I notice my writing is getting further apart in time. And am sure many of you guys have noticed the same. With that I wish to reassure you it is not because of a worsening in my condition. But so many other things in life competing for my time.
I continue to be busy. To do much volunteer work in the health sector. And to be involved in many other things that are of interest to me. My photography during summer is my real passion. My works of art as I sometimes call my photography. But oh, how things do change with this illness I realise when I look back in time.
Some 8 years ago now I had ‘The Bump’. If you look back on this blog you will come across that time. That is when suddenly I became disabled, unable to walk far, with breathlessness worse. I was forced to retire from my work. How that eight years has flown. Four years later after being stupid, not pacing, and ignoring my blood oxygen saturation levels, and becoming very ill, I found I needed to use oxygen when mobile. I shed tears at that time at my worsening condition. Looking back in this blog you will read of this time. I truly felt that maybe my time was coming to depart this world during that traumatic part of my life. I was sad then, but not afraid.
I continued to do what I felt would help. To try different ideas to improve my health. My personal research continued. I looked at information, and formed an opinion from sometimes small incomplete research papers. I increased my intake of vitamin D3. This meant although taking steroids my bones became stronger. I was asked to go for a bone scan and came clean with my doctor, that I had been taking high dose vitamin D3. He was interested as felt this might have saved my bones from the ravages of the steroids I sometimes took. A bone scan proved my bones were stronger than normal for my age. Taking a vitamin D3 capsule also had other spin off’s. My immune system became stronger. Colds a thing of the past. Exacerbation were fewer in number. Also to my delight the winter syndrome SAD, which had plagued me for many years and plunged me into depression from November until March, no longer troubled me. I also started taking NAC to keep my mucus clear and thinner. Magnesium too.
Eating right was important. As for sleep. I sleep late being a night owl, but rise late also. I do though wake several times at night. That often is the case for us with copd. As the weeks and years passed I started to put on far too much weight. Often wondering why as I do not eat a lot. I knew I had to lose weight when I became pre diabetic. This meant at the end of winter just passed sugar, lager were not allowed, and carbohydrates had to be watched too. Delighted, I shed 30 pounds although this has not been a crash diet, rather a steady loss. I had though become the shrinking man. Even as I sit here typing I know I have another 8 pounds to reach my target.
One of the oxygen bottles I carry weigh when outdoors on my travels weighs about 7 pounds. I have a box that carries 4 cylinders. I imagine if I had to strap one of those boxes with four cylinders inside to my back, and then walked around all day how that would feel. Because that is how much I have lost in weight. Meantime I stay positive. Enjoy managing ‘We strive to breathe easier,’ on facebook. Looking today there is 333 members where each of us can talk and get feedback to our condition.
I also now write blogs for copd.net. I enjoy time with my local Breathe Easy group, and take part in many other activities. Oxygen does not stop me from going on holidays, out for meals, meeting people at venue’s, or anything I am able to do. True I cannot do physical things, and have had to learn to delegate tasks I can no longer manage. But even with very severe copd with a lung function of just a quarter, I still enjoy life. If you have copd, so can you. There is no big secret involved in having a good life with copd. Take a vitamin D supplement, if not sure ask your doctor for a test to see if you are low in D serum, (most with copd are and need a supplement), and get active. Keep that body moving, get active and away from the television.
Anyhow, here I am, rambling on. Mindless chatter. But reassuring you that not only am I OK. But doing well. I am feeling better than I did five years ago. A time I felt I might not live much longer. I am not going to be running up my road, but I am enjoying life. Having fun. Even in the slow lane.
In the meantime. Look out for my blogs on copd.net where articles about copd I write might interest you. If you do not belong to my Facebook copd site please join us. And of course as I always say. Breathe Easy. I leave you with one of my works of art. A picture I took this last week in Rhossili, South Wales UK. And have now turned into a canvas picture that now hangs on my wall beside me.
Keep smiling. Enjoy life, and as I said,most of all Breathe Easy.