Utilizing my Spirometer

spirometerTwo years ago I fractured my hip and part of my post-surgery procedure was using the item that you see here. It is an incentive spirometer and is used to help open the airways and prevent fluid or mucus from building up in your lungs.

I had completely forgotten that I had this until I came across it while doing a thorough cleaning of my bathroom closet a few weeks back. When I saw it I decided to test myself. I put my lips around the flexible tube and took a long, slow deep breath in. As I did so the piston inside the large column moved up registering my lung capacity. I was surprised to see that I didn’t get it up very far.

I could barely get it to the 1000 mark and that was less than what I could do while still in the hospital. This really annoyed me but it scared me too. I realized that I did not have the lung capacity that I thought I did. It was a wake up call for me to take some action.

I decided to put the spirometer in the one place where I couldn’t help but see it … on my desk, next to my computer ! … and I’ve challenged myself to using it as often as I can every day. There is a little arrow attached to the big tube and I can set it to the number that I’ve reached. This is my reminder of how high I have been able to raise the piston with my breaths and I strive each time to get it a little higher. I’m happy to report that I can see real progress in the two weeks that I’ve been using this and I plan to keep on doing it.

The spirometer that I have is made by Airlife. It’s very light-weight and the tube comes off for easy cleaning. I highly recommend it to any of you seniors out there who, like me, are living a more sedentary life than you have in the past. Lung capacity is critical to our health and this is such a simple and easy way to increase it.

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