The Key To Traveling With COPD Is In The Preparation
I have been suffering with COPD for ten years now, with twenty years of Asthma before that. I know what a hard time it is to do any kind of traveling for and that matter, any exercise at all. Your life doesnít have to be one of staying at home; you can still have a somewhat active life if you follow a few precautions.
Maybe you use oxygen or get tired easily and staying at home is easer than traveling or doing any extra movement at all. Getting out of the house is good for your physic and helps promote a healthier attitude. I know, having limited breathe is debilitating and hard to contend with at times. At the very least itís a nuisance but you can function at a reasonable level, if you have a strong will to do so.
Donít become housebound
The longer you allow yourself to be cooped up the worse your condition will seem to be. You will become depressed, and your reasoning for living will be questioned and if thatís not bad enough, your relationships will suffer. But wait, you donít have to climb Mt. Everest, or run a five K race you only have to get out and take a little trip. Donít dwell on what you used to be able to do and find out what you can do now. you can probably do a lot more than you give yourself credit for.
I know, it is not only a hassle to prepare for travel it can cause an anxiety others may not understand. Remember, although others may be trying to be supportive, they arenít you and itís you who is contributing to your own self-imprisonment. You have to take the first step to overcome your condition and venture into the world. The world hasnít changed, so youíre not as capable, so what Ė do what you can. Itís your attitude that keeps you from experiencing life.
I know what you are going through
I guess by now you realize I am writing this as much for me as I am for you. I also question my ability to venture out into the world. I canít walk more than a few feet, I no longer can have intimate relations with my spouse or play with my grandchildren but I am not dead yet. My mind is still active and I can still contribute, in a since, so I look for and try to find that which keeps me going.
Now certain oxygen equipment can be brought into airports and pass through security. Some airlines will allow oxygen equipment to be used during the flight so why not take a trip to see the grandkids? If youíre like me, I donít require oxygen but I do need a wheel chair if I am to move any distance. Hay they let people in wheel chairs enter the plane first, thatís one plus, anyway.
Be upfront with your doctor
Before you go you need to ask your doctor a few questions. You probably already know what they are but just in case, here they are.
ē How much medication will I need to last me through my trip?
ē What if any, over the counter drugs can I use while I travel?
ē Will I need extra medication?
ē Which rescue inhaler should I take and how often can it be used?
ē Should my current oxygen prescription be adjusted for the extra activity?
ē Who should I call if I have a problem?
I am sure there are many other questions you have, just write them down so you can ask your doctor before your trip.
Itís just a matter of planning ahead.
What form of transportation will you be using for your trip? If youíre going by plane, check on Airport and Airline regulations before you attempt the trip. If youíre going by car, check motels along your route and make arrangements for your stay. Make sure they understand your condition and special requirements. If youíre going by train, check beforehand for any regulations that you may encounter which might hamper your traveling success. Make sure they support and are equipped to handle your special needs.
Maybe you need an Attitude Adjustment
Before you can attempt any form of travel you must adjust you attitude. Think I can instead of I canít. Make your own decisions, donít let others influence how you experience life. Step out, or at least roll out, and enjoy the pleasures of travel.
Itís always good to Stay Well
If COPD is your only affliction then use the rest of what you have. Using your eyes and ears wonít effect your breathing but they can bring a lot of enjoyment into your life. Using your legs, although limited, helps stimulate the heart and keeps them working to a degree. My legs swell and I canít feel my feet most of the time but I still walk as far as I can. My spouse, God bless her, is my helpmate. If it werenít for her, I would be out of luck. Anyway, buckle up Dubby, and take a ride. So you canít run any more, you probably didnít in the first place. So you canít go bungee jumping or parachuting, you can watch, itís safer on the ground anyway. Hay, you can play a mean video game or write articles of your experiences, see, all is not lost.
Get out and take a trip
Ok, so weíve established you should take a trip, go on, enjoy yourself, donít let COPD get you down. It may seem like a lot of extra work to travel with COPD but at least you can travel. There are a lot of people who canít. I knew a women who had a stroke at a early age and was in a coma. For fifteen years she could not get out of bed or feed herself or anything. I thank the Lord I only have COPD, I can get out of bed, I can travel, I can be self sufficient for the most part.
Be all you can be, take a trip, see the world, lay in a hot tub, do something, anything but most of all be happy.
Donald Yates, Former Director of Business and Leadership Development for Imperial Research, is now retired but continues to assist young people in engaging life through self discovery, Life course planning, intuitiveness and fulfillment. Learn how you can build a powerful organization of your own. See How To,
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