Use goals to see new habits that will make the difference in how active and comfortable you'll be with COPD. The difference is clear.
Clear your Lungs
Clear the House
Clear YOU off the Couch
Let's look at making new habits.
Clear Your Lungs
Old Habit: smoking
New Habit: Smoke-free
If you smoked thats the old habit that won you COPD. Smoking:
Covers those lung cleaning brushes with even more tar.
shuts down even more of the lung's exit doors.
Old Habit: One big cough to clear your throat.
New Habit: Mini-coughs before the big one.
Just one big cough feels like the right way to clear your throat. It used to work but it probably doesn't anymore. Now, when you want to clear your throat try this:
Breath in slowly through your nose, pushing your stomach muscles out. Put your hands on your stomach to feel it get bigger
Jerk or pull your stomach back hard. Hear your self go, "HUFF!" Repeat. "huff" coughs loosen the mucous.
Take a deep breath. Now do that big cough!
Try this first thing in the morning and before meals.
Old Habit: Avoid looking at your sputum.
New Habit: Look at your sputum.
Yes it can be gross, but look at your sputum morning at night. Learn what is normal for you.
The usual amount of sputum
The usual color
The usual thickness
2. Clear the House
We know now that a body needs clean air. COPD makes it hard for your body to clean air. To breathe easier, make the air around you clean before you breathe it in.
Old Habit: Shower and leave water everywhere.
New Habit: Wipe the walls and floor dry.
Water lets mold grow, mold is grit on the tub and tiles. Bits of mold break off and float in the air and you breathe it in. Ask someone to scrub mold off with bleach. Open windows while they work!
Old Habit: Collect things, any and all kinds of things.
New Habit: Control things that collect dust.
Throw them out- search room by room and toss out rugs, books, newspapers, curtain anything you don't really need.
Clean them-any soft things you just can't throw away run through the washer and dryer once a week (or you could put them i the freezer overnight) that includes sheets, blankets and your pillows! Each week wife dust from items like statues on shelves using a cloth that holds dust, not a feather duster or paper towel.
Cover them-cover what you sleep on with a clean sheet or buy a mattress encasing and a pillow encasing. Put as many items as you can in cabinets, boxes etc. Shut the dust inside these containers.
Old Habit: Not worry about smells.
New Habit: Buy non-scented products.
Buy cleaning products that pump or pour. Sprays lead to lots of particles in the air
Think about your breathing, take slow breaths when you start to wheeze and your inhaler is not handy.
3. Clear YOU off the Couch!
If you just sit your muscles get weaker. You need extra strength to keep doing the things that you enjoy. Strong muscles can also help keep you from going back to the hospital.
Check the weather- is the air clean today? How is the pollen count? Is it better to stay home today with the windows closed? Also check the temperature, very hot, very cold or windy days can bring on attacks. If you must go out when the weather is poor cover your mouth and nose.
Guard against bugs with shots and avoid sick people. Flu and pneumonia make it hard to breathe. Get your vaccines and never miss a chance to wash those hands!
Medicine and oxygen also help make the most of each breath. Know what each one does and how to handle your oxygen. (Future Blog on Medications and Oxygen to Come!)
Remember the future with COPD depends on reaching four goals:
Make the most of each day
Make the most of each breath
Make the most of each move
Make the most of each meal
Best Concierge Nurse Case Management can assist you in navigating your COPD as well as many other diseases. We can help you to manage and coordinate your conditions, appointments, medications and ancillary services so that you can make the most of each day.
Book your free consultation today!