Sharing the Health!
Living in Florida, I have a grapefruit tree in my back yard and can walk out in the morning and have my pick. I have been told not to drink grapefruit juice at all since I am taking medications. My neighbor told me the grapefruit reacts with many drugs so that I do not get the effects that the drugs are sup- posed to give me. My physician confirmed that drinking one glass of grapefruit juice in the morning could still cause the interaction with absorbing the medication up to 24 hours! Sadly, I have had to give away my crop but got smiles from my neighbor!
Bill K., Ormond Beach, FL
Editor’s note: The NIH Senior Health web site offers a great explanation of how medications work in the body at http://nihseniorhealth.gov/takingmedicines/drugs inthebody/01.html
Jean S. of Massachusetts uses a straw to drink all liquids – coffee, tea, soups, even oatmeal, and think she saves a lot of energy doing it! Jean thinks it is very important to keep a sense of humor as we go about our lives with lung disease and hopes to give a smile to everyone she meets.
Joy Recla of Jacksonville, FL, recom- mends using probiotics to avoid thrush – an infection of your mouth that can be caused by oral steroids as Advair. (This is in addi- tion to the important “rinse and spit’ rule of rinsing your mouth and spitting after using the inhaler!)
Probiotics or “good bacteria” are live microorganisms, similar to those found in the human intestines. Using probiotics may make it harder for bacteria that cause illness to grow in your system. They are found in yogurt that lists “live and active cultures” on the label.
Do we have a potential new spokesperson? Leonard Nimoy, Star Trek’s super smart Dr. Spock, recently revealed he has COPD. Now 83 years old, he says lung problems have been slowing him down. Leonard very wisely stopped smoking 30 years ago.
Live long and prosper, Dr. Spock!
My grandchildren are teaching me the ways of the Internet, cell phones and con- necting with others. At first, I resisted and now couldn’t be more thrilled! I don’t feel so isolated any more.
In case you haven’t found www.Etsy.com it is a great place for unique items to perk you up. If you search for oxygen, you will find an oxygen tank lamp, many different styles of covers or your portable anks and a card an oxygen tank that says ‘Thanks for the Fresh Air!’ How about making your tank into a horse or a dog?
At-shirt with the oxygen symbol from the periodic table of elements says ‘Can’t Live with- out You!’ Another one says, ‘I Am in My Element!’
Search for ‘Breathe’ and you will have a lot of fun seeing how you can put a light side on chronic lung disease!
Donna B. Honeoye Falls, NY
You can find asthma and allergy friendly products and services at www.aafa.org/ certified, the Asthma and Allergy Founda- tion of America’s website.
The certified catego- ries are air cleaning de- vices, bedding, cleaning products, flooring, vacu- um cleaners, paints, toys, washing machines, AC/ furnace filters. Professional carpet steam cleaning services are also listed on the website.
Anyone using Metamucil knows it can produce bloating and gas, which makes breathing very difficult. I use psylium cap- sules from the health food store that seem to work better. When I eat foods that cause gas, I use a product called Beano that also helps.
Lisa H., Phoenix, AZ
Jim Nelson’s article in our last issue about being reluctant to be seen in public with oxy- gen generated a lot of comments! Burt Bacher of Peoria, AZ, has a solution that has worked for him, “Simply stare right back and smile! Gets them every time!”
Burt tells us he was having coffee with two friends from his pulmonary rehab program who were both using oxygen via cannulas that were partially hidden by their goatees. A mom came in with her seven- or eight- year-old in tow. Seeing us sitting there with our cannulas, she obviously was thrilled that she could provide a real life lesson in health habits for her daughter. The mom says, “See, Mary, look at what happens to you when you smoke.” The little girl replied, “Yes, Mommy, I see that when you smoke you get a beard!” Keep smiling!
Margo Harris from Washington has a list of positive changes and she intends to accomplish at least one item on it every day this Spring!
Ask for Help Do It Differently Commit to Commit Compliment Somebody Extend Myself
Forgive Myself and Others Use My Helping Hand Laugh Out Loud
Learn Something New Look Within Visit Mother Nature Relax
Sing a Song Share A Secret Thank Someone Write My Life StoryIlsa from Connecticut thinks when she starts her day, running cold water over a washcloth and putting it up to her eyes is a great way to wake up. But when her nasal passages and sinuses get stuffy, she puts a very warm washcloth on her face and nose to relieve the congestion.
Lois from Minnesota doesn’t go anywhere in her house without her trusty reach ex- tender to pick up items on the floor or on high shelves that she can’t reach. She also uses a set of sliders underneath her furniture to easily move the pieces when cleaning.
I was having a problem with getting an irritation in my throat and being unable to stop coughing. Hard candy in my pocket has saved me more than once. I also bought a travel size bottle of mouthwash and fill it with water when I go out. It is not heavy to carry and the small drink is often enough to quiet the cough. K. Everson, Iowa
Most of us have been on prednisone during our course of treatment for lung dis- ease. It makes our skin thin and very easy to tear and we end up with purple blotches on our arms and legs. Rubbing the area with a moisturizing lotion as soon as possible after bumping it, makes the bruise goes away sooner. C.B., New Mexico
I have hints for the men who cope with COPD! I organize all my respiratory medica- tions and needs in a tackle box that I decorate with stickers from my favorite sports team.
A urinal at my bedside helps save steps during the night to the bathroom.
I use an electric shaver instead of foam and a razor. I do not use oxygen.
We throw our toothbrushes away at the beginning of each month and if one of us has any kind of infection.
My shirts all button down the front. Trying to get pullovers on takes my breath away.
Play out the hand you’ve been dealt the best you know how. I have seen a small pair turn out to be a pretty good hand!
Lou W., York, PA