Welcome to the February update from Breathing Better Living Well!

On a bookshelf at my house, among books, family pictures, and trinkets is a little sentimental object that might not get a second glance from most people, but holds great meaning to me. It’s a pair of tiny wooden shoes my grandmother bought for my mother when they vacationed in Holland, Michigan
way back in 1936. It’s kind of a cute story how the shoes got from Holland to Chicago and back to Holland again, but for me, the meaning of this little object, and the reason I’m sharing this with you today is not about the journey, but what I found on the back of the tag. More on this later …

At Valentine’s Day, a time in which we celebrate love and relationships, let’s remember that although its important to have support from – and give support to – friends, family, and peers; when it comes right down to it, you’ve got to love yourself. At Breathing Better Living Well we know that’s not always easy, so here’s what’s new at BBLW (in addition to the wealth of information already here) for more information and support to help you do everything you can do to take good care of yourself – to love yourself – and breathe better every single day.

Last month we introduced Breathe Right! (Part I) by Dr. Vijai Sharma, who himself has COPD and is a psychologist and yoga expert. In Part I you’ll find out if you’re breathing correctly – and if you’re not, what might be the cause. This month we’ve added Breathe Right! (Part II) – Breathing Correctly, Consciously and Relaxed. Watch next month for Part III.

On our Basics page we have several new links to some excellent information from the National Jewish Medical and Research Center, the nation's top hospital for treatment of respiratory disease. This information is easy-to-understand, yet vital to learning how to cope with lung disease. Two sections of special interest this month are COPD and Intimacy and COPD Life Skills.

On Monday, February 23, I’ll be speaking at the Better Breathers’ Club of Holland on Coping with Panic and Anxiety with COPD.

On Monday, April 6, I’ll be presenting a day-long workshop for health care professionals in Grand Island Nebraska. The topic is: Excellence in Chronic Disease Management: Empowering COPD Patients to be Healthy, Happy and Independent. For more information, click the link above and go to the “What’s New from Jane?” forum at the top of the page.

There’s a new chat in our BBLW Community! It’s Q & A Chat on Wednesdays at 2:00pm, Eastern Time. This chat has been set up in response to your desire for more solid information on living with lung disease. I’ll be there to answer your lung-disease related questions as best I can. We’ll still have regular chat – on Wednesday at 3:00 pm where anything goes and we talk about whatever comes to mind! Check the chat forum for both chats to make sure of the next scheduled times and for a link to the World Clock for information on time zones.

Shop our BBLW bookstore for books about COPD and other lung diseases. We’ve done the work and found for you solid information as well as some enjoyable reading. A new addition to our store is From Both Ends of the Stethoscope, a fascinating memoir by our beloved Dr. Tom Petty, pulmonary expert extraordinaire. In this book he shares some history of respiratory care and long-term oxygen therapy (LTOT) as well as experiences with some of his patients, regular folks, and famous. This little book is great to have handy at your Better Breathers’ Club meetings to read a short piece to your group.

More relationship-related reading can be found in an article I wrote a while back. Caring and Loving with COPD can be found at the Health Central Network.

Are you still with me here? I hope you haven’t given up on asking what was on the other side of the tag! Well, here it is. Underneath the pre-printed words, “Greetings From…” my mother, at age eight, wrote a message to herself. She wrote, simply, “Your best friend. Me.” When I read this I was so inspired, I wrote a story about it, and in it I share five tips for loving yourself with COPD … in other words, being your own best friend. Take a look. I hope you like it.

Happy Valentine’s Day, my friends! Take Care, breathe well, and remember to love yourself. I’ll see you again next month!


If you must love your neighbor as yourself, it is
at least as fair to love yourself as your neighbor.

~~~ Nicolas de Chamfort