TRAVELING WITH COPD

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I was just diagnosed with moderate COPD this past February and have not traveled all summer.  My husband and I want to go on a Caribbean Cruise next month and I wanted to see if anyone had any opinions on whether this would be safe for someone with COPD.  I used to fly to visit family but haven't done so for the past 4 or 5 years and now would be hesitant with this condition.  I am not on supplemental oxygen but am on 2 inhalers and have Sleep Apnea and use CPAP nightly.  Would it be a mistake to plan this cruise or should I just be content to stay close to home out of fear of being around huge crowds of people?  I would love to do this but don't know if it's not recommended for people with COPD. Thanks.

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  • Posted

    Insist upon a room close to the elevator. If cruises appealed to me I would go: you want to do this and some point down the road it might not be possible. Enjoy now, you can get sick sitting at home too.
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    Good morning Jeanette.  Go where you want to go.  I was diagnosed in May of this year, we have postponed going anywhere until I was settled in what I had to do.  So here is our plan.  We are headed to the Western Caribbean and taking my portable nebulizer and medications along with 7 day supply of antibiotics and tamiflu.  Those are the dangers that you need to watch for.  Keep out of the big crowds (which is hard on a cruise ship) but with all the medications and a couple of masks you are fine.  You can't stop living.  The main concern is getting pneumonia, so just don't let people get in your face.  When you go to dinner you can request a table for 2 or maybe 4.....if someone gets sick then you have your medications with you to until you get back home, you can start on them.  Don't be paranoid like I was.  We are even moving permanently back east, so fear not life goes on and we just have to be proactive with our health.  The doctors who have the same thing we do go where they want to.  And there are always doctors on the ships and in the ports and they are excellent.  I and my husband have had to use them before.  You will be just fine.  Don't be afraid to fly either, just keep a mask on and carry your inhalers.  Don't be afraid to ask for a little oxygen and maybe take yourself a tranquilizer...Have fun enjoy life.  God will take care of the rest.   God Speed.  Enjoy what you have been given.

    Breathless.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the advice - I do worry most about the crowds. I have pretty much avoided most social situations since my diagnosis out of fear of getting sick from someone's cold or flu etc. When you say to take masks with me do you mean the kind you wear when you're sick and you're trying to spread germs around to others, can these be purchased in a pharmacy? And how important is it to take a supply of antibiotics? Not   sure if my doctor would prescribe them for me just for a cruise; I'd have to have an infection to get antibiotics prescribed. I do want to still find enjoyment out of live and not let the COPD take this all away from me. Except for occasional shortness of breath and fatigue my symptoms are not terrible. And I did have both the flu vaccine and the pneumonia vaccine a few weeks back but I know those don't give you 100% protection. Anything else I should be aware of please don't hesitate to reply. I think I just need to book this cruise and hope for the best!

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    • Posted

      In my last reply I meant to say wearing a mask to NOT spread germs to others! Anyhow, I will take all of this under consideration and plan accordingly.
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      I know what you meant.  Sometimes our minds get going so fast our fingers can't catch up with our thought process.  lol.  You can buy the masks at any pharmacy, they come in a box....They are called surgical masks....actually here in the states we can buy them at any pharmacy, they have like rubber bands to go over your ears and then some even have a little metal inside the top of the nose area to clamp down so you really keep OTHER PEOPLES GERMS AWAY FROM YOU.  I forget where you are located, but just tell your doctor how long you are going to be gone and you don't want to get caught off guard if you should get sick and until you can get to a Hospital or back to his office.  That's when they wrote mine antibiotics and flu medications out for me, I just had them filled and put them in the refrigerator.  Any doctor with half a brain should know you are being proactive.  So just let it be known.  If you live outside the country and are traveling to the Bahamas or South America, you can purchase the antibiotics and tamiflu without a prescription...So just letting you know.  I know if I get sick my lungs are the most important thing for me to protect because I usually end up septic....and that will take me out of this world. Don't be afraid just get what you can, take your inhalers and whatever else you need and let me know where you are going perhaps we can meet up.  We love the islands, and I did so want to go to Alaska but the cruises are over for this year.  So God willing I will get to see them next year.  We are going to sail out of the Miami Port Canaveral area on the Western or Eastern Caribbean.  Within the next month.  What cruise line are you using?  We normally use Carnival, but we are going on Norwegian this time.....7 days for $259 per person is well worth it.  Just make sure you take canned drinks if you drink coke or water, they must be in cans.....even your beer...otherwise they will take it away from you.  New rules.  If you love the casino and the shows get ready to rock the world.  Have fun and let me know where you are going, you can private message me at S'andra Mosley, Houston, Tx.  I'll be waiting to hear from you.  God Bless.  Breathless.

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    • Posted

      I didn't mention it but I do live in the US and the cruise we wanted to book would just be a 5 day sailing out of New Orleans and going to 2 ports- Cozumel and Progreso.  I want to just do a shorter cruise to see how it goes and that way wouldn't be away from my doctors for too long.  We're going to do a Carnival Cruise and since New Orleans holds a special place in my heart (my son got married there 2 years ago and we have a dear family friend who lives there) so looking forward to going back.  I won't be doing the casino on the ship as I understand they allow smoking in that area & I avoid cigarette smoke at all costs with my lungs.  I do hope you enjoy your cruise and I will try my hardest to be well prepared for mine and get the relaxation without any stress that I so dearly need.And I will absolutely get the meds you suggested beforehand as well as refilling my inhalers and other prescriptions filled before leaving also.  I'm nervous but you made it sound very do-able if I take the right precautions! Thanks!

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      FYI  there are no smoking areas in the Casino....so don't stay out just because part is smoking, they strictly enforce it, and absolutely no smoking around the pool.  There are designated smoking areas.  You will love Cozumel when you get there  got thru town, rent a car at Enterprise, and go straight out to Punta Sur.  It is an exclusive beach area very protected.  They have the greatest massuese I have ever had in my life....total body massage is $100.....they will furnish you scuba or snorkel equipment and have showers ...Just rent the air conditioned jeep and take off do not pay on the cruise ship or you will get rooked or hooked up with a group you may not want to be with.  The water is absolutely beautiful and then when you come back thru town stop at a couple of the drug stores and pick up extra prescriptions because you don't have to have rx's there, just the cash.  A whole lot cheaper than the states.  We are in Cypress Texas northwest of Houston.  We are going to fly to Cape Canaveral Florida or Orlando, cruise for 7 days then drive up to Daytona to see one of our grandsons who is at Embry Riddle Aeronautics University.  We raised he and his brother up until we moved to Texas so they are our hearts....the greatest gifts we've ever had.  In fact I woke up this morning and had a text from one and he said Oh MMaw you are awesome.  They make me smile everyday.  I just got home from an awesome dinner out, and have popped into my pj's while my husband watches tv.  It was a rough night last night.  For some reason my oxygen machine stopped about 2:00 am...I have no idea why, because we checked it this afternoon and it was fine.  I hate it, but they say when I go into REM sleep my stats fall very low.  I skipped 5 days this week, so I put it on last night or early this morning thinking I would have it on until around 8am... nope ....so I just got up cut the thing off because nothing was coming thru the canula and made me two cups of coffee, went back to bed and I swear I was up every 1 1/2 hours maybe 2.  When I finally got up at 8:45...with 2 complete hours of sleep...my husband was dressed and the real estate company called and wanted to show the house in an hour, I said NOPE, 1:30 to 2:30....never heard back from them.  It's fine it will sell  when God is ready and not before.  Hope you have a great time, watch the heat.  It is summer in the Caribbean...so don't forget that.  You are going to be fine.  Take care let me know when you leave, so I won't worry about you.  God speed Jeanette.  SLM/  a/k/a  Breathless.

       

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      Loved reading your reply, it made me smile as I read about your special bond with your grandsons. I hope you don't have any more problems with your oxygen machine - that sounds scary & if & when I get to that point in my COPD I won't fully understand. I started (with my own insistence) to have my doctor approve me for Pulmonary Rehab and many of the patients bring their oxygen tubing and tanks along. This is why I want to be proactive at this point so I can possibly not advance to that next stage quite so soon. My sleep patterns are a nightly problem with insomnia and using CPAP. THEY HAVE YET TO FIT ME WITH A COMFORTABLE MASK and with my irregular breathing I never feel rested. I guess I feel more sorry for myself than most as I used to be so close to my 2 sisters (I'm the middle sister) and then with my health problems and little energy they don't want to be around me. They spend most weekends hanging out, consignment shopping and having lunch etc. but they've stopped calling to include me. It's a lonely time but my husband is very supportive and we do get out once in a while. I will consider the heat down in the tropics and stay hydrated and take along a big sun hat and sunscreen and dip into air conditioned areas as much as possible. Sounds like you have a wonderful family! Take care and have a wonderful cruise and enjoy your visit with family!

       

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      Good morning my new friend.  I'm having a cup of coffee taking my early morning medicine, which usually puts me back to sleep for a couple of hours.  Just read your replay.  I am so saddened for you.  "What's wrong with your sisters?"  Wow.  I am the oldest of 6 children...we have 5 of us remaining next month will make 25 years since I had a sibling murdered that was 4 years younger than me.  (By her wonderful husband The Judge?  I have two younger sisters and two younger brothrs.  We don't get to see each other very often as we all live in different states and never seem to have the same schedule.  I was with both my sisters in North Carolina outside of Greensboro in Summerfield for a wedding in May had a wonderful time, we danced together, sang together, cried together and watched a wonderful wedding of my nephew (actually he is more like my first grandchild) such an awesome young man I just cried when we had to leave, however, we had 2 graduations the next day in Macon, Georgia for 1 grandson and that night for another grandson in Vidalia (the Onion Capitol)....it was a very busy trip.  I will adopt you, my sisters will take you to places you've never dreamed of.  lol.  I pray that your sisters will realize your value and what you have to offer and explain life choices ... you have such a wonderful healthy spirit about you, so I am going to be praying that God will enlighten them and bring them towards you with a new light of love ..  As I told my family when I was diagnosed, I take full responsibility for my portion on this mess and genetics can take the other, but I do not want anone to feel sorry for me.  My grandsons (all 5 ) were steady as rocks.  Their biggest concern was MMaw are you going to die.  I said not today, I have gone too far for the Man upstairs to drop me on my head.  They shook it off and listened to what I had to say.  My husband is absolutely adorable.  If I am not feeling well or up to par, he treats me like a queen.  God has blessed us both so much that I try my best to share the blessings.  I heard one time no matter what it is "YOU GIVE TO GET TO GIVE"  THAT PHARSE

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      continued....lol  the phrase has stuck with me, and no matter what it is, if someone is in need of love, a dollar a tire a little compassion, I want to be able to share what I've been given with them.  That is how I feel and that isI have found that I only have one Man to answer to for what I do on this earth and that is My Savior.  Nothing else really matters.  Just enjoy life, it is all to short in the scheme of things and don't be afraid.  Step on toes with these doctors and nurses when you have to, but be kind when you want to.  Just be yourself...you have nothing to apologize for.  As I told this fruit loop doctor in May before surgery...he said well , " you have made a mess of your lungs"  I just looked at him and said "and what is your vice, alcohol, drugs, women."  whoa he shut up....you see everyone has something that they do that is not politically correct, yet we have enjoyed those things for years, so don't judge me.  I made my decisions and I am paying the piper..  You will learn that Toxic people (even relatives)  but fret not.  If you have to waste your energy on people who truly are never going to care about you, it is better to save that time for something important someone you want to invest your time in a worthwhile friendship.  I have maybe a handful of friends, and with my sons and grands I am truly blessed.  Take what you have and invest your time in that.  God will bring the people along to you and then you will know which ones to water with friendship and which ones to nod and walk on.  I hope you have a blessed day and don't be too hard on your sisters....their life behind closed doors may not be what you think it is.  No one ever knows what goes on behind closed doors except the ones behind them.  God bless......and let me know when you are leaving for your cruise.  What state do you live in?  As I told you we are North west of Houston, Tx., and selling our home to get back to Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia.  and closer to our men , siblings, and especially a couple of those beautiful Grandsons.  Oh I forgot to tell you one is singing at Carnegie Hall in February.  Send me an email address and I'll shoot you some photos or you can follow me on FB....TTYL....sorry for the book...Now rest up...and pack light clothing and a wrap for evenings...Have a great time...Don't forget the sun glasses the sand in Cozumel is so brigtht white...wow....You will be able to see them on my FB page.  I have a lot of them.....

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      We will be going back to Georgia (The Blue Ridge Mountains)...our home is on the market now and we are so looking forward to getting off the concrete jungle here.  My husband retired in Feb.  however, he decided to wait until May to see if the Oil Industry picked back up.  Other than going back to Dubai or Nigeria, at his age they can hire younger people for a lot less, so we decided okay it's time.  Let's put this house on the market and go home.  We are waiting on the right couple to come along and fall in love with our home our little back yard sanctuary of NO HOMES BEHIND US, which is a rarity in this town, but we have nice and friendly golfers who come by daily.  lol....at least we know there will never be homes behind us.  And that is refreshing.  Airtag ( one day we can use our names  lol)  Do you attend the football games in Austin?  My friend from Atlanta in high school used to coach there.  He has now retired after leaving Texas and going to Pennsylvania after that big scandal and is living in Georgia again.  Still traveling to the ballgames.  I have never been to Austin.  I would love to come and see some of the things I have read about....Time will tell, right now I am working on seeing all 13 natural waterfalls in this state.  They are beautiful...Take care and have a blessed day.

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    • Posted

      No, I don't go to UT games. They're a massive hassle and very expensive. I enjoy football up to the middle school level and when I lived in New Orleans long long ago I was a huge Saints fan but that's about it. Besides, the UT field is a stone's throw from the most-congested section of one of the worst highway stretches in the whole country. Sitting outside and breathing those fumes for hours ain't my idea of fun.

      I sure hope that where you're going is cooler than Texas - summer returned with such a vengeance the last few days. One man so dreaded leaving the AC at church fellowship to have to walk a long way that he kept ducking back inside, 3 times.

      Hope your house sells quickly and for more than you're asking. I've been thinking of selling and moving to N. Carolina and or Virginia or Maryland, just for cooler summers. Have to think hard, just me and my dog and don't know anyone up there. There's also that dread issue of finding new doctors if I move.

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      Just got the offer we needed last night.  We both decided to not respond sleep on it and see if we could get a good validation from God.  We seek his will before any big decisions.  We are excited and hope to be home for the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays.  I would love to see a sprinkling of snow white on my lawns this year and across the beautiful mountain tops.  God is good.  Hope you are feeling well on this the First Day of Fall.  Unfortunately it is still a massively HOT SUMMER in Houston.  So you know I am ready to pack and leave.  We are even thinking of selling with most of the furniture still in the home.  A lot less packing since the 2 homes we have chosen are so beautifully decorated and all we need are our clothes and tooth brushes.  I am up for that.  God Bless Enjoy your day....You deserve it.  Breatheless but blessed and breathing.

       

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      Fantastic news! Brilliant decision about the furniture. Whenever it is that I decide to leave, mine will go to the curb or Goodwill as you it's not worth moving anywhere. Still it will be better than most of what gets picked up from curb in this neighborhood, lol.

      Snow on the mountains! I'm trying to find

      funds to get out to Arizona for Halloween. It would be so nice to see Bill Williams, with or without snow on top tho better for my spirits with.

      Yes, it's fall: weather folks say we should have a rainy cold front this weekend with nights in the 50s! Don't think we've had cool like that in September since 1991. I'm ready. Not sure if it'll get as far as you but I hope so.

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      Your words so inspire me, breathless! Your outlook on this disease and how your family is so supportive seems to give you the strength to live each day to the fullest. I wish I had more support from my family but right now my oldest child - my daughter who just turned 40 - is my main source of support. She lives about 360 miles away from me  but when I'm feeling down and feeling sorry for myself or am just very anxious about my condition she's the one person I can call and chat with. She definitely looks out for me from a distance and is always encouraging me to eat healthier and exercise more. In fact she and her husband recently built me a Sous Vide device that I can use with my crock pot or rice cooker to make myself some super tender and flavorful meals. I didn't mention it yet but you asked where I live - I live in the Louisville area in KY. Most everyone knows this is one of the worst areas in the country to live if you have respiratory issues, so I have to deal with it and hope for a nice day from time to time to be able to enjoy being outdoors! I will be on the cruise on Oct 24th - a 5 day out of New Orleans, but will not be spending much time in Nola because of the Halloween festivities - the city will be overcrowded, which I didn't even consider when booking this cruise, so just 1 day there before the cruise. 

      I hope to follow your example in the future as I deal with this disease - keep the people close that truly care and support me and stay away from those who don't care if I live or die or just don't make time for me in their lives. I have 4 brothers besides my 2 sisters and they never call me - all but one of them live within 20-30 minutes of me, but they only bother with their own kids & grandkids and friends so I'm invisible to them. It's very sad that n

      my 2 sisters who also live nearby, don't ask me to do anything with them or their families -,I think since we have such different interests that harps made our relationships suffer. 

      Again, thanks for reaching out and sharing your stories with me. I will continue to look for your posts and replies on this site as they always bring a smile to my day. I wish all the best for you and the best on your move from Texas.

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    • Posted

      Wasn't paying much attention to my spelling in my last reply - sorry - how the word " harps" creeped into that sentence is beyond me, guess it should have said "have" made our relationships suffer. Typing too fast will do that! 

      So glad you're part of this site, breathless, it's been a tremendous help to me to keep up with your kind words and advice!

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