To overcome COPD you must stop smoking. Don is playing golf, so I am going to tackle this subject. Don stopped smoking before we met. This is so important. I would not have married him if he had not quit. (He thinks I am cute, It would have been a big loss.) We would not have met. He would more than likely be dead.
Not smoking is an important part of overcoming COPD. The list of reasons to quit smoking are long. Here are the reasons Don would tell you he quit.
- I want to live.
- I never want to be intubated again.
After he quit and started feeling better here are his reasons for not smoking.
- I am living a great life.
- I have been able to get off oxygen.
- I do not need pills that have anything to do with blood flow or blood pressure.
- I play golf, I use my boat, I can go dancing with the Red Head.
- I have 98% blood oxygen levels.
The list on the Chantix page is a lot like Don’s healing. One step at a time.
- 24 hours Blood Pressure and heart rate may drop.
- 48 hours-Carbon monoxide level in the blood may return to normal.
- 2 to 12 weeks Circulation may improve and lung function can increase.
- 1 year after quitting – Excess risk of coronary disease is half that of a smoker.
- 10 +years – Risk of lung cancer death is half of a non-smoker.
- 15 + years Risk of stroke and coronary heart disease is that of a non smoker.
There are other lists. Find the one that means something to you, so you can overcome COPD.
My wife’s daughter who is a young MD and not a pulmanologist told her mother that they did not teach her in med school you could overcome COPD with exercise and diet.
The only message I heard after my very skilled Doctor saved my life was “I will make you comfortable”. He prescribed me oral steroids, an inhaled steroid, anti-depressant, blood pressure meds and oxygen. I sat on the sofa for two years. There was no action plan to improve my health, or was I too shocked to hear the plan?
My life changed when a girl walked up to me in Walmart and asked me if she could pray for me to get better, I agreed. That prayer was the first step to my recovery. I started researching the different options I might make to improve my health. I had been an athlete as a young man, the pulmonary rehab option made sense as the first line of action.
In pulmonary rehab I learned that walking would be one of the keys to my recovery. Walking reduces lung infections, lowers blood pressure, strengthened the cardiovascular system and helps with depression.
I was able to stop my oral steroids, blood pressure meds, antidepressants and oxygen. I still use Symbicort and Spiriva.
Changing my diet was and is a key part of regaining my health. I learn more and more about the benefits of eating whole foods.
No matter what is going on I say “I feel healthy, happy and terrific” drink my coffee and then head out to the gym. Exercise has been the key to me being able to overcome COPD.
Before, I overcame my COPD, I found myself on the sofa, depressed not able to do anything. The lyric I was singing was John Cougar Mellencamp’s “Life goes on long after the thrill of living is gone”. I was in a hole and I needed to get out of it so my doctor gave me Prozac. Fear of death is not a big enough reason to change your health. Loving my life, my friends and family were the reasons that could make me take on the changes it took to change my life. The medication helped me be able to start the work it takes to get healthy.
I could not really get out so I talked to people on-line who understood. Loneliness, depression and isolation are not your friends.
If you need medication get on it. Get a support group, talking to people who understand helps. Find something to do with your hands when you want to smoke or eat junk food. Online games? Sudoku.
I am no longer on an antidepressant but it was a good choice for me in the beginning of this journey to overcome COPD.