Welcome, friends, to the June update from Breathing Better Living Well!

leaf on waterBoy, it’s good to be home! I just returned from a very interesting week-long trip – part business, part leisure. The first leg of my trip was to Central Texas where I visited my daughter at Fort Hood. We did our best to stay cool while we took in some Texas history and cuisine and worked around the house. It was fun to spend some time with her as she eagerly awaits the return of her husband from his deployment in Afghanistan. Only about five more weeks to go out of a 15-month deployment as an Army medic and he’ll be back, hopefully for a long while!

After my time in hot, hot Texas (108 degrees one day!) I flew to St. Louis, Missouri for the 17th Annual Alpha-1 National Education conference. What a wonderful event! Almost 500 people were there, most of them folks with COPD caused by Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (genetically inherited emphysema striking people as young as in their 20’s). Through seminars we learned a lot about the latest research to find a cure, and also how to live better in spite of this brutal disease. To those of you out there with COPD not caused by Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency please know that whatever the researchers learn about Alpha-1 will likely be a huge help in the treatment of COPD in general. So, it’s in our best interest to support this cause! In addition to information we get at a conference, we can never underestimate the value of getting together to simply connect with others, having fun and sharing solutions for day-to-day life with pulmonary disease.

Now, you’re probably wondering what the picture above has to do with this newsletter. Well, have you ever been a newbie kid like this little girl? I know I have! There she stands, in front of that great big school, thinking, “What a big place! How will I ever find my way around? Will anybody here like me? Will I ever find a friend?” Well, we know it can be pretty scary when you’re the new kid on the block. And that includes anywhere, in real life – or in cyberspace.

Because of this, we’re really excited to announce the “Welcome Inn,” the newcomers’ forum on BBLW! This is just the place to go when you’re a BBLW Newbie. As with other forums on our community page, we think of the “Welcome Inn” as a place, and this place has two parts: the “Front Desk,” where you can come for information, just as you would at a hotel – and when you think you might be ready to post, the “Welcome Inn” is the place to start. Don’t worry about goofing up. Our wonderful moderating team is here to help. Remember, just like you, they were once Newbies at BBLW! Welcome, friends, to the BBLW Welcome Inn!

In addition to the new Welcome Inn, BBLW Chat is again up and running! Woo-hoo! Check the chat forum for the next time and date!

If you still have any doubt that asthma can kill, please take a few minutes to read It’s Just Asthma on our BBLW stories page. This is the true story of loss and heartbreak that devastated a family – and changed my life.

How well do you communicate with your doctor? Margo Corbett’s excellent article, Doctor-Patient Communication – The Importance of Your “Story” and How You Tell It, shows us the importance of the first few minutes of your visit with your doctor. Margo’s new book, The Savvy Patient’s Toolkit, is now available!

What a huge response to The Spoon Theory, written by Christine Miserandino, helping people with chronic disease explain to loved ones what they’re going through on a day-to-day basis. Patients in my pulmonary rehab are still talking about spoons! Click here to read The Spoon Theory.

More links to good solid information on our Basics page! Got a question? See the patient education guides from the American College of Chest Physicians. Print them out and bring to your doctor or breathing support group. Click here and go to General lung health.

Blogs and posts — BBLW moderators, Tim, Eileen, and Sandy each have their own blogs. My blog, or sharepost, is posted about every two weeks on The Health Central Network. You can get to all these blogs from our home page. My most recent shareposts are about testing for lung disease. They discuss testing for lung disease compared with other diseases, what testing costs, how it works, and probably most important of all – some common, and shocking, attitudes about lung disease.

For free information and support in quitting smoking, for you or a loved one, get the Stop Smoking newsletter from Health Central. Here you’ll find the latest news and advice from top doctors, experts and people in the community.

leaf on waterRemember the picture at the top of this newsletter? Well, that brave little gal took a deep breath, walked on in to that big old school and found it wasn’t so scary after all. She learned a lot and you know what? She even found some friends along the way. I know you’ll do the same at BBLW.

Welcome, friends! I’ll see you at the Inn and I’ll see you here again next month!


“The bird, a nest; the spider, a web; man, friendship.”
~~~ William Blake