Gaming the health stats


I try and do what I can to manage my life without obsessing over my stats.

I have all my meds packed into envelopes, and I run a log each day as part of my endocrynologist’s directive to be “mindful” about everything I’m doing and eating in order to manage the diabetes.

All that being said, though, it’s the breathing that makes me craziest.  Given lung capacity of 33%, that means that 2/3rds of my lungs are crap.  Basically, the cellar is flooded as the bottom of my lungs are scarred and don’t work well due to that damage.  Atelecasis (spelling?)

If I get nervous or stressed, my chest tightens, making it even more difficult to breathe and get more oxygen.

So, as part of trying to self-diagnose my exhaustion and find a solution, I ended up picking up a pulse oxygen saturation meter.  It’s been very helpful to see if any of my biofeedback / deep breathing efforts are working when I’m particularly short of breath.

A particularly helpful game when I’m short of breath is to deeply inhale and exhale while watching the meter to see if I can get the number to climb.  Zen’ing out while practicing mindful breathing exercises can’t hurt.  When I’m congested, it helps to get me back on the road to wellness by forcing my lungs to clear.

If you have COPD or asthma, do you know your stats, and do you have any similar rituals or habits to force your ox-sat to stay as high as it can go?

6 thoughts on “Gaming the health stats

  1. I to have a meter, but for me it is my way of convincing myself that I still have a body that works. LOL. Your stats look wonderful to me, mine are quite a different story but yes, it is a great tool that puts my mind at rest and that is equally as good a tool as to using it to push yourself into gaining an improvement. I haven’t personally tried that angle as pushing myself to breath deeply is rather exhausting. But good luck with your lung training. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am now 4th in my family (1st to be a second generation) to battle this disease. Never having smoked, mine is caused by a birth defect to my chest and ribs that was repaired 3 times before I put my foot down at 14 and said “no more surgery”.

      I’m a bit unconventional in my battle, but one of my key tenants is “don’t make me better by making something else worse”.

      If you’re trying to make the most of your options, keep doing your own research and exploring options to bring to your Doc. Mine is wonderful, but even my sainted Doc won’t have my specific focus to locate in-development or obscure options. You are your best resource, and don’t let anybody kid you otherwise.

      If you haven’t tried the pulmonary rehab (if your local hospital offers it), please see if they have any new options to treat your symptoms without aggravating your underlyng condition.

      I know it’s not for everyone, but live your life as if you’re not sick, and keep a routine going of things you love to do that won’t exhaust you. Mine is jewelry making, as I can simply sit and nap or sit and create without using a lot or energy or requiring a lot of concentration when I’m having a bad day.

      Make plans for a card making class or a painting or drawing class. Find a way to fit something fun into your life each week so that you have a goal for enjoying yourself even if you don’t make it to the event.

      I am so glad you visited, and hope that breathing shallowly vs. deeply helps you feel better soon, too.

      Oh, and do they mix your oxygen with helium? There are some great strides being made in improving oxygen intake and usefulness for folks who can’t breathe deeply. Let me find that article for you in case you haven’t seen it. If it looks relevant to you, you might want to talk to your Doc about whether or not it’s an option to help improve your comfort and your ox-sat numbers. *** I’m not a Doc, I just play
      one on the internet, LOL ***


      1. If I had just COPD I might feel like you do and be able to do even one of the things you suggest, but I don’t. My main condition is Progressive Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis, plus for fun I have Fibromyalgia​ and a handful of others. I’ve been housebound for 8 years and now I am in a wheelchair.

        My MS thinks it funny to throw spasms in my diaphragm and intercostal muscles, making breathing often almost impossible. That’s why I brought the meter, it good to know that I am still at worst in the high 80’s. But life is good! I am very happy now where I am and my Dr’s are really good most of the time. Most of the time, I can’t manage a deep breath even without the spasms now. Getting oxygen is difficult as I am a life long smoker and as it’s one of the few joys in daily life, even the Drs say nothing about it anylonger. I believe we are all entitled to one vice in life. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Absolutely true. My mom was a life-long smoker, who couldn’t give it up as the COPD progressed. At that point, why should she? What difference would it have made beyond making her miserable? I absolutely agree with our vices being what makes life bearable.

        Liked by 1 person

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