Copd coping, support, and living well electricity deregulation map


Irrational fears are known as phobias. Symptoms of phobias include intense anxiety, the preoccupation of your thoughts on the source of anxiety, and an overwhelming sense of doom or terror. For people with COPD, fear is often related to breathing difficulties. If you feel that fear is taking over your life, a mental health professional may help you see things more clearly. You can also try joining a COPD support group. Talking to others can help distill some of your fears and make life much more enjoyable.

If you feel overwhelmed with remorse, try to forgive yourself. In forgiveness, there lies peace and comfort. We all make mistakes, even the best of us. Living life with regret is a waste of energy that you could be putting into something more constructive, like developing healthy habits and taking better care of yourself. There is life after COPD, and it’s time that you started to live it.

Educating yourself and your loved ones about COPD can help you feel more in control of your health. Learn everything you can about how COPD affects your lungs and your life and share it with your friends and loved ones so they can understand how best to support you, whether that’s by running errands or helping you remember to take your medication.

• Handoff some of your responsibilities to others, at least some of the time. This can include anything from hiring outside help to creating a rotating schedule so that each family member takes turns doing certain tasks. Being overloaded makes you feel more stressed.

• Pinpoint areas of your life that cause you stress. This could be money, social situations, having too many responsibilities, or grief over your diagnosis. Work on fixing or eliminating these sources of stress and if you need help, ask for it.

Maintaining a safe environment is an important part of COPD management and should be moved to the top of your priority list. Safety, both inside and outside the home, will help to preserve your health and assist you in carrying out your activities of daily living in a safe manner. Things that you can do to foster safety around your home include:

Most of us take our ability to communicate with others for granted. But with COPD, communication may become difficult due to extreme shortness of breath. Remember that it’s OK to take your time speaking. Talk in short phrases or sentences and pause in between to rest if necessary.

Breathlessness is understandably the most frightening aspect of COPD. Unlike healthy people, breathing for a COPD patient involves a conscious effort and can be extremely challenging. Practicing energy conservation techniques will help you pace yourself so you can complete your activities of daily living without getting so out of breath.

If you’re getting short of breath while you’re trying to eat, you’re not alone. This is a frequent problem in people with COPD and one of the most important to overcome, as malnutrition is one of the more common complications of COPD. You may also be trying to restrict your fluid intake to avoid unnecessary trips to the bathroom that can leave you breathless, but this can result in dehydration. The following guidelines may help:

Exercise is an essential part of our daily lives. When you have COPD, it’s especially important. Implementing simple stretching and breathing exercises or a daily walk will help you maintain your physical and emotional well-being. Many of the benefits of exercise are important to your health, including:

Finding a support group, whether online or in your community, can help you deal with the changes COPD may bring to your life. It helps to hear others’ stories, share your own, and to know you’re not alone. You can also see a therapist for one-on-one counseling to help you cope and learn to adjust to your diagnosis. Couples therapy is a good option if your COPD diagnosis is causing tension in your marriage.

Additionally, making time for your friends and loved ones is important. Isolating yourself will likely make you feel worse and could pave the way to stress, which can cause exacerbations. Consider taking friends or loved ones to your doctor’s appointments or involve them in your daily exercise. Talk to them about how you’re feeling and what fears you may have. Having the support of friends and family relieves stress and keeps you engaged and vital. Practical

If you are oxygen dependent and planning to travel by plane, certain restrictions will apply to each airline. Most won’t let you bring your own oxygen on board, and will, therefore, require a prescription and/or letter from your doctor prior to departure. Make sure you contact the airline prior to your travel date to find out what is required. Remember too, that altitude may affect your oxygen requirement. Discuss this with your doctor at your pre-travel appointment.