Recently Diagnosed With COPD? Here Are 5 Ways to Support Yourself
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, affects over 16 million Americans and is one of the most commonly diagnosed conditions today. If you have recently been diagnosed with COPD, you may be feeling confused or scared, and it’s perfectly natural to feel this way. Thankfully, the symptoms and progression of this disease can be managed, so now is the time to empower yourself with the right tools and knowledge to take care of yourself.
Here are 5 important things you can do to support yourself and ways to manage your COPD diagnosis:
1. Find a good healthcare provider.
Your doctor can make a world of difference when it comes to your experience with COPD. Try to find one that makes you feel heard and understood, is open to effective treatments, and gives you hope. You’ll need to rely on your doctor for medications, including oxygen therapy.
2. Get a portable oxygen concentrator.
If your doctor has suggested oxygen therapy as a way to manage your symptoms, don’t settle for bulky oxygen tanks, but look into a portable oxygen concentrator instead! These lightweight units can travel with you and allow you to stay active and social, and they require very little maintenance. Using a portable oxygen concentrator is one of the most effective ways to manage COPD.
3. Improve your lifestyle.
In the face of any kind of medical diagnosis, we tend to take stock of our lives and what’s important to us. It may be time to make some changes to your daily habits and lifestyle. If you're a smoker, stop smoking now, if you haven’t already. Bring more fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet. Start doing some kind of light exercise, if accessible. Get good quality sleep, even if that means using a CPAP or BiPAP machine. Prioritize your health, and you’ll be glad you did in the long run.
4. Join a support group.
For some, having a group of people that understand what they’re going through is worth its weight in gold. Social support is important for overall mental and emotional well-being and can make dealing with COPD much easier. Look for support groups near your location or online that offer encouragement and tips for managing this disease.
5. Connect with your joy.
Don’t let a COPD diagnosis take all the joy or pleasure out of your life. See it as an invitation to find even more joy instead! Consider taking up a hobby or revisiting an old one. Find things to be grateful for every day. Spend more time with your loved ones or outdoors in nature. Watch funny movies or listen to music that moves you. Find any way you can to elevate your mood throughout the day, and make your days rich and meaningful.
Want more tips on ways to manage a new COPD diagnosis with oxygen therapy? We’re here to help! Reach out to us at Portable Oxygen Solutions today.