Emphysema Update June 2019

I think I am finally over my exacerbation. For those who don’t know, an exacerbation is what they ca;l it when a common cold, flu etc lingers and messes with your lungs. Your lungs are one of the first defenses in your immune system and if they are already comprised, they have a hard time fighting of the stuff people like to share.

I took the steroids and I did get the puffy face and the extreme tireds. I seem to like to experience all the (non life-threatening) side effects of Prednisone and antibiotics. I feel bad for my hubby because I am not always the nicest person when I am tired and on the steroids. I don’t even know I am being awful most of the time until he gets angry with me. He told me the other day I ruined our day. He was right, but honestly I didn’t mean to. I was just tired.

Because I have been tried all the time, I went back to my “Bible”, my binder I got when I went through Pulmonary rehabilitation. Which brings me to a quick story. One of the things we did at rehab was learn how to exercise properly for folks with comprised lungs. I had been diagnosed with Emphysema with Blebs, Bullous Emphysema (also known as vanishing lung disease) and Emphysema. There were folks in my group better off than me, some worse, and one who thought it was all BS. Anyway I was on the treadmill and I didn’t recognize the lady next to me. I said hi and as was the norm for rehab she asked what my diagnosis was. I told her Emphysema. She got all huffy and said she had “COPD which included Emphysema.” I replied “Well I smoked I have just Emphysema.”

That always stuck with me. That it was important for her to deflect and important for me to be real about it, I think is what helped me wrap me head around my disease. In fact, the rehab helped me more than anything else. I was not getting a lot of support from my family members (other than hubs and kids) and honestly I had no friends. Friends online, well those who knew, I don’t think they believed me or actually cared. Anyway I was feeling lonely and scared. So being in a group of people who had some version of serious lung disease and being newly diagnosed was incredibly helpful.

Rehab taught me more than just exercise. I learned about my disease (I was the only one with Blebs which made me sort of a celebrity)I learned how to breath properly for my disease. I learned how to clean my house what to use or not use in cleaning, pacing my self, etc. I learned how and what to eat. And nutrition was the reason I was referencing my binder. I have gained a lot of weight and I wanted to get rid of it or try anyway

So you know when you read something then you go back and you find out that there were things you read but totally forgot? Yep that’s what happened. It turns out that there are things we eat that the process of digesting and absorption creates more carbon dioxide than other things. Since we lung diseasers have trouble ridding ourselves of that carbon dioxide it is to our benefit to eliminate or reduce the intake of such things. What are these dioxide producers…carbs of course. Grains, beans, fruit and milk contain the greatest amount of carbon dioxide. Replacing some of the carbs with fats may make it easier for me to breath.

Now why didn’t I remember that? Because I love my carbs. I love my grains and my cake and my fruit. Sigh. Anyway the result of the reading is I am doing just that. There are other reason to lose weight besides looking pretty, but that’s for another time. This time I am limiting my carbs increasing my proteins and walking. Lets see what happens. So far I dropped 10 pounds


Valley Health CareSystemP ulmonary Rehabilitation Services “A Manual for Pulmonary Rehabilitation”


Image by M. Maggs from Pixabay