10 Life Hacks for People Living with a Lung Condition
I don’t know about you guys but I love it when I find a dual purpose for things around the house or a simple trick to make life easier. Pinterest is inundated with these simple “life hacks” and I really get a kick out of reading them. As a busy wife and mom of 3, I am most enthusiastic about the things that I can do around the house to help me with organization and keeping things straight. So I had an epiphany… are there life hacks for the lung patient? Surely there are… so I set out asking my Facebook followers and pulmonary rehab patients, “What is a life hack that you do to make living with a lung condition easier?” I have to say it sparked a lot of conversation and my patients really go into it! (It was also really fun for me to brainstorm and see the results of creative thinking. I was flooded with ideas but only wanted to choose 10, so if you like these hacks email me and let me know your life hack. Keep the good ideas coming so that I can make another post just like this!) So before I begin with my top 10, I want to say a huge “THANK YOU!” to all my patients and Facebook followers who messaged me and sent me pictures of their hack and tricks that help them in their daily life of living with a lung condition.
And now, I present to you BreatheLiveFit’s version of 10 Life Hacks for People Living with a Lung Condition
1. Having trouble swallowing your daily medications? Do they taste nasty the instant they hit your tongue?
Try these gelatin capsules. You put your tablets inside and they can be swallowed easier with less risk of getting “stuck.” They are flavorless and dissolve easily in your tummy.
2. Is your oxygen tubing constantly getting twisted on itself and knotted up?
If you are using one long piece of oxygen tubing approximately 50 ft. long, try using two 25 ft pieces of tubing with this handy swivel connector in the center! It prevents the tubing from knotting and curling up on itself and is an inexpensive fix. You can get these from your oxygen supplier and they are available on Amazon as well (click on the picture to get the link).
3. Do you have a persistent cough that is plaguing you?
Try fresh pineapple juice. (Apparently it cannot be from a can or bottle.) Pineapple juice has a natural ingredient in it called Bromelain which can be more effective then cough syrup. It also has properties to help you combat infections and flare-ups. (I must state though that according to the U.S. FDA "Bromelain has not been scientifically proven to be effective in treating any diseases and has not been approved for treatment of any disorder.") However, there has been long standing history (apparently stating back to the late 1800's) that many cultures have used it for medicinal purposes.
4. Are you concerned about keeping your nasal cannula clean?
You can use a toothbrush cover to safely and securely encase it so it doesn’t get dirty. It fits over the part of the cannula that your nares touch if you fold it in half. The small opening will allow for a space for the cannula tubing to come out and not get crimped during closure.
5. Are you worried about slipping and falling in the shower or bathtub when you are trying to pick up a dropped item?
Keep a set of kitchen tongs in your shower or bathtub so that when you drop something you can use them as “grabbers” to pick the item up. It will also prevent you from bending over too far, thus preventing breathlessness while bathing. (For more tips to prevent breathlessness while bathing visit my Bathing Blog)
6. Don’t have a spacer handy to help you deliver a more effective treatment from your inhaler?
Spacers are often time prescribed with your meter dose inhalers. These little beauties were invented to assist the pulmonary patient in getting a quality treatment from their inhalers. The nice thing about these devices is that it doesn’t require the patient to have the coordination to breathe in and push down on the actuator simultaneously. (For more info see my blog on How to Properly Use Your Inhaler) If you have left your spacer at home or lost it, in a pinch try an empty (clean and dry!) water bottle but cutting the bottle and slipping your inhaler in the bottom. (Though I would not recommend this hack for daily use!)
7. Is your laundry hamper hard to carry?
We all know that people with lung conditions have a difficult time carrying anything. Carrying a full laundry basket can be a difficult task. Try using a rolling laundry basket. You can pack it full and not have to carry the load! It will also prevent you from making multiple trips with smaller, easier to carry handfuls of clothing. They had a few different types on Amazon. This one was rather inexpensive and had a pop up handle. (click if interested…picture is linked below) They also had other more expensive, heavy duty models but I thought this rolling basket would meet the needs of most of my readers.
8. Having trouble with your oxygen tubing kinking and not lying flat causing a trip hazard? Try sticking it in a pillow case. Seal the pillow case by tying it up and toss it in your dryer for 5-10 minutes. When time is up, take it out of the pillow case and stretch the warm tubing out by pulling it straight.
9. Do you get breathless tying your shoes?
Try elastic shoelaces. (I know… brilliant) You put them on your shoes in place of regular shoelaces. From the look of them, they appear to be normal laces but they actually turn your tennis shoes or any shoe with laces into a slip on. They have multiple colors to match your favorite pair of shoes and even better… they are on in a flash!
10. Need a place to store you nasal cannula when not in use?
My patient’s wife made him this wonderful pouch. You can also use any empty sunglass case or pouch with a clip. Just wind up the tubing and zip it in the case. Perfect for storing your cannula and possibly your rescue inhaler on the side of your tank or portable concentrator.
*** Not all of these hacks will work for you! Hopefully you found one that might assist you from day to day. If you have any other hacks, please comment on this post. I would love to hear from you!!! ***
Thanks for Reading! Remember: We are in this TOGETHER!
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