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Tomorrow is My Birthday

Editors note: This post was written by the author the day prior to their birthday. The post was not published on this date.

Tomorrow is my birthday – my 65th.

I’m speechless.

When I think of 65, I picture my quiet, Irish grandfather sitting in the corner chair of the apartment where he and my grandmother lived in Brooklyn.

He was always dressed neatly as men of his generation did, no matter their ethnicity, tie, vest jacket, no matter the weather, no matter the venue or occasion.

What I will be doing as I turn 65

On the other hand, as I turn 65, I will be dressed in cargo shorts, t-shirt, and sneakers and an occasional hospital gown since torture will be taking place on my body at the Lung Transplant Center I recently subscribed to, in the hopes of obtaining one.

Torture is a strong word – but I’m not saying it’s inaccurate.

Tests for COPD

Since I was diagnosed with COPD in 2011, I have been amazed at the annual, semi-annual, monthly – name your pick – tests we are put through to establish the level of care needed to be administered to us.

There’s the full Pulmonary Function Test (PFT), the 6-minute walk; Spirometry – each of these tests requires us to do the one thing that COPD has made almost impossible for us to do – breathe hard, in and out, over and over – until we cannot perform these tests any longer.

I’ve often thought it probably would be just as well for one to say, “my breathing’s gotten a little better” or “my breathing’s gotten a little worse” or “my breathing is about where it was when I was last here.” It would be a lot less painful.

I’m kidding, of course. The medical staff we spend time with truly have our best interests at heart and would like nothing more than for us to breathe better.

But occasionally, there will be a medical associate who is virtually screaming “PUSH…PUSH…PUSH!” directly in my ear, during the PFT and that I can do without.

I’m not one of those people who knew what they would be doing at various points in their lives. I have some friends, my age, who set out to be at a particular point in their career or living a particular lifestyle at 40, 50, 65 years of age.

I was never like that.

While I could do without the COPD, I’m not as angry at myself as I was 7 or 8 years ago for being dumb and smoking when there were so many warnings around me, including my own mother’s battle with emphysema from smoking and who passed away at 63.

Support from my family

But I’ve been blessed with two sons, a daughter and a wife whom I adore.

Without them, I don’t know what I’d do.

They’ve picked me up when I’ve fallen from COPD both literally and emotionally and I’m forever thankful for them.

I recently posted an article on my personal Facebook page about transplants in general. It was written by Dr. Daniela J. Lamas who is a pulmonary and critical care physician, for the New York Times, and is entitled “When Is a Transplant Worth It?”1

It’s worth the read.

Lung transplant for COPD

But the reason I bring this up is that I mentioned in my posting that I was being considered for a lung transplant.

I’m a lucky guy. I have kept in touch with many, many people I have met. For instance, I have a number of friends who I speak with regularly who I attended kindergarten with in 1959.

But I had no idea I would receive over 300 comments from folks I know who were encouraging and “pulling for me” to be accepted to the transplant program.

Please go to my page and read the incredible comments I received.

So, hopefully, there will be cake tomorrow evening of the birthday variety.

But tomorrow, my birthday schedule will be:

  • a “Sniff Test” at 9:00 AM. I then have
  • an Esopagram at 10:20AM
  • a Chest Cat Scan at 11:20AM.

And if that’s not enough, a Bilateral, Lower Extremities Arterial Exam is “TBD” (to be determined.)

No complaints on my end. And please, check back with me in 2024.

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.

  1. Lamas, D. (2019, May 4). Opinion | When Is a Transplant Worth It? [Editorial]. New York Times. Retrieved May 28, 2019, from


  • Carriej
    3 months ago

    That’s a great birthday present! In Canada, we can’t have lung transplants at 65. Too old. Good luck with your surgery & recovery!

  • KevinDavitt author
    3 months ago

    Thank you Carriej.

  • Stamford1234
    3 months ago

    I hope you enjoyed your Birthday. Many happy returns

  • KevinDavitt author
    3 months ago

    I did. Thank you very much.

  • wilemski
    3 months ago

    I hope you get the transplant. You seem nice. I don’t think i have copd, but I smoked for 41 years, one doctor said he thinks i have it, but the spyrometry says no. So i read about it to count my blessings.

  • KevinDavitt author
    3 months ago

    Thank you. I hope you don’t have COPD either.
    But if you do – we’re here to help.

  • vjmilam
    4 months ago

    Happy Birthday!

  • KevinDavitt author
    4 months ago

    vjmilam – thanks so much!

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