COPD vs. Aging (Part 1)

Last updated: August 2023

The other day I was talking to my husband about some ailment that was new. I think at the time I was looking in the mirror and was just so sad because of my appearance. He paused and said, “You know, we’re getting older. Some of this is because we are aging.”

Made perfect sense

Not all disease

That opened my eyes and made perfect sense. It’s crazy that so many symptoms of COPD also may appear due to aging. This is not to make light of COPD or any other chronic illness. It just helped me to realize that some part of my life might actually be normal. So often we associate just about every symptom to our various health issues such as COPD. Sometimes we think (often correctly) they result from our medications.

Getting older

However, some things might also be attributed to aging, because we are indeed getting older. I am anyway. Old. 66. Why is this important? For me, I would rather think - or better yet know - that some things are because of the normal course of aging instead of my COPD always being the culprit.

Not all good news

Not excited about aging

Or would I? Actually, I wasn’t too excited to hear it was aging either. It’s blown me away that no one told me about this - that some of this might be normal. A grumpy nurse told me about aging some time ago. I had called to ask for an explanation about a biopsy result. She asked about some of my symptoms and just kept saying it's possible that aging was causing some of the severe dryness I was experiencing.

Socked in the stomach

Mind you, I was sent to a rheumatologist because a doctor had done a biopsy on my lip. He was concerned about this other disease/syndrome. According to the nurse, some things that the specialist told me weren’t documented. She said it's possible that they weren't recorded because I’m just old. It felt like I was socked in the stomach.

Trying to understand

I was just trying to understand what was what. He said that I possibly had another disease/syndrome and that it wasn't being recorded because he would have to start me on some harsh medication. For now, he was leaving it out of the chart.

I've seen this before

I've seen this before. Can this nurse and I talk instead of her just telling me that I’m old? Can I ask about when to follow up on the concerning lump under my neck or throat, which is why I went to the doctor in the first place?

Aging gracefully

We often talk about how teens should be trained for life in the real world. How new parents should learn to care for their new baby and other children. Yes, they definitely should. I think that we should also learn how to age. It would be nice to be educated on how to age gracefully. That's something that I have heard quite often, "He/she is aging gracefully."

Age gracefully. How do they do that? Gee, now I have more reason to go kicking and screaming to the grave. What I mean is that there is more of me to care for, more of my husband and family to care for. More to love.

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