Getting coronavirus — or getting sick in general As a newly diagnosed COPD patient last fall with what I understand is a mild to moderate case, my doctor stressed to me “stay healthy and don’t get sick” as general advice for the rest of my life. As this coronavirus dominates our lives, I’m not only wondering what it would do to me if I got it, but what would happen to me if I got the regular flu. (I have gotten a flu shot, and currently taking no meds for COPD). If I was told what happens to someone when they get the flu or something else like it, I don’t recall. The message I absorbed was “Don’t get sick! Never get sick!” but I don’t really understand why that is so important, and what are the range of possibilities or the most likely scenarios if you DO get sick. Can someone elaborate?

What was NOT explained to you is the necessity, the value of an ACTION PLAN.

https://www.lung.org/assets/documents/copd/copd-action-plan.pdf

It is vital that you begin to consciously pay attention to YOUR normal, YOUR pattern of breathing, so that ANY change means you start monitoring it for (fill in). Now, each of us has a “tipping point” symptom that tells us, yes, this is an exacerbation. Mine happens to be a change in mucus color to yellow, green or blue which means I must start antibiotics, NOW.

I define a flare up as a virus (cold) – CERTAINLY NOT the COVID-19 virus, but the ordinary (for others, everyday cold). This “cold” means I need to up my liquid intake, rest, maybe an over the counter aid and monitor, monitor for as long as it takes to either resolve or move to my tipping point symptom at which point, antibiotics which is, for me, defined as an exacerbation. Now, since I have asthma, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema my NORMAL is different daily and certainly seasonally. It is all individualized. So, too, for you.

Next, you need to start washing your hands in warm, soapy water, long enough to run Happy Birthday through your head, frequently throughout the day. It’s about here that I usually say have hand sanitizer bottles visible in every room and one by the front door for visitors BUT, well, just wash your hands. If you run out of bar soap, kitchen soap, laundry liquid. WASH your hands. Mayo Clinic says the 10 most contagious “things” are our fingers.

WHEN you can, get both pneumonia shots because avoiding a flare up which could lead to an exacerbation which could quickly lead to a hospitalization and the lower lung function associated with them under ordinary circumstances. These days are not ordinary. WASH your hands.

Go to www.pulmonarywellness.com and read the free book by Dr. Noah Greenspan. He has a doctorate (PhD) in exercise. His also free wellness videos will educate you to the necessity and value of exercise – daily exercise. If you have not completed a pulmonary rehab course, sign up for his FREE online boot camp. This will give you the best start on the basics of how to start, continue a daily exercise program.

There’s lots more to do so read posts. Ask questions. Learn. Do. We are a supportive community and want to encourage you to your best efforts.

IF IT IS TO BE, IT IS UP TO ME.