Reflections of COPD/Asthma – Looking Back to Help with Today!!

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In today’s ‘Reflections of COPD/Asthma’, we will take a look at the thought ‘that to help with today – you must look back at your yesterdays’!

Doctor’s ask for your health history for a reason and it pays to be very honest and very, very open about your life and health, especially if you are diagnosed with any kind of long-term disease or illness.

For instance, if you are diagnosed with cancer of the lungs then you must share with your medical people anything and everything you may have done or been around that could have and/or may have caused problems with your lungs.

Being diagnosed with COPD/Asthma is the same – be up front and honest about everything and anything that could in even in the slightest way have been a problem with your breathing in any way.

Places you worked, places you would eat on a regular basis, places you visit, places you would play and places you would live.  Just as important would be the people throughout your life travels, people you would have worked with, people you would have visited, people you would have played with and people you would have lived with.

Using me as an example, sure I had severe asthma for seemingly forever and my childhood was full of inability to participate in activities and used lots of inhalers.  But I also lived in a home in which a parent smoked a pipe during most of my years before quitting when I was in my teens.

While I never smoked on a regular basis I did (like an idiot with all my asthma problems) smoke when I would possible get drunk, but more importantly to my end result of COPD it was likely the places I hung out over about a 5-year period – lots of bars, clubs and restaurants of which in those days allowed smoking everywhere.

I can look back now and know that spending nearly seven years in a fiberglass insulation factory, no matter the reason why I took the job, was not smart for someone who already had lung problems.  And this was followed up with twenty-plus years in the food service industry sniffing those fryer fumes, grill fumes and all those wonderfully toxic cleaning fumes to clean those fryers, grills and counters – and that doesn’t even count the number of those years when food eating places allowed smoking.

Did you live near any factories or refineries, I have, and those places more than likely have sent some level of toxic fumes into the air that you would have been breathing.

So especially for any of those who just recently have begun the testy journey of traveling life with COPD and/or asthma – always take a very, very close look at where you have been to help your medical people develop the path best suited for you in your travels with COPD and/or asthma, because without the knowledge of the past you may very well still be hitting those same COPD/Asthma triggers even unintentionally today.

We always try and finish with a question of thought, so today try this for some thinking – – your COPD/Asthma has arrived, but do you know what the invitations were that brought you to this battle and are you sure you are not still leaving the welcome mat out for trigger invitations today and tomorrow?

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.

ALWAYS REMEMBER > A person without good breathing, is a person with a life of constant caution’, so let’s do what we can, to learn what we can, to improve what we can.

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@2017, CrossDove Writer – reprint or use by written permission only.)

To follow more postings written by Mr. William, check out either wheezingaway.com or on Facebook at COPD Travels.

(Information used is gathered from a various number of books, magazines and websites followed and read by Mr. William.)

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‘Lenny’ and Me 4 Today – Celebrating New Life + 5

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Today is November 26, a day which forever, as I walk this gift of earth, will be consider a very special day in our household as this is a day for a celebration.  A celebration of New Life plus 5.

Celebration of New Life plus five – why you may ask, because five years ago this morning I applied the help of my neighbor to help me run errands due to myself feeling much under the weather.  Thankfully this neighbor was a fireman and asked the right questions and noticed the correct things, and promptly took me and my vehicle to our local hospital as quickly as he could get there without causing a major commotion.  At the hospital, they knew something was very wrong and as they prepped me to be transferred to a better facility – as I handed my phone to let my Dad know what may be going on, I got very light headed and everything went black.

A few minutes later, I was told four-to-five possible, I opened my eyes and this nurse was kneeling on the edge of my gurney pushing as hard as she good on my chest, so I asked her what the heck she was doing as it hurt – she simply smiled and hollered to all in the room ‘he is back’.  Needless to say, I asked her ‘back from where’ and that was when someone looked down at me and said you had a massive heart attack.

Wow, was that an eye opener to me as I just thought I may have passed out or fallen asleep.  But know, a heart attack – in fact, as my first cardiologist like to remind me, I had a massive ‘widow maker’ heart attack and that if I had not been anywhere but where I was I would not be with this world as I know of it anymore.

So that is why we celebrate today as my ‘New Life Plus Five’………

Five stents and five days later I returned home to begin my recuperation and the new life I had been granted.  Then, three months later, problems with my close companion ‘Lenny’ acting up and making life miserable, I found that instead of just severe asthma, I now was being diagnosed with late stage III COPD – a double whammy in less than 120 days.

But here I am today, and a recent bout with both viral and bacterial infections (a write about that is still to come), reminded me of just how precious everyday living is.  While I continue to work on a few things that seem to be a constant struggle (like weight and melancholy), I wake up in the mornings with a deep breath and a hearty thank you for being given another day.  I gleefully acknowledge all those people that are a regular part of my life, with words of gratitude, and every night sometime before I get close to putting my head on the pillow and snuggle under the covers next to my best friend and wife, I give a moment of appreciation and gratitude to that which controls all that exists for having given me another day to breath, see, smell and feel all that life is on this great gift of earth.

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

Want to know who ‘Lenny’ is?  ‘Lenny’ is the name I gave my constant companion called COPD/Asthma.  I have found that referring and dealing with my chronic illness as a companion I am less apt to get angry with it, but instead more likely to work with it like you would in a strong relationship.  Besides treating anything with TLC is much better than hammering away at it as if it was an enemy.

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.

ALWAYS REMEMBER > A person without good breathing, is a person with a life of constant caution’, so let’s do what we can, to learn what we can, to improve what we can.

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

(Copyright@2017, CrossDove Writer through wheezingaway.com – no part of this write may be used or copied without written permission.)

NOTES: Sometimes we share what may seem like medical information, but we are only giving 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 medical founded information.

‘Lenny’ and Me 4 Today – Apology, Celebration and Worry

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Yep, it’s been a while several weeks since ‘Lenny’ and I have shared, and with it being ‘COPD Awareness Month’ – I realized it was time to get back to being responsible and start back sharing regularly my story with the hopes that maybe something I say, do or share will connect and help someone else.

First of all, I apologize for not being more consistent with my writing on wheezing away.  It seems one of my character flaws would be not staying on a project for lengthy periods of time, though I have been working on that over the years and am a whole lot better now than I used to be.

My wife constantly reminds me that people are counting on me and some of the things I write and share, and even while I am aware of that – sometimes time slips by when I get busy with my writing for a local paper and dealing with adult kids and grandkids.  So, if you seriously get something out of some of my writes, then I say forgive me for my lack of consistency and I promise to continue to do better (though with winter coming up and being more house confined, my time should be more focused).

Secondly, let’s celebrate in a way, let’s celebrate November because it is ‘COPD AWARENESS MONTH’!!

Some may question my saying celebrate and that’s okay, but I figure anything that is done to bring more attention to the nasty time-consuming disease like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is good for me.

Attention is what is needed, especially when we have politicians who seem to think it will be okay to roll back environmental protection policies that are meant to help people from getting sick and harmed by toxic fumes and waste from big industry.  I live in a community that has a huge oil refinery and several factories that use plastic and chemicals to make things, and trust me there are days which I can get less than four steps out my front door and be able to tell someone if the refinery is burning off waster or something.

Attention is what is needed because politicians are wanting to cut back on science research, denying much needed work to find ways to fight this disease.

Attention is what is needed because COPD is one of those quiet diseases in which a person may seem totally normal on the outside, but may be fighting like heck on the inside to get a decent deep breath, while keeping their oxygen level up above the 90 mark.

So, celebrate ‘COPD Awareness Month’ by telling folks about the disease that maybe you or someone you care about is fighting.  Be honest with people and let them know what you can or cannot do, or what you may be able to or not be able to be around.

And third, I worry.  I worry about the items I already mentioned – how the government in charge seems to think it will be okay to roll back much needed environmental protection programs and how the government in charge seems determined to turn its back on the science of nature, health and the welfare of humanity.

I worry, because as well as myself and ‘Lenny’ may be doing today, I know that tomorrow can be just the absolute opposite.  I worry, because I do not want to become a burden to my wife and family members.

I worry, because over the past six weeks I have had several bouts that covered several days at a time in which I would get terribly short of breath when I would try and do much of anything.  I worry, because a recent spot where ‘Lenny’ acting up to the point of major concern, my pulmonologist reminded me of the fine line between my COPD and a slight heart condition as to which is causing my problem.  I worry, because my five stents are five years old and I have a new stress test (first one in three years) coming up in two weeks.

I worry, because I am not writing and sharing enough with those around me about ‘Lenny’ and I, as well as my thoughts about life in general.

But for now, I will not worry as ‘Lenny’ and I look to head for the pillow and hopefully a solid night of sleep.

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

Want to know who ‘Lenny’ is?  ‘Lenny’ is the name I gave my constant companion called COPD/Asthma.  I have found that referring and dealing with my chronic illness as a companion I am less apt to get angry with it, but instead more likely to work with it like you would in a strong relationship.  Besides treating anything with TLC is much better than hammering away at it as if it was an enemy.

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.

ALWAYS REMEMBER > A person without good breathing, is a person with a life of constant caution’, so let’s do what we can, to learn what we can, to improve what we can.

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

(Copyright@2017, CrossDove Writer through wheezingaway.com – no part of this write may be used or copied without written permission.)

NOTES: Sometimes we share what may seem like medical information, but we are only giving 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 medical founded information.

 

Reflections of COPD/Asthma – Set 6 of Outside/Inside of Them Lungs

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I am one of those that has been given the honor of traveling life with the companionship of COPD and severe Asthma.

While the honor is many times pushed by the frustration and battle with those companions, I have over time come to grips that it is what it is and I must make the best of it.

I knew I must learn more about this companion the medical folks call COPD and severe Asthma, so I have read about, ask questions about it and spent time nearly every day scouring the internet for information, articles and more.

I also knew it is good to share, so as a writer I decided what better way to share what I am learning and finding than through informational, inspirational and personal writings about my travels with COPD and severe Asthma.

This is part of an on-going series we call ‘Reflections of COPD/Asthma’ and today we give you set six, or the final set of a six-part set we refer to as ‘Outside/Inside of Them Lungs’, where we discuss the inside of lungs and what needs to happen, how it happens and why it happens.

Set 5 – – ‘Looking at Your Lungs from the Inside’:

Today we will look at ’What Went Wrong’ or why is it becoming so hard for you to breath?

Today we finish off our series about the ‘Outside/Inside – Your Lungs’ with a quick discussion of three more possible causes for the battle you have with COPD/Asthma.

‘Weak Airways’ could be one of the causes and the weak airways could come when the airways lose their integrity and/or strength to stay open due to the loss of the elastic fibers that give them that function.  When a person loses that elasticity, your airways will appear to pinch shut or collapse, which in turn prevents air from escaping.

‘Bronchospasm’ is also referred to as the inflammation or swelling inside the walls of a person’s airways caused by long term exposure to lung irritants.  A person can develop less room for air to pass through when the inside diameter of the airways become decreased by constant ‘bronchospasms’.

When those airways get irritated, the muscles surrounding them will tend to become squeezed and tightened, which also causes obstruction and making it harder for proper airflow in and out of the lungs.

The final area that can cause your lungs to ‘go wrong’ would be the ‘muscles of breathing’.

We all know the main muscle of breathing is your ‘diaphragm’ as it is meant to do most of the work of breathing by pulling on the bottom part of your lungs so air can flow properly.  But when your lungs become overinflated, it causes your diaphragm to become flat instead of dome-shaped, which puts you and the movement of your lungs at a disadvantage mechanically.

Anytime a person’s ‘diaphragm’ is not working properly, the other muscles will have to come to action and try to help get the business of airflow moving.  Unfortunately, these accessory muscles are not meant to do this job – that is when your muscles in your collarbone, neck and between the ribs tend to become tense, sore and sometimes feeling very fatigued.

While most people take breathing almost for granted, the fact is, breathing takes a lot of work and energy, and when the main muscles are not doing their job and the accessory muscles get called into play – that is when you develop problems with your shoulders, back and chest area.

So, there you have it, a six-set series on ‘Outside/Inside of Them Lungs’.  Hopefully some of the information will have given some an insight or remembrance of just what may be going on while you battle your own individual fight with either 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.

ALWAYS REMEMBER > A person without good breathing, is a person with a life of constant caution’, so let’s do what we can, to learn what we can, to improve what we can.

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@2017, CrossDove Writer – reprint or use by written permission only.)

To follow more postings written by Mr. William, check out either wheezingaway.com or on Facebook at COPD Travels.

(Information used is gathered from a various number of books, magazines and websites followed and read by Mr. William.)

‘Lenny’ and Me 4 Today – Frustration Flare Up

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‘Lenny’ is my constant companion the doctors call COPD/Asthma.  Naming my constant health companion seems to make life easier for me in relating to my disease as it gives it a bit of a personality.  Besides treating ‘Lenny’ as a companion, come good days or bad, is much better than always dealing with it as an enemy.

Ok, so now let’s talk about “‘Lenny’ and Me 4 Today”.

Those of us who do battle in world of COPD/Asthma are fully aware of the number one thing to look for when we have a flare up, or for me ‘Lenny’ gets antsy and throws at least a bit of a curveball at my day.

That’s right, we look for the trigger that set the battle into motion.  What was it, was it dust, was it something we ate, was it somebody’s cologne or perfume or was it just something that was in the air that maybe we didn’t even notice at the time.

Here in the United States we are crossing the interchange of life between winter and spring, which means the trees are starting to bud, flowers beginning to leaf out and of course yards being worked on.

For me, I used to love working in the yard and took pride in fixing up yards around a couple of homes we owned.  I was a strong believer that anyone can do it themselves with the help of ‘Scott’s’ and the sequential run of a variety of turf builder elements.

And that is where the ‘frustration flare up’ arrives on the scene, as we have yard issues and I for one would to get out there and do the work myself – you know have control of the outcome.

Unfortunately, my constant companion ‘Lenny’ does not care for more than about five minutes of strong physical work like that and I find the two of us arguing over whether I will allow a full-fledged attack or if I will stop before the flare-up gets out of control and my oxygen level drops to those unsafe numbers below 90.

Now my wife can do some of it, she already does the mowing, but her knowledge and patience with yardwork is limited and working two jobs while watching over me and spending weekends caring for a grandson with Asperger’s leaves her plate already full.

So today I did talk with a local yard contractor who uses the Scott’s Turf Builder program and he had some great ideas on how to fix the front yard but this will cost us and while we can swing it at least this season to get the yard going in the right direction – it leaves me very frustrated.

But then I come in the house and when my eye catches the serenity prayer hanging on the wall, I realize that this is one of those things I need to accept that I cannot change and I cannot do yardwork anymore, at least like I would like to.

So, another round with a ‘frustration flare up’ has been averted, which in turn will keep ‘Lenny’ from acting up as he does and all is well again at least for the rest of today.

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

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 good breathing, is a person without a good life’, so let’s do what we can, to learn what we can, to improve what we can.

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

Follow all the on going adventures of “‘Lenny’ and Me 4 Today” at wheezingaway.com or on Facebook at COPD Travels.

(Copyright@2017, CrossDove Writer through wheezingaway.com – no part of this write may be used or copied without written permission.)

NOTES: Sometimes we share what may seem like medical information, but we are only giving 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.

Living Today – – Making a Proper Plan

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Sharing with others daily words, thoughts and meditations that bring myself hope and renewal during my own daily battles and frustrations with COPD/Asthma.  Sharing, because as we all know – without that horizon of hope, our daily renewal of faith and fight can dim in a hurry.

Take, read, meditate and hopefully find some of the same hope in your day as I have within mine…..

The Word – “Do not those who plot evil go astray?  But those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness.”  (Proverbs 14:22, NIV)

The Thought – For us to fulfill our destiny we all need to have a plan, a roadmap to get us from here to there.

We discuss the Great Spirit and how it will give you guidance in doing what is right and planning your future adventures based on the spirit of hope, faith, love and grace.

Those of us with a chronic illness or disability, the idea of planning for the future can appear to be overwhelming, especially if you have an illness or disability that literally can hang on the phrase ‘one day at a time’.

Yet that very same chronic battle or situation you may be in, is exactly why you should and must keep a plan, a roadmap for the days ahead and it must include a positive attitude with piles of love, faith and hope.

Just because you have an illness or disability does not mean you can’t be a very productive individual for family, friends and society to appreciate for whatever the attitude you may bring to the day or moment.

Make use of your best abilities to give hope, faith and grace to the life that surrounds you.  Whether that be volunteer work, crafts, mentoring, tutoring, mechanical, musical, writing or whatever it may be that you find is your most endearing ability or gift to give.

So, plan the path of life ahead of you by using your ability or gift as the head of the adventure, while always basing the plan/adventure on the foundation of hope, faith, love and grace.

By doing so, by making plans, you will find that the Great Spirit will give you the guidance to do good with all of life that surrounds you while also finding that your own battle with a chronic illness or disease will be easier to battle due to the plans you have made.

The Meditation – Oh Great Spirit, as I thank you for all that makes up the world that surrounds me, I also understand that to make plans for my future, I must lean on your friendship and guidance to help keep my mind fresh, my motives positive and my body fresh and renewed.  I look forward to seeking and finding your guidance for all that may lie ahead in this adventure I call life and feel assured that the Great Spirit will give me the strength to make plans and stick with them so that both myself and others can and will be refreshed in life through hope, faith, love and grace.

Living Today – – Live to Give

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What better way to share with others by own daily battle and frustrations with COPD/Asthma than by passing on some daily words and thoughts that bring me hope and renewal, because as we all know – without that horizon of hope, our daily renewal of faith and fight can dim in a hurry.

Take, read, meditate and hopefully find some hope to attach to your faith for today – – – – –

The Word – “Give, and it will be given to you.  A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.  For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”  (Luke 6:38, NIV)

The Thought – We all want to be happy, to find fulfillment with our life even when our illness or disability seems to bear down on us.

But that thing about being happy, have you ever noticed that a person is happiest after they have been willing to give something from their life first.

They say that true happiness and true fulfillment in our lives only comes when you give of your own life in some way to those around you, whether you know them or not.

They say the Great Spirit will return all that is given, multiplied several times over.  With that kind of a promise why is it that so many have a problem with giving.

With that kind of promise you would think it would be easy to step out with hope and faith, and give more than we could have ever imagined.

When you are fighting an illness or disability that giving is many times much more difficult to accomplish as we worry about the consequences of letting our guard down, which for many us could be a physical, mental or emotional disaster.

This writer many times finds the opportunity of giving of my time, energy or abilities can be found with a mental brick wall that worries about getting exhausted or having a situation develop while giving.

But to have a fulfillment of our life as we know it, to have some happiness of our life as we battle our own individual disabilities or illnesses is to give of ourselves as best we can, when and where we can.

Giving could be just helping a friend or family member out, finding a niche at a local church or organization, or maybe just doing something totally out of secret like sending get well or thank you cards to those who need or deserve it.

The important thing is, that despite the illness or disability which we may have, it is still a strong reason for our happiness and fulfillment in life to give as best we can – and trust me, through hope, failth love and grace, people and the Great Spirit will take notice, even when you may not think they have.

The Meditation – Oh Great Spirit I thank you for the opportunities which I have waiting for me to give of myself, my time and my abilities.  I know giving that by giving of myself, I will find within my heart and soul the true meanings of hope, faith, love and grace.  Thank you.