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Sun Aug 6, 2017, 08:26 PM

Who else here is dealing with COPD?

I have been diagnosed for 2 or 3 years and have done moderately well. Recently, though, I find it harder and harder to get much work without getting short of breath. Before I ask for change in my medical routine, I would like to see what I can do on my own that might increase my stamina. I get very tired very quickly which I think is due to oxygen shortage. I have just started doing some simple exercises with light weights using my arms and shoulders. I do these sitting down for back support since I have degenerative disc disease and don't want to stress my back. I want to start walking more. My back gives out much faster than my lungs, so the back has to to be strengthened before I can walk enough to challenge my lungs.

Any other suggestions? Anyone doing pulmonary PT?

Thanks, Alfie

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Reply Who else here is dealing with COPD? (Original post)
alfie Aug 2017 OP
Warpy Aug 2017 #1
elfin Aug 2017 #2
TexasProgresive Aug 2017 #3
Break time Aug 2017 #4
madamesilverspurs Aug 2017 #5
mopinko Aug 2017 #6
JayhawkSD Aug 2017 #7

Response to alfie (Original post)

Sun Aug 6, 2017, 08:57 PM

1. The trick to living with COPD is to start breaking tasks down into manageable units

during which you finish one unit, sit and rest, then start the next. It will slow you down greatly but won't stop you.

Exercise you can tolerate won't hurt you and can help your cardiovascular system. However, it won't help your damaged lungs, so the best idea is the work a little, rest a little idea.

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Response to alfie (Original post)

Sun Aug 6, 2017, 08:58 PM

2. No COPD, but a horrid cluster of low back issues including Degenerative disc problems

along with Stenosis, Scoliosis, and a couple of others also keeping company near the base of my spine.

Try getting a good PT workup ordered by your doc and on a schedule rather than more meds to gradually gather more strength and stamina in a low impact way as part of your days.

It takes time, but it has worked for me far better than pills. (And I was nearly crippled with pain and immobility a few years ago.) Then perhaps other complications might ease.

The stretching practices really help ease my ambulation and the gentle moves help with that darn core that gets me if I stand or walk just a bit too much.

Also, walking in water keeps gravity from nailing your back and core and gradually increases stamina. I had to join a health club with a therapy pool to get that routine going. Not covered by insurance for me, but well worth the $60 monthly cost when I needed it the most.

You may need to supplement with different meds for the COPD as you do this. Run what you think might be a good plan past your docs. COPD sucks.

Whatever works. All the best to you as you find what works best for you.

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Response to alfie (Original post)

Sun Aug 6, 2017, 09:12 PM

3. Not me but I know COPD patients and with degenerative disc problems.

As to the COPD have you tried breathing exercises? One that is known to be helpful is pursed lip breathing. Breath in through the nose for 2 seconds and out through the mouth with the lips pursed- This keeps the pressure up which can help. I apologize this isn't news to you. A friend of ours with COPD always says, "Just keep breathing."

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Response to alfie (Original post)

Sun Aug 6, 2017, 09:12 PM

4. I have

Both of those problems, back surgery that helped some several years ago...getting exercise is the first thing that helped me, but it can be hard if you run out of breath fast ... had to learn to pace myself and stretch it a little bit at a time, I assume(maybe in error) that you are using an inhaler and making sure to do so regularly.. being about 10 years since I was diagnosed I have found that the albuteral inhaler is ok but not long term, it seems to wear off fairly rapidly so recently went over to Advair, actually a generic version and that helps tremendously...It is pretty spendy here in the states but can get it from Canada at a pretty good price

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Response to alfie (Original post)

Sun Aug 6, 2017, 09:24 PM

5. Got my best advice/direction

in Pulmonary Rehab; have done the course twice. The RTs who run the class are very available for Q and A, even showed me some tricks for getting used to my CPAP, then BiPAP. Simple exercise routines, including breathing techniques. I, too, have back problems, and the exercise routines are designed to take that into account.

They also provided resource lists for websites for checking on local air quality, some let you sign up for email or text alerts when air quality is dangerous for those of us with COPD and other breathing problems. The classes were a couple hours long, twice a week; in my case, Medicare determines the number of sessions based on the results of my pulmonary function tests. Where I live, the hospital has a special gym for cardiac and pulmonary rehab. Check with your doc about the rehab, it really is quite informative.

Good luck!

.

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Response to alfie (Original post)

Sun Aug 6, 2017, 09:54 PM

6. dawg, i hate to be the person, but

i have copd because i am stupid enough to be a smoker. i get a lot of thick crud in my lungs. i cough all the time.
i have had to do an occasional course of antibiotics to knock it down. but it starts building up again quickly.

but i recently, serendipitously, started cpd oil. it cuts the crud instantly. it keeps it down if i take a dose every night. and i sleep really well. a combination of low crud build up from laying down, and whatever effect it is having on my brain.

have chronic pain issues, too, and it does help.

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Response to alfie (Original post)

Mon Aug 7, 2017, 01:04 AM

7. Absolutely engage in pulmonary therapy.

 

When I moved to California and started engaging with a new set of doctors, one after another would say the same thing to me after looking at x-rays of my lungs. "It is inconceivable to me that you are sitting here talking to me and not using supplementary oxygen." I would just smile and silently thank the fine pulmonary therapists at Tucson Medical Center in Arizona.

I have over 40% destruction of one lung and 45% destruction of the other, but my blood oxygen on room air is typically around 96% because of about a year of pulmonary therapy, a discipline which taught me how to fully use the lung capacity which I have remaining.

It's not about exercise, it's about learning how to breathe, and it is without question the best thing you can do for yourself.

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