The official blog of the Lung Institute.
Everybody loves attending a good party. I would venture to guess that nobody loves a good party more than me. Oftentimes, I find myself wondering how the host does it. Between chatting up each guest and making sure everything runs smoothly, I am often left in awe. How does she or he do it all?
Learning how to entertain in general can be difficult, but when the host suffers from a chronic lung disease like COPD, it can feel downright impossible. That’s why learning how to effectively and efficiently throw the best party in the family can make a huge difference. To help you start planning your next event, consider the potential problems before they arise. Rather than be blindsided with unexpected issues, here’s a list of common party problems with the solutions we all need. So when it comes time to host the next party, try these four tips for entertaining with COPD.
Tip #1: Think Inside the Box
Depending on the season and where you live, it can be difficult to choose where to throw your party. The weather, the temperature, the general climate of your hometown can severely impact your party plans. Summer is prime time for outdoor parties, or if you live in an area that is warm all year long, it can be difficult to find a party that doesn’t boast outdoor activities.
Problem: Unfortunately, the most exciting time of the year comes along with heat and humidity. Extreme temperatures can lead to additional shortness of breath as your body works harder to maintain a normal body temperature, and therefore requires more oxygen.
Solution: To prevent a COPD flare-up, remember temperature when you plan your party. Consider making it an indoor party. With fun cooking tools like a George Foreman grill, you can still have that fresh grilled flavor you love. Dedicated to keeping the party outdoors? Set up fans ahead of time to make sure you can keep your body temperature regulated and avoid taxing your body.
Tip #2: Share the Wealth
Accompanying every party is a long to do list of miscellaneous tasks to complete before, during and after a party. In more recent times, we have come to believe that when we host a party, we are responsible for doing every single thing. For anyone, with or without a chronic lung disease, throwing a party alone is taxing both physically and mentally.
Problem: When we host a party, we get it into our heads that we should cater to every guest and help everyone throughout the whole event. This often makes it difficult to enjoy the gathering, not to mention tiring out a host with lung disease.
Solution: Give out designated tasks. Is your nephew the best cook in town? Ask him to cover the kitchen this year. Want to streamline the food process even more? Go for a build-your-own bar. Instead of gathering information from every guest on how she or he wants her or his burger cooked and what toppings she or he is craving, have them create their own masterpiece. Line up the toppings ahead of time to prevent mid-party flare-ups and fatigue. Is your family less than helpful when it comes to hosting events? Consider hiring out. When it comes to the food, caterers can help make the munchies easy to manage. For the clean-up stages of a party—both before guests arrive and once they leave—try a local cleaning service. There is no need to do everything alone.
Tip #3: Make it Rain
No, not actual rain. (But rain is one more reason to move the party indoors!) Remembering your guests’—and your personal—hydration needs is essential to avoiding a COPD flare-up. It’s not uncommon for people to consider alcohol, but did you remember the good ol’ water?
Problem: Oftentimes, we only think about the food at our outdoor events with no definitive drink plan. Sure, we remember to pick up a six-pack and a bottle of champagne, but we don’t consider how guests need to stay hydrated. Children and individuals over 65 years of age are at a higher risk of dehydration, so making sure both you and your guests’ needs are met can make a huge difference.
Solution: Whether you choose to leave out a cooler of bottled water or fill up a beverage dispenser with ice water at a drink station, hydration is key to feeling healthy and well at the end of the day. Balancing any alcohol consumption with water can limit any detrimental health effects and can help you keep cool. Afraid no one will drink the water? Make it fancy; add fruit to your water for a healthy, low calorie, low sugar juice and soda alternative.
Tip #4: Breathe Easier
Living with COPD can be really challenging. Between balancing your health needs, it can feel impossible to maintain an active social life, not to mention, hosting a party.
Problem: The side effects of a chronic lung disease like COPD include shortness of breath, fatigue, coughing, wheezing and other related conditions. All of these can pile up leading to excess difficulty remaining active. This can lead to the end of life as you once knew it.
Solution: Do something about it! Medical advancements in regenerative medicine are making it possible to bring life back within reach once again. For sufferers, this can mean breathing easier and living better. If you’re ready to breathe easier, call the Lung Institute to schedule your free consultation at (800) 729-3065.