Last week on Tea Time the discussion was about management of your shortness of breath. We know that shortness of breath will be our constant passenger in everything we do. Although it is debilitating when shortness of breath happens, we can learn how to handle it..

What Do We Do?

First and foremost, we must learn to advocate for ourselves. You are the CEO of your chronic illness and only you can manage it. It is OK to have a conversation with your doctor, pharmacist, or health care Practitioner. Learn how to talk to your doctor. They are normal people the same as us. You have much to learn from having that conversation.  Don’t let your appointment be one sided..  Update your doctor about what’s happening to you because you are the only one who can do it.  Be armed with questions and start writing them down the minute you leave this appointment. Then you will be ready when your next appointment pops up. Each of us is unique and nobody knows us like we do.


Be aware of what is happening and know what your triggers are. Shortness of breath happens for many reasons and can come on suddenly without warning. Planning is the key, And it is easy to do, you just have to learn how to do it. Whatever causes you to be short of breath note that so that you can handled the situation differently in the future. We must learn to be careful and to be flexible. Work hard to find solutions no matter how much you don’t want to give in. Walking slower, having chairs in your path to rest and recover, and use your walker on bad days.

Some Days

Not all days are going to be bad ones, but not all days will be good ones either. Some days are better than others so do what you can each day without overdoing it on any given day. Take into consideration the weather, your current condition and energy level. When you are going out know where you are going and what it will look like. The minute you start to feel short of breath is the time you choose how you will handle this episode. How will it be different this time? What needs to change? How will you react and what will you do different?

Positive Self Talk

This is not a time for negative thoughts. Lots of positive self talk can aid you in getting through this episode. Acknowledge what happened and why it happened and envision a positive outcome. Position yourself for recovery, use pursed lip breathing ignore the stories your brain is telling you. Focus to distract yourself and to keep anxiety at bay just long enough to give your breathe a chance to catch up.

  • Count backwards
  • Use visual imagery
  • Use your 5 senses

This will allow you to concentrate on something other than your shortness of breath. Acknowledge what is happening without making judgement and then let it go.

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