Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Recovery Time

John W-Mpls of COPD Support made a brief and simple post in yesterday's mail to the group.
He felt the distinction between the meanings of the words "resting" and "recovering" was important to understand. I was struck by the insight John gave to us in just a few sentences.
I'll let him explain:

I frequently have explained to friends that COPD slows me down -
causes my actions to take a very long time.
For example: it takes me about 10 minutes to shave -
that is 2-3 minutes with the electric razor and another 5-7 minutes resting.
Yesterday I realized I could say that much better - instead of resting, say recovering.

That is really what I am doing between shaving and starting to brush my teeth.
Getting my body ready for the next activity is really the hard work of recovering, not lazy resting. So now:- it takes me about 10 minutes to shave - that is 2-3 minutes with the electric razor and another 5-7 minutes recovering.

Big deal?
Yes, if it can help others better understand living with COPD. -- JohnW-Mpls

So many times I have heard members of the COPD community express their feelings of frustration over the way that the disease has changed their pace and their stamina while carrying out the daily activities of their lives.
And it's not so much frustration over the physical changes as it is frustration and emotional pain over the way they and those around them interpret those changes.
John's phrase "lazy resting" is a good example.
We seem to waste valuable energy beating ourselves up for having to slow down.
Worse than that, I hear from many (too many!) people whose families accuse them of being lazy or "babying" themselves when they find that they can't keep up with what they used to do.

I am very fortunate (or not, depending on perspective) because my husband understands all too well the effects that lung disease can have on lifestyle. He has watched the progression of the disease in his both of his brothers. I am blessed by a partner who supports me in being and doing all that I want to be and do, but who also understands when my breathing throws a roadblock in my path.
Many people are not so blessed.

I hope that John's wisdom will be of help to those that need it and I want to share another bit of writing from the COPD community that many have found helpful.
(I've even heard reports of folks copying it and posting it on their refrigerators for family members to read. Great idea!)

Please go to this page to read the article "Sick Lungs Don't Show"