Breathing Better Living Well
Sorry! Our newsletter from yesterday, April 21, had a few broken links. They've been fixed. Let's try this again....

Welcome to the April Update from Breathing Better Living Well!

We all need a break sometimes, don’t you agree?  I know you've all got a lot on your plate, no doubt about it. It’s been kind of busy around here lately, too – with work at the hospital, getting the yard ready for summer pulling weeds, trimming and training the gravevine, planting iris, putting down wood chips, trying to take a walk each day… and working on a new book about COPD. It’s all great stuff, and I’m really excited – but I could use a bit of a break.

We’ll talk about that later, but first, let’s get to the matter at hand…what’s new in April at BBLW? Well, this month we have a three-part theme: Eat, Drink… and Relax.


People with COPD and other chronic lung disease often ask what they should eat to breathe well. Here’s some excellent information from the folks at Cleveland Clinic on Nutrition for COPD about how our bodies use food and what we can do to be healthy and breathe as easy as possible with COPD.

What's a Healthy Weight for COPD? Here’s an article by my colleague at Health Central, Kathie MacNaughton. In it Kathie gives us solid information on knowing what a healthy weight is, and good tips on losing weight to breathe better. ***Something important to remember, though, is that some people with COPD have to work to keep their weight up – not off. Being underweight with COPD can be dangerous, so don't be too skinny! If you are very thin with COPD, here are some good tips on how to keep your weight up. Just scroll down to “tips for gaining weight” and “high calorie snacks.”

And, what’s all this talk about salt? A while back I interviewed Sandra Parkington, MPH,RN, who is an expert on heart health and salt. Take a look at the interview. I'm sure you'll learn something. I know I did! Your Heart and Salt.


Water drinking is very important, especially when you have COPD. It helps your mucous stay thin and easy to cough up, it’s good for your kidneys, your skin and, well…it’s just good for you! Here’s a fun little piece about water drinking with COPD.

What else is happening on BBLW?

There’s been a lot of buzz about this story. COPD and Denial – Peg’s Story Part I and Peg's Story Part II. In it Peg courageously reveals her battle with denial and smoking addiction. She comes out and says what a lot of folks are thinking. Take a look. I’m sure you’ll find something familiar and inspiring for you, and someone you know and love. 

Come on over and visit our Newly Remodeled BBLW Bookstore! We’ve added more sections, making things easier to find. Remember -- in addition to books and products listed in our store, you can order anything (and almost everything!) from Amazon through either of the Amazon portals on our home page and our bookstore and a few cents from each purchase will help us maintain the BBLW website. We sincerely appreciate your support!

Our featured books for this month are:

  • How to Keep Track of your Salt Intake - Easy as 1-2-3  by Sandra Parkington, MPH,RN
  • COPD for Dummies
  • You – The Smart Patient by Dr. Mehmet Oz
  • The Breathing Disorders Sourcebook by Dr. Francis Adams
  • Appalachia: Spirit Triumphant by Betty Dotson-Lewis

Do you use oxygen in liquid form, such as Helios? Our friend Stephanie, the inventor of O2 Totes, has been at it again and has just designed a stylish bag for liquid oxygen! Scroll down to the “Products” section in the BBLW Bookstore and take a look! If you have to tote it along, you may as well look good doing it! :-)

Patients often say, “Being here at pulmonary rehab and getting my oximetry checked is great, but when I’m at home I have no idea what my oxygen level is! Here’s help... The $99.00 Nonin GO2 Oximeter is well-made, durable, pretty affordable, and will keep you on track by telling you your oxygen level. You can find the GO2 at the top of our BBLW Bookstore.

You may know Dr. Francis (Frank) Adams from the “Ask the Doctor” feature on our community page, but you might not know that he has an excellent website with all kinds of helpful information for lung health. Click here to visit Dr. Adam's website.

If you've ever had questions about oxygen (and who hasn't?) and haven’t already seen the answers, here you go -- Your Top Ten Oxygen Questions – Answered!

Breathing Better Living Well is on Facebook and we’ve got over 400 fans! Thanks to all of you who've shown your trust and support in our great site. Wow! Stop in and visit the BBLW Facebook Page!

Got a question?  The BBLW "Ask the RT" forum is staffed by one or two of our six RT's each day Monday through Friday. Come on in and get to know Larry, Jen, Sandy, Craig, Kim and Jane (that's me). We love to hear from you! Go to our Community page and you'll find the forum. Anybody and everybody can read info on our Community page, but to ask a question or make a comment, you have to be a member. This is easy to do and of course, free of charge. In addition to our wonderful RT's, at least one member of our BBLW team is on the site every single day. We're there... and we care.


Relax…(did you think I forgot? :-))

Okay, so now we know about eating and drinking right to breathe better, but…relaxing? Isn’t that just a luxury? No, not really. It’s important for good health and well-being – for all of us – to be able to relax. Yet, it’s one of the biggest problems for people with COPD and other chronic lung disease. Maybe it’s a problem just giving ourselves the permission to relax, or maybe we have trouble relaxing, physically, when we have so much tension in our neck and shoulders, chest and back. Here are three things I hope will help.

Ten short articles on Panic and Anxiety with COPD by Dr. Vijai Sharma, clinical psychologist, yoga expert and COPD patient. Read, learn, and practice.

Do you have COPD with tension in your upper body? Read Peg’s Blog about massage and how it helped her breathe better. If it helped her, it can help you, too!

Finally, here’s something my son told me about. He knows all too well that I can get a bit “keyed up” sometimes, so he sent me this link. I call it my “Ten-minute vacation.” Come with me, sit back, close your eyes, take a nice breath in through your nose (count 1-2) and blow it all out through pursed lips (count 1-2-3-4). Then…Listen to the Rain. Ahhhhhhh..............


I love listening to the rain. For me, it brings back wonderful memories – of late summer afternoon lightening storms as I was growing up on the South side of Chicago, of much-needed relief for a parched lawn in Michigan, and of the rumble of distant thunder breaking the June heat in Central Texas.

Next week my husband and I will be going to the cottage for some true downtime. We’ll be the first renters of the season in that old place, a simple summer cottage with no insulation – just wood frame covered by shingles on the roof and paint on the walls. When it rains there, we can hear every single drop.

Sure, I’m hoping for warm, sunny days so I can get out, feel the breeze and take a walk down the stone lane or through the old cemetery. Yet, at the end of the day I secretly hope that maybe – just maybe – it’ll rain.

Breathe Well, my friends, and I’ll see you next month!





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