Dear Friends,

Welcome to this update from Breathing Better, Living Well!

It’s already mid-October and it looks like fall has arrived in West Michigan.  This is a picture of the channel between Stony Lake and Lake Michigan in Northern lower Michigan. If you were here on any given summer day, you’d see all kinds of activity; folks drifting on inner tubes towards the big lake, walking along the boardwalk, building sandcastles, fishing, or jumping off the seawall. The summer season is short here, the weather and the scenery – spectacular. But from now, until late May, it is chilly…and still.

In this update we have for you lots of things to help you stay in control of your breathing – and your life. Some of what we have provides you with direct information and some of it brings you support and inspiration in keeping with our BBLW mission: We will do the best we can to connect those who need information, support and encouragement to those who can provide it; and will strive to do our best to encourage our friends with chronic lung disease to live healthy, happy and fulfilled lives.  After all, It’s Not All About Being Sick — It’s All About Living!”

First off, you may know that BBLW has a blog kept by Eileen, a member of our moderating team. Eileen is currently on a medical leave of absence and we hope she’ll be back very soon.  But it’s funny how even when somebody is not actively involved in doing helpful work, they can still have a huge impact through their writing. I came across the lastest entry in Eileen’s blog and I was stunned. In it she learns to work through something we talk so much about here in our BBLW Community – allowing others to help you. Sounds simple, right? Well, it is… and yet  it isn’t. You must read Pride Followed by Grace. I’m sure it’ll hit you “where you live” – and inspire you.

I’m delighted to announce that Sandy Grace has joined our BBLW moderating team!Stop in and say hi to Sandy and others just like you by visiting our BBLW Community page. We have a lot of fun, visiting and sharing information on how to live better with lung disease. We’ll have more about Sandy in a future update.

Speaking of helping yourself and others, check out a great article written by Helen Sorenson, Respiratory Therapist extraordinaire. Helen coordinates RT education at the University of Texas Medical Center in San Antonio. Read Helping Others, Helping Yourself, and Going Fishing!

At age 43 Len Geiger had a FEV1 (measure of lung function) of just 15%! (For those of you who don’t know what your FEV1 is, you should! Click here and go to "Spirometry" Read the amazing story of Len and how, with the help of a 14-year old stranger and her family, he now has above average lung function and has reclaimed his life to go on and help others. By the way, Len and his lung donor’s parents will be interviewed by Frank Deford on Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel on HBO Nov. 20. The show will be rebroadcast for a month.

The Breathe Healthy Mask helps filter out bacteria, viruses, environmental allergies, dust and cold air. These masks are well made and come in many colors and designs.

Speaking of Colds and Flu, that dreaded season is right around the corner! Just the thought of coming down with a bad cold that might lead to something worse is terrifying. How in the world can we avoid all the germs flying around out there? Well, a pulmonary patient told me about a great new book and I’m passing it along. It’s called The Germ Freak's Guide to Outwitting Colds and Flu: Guerilla Tactics to Keep you Healthy at Home, at Work and in the World. It’s an easy read, with practical information – and lots of humor!

Finally, can’t we all use some fun and a way to escape from our daily grind? Here’s a link to another community, a community of independent authors (people just like you) who have written books and created a network to support and nurture one another in writing and sharing their books. Hmmmm…getting together to support one another in a solitary venture and an uphill battle! I’m seeing a theme here…For just fun reads and / or unique books you won’t find everywhere, go to Infinity Authors, Infinite Talent.

That’s about all for now, my friends. I’m off to Stony Lake. Remember to get your flu shot this fall and your pneumonia shot, if you need it. Until next time, breathe easy and be in touch.


“I was told I had to swallow my pride. I didn’t know how I’d ever be able to do it. Well, I finally figured out that pride isn’t all that hard to swallow if you just chew it long enough.”
~~~Sharon, COPD patient