When you’re managing your COPD, you’ll want to understand the disease, learn the signs of an impending flare-up, engage in beneficial exercise, eat right, get plenty of sleep, and learn how to maintain a positive attitude. These are all important tools for managing your disease. Another very important tool is your doctor – or rather, your relationship with your doctor. Are you comfortable talking with him or her? Do you share how you’re feeling, not just your state of health during your office visit but day-to-day as you cope with the effects that COPD has on your life? Do you understand clearly how to take your medicines and medical treatments? Do you have a plan for when to call your doctor in the case of problems or concerns, and when to get emergency care?
The American Lung Association has created a downloadable tool for creating a COPD action plan that you might find very useful for overall management of your disease and as a grab-and-go document in the case of emergency. It includes a COPD Management Plan where you can consolidate all of your information in one place – like medications, doctor and medical facility contact information, and your basic health information, and lay out a plan for improving the management of your disease by increasing your exercise regimen or quitting smoking. It also includes a COPD Action Plan that’s divided into a green zone – for good days, a yellow zone – for bad days or COPD flare-ups, and a red zone – for when you need urgent medical care. Both of these forms should be filled out in a discussion with your doctor so the best plan possible is created for your COPD management.
Click here to download the COPD Action Plan and COPD Management Plan directly from the American Lung Association site.