Knowledge Is Power
It is very easy to stick your head in the sand and hope it all goes away. Fact is, it won’t go away and the more you ignore your disease the harder it will be to accept it.
When I was first diagnosed, I found it quite overwhelming. I was being diagnosed with a disease I’d never heard of. My way through it was to learn all I could about COPD.
They say that knowledge is everything, and in terms of working out how to deal with your disease, this is very true. Like everyone, I came across the doom and gloom websites that told me my life was just about over because I have end-stage COPD.
Then I started reading about people with COPD who were still working with end-stage COPD and had been doing so for many years. The more I read, the more I realized you can fight this disease; you may not be able to stop its progression but you sure can slow it down.
I still receive correspondence from people who don’t believe I can run marathons and compete in Ironman events. Sometimes people are blinded by their own experience, and when they see someone doing something they can’t, they don’t believe it.
What would help their cause is not to doubt what they see or read, but rather ask how do you do it. While I have learned much from reading, I have learned much more from listening to other patients and their positive experiences.
Without a doubt, the single most important step I’ve taken to improve my quality of life is regular exercise. Many who have followed my journey would know how much of a deal I make of this.
To be able to lead the best life I can I have to be as fit and healthy as I can, which means as much exercise as possible. To keep motivated I like to challenge myself by competing in endurance events like marathons and Ironman events.
Having goals gives me added incentive to exercise, as once I’ve paid the race entry fees there’s no way I will not be doing that event.
I understand that not everyone will take this same path, and you don’t have to. Committing to some type of physical exercise at least four times a week is all you need to do.
That commitment can start by simply getting up and down off a chair for as many minutes as you can tolerate, to meeting friends for a walk. Your current mobility will determine your starting point, and from here you can gradually build your exercise capacity.
Well-being Is In Your Hands
By incorporating these tips into your everyday life you will enjoy a better quality of life. Physically you will be more able to achieve your daily chores, but you will also feel much better about yourself and feel positive about your future.
COPD doesn’t have to ruin your life, but you have to dictate the terms of your disease and fight for your quality of life. Talk to your doctor, family, and friends — it’s time to be a better you!