Sharing the Health

You have to keep it light! Last night my wife and I were out to dinner when six other folks (all strangers) walked in at were seated a few tables away. One was carrying a Helios liquid oxygen device. As they passed by, I yelled, “Hey, Airhead!” He and his wife turned and noted that I was wearing the same device. I went over to their table and announced to the group, “Now I want all of you to understand that whenever this fellow says or does something stupid, it is due to oxygen deprivation and he is to be excused immediately!” They all roared in laughter. I told them how, when my wife was upset with me at home, she would wait for me to begin to walk away and then step on my oxygen hose, nearly ripping my ears off. His wife thanked me for putting her “in the know.” The couple will be in attendance at our next Airheads support group meeting, already trained to answer, “Great!” when asked how they are doing.

‘Santa Cover Boy,’ Nick Jones, The Villages, FL

 In the last newsletter, I saw the recommendation to carry a small basket with your medications for convenience. I have found that the clear, plastic, fishing lure boxes–found in the fishing sections of sporting good stores– work well. They can be found in various sizes; they are light and waterproof. Prices vary with size.image048

I also have a blog in which I write a mixture of humor and editorials. Now that I am on oxygen, I try to keep my nose dry. I don’t want a run in my hose. 

Steve Ganshert, Sartell, MN

 I make homemade “Hamburg Soup” and keep small containers in the freezer for those days that I am not feeling so well. I am getting a nutritional meal with the vegetables, meat and broth!

Carmen Parent, Orono, ME

I finally understand my COPD after reading ‘COPD for Dummies’ by Dr. Kevin Felner. Knowing I need to increase my intake of vegetables, I’ve tried to keep fresh or frozen on hand, but they seem to go bad quickly. I checked out the latest in prepared baby foods. Their vegetables are low calories, low fat and not bad tasting!

N. Lofton, Johnson City, IL

 image050-2Dr. Tom Petty played a very important role in establishing pulmonary rehabilitation and the use of supplemental oxygen in this country. His medical journey started in 1954 and continues today with Dr. Petty using oxygen himself. He has written a new book, From Both Ends of

a Stethoscope. Dr Petty tells of his experiences and advises us how to survive with medicine today. To order a signed copy, email [email protected], phone 1-303-996- 0868 or send a check for $17 to: Thomas L. Petty, MD, 899 Logan St., Denver, CO 80203.

The American Respiratory Alliance of Pennsylvania is again offering its members a free washable, green foam mask to giveimage052-1 you an extra layer of protection from the cold weather. You may visit their web site at www.healthy or call 800-220-1990. If you live outside of western Pennsylvania area, please send $5 for shipping and handling with your name and address to the American Respiratory Alliance, 201 Smith Drive, Ste. E, Cran- berry Township, PA 16066.

  Does anyone have any suggestions on finding friends who are willing to put up with your lung disease? Most of mine don’t want to be bothered with me. Is there something we can give them in return?

LL, Port St. Lucie, FL

image055-2I was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis in March of this year. I am always looking for ways to maintain my present level of health. I keep as active as possible and try to have fun doing it. Exercise is easier for me in the water and also when I have a partner!

Arnie and Terry Ducke tt, Akron, OH

We hope you participated in our recent elections. One of our own was right in the middle of the image057campaigns, not as a volunteer but as a write-in candidate to be a State Representative of the Twelfth Worcester District of Massachusetts. Unfortunately, Bill Higgins was not elected, but we could not be prouder of him!


I am oxygen 24/7 and use a nebulizer twice daily. Walking any distance before I’ve had my breathing treatment is very difficult. Brovana, the medicine I use, needs to be refrigerated. My children bought a small refrigerator for my bedroom. Now I can use my nebulizer upon awakening without struggling to get to my medicine!

Beryle Peck, Knightdale, NC

I bought my husband a mattress wedge – it really helps with his shortness of breath at night!


My tip is “What works for me may not work for you!” It is why, at last count, there are 1,538 cold remedies on the shelves of pharmacies. If the retailers are trying to keep us old folks confused, it often works! I have learned patience through aging (and having COPD) and continue to live and learn through listening and reading, mostly to people who have COPD!

Jackie Nieter, South Bend, IN

 Tai Chi and Fit Steps for Life walking program are low impact forms of exercise that build strength, increase flexibility and improve balance. When I had to go for a heart bypass operation, I was able to recover much quicker because of the strength of my muscles. Exercise and a balanced diet are the key ingredients for a quick recovery!

Barry Jacobs, Tyler, TX