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Your Healthy Community: Good Lung, Nasty Lung

By By Katie Sciba
Nov. 15, 2013 at 5:15 a.m.


They were all in pirate costumes except for me. I was in business attire to do my Medicare talk. People have asked me about these Medicare talks. I'm telling you right now: Medicare is not sexy. Pretty much everyone knows (even the news people) that discussing any health care insurance is just plain B-O-R-I-N-G.

And yet, we have to talk about it, and we all need it. I'm going to do some more talks in the community soon, so I'll keep you posted. So, everyone at the health fair in the mall a few weeks ago was in pirate costume. It was "Health-Arr-rama." Not kidding.

Hey, some of you might have been there with your bags grabbing all the freebies. Anyways, I finished my little talk, and as I walked back to the AARN booth, the man behind the Driscoll's booth caught my eye.

"Come over here young lady and look at these lungs," he said. I glanced down. "Um, sir, that is disgusting." I said to him.

There on his table were two different lungs. They weren't real, but they did look very real. One was very red, and he said you could touch them. No, thanks for me.

I'm not a nurse, remember. I get enough medical talk on our case conference day with wound care galore. But, the other one was a dark gray. ""What's up with this one?" I asked. He said it's a smoker's lung.

I can't forget that nasty looking lung, and since it is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease awareness month, I thought I would share. COPD is a disease that limits airflow and makes it difficult for you to breathe. COPD can cause chronic bronchitis, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness and other symptoms.

Smoking is the leading cause of COPD. Seventy-five percent of people with COPD smoke cigarettes.

This disease can include emphysema and chronic bronchitis. It is a major cause of disability and one of the leading causes of death. Hey, you don't want this disease! So, how can you prevent it? The best way to keep from getting COPD is to not start smoking or to quit smoking now. Other ways are to things that irritate your lungs like air pollution, chemical fumes, dust, and secondhand smoke. But, what if you have it already?

Talk to your doctor; make sure you are getting ongoing care for your disease. Get educated about COPD. Make sure you know what to do in an emergency situation. Arrange things around your home so that you can manage chores easily. You might benefit from home health care if your doctor agrees. AARN Health services can help with that! Here's my Medicare tip for COPD patients. For goodness sake, sign up now for a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plan. There is a plan that is best for you, your area, and the prescription you take. You have until Dec. 7. Go online www.medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE.

References

copd.com/understanding/index.html

nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/copd/

Katie Sciba is a writer, a licensed social worker, a pastor's wife and a mother from Victoria. She works for AARN Health Services and blogs online at Always Simply Begin.

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