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

grapevine along wooden fenceWell, it looks like this old Michigan winter, and stubborn spring, are finally over! And along with the pleasant weather I’ve been taking a little time to do some gardening. Here’s a picture of a grapevine that’s been in my husband’s family as long as he canremember. This cutting has been on our property for about 20 years now, left totally on its own, but now we’ve gotten down to working with it and training it to grow new roots along the fence and up and around supports. No matter how hectic my days are, when I get home I kick off my shoes, walk barefoot to the back fence and spend a little time inspecting the vine. A simple summer pleasure, but what a treat!

But even though summer is a bit more relaxed, that doesn’t stop your need for pulmonary information and support, and it doesn’t stop us at BBLW. This month we’ve got lots to show you. All good stuff. Here we go…

Hey, what happened in rehab today with Eileen, Peg, or Darrell? In our new BBLW Pulmonary Rehab blog they’re ready to share their experiences through their three distinctly different personalities and writing styles. Discover how their pulmonary rehab programs in Massachusetts, Michigan and Virginia have helped them and how PR in your town can help you. As an extra bonus, you’ll see the Wellevation Quote of the Day.

Are you wondering if you even have COPD, or if you do, if you’re on the right track with doing what you should? Thanks to a new collaboration between WebMD and the COPD Foundation, you can find out by visiting The Lung Health Check. This new program can provide you with a report tailored to you and your needs, to help you communicate effectively with your doctor and help you manage COPD symptoms.

Last month we got a great response to our focus on Alpha-1 (Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency, which is genetically inherited COPD)! As promised, I have a story – with pictures – about Ken Walkley’s “Alpha Angel.” Even if you’re not crafty, you just have to see this work of art and read the story behind it. Pictures don’t do it justice, but for those of us lucky enough to know Ken personally and see his work… well… we’ve seen it for real and it’s so amazing, we still can’t believe it. Read The Story Behind the Alpha Angel. It’s more than a story about COPD – it’s a story of triumph and of hope.

They say that necessity is the mother of invention and nowhere could this be more true than in a terrific new product for O2 users. If you’re tired of the ugly canvas bag that holds your oxygen, now you can carry your O2 in style with the O2 Tote!

Hey there…what are you doing Wednesday afternoon, say around 3:00 pm East coast time? If you have a minute, stop in at BBLW Chat and say hi. In order to join us, you must first be a member of the BBLW community, then all you have to do is click on Chat at the top of the community page, then click on General Chat, and you’re in! See you there!

Got a question about lung disease? Or maybe you’d just like a little company… you know, somebody who knows what you’re going through. Take a walk through our BBLW neighborhood, see what the gang is up to today, and say hi. Everyone is welcome!

Here are some great new videos on our basics page with solid information on COPD. They’re videos on What is COPD? Signs of COPD (includes the difference between COPD and Asthma), Preventing COPD, and Treating COPD.

Speaking of videos, if you haven’t already, watch The Disease that Destroys the Lungs and then tell your friends – and your doctor! In this video you’ll meet two sisters with Alpha-1 and learn how it affects them in different ways, and you’ll also hear the story of Len Geiger. I’m warning you, you might just get a lump in your throat, but after that you’ll have a song in your heart.

COPD: The Facts, by Graeme Currie, is available in the BBLW Bookstore! This book was written for people with COPD and their families. In it you’ll find signs and symptoms, learn how COPD is diagnosed and the tests and treatments patients are likely to experience.

If you’re looking for some “off-topic” summer reading visit the Just Good Books and Great Escapes section in our bookstore. Remember – if you order anything at all through any Amazon portal on our site, a few pennies of that purchase help support the maintenance of our site. Be assured that the tracking does not included any names or information of buyers. In other words, I can’t see what you order from Amazon!

If you or somebody you know has asthma, don’t forget to share our asthma stories that could save a life! Kandy, Jennifer, and I share our experiences of life and death with asthma.

Don’t forget to take in the personal stories of life with COPD on video. Each story is just a few minutes long and I’m sure you’ll find something familiar, helpful and inspiring!

Since my book Breathe Better, Live in Wellness came out, some of the on-line resources have changed. If you have a copy of my book, I’ll be happy to send you an updated list of on-line resources. Just send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Jane M. Martin / PO Box 2043 / Holland, MI 49422-2043.

On a sad note, I must share that we’ve lost a dear friend at BBLW. Some of you may remember “Tippy,” who was a moderator on our forum some time ago. In spite of her struggles, Tippy greeted each day with a positive attitude, an eye for beauty and the ability to share the wonder of nature with the world. Our thoughts and prayers are with Tippy’s husband, Ray, in this time of profound loss.

Well, that’s about all for this sunny June day. As you can see, our grapes tiny grapes on vineare tiny and green right now. In a few months, though, they should be purple, plump, and juicy. Until then, I’ll be back there for a few minutes each day, taking if only a few minutes off from the rest of the world, and watching them grow.


“Why not learn to enjoy the little things – there are so many of them.”
~~~ Anonymous