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a mother and father on breathing devices with their hands on their daughter

COPD Awareness Month

As COPD Awareness Month is upon us I feel it’s important to make sure we are aware off changes within our health. We can become complacent with ourselves and think different ailments are just part and parcel of our body’s changes. And you tend to believe there is nothing sinister going on. COPD can hit anyone at any age. Though there are known triggers, you can get it without any of these triggers.

I shrugged it off more and more

From having Asthma as a child and numerous chest infections I became complacent to believe it was just part and parcel of my wellbeing. And I shrugged it off more and more. I did smoke and came from a family whose parents smoked so being me it was the norm. My mother died young (55) of Chronic Bronchitis and Respiratory failure so you would have thought I would have learned from this, but no, I didn’t. I nursed my mum at home 24/7 for two years right up until she died. Oxygen at home and still she smoked (me too). I still didn’t take notice.

Being in denial will get you nowhere

My chest infections were more frequent and I smoked more than ever. Being in and out of hospital (different problem) all the time to kill in the world to just smoke. My father became ill with his chest, he struggled but quit smoking just before he went on home oxygen too. I still smoked!
Don’t be the one to shrug things off don’t leave the offer of a lung function test go by no one is invincible. Being in denial will get you nowhere except sicker and sicker. I think to be afraid of the unknown and seeing what my parents had and what they went through put me off the knowing. Deep down I new I was ill and I didn’t want to hear the words. I was offered numerous lung function tests but always declined them gracefully I was scared I was in poor health but I didn’t want to hear I had COPD (though we all new I had it even me).

Get it treated sooner rather than later

What I’m saying is don’t put off any tests if you have something wrong – get it treated sooner rather than later. By letting things get so bad you have the added stress of not knowing what’s going on and the anxiety hits an all-time high. The quicker you’re diagnosed, the quicker you get treated. Ok, there is no cure for COPD but knowing you have it you can change your lifestyle to slow the progression. And you will also be given the correct medication to help you and maybe even have surgery as an option.

Although a diagnosis can be scary, it’s not as scary letting yourself get so ill that you might die. Sadly, when diagnosing patients with COPD, the consultants tend to speak only about the lungs. Not much is touched upon the emotional side of COPD. The way your life changes on a daily basis, it’s difficult to plan ahead as you don’t know how you will be until you wake up. Changing your daily living by not using spray polish but using wipes. Having a shower instead of a bath as you cant breathe laying in the steam.

Get your Lung Function test as soon as possible then you can learn to adjust gradually so it won’t be such a shock to you and your family and loved ones.
There is hope and…….

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Douglas
    1 week ago

    My Mother was a Nurse who graduated in 1924,she was not working when I was born in 1938. Both my parents smoked the common belief was that if smoking was to be harmful you cough with each puff. I had Bronchitis when I got a cold my Mother took me from Doctor to Chiropractor to find help to no avail. I smoked from 19 to 48 when I was diagnosed with copd and quit . Worked till 75. Still going at 81 but with worse symptoms. So those just diagnosed there is hope. Good Luck

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    1 week ago

    Hi Douglas, and thank you for joining in this conversation. We appreciate you sharing your medical history and experience with COPD with the community. Glad to hear you’re doing well and provide a sense of hope to everyone. Warm regards, Leon (site moderator)

  • gramma4
    2 weeks ago

    During a conversation at Pulmonary Rehab yesterday the topic of exacerbations and treatment of such arose. Several of us had been in the hospital this year for a night or two. We decided that what we need are Pulmonary Clinics. Instead of going to the ER when symptoms arise, go to the Clinic which would diagnose the serious of the condition, treat the condition, or advise the patient to go to the ER. This would save patients from ER visits and short hospital stays. Any comments.

  • Lyn Harper, RRT moderator
    2 weeks ago

    Hi gramma4 – I think it’s a fabulous idea! In fact, some of the doctors in large practices that are affiliated with the hospital I work for have done something rather similar. They keep openings each day in their schedule to allow for last minute visits from their COPD patients that are feeling unwell. It allows the person to see the doctor, determine if they need to go to the ED, or if the doctor can treat them and send them home.
    It’s not exactly as good as a clinic, such as you describe, but it might be the next best thing.
    Lyn (site moderator)

  • Debz Borge moderator author
    2 weeks ago

    Gramma4 thank you for commenting on the post, here in the UK where I’m from we have a Pulmonary Team who come out to the home when we have been hospitalized with a flare up. The idea you have sounds brilliant. Maybe a group of you could get together and suggest it to your Consultant or Dr. It must be cheaper to look after people in there homes than in hospital. I’m sorry I’m unable to suggest much more as I’m not very clued up from different states. Debz (Site Moderator)

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