we ever want our information to be considered medical treatment type of information, always consult your physician for more, clearer and more medical founded information.

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 books and internet sources discussing COPD, Asthma and other lung diseases)