Dear Friends,

Greetings and a warm welcome today from Breathing Better, Living Well! Here’s an especially warm welcome from a very cold place – the temperature here today is less than 10 degrees and compared to some other places, that’s warm! Schools are closed, the roads are slippery, and the snow continues to keep on coming. If you’re fortunate enough to be in your cozy home like this kitty and not have to venture out, pull up a chair, pour a cup of something hot and share in what we have for you today.

Many of you ask, “Will it really make a difference if I quit smoking? Isn’t the damage already done? Is it ever too late to quit? Well, we could talk about facts and figures all day long, but sometimes the best way to understand something is through a picture. The Fletcher-Peto Curve is a classic graph illustrating the progression of obstructive lung disease (emphysema/COPD) caused by cigarette smoking over time. You will find the graph within a very interesting and informative article about the difference between COPD and Asthma. In this article you’ll also learn the difference between asthma and emphysema and clues that your doctor follows to lead to the correct diagnosis. Since the article is kind of technical, we’ve provided a guide to help you find the more interesting parts and to help interpret the curve. Always remember that this is general information and you are strongly encouraged to print out and discuss these materials with your own physician for your specific situation. Click here for the guide and a link to the article, Asthma and COPD: Clearing the Air by Alan Kaplan, MD, CCFP(EM).

One of the best things about being the director of Breathing Better, Living Well is hearing from people everywhere. Just last month, out of the blue I received an email from Trudy den Hoed. Wow! This smart and spirited lady has written her story and she wants to share it with you. I know you’ll identify with her in her battle with COPD and I’m sure you’ll be inspired by her terrific attitude! Click here to meet Trudy and read her story, “COPD Will NOT Control Me!”

In her internet travels, our lead moderator, Kasey came across an interesting new website. On the site Tim Carr, a man with Cystic Fibrosis, which is a hereditary form of COPD, stresses the importance of weight training for better health and well-being. Total Physique Online celebrates the passion for peak strength and conditioning by encouraging those with health challenges to adopt a lifestyle that incorporates exercise as an integral part of their daily lives. Check out http://www.totalphysiqueonline.com/ to meet Tim and see how weight training can help. Now, not all of you could – or should – lift like Tim. But Even doing arm curls with soup cans or small water bottles is far better than doing nothing! Remember that small, simple steps add up to big changes.

We’re very pleased to announce that the third edition of The Asthma Sourcebook by well-known physician, Dr. Francis Adams, is now available in the Breathing Better Living Well Bookstore. You’ll be hearing more about Dr. Adams on BBLW later this year.

Once you understand the value in quitting smoking at any time, visit our Quit Smoking page, “No Butts About It,” where you will find the information you need to start quitting. Need to talk to someone about it? BBLW hosts two quit chats a week, Monday at 8pm and Wednesday at 1pm. General chat is Friday night at 9pm. Just click on “Chat” at the top of our community page.

Quit Chat:
 
Monday at 8pm and Wednesday at 1pm.
Newbie Chat:
 
Tuesday at 8pm
General Chat:
 
Friday night at 9pm
Click on Chat – not Live Chat – on the community page
“Click here to check for the time where you live”

Join us on our growing BBLW community bulletin board! It’s been wonderful to see more of you posting and enjoying the friendship and support you find by connecting with others who understand what you’re going through.

  Several of you wrote in thanking us for the article, Your Heart and Salt. Don’t weigh yourself down with all that sodium in processed foods! Learn how you can have a healthier heart. For more information – and recipes – visit http://www.saltrax.com.

Eileen, one of our moderators, is going strong in pulmonary rehab and she’s posting her progress. Go, Eileen! Click here to view Eileen’s latest post.

That’s about it for now. But before I go I’d like to share this quote by Mary Pierce, Alpha-1 COPD patient and double lung transplant recipient for 13+ years.

“Living well with lung disease is the personal responsibility of every patient who will accept it. We can do more for ourselves, physically, emotionally, spiritually. The only requirement is that we try.”

 

Breathe Well today, my friends. Stay safe and warm – wherever you may be – and I’ll see you again soon.

Jane.