Ready? Set?... Let’s Go!
As a mother of 3 and there is nothing I hate more than feeling like I am unprepared. I don’t take my kids to the pool without sunscreen and towels (and water toys, and noodle things, and water shoes, and swim goggles…). I don’t go on any sort of trip without snacks and drinks. And I definitely don’t leave the house without making sure everyone has pottyed, been fed, and has their shoes on (the right feet)! I know you parents are feeling me right?! Okay, so maybe I have made those mistakes and learned from them and that’s why I try to be crazy prepared all the time, but what I am truly trying to get at is the same thought process needs to be in place when it comes to doing activity with a lung condition. If you have an activity planned for yourself you need to ask yourself, “Am I prepared?”
Preparation is the key. If you are pretty sure that the activity or plan will cause some breathlessness, use your inhaler BEFORE you start. Don’t wait until you are out of breath to use it. Having the medication on board just might make the activity more enjoyable with less shortness of breath. If you do end up getting “winded” having taken the medication ahead of time may allow for a faster recovery time. Bring your rescue inhaler with you if the shortness of breath persists and you need another dose.
Pace Yourself! You probably have already figured out that rushing or moving too fast can cause your shortness of breath to catch up with you in a hurry. Taking your time and allowing yourself to have frequent rest stops will certainly let you enjoy yourself and not wear out too quickly. Look for places to sit and rest if you need to take a break on an occasion.
Park close or get a lift. Many of my patients get anxious just thinking about walking a significant distance from a parking lot to an entrance of a store or restaurant. Talk to your doctor about getting a handicap parking permit to take the stress out of finding a close space. If you can carpool with someone, have them drop you off close so that you can conserve you energy for the “good time” instead of the walk in.