----------------------- 7 Tips To Help You Deal With COPD by: John Bottrell, RRT
So, you have COPD. Now what? Here are seven tips to help you right now deal with this disease.
It’s always your choice
You make choices. You decide whether or not you are going to cope with this disease. You decide to quit smoking if you need to. You decide to quit your job or transfer to a new department. You decide whether or not you are going to take your medicine every day. You make choices like, “Yes! I can do this. Know that you control your life
You control what goes into your mouth. You control when you get up in the morning. You control whether or not you take your medicine. Sure, getting used to BiPAP might not be any fun. But, you control whether or not you give it that old college try. You control when you will see your doctor. You control what you will say or will not say to your doctor. In fact, you are the boss. So, you, not your doctor, control what is going to happen during the said appointment. So, just know that you do have control over your life, not this disease. Know it’s not your fault
Smoking is a bad habit. Most people don’t start smoking thinking it’s bad for you. Most people who smoke today didn’t know any better when they started. There wasn’t as much information out there then as there is now. The same for those who got this disease due to their jobs. You got your job to make a living. You got it to better yourself and to feed your family. It’s not your fault you were exposed to chemicals every day. So, don’t beat yourself over the head with what-ifs. “What if I never smoked?” or “What if I never had that job.” The past belongs in the past. Don’t let the past control your present. You are where you are, and now you just have to move on from here. It takes two weeks to make it a habit
This is what I always tell myself when I decide to get healthy. It’s what I tell myself when I decide to workout daily and eat well. It’s going to be hard making a change. It’s going to feel awkward for a while. But, after a while, after about two weeks, you get used to it. It becomes a normal part of your life. And, usually, by this two week period, you start to enjoy the benefits. For instance, say your doctor prescribes BiPAP. It’s difficult to wear at first. But, your doctor tells you it will make your life better. It will make you healthier. So, you put that mask on your face at night and just do it. After two weeks, it becomes a habit. You probably won’t even be able to sleep without it. The same is true for taking medicine, especially if you never took medicine before. The same is also true if you have to wear oxygen. Make the most of what you have in the present
And know that what you do now can impact your future. This sort of goes along with an old saying, “You do the best you can given what you know today, and when you learn better you do better.” So, now you know that smoking is harmful. You know you have a disease. You know you have to take this medicine or wear that machine, or whatever. Know that seeing your doctor regularly, and being compliant with your COPD treatment regimen, can help you feel better and live longer.
Change your thinking
Learn how to take your medicine correctly. Learn how to use your BiPAP correctly. Learn what changes you need to make in your life to make the most of this disease. You may need to make a rule in your home, “No smoking!” This may make others feel unpleasant. This may make you feel guilty. It may make you feel ashamed. But, you have to reject this behavior. It’s your life. If you want to breathe better and live a long time with this disease, you will have to make certain changes.
Find things to pass the time
If you are able to continue working, great! This might be the best way of passing the time. If you can no longer work, this might be a good time to find alternatives. It might be a good time to spend that quality time with your children or grandchildren. It may be a good time to take up that hobby you’ve always wanted to do. Perhaps it’s a good time to travel. Prep yourself to walk a marathon. I mean, you can do it if you want. I do know a couple people with COPD who walk marathons. I follow them on Facebook. I listen to their stories when I meet with them. You have COPD. But, there are still plenty of things you can do with your time. Buy a good book. Watch a good movie. Read the Bible. Make the most of what time you have left. Have fun. Enjoy yourself. Smile often. Smiles are catchy you know. Just look at a baby smile. How can you not smile back?
Your frame of mind is important
Look at yourself. Look at your life. Ask yourself what you want to get out of your future. Set some goals and reach for them. Your quest for achieving these goals will help you feel happier. It’s what will help you feel pleasure. This is what will help you live the best life possible despite COPD.