When I say we need to “be clear” with bronchiectasis, what exactly am I talking about?
For me, being clear means:
Firstly, keeping our lungs clear is critical to living with bronchiectasis. We need to have a daily commitment to removing mucus from our airways through breathing, exercise and using clearance devices. This powerful trio is key to a better quality of life.
In addition to keeping our lungs clear, we can also benefit from clearing our minds of misconceptions about bronchiectasis. Anecdotes, like the ones posted on social media, are personal stories and may or may not be fact-based. If you go online to share and support others, that is great. If you go online to learn about BE, then know your source. Online support forums are global and this translates into a broad spectrum of therapies, outcomes and levels of patient education.
For current information, you should visit the websites of the top institutions that specialize in bronchiectasis and organizational support sites dedicated to our disease. I reference reliable evidence-based studies and information on this website on the "Resources" page.
Lastly, we must clear our thoughts of debilitating anger and fear. Maybe you were shocked by your diagnosis. I know I was. After a while, you might become resentful and perhaps angry about it. Angry that it took so long for you to be diagnosed resulting in unnecessary pulmonary scarring. Angry that you now have to spend hours caring for yourself when you would rather be doing other things. And, for those in the advanced stages of this disease, angry that your quality of life has been diminished.
These emotions are to be expected, but if they stay with us over time, they will not serve us well. The hormones and other chemicals that are released in response to negative emotions are harmful to our health. If we are to achieve and maintain a nurturing environment in our bodies, one that is conducive to maximal healing and health, we need to clear negative thoughts quickly.
This attention to being clear in body, mind and spirit can create a healing framework for living with bronchiectasis. It can support us in our efforts to minimize additional damage to our lungs and to thrive.
#bronchiectasis #ntmlungdisease #airwayclearance #positiveattitude
Linda Cooper Esposito, MPH is a health educator with bronchiectasis. She developed the BE CLEAR Method to Living with Bronchiectasis and writes with compassion and humor about this chronic lung disease.