New To COPD? Here’s 6 Things To Know
Last updated: November 2018
So, you’re new to COPD. Here are six things to know.
A diagnosis can be looked at as good
I know! I know! This is the exact opposite of what you expected me to say. But, hear me out. So, you have your diagnosis. Your doctor was up front and honest with you. This is good. Now you know you have COPD. Now you can begin the process of learning how to cope with it.
Coping with it means making changes
Change is hard. That we can all attest to. But, change can also help you live a long, quality life despite your diagnosis. There are many changes you may be asked to make. Examples include seeing your doctor more often, seeing more than one doctor, and taking medicine every day. It’s hard to make changes. But, change can also be good.
If you smoke, quitting can prolong your life
This is proven. There is actual proof that quitting smoking prolongs life. This is one of the few things proven to prolong life. And that’s why it’s said over and over and over. You will probably get tired of hearing it. But, there’s a good reason it’s repeated ad nauseam.
COPD Action Plans can help you decide what actions to take when you have flare-ups
You and your doctor may sit down and work out a plan. This may entail listing all the things that trigger your COPD. It may entail listing your early warning symptoms. It then involves listing what actions to take when you feel symptoms. It will help you decide what actions to take when your symptoms get worse.
The earlier you seek help, the easier it is for doctors to help you
This is where COPD Action Plans are nice. They help you to take actions. The idea is that the quicker you act, the easier it is to stave off a full-fledged flare-up. Your action plan may call for you to self-treat yourself with medicines available to you. It may call for you to get away from what’s triggering your flare-up. If these actions fail to work, your action plan may say, “Call your doctor.” It may say, “Call 911.” The general idea here is, the quicker you seek help, the better.
You can live a long, quality life despite your diagnosis
The goal of making changes is to help you live better and live longer. What will you be able to do? Well, I have seen people with COPD walk marathons. I have seen people with COPD walking along beaches and watching sunsets. How long will you live? Well, I know some people who were diagnosed decades ago still enjoying sunsets. I know people who were told they had weeks to live still enjoying sunsets years later. So, only God knows the answer to that.
What to make of this?
Many of these you may hear a lot. After #1, they are all cliches. They are repeated over and over in COPD circles. There is a good reason for this. It's because they are worthy of repeating. They are all important things to know.
Do you feel comfortable asking your doctor questions about your COPD?