Tomorrow I visit my pulmonologist.
Her nurse will conduct the standard breathing tests. I’ll blow into tubes. Walk up and down the hall with an oximeter on my finger.
Doc will come in and put the cold stethoscope on my front and back to listen for wheezing.
As usual, she won’t hear anything abnormal.
She’ll look at my test results. Let me know where I stand and ask if I have any questions.
A standard checkup for me.
Oh yea, I have Cardiac Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). I’m an odd case as I’ve never smoked. I’m not overweight and I’m not old (relative to typical COPD patients).
My brother is diagnosed with COPD. My other brother and sister both sleep with CPAPs. None of them smoke. My Dad died of emphysema and so did his brother. And my brother’s son died of COPD at 32. Married with 2 young children. He was a competitive cross-country runner and a Physical Therapist. This lung problem is a ‘yet-discovered’ genetic thing.
I’m not telling you all this because I want you to feel bad for me.
As I told my pulmonologist the day I was diagnosed 11 years ago, “Basically, you’re telling me I’m going bald. I’ll lose more hair as I get older and I won’t grow hair back. What’s going on top of my head is happening to my lungs.” She smiled and told me I was unique.
As the French say, “c’est la vie.” That’s life.
By no means, though, have I given up the fight! No no.
I’m proudly Irish. I’m a fighter!
I’ve got a plan to turn around tomorrow’s conversation with my pulmonologist. Doctors hate it when patient’s do this. She, however, is going to LOVE this.
I’ll start by sharing this story about Louis Pasteur, the inventor of vaccines like cholera, rabies and anthrax:
"Illnesses hover constantly above us, their seeds blown by the wind, but they do not set in the terrain unless the terrain is ready to receive them." - Claude Bernard
Claude Bernard was a 19th century French physiologist and contemporary of French chemist, Louis Pasteur. The two famous doctors argued throughout their lives as to what really was the cause of disease, the soil or the seed. Pasteur insisted it was the seed (germ) while Bernard claimed it was the soil (body). When on his death bed, it is said that Pasteur admitted Bernard was right. He said, 'It is the soil, not the seed.' It's the body, not the bug.
My plan to fight this virus includes STRENGTHENING my body by boosting my immunity, minimizing the impact of the virus or any other dis-ease.
After telling the Louis Pasteur story, I’m going to share my 6+1 Immunity Boost Plan with my pulmonologist.
NOTE: I’m not a doctor. I’m not providing medical advice. I’m sharing what I do to boost my immunity as a vulnerable individual during this horrible pandemic. Check with your medical advisor before engaging any changes in your daily habits.
So, here’s my 6 + 1 Practices:
When I get sick, one or all 6 of these are out of whack. I do well when these 6 are working in rhythm in my life.
I’m really weird too because I track these on a spreadsheet. I might even share some graphs with my doctor. Night oxygen readings from my Wellvue O2 ring. Daily hydration levels. Daily sleep and heart rate from my Ouraring. By the way, I don’t hit all the targets every week.
Yea, I know. I’m an analytic geek!
So, what's the +1 Practice?
Many years ago I made a life-long promise as a lay Franciscan. In the 13th century, St Francis worked with lepers, giving them comfort in their misery. It was his life’s work. He never contracted the highly infectious disease. With his inspiration and a fraction of his faith, I continue to live whole-heartedly into my Life’s Mission. It’s what I was born to do. I will continue to live in service to the healing powers I’ve been gifted. Whatever and however form that takes. It’s my Calling.
That’s the +1 practice:
7. Work and Live in Alignment with my Life Mission
THANK YOU to all the nurses and doctors and first responders who put themselves in harm's way and continue to live into their Life Mission.
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