Happy Winter Solstice! But for many it is not a “happy” time of year. The winter blues, winter funk, or seasonal affective disorder— Doesn’t matter what you call it, it can be debilitating.
We’ve all experienced what it’s like to be burnt out on something. Whether it’s your job, chores, or health routine, it’s not always easy to find a way to stay on track to meet your goals. What complicates this even further is that everyone experiences this for a different reason. For some people, it’s just a matter of learning how to stick to a routine, but for others, it could be a lack of mental or physical energy that’s holding them back.
Activities of daily living (ADL) is a term that was first coined by Sidney Katz in 1950. Essentially, it refers to the basic functions that an individual must perform on a daily basis in order to be considered self-sufficient. By better understanding the level of independence of patients with debilitating illnesses like COPD, osteoporosis, or Alzheimer’s Disease, medical professionals are able to make better decisions for their patient’s well-being such as recommending medical equipment or an assisted living facility. Activities of daily living are generally divided into five distinct categories:
When you think about your day as a whole, how much time do you spend thinking positive thoughts? What about negative thoughts? And have you ever wondered how these two different lines of thinking are affecting your well-being and your ability to cope with your lung disease? Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an unbelievably complex disease. Like we’ve discussed in previous posts, it’s a “systemic disease’” meaning it can have manifestations in other areas of the body. So, we can’t even begin to imagine all of the ways it affects our physical and mental health.
Mental illness is a growing problem in the United States. According to Mental Health America (MHA), 1.5 million more Americans experienced mental health issues in 2017 than the previous year. What’s more, surveys from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate a sharp increase in self-reported behavioral health symptoms since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. While there are many possible factors that are contributing to these issues, one of the lesser discussed factors is social isolation.
The medical term “localized disease” refers to a condition that is confined to one organ or system of the body. For example, an ear infection is a localized disease because it typically only affects the “middle ear” just behind the eardrum. While ear infections can spread to other parts of the body, this is very uncommon. A “systemic disease”, on the other hand, is one that has systemic manifestations. For example, diabetes is a disease that affects the level of glucose in your blood. Since every organ in the body is reliant on this blood, diabetes can have many systemic effects ranging from cardiovascular disease to nerve damage.
Happiness, an emotional state of being that humans are innately attracted to. Happiness overall embodies positivity and satisfaction, yet it is a subjective well-being that makes an individual truly happy. This means that everyone's happiness is rooted in something unique to them, and their journey through life is fueled by their own desires, and while society can inflict its bias on everyone and sway people into believing there is only one way to be happy, in reality happiness is limitless.
Many people assume that the longer they live, the less capable they are of improving various aspects of their lives. For example, some people take for granted that you can’t learn a musical instrument as an adult. These people are often told throughout their lives by their parents or friends that if you want to learn something complex, you have to start when you’re younger. It’s also assumed that you’ll stop progressing very early on in your life.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the diseases with the greatest financial burdens worldwide and within the United States. Studies have shown that the average annual COPD-related expenditure is around $4,147. And while 51% of these costs are covered by Medicare according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that still leaves roughly $2,000 a year that COPD patients need to spend out-of-pocket. Combine this with the cost of aging and limited retirement funds and it’s not hard to see why COPD is such a major financial burden for so many people.
From managing short- and long-term goals to exercising, eating right, and making it to doctor’s appointments, living with COPD is not easy by any means. Whether you are still working or you’ve already retired, being diagnosed with COPD means taking on a whole new set of responsibilities — some of which can be overwhelming at times.