It's been a rough month - thus why I was MIA for a while. Both my husband and I were ill and I developed a horrible cough that left me coughing seemingly non-stop for 3 weeks. I couldn't rest well at night and felt like I couldn't breathe.
I knew then I had a decision to make.
I was diagnosed with the early stages of COPD about 3 years ago (emphysema and bronchitis) but I continued to smoke. Suddenly not being able to breathe easily was a reality check for me.
I have been smoke-free for four days now.
Already I can breathe so much easier....way better than I was even before getting ill! My chest is not rumbling. I am not wheezing. And I am sleeping so much better!
There is no cure for COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), but I am determined now to make positive changes necessary to improve my quality of life.
My daughter and I have started exercising together to keep each other motivated. I want to be active as long as possible. As we are beginning to have slightly warmer days, I've begun doing a little yard work and will incorporate walks into my days. And if I lose some weight in the process, I'd be okay with that!
I am looking to make better food choices. Eat more fish, tuna and lean meats and add more veggies and fruits to our diet.
I am also looking to increase my water intake and (hopefully) learn to love it in the process.
Every year, I need to get three shots - flu, pneumonia, and pertussis. I do not want to end up very sick or in the hospital!
I'm switching to homemade green cleaners because the fumes can bring on COPD exacerbation. And I'm going to have to be more diligent with cleaning - dust and pet dander is not good, nor is excess moisture in the kitchen and bathrooms.
I need to buy a fingertip pulse oximeter to monitor my blood oxygen levels and heart rate. If my blood oxygen level dips below 90% that could be a sign of an oncoming exacerbation - which will likely require antibiotics.
I'm still in the learning stage about this disease, but I'm feeling hopeful that I can live a healthier and productive life.
Don't be like me and neglect your health! Good health is a valuable asset and makes life so much easier while poor health does the opposite.
Be good to yourself. Be good to your body!
Tracy Lee xx