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A gray cloudy sky with the sun peaking through

Chase the Clouds Away

I’m usually an optimistic person – despite living with COPD for eight years now; 8 years that I know of in any event.

Who knows – I’m sure it was developing in me years before that.

I’ll always be sick, but I try to stay positive

But – every so often – it gets to me. And I get tired of knowing that when I wake up, each day, I’m still going to be sick. I’m not going to get “better.”

I do the best that I can to distract myself from thinking like that. It’s important to do so.

On some of the Facebook COPD pages and other websites I read, there are folks there who were diagnosed 20 and 30 years ago and who manage to live as full a life as possible.

And sadly, there are other folks I read about who seem to have miserable days, every day.

Hopefully, I’m closer to the former as opposed to the latter.

Some days are harder than others

On occasion, I get nostalgic for the days when I could breathe easy, take long walks on the beach with my wife, go swimming in the Atlantic Ocean and travel just about anywhere without having to worry about lugging oxygen tanks and medications and taking extraordinary precautions no matter where we went.

And yet, I have other days where I can accept all that, and acknowledge the responsibility for having chosen to smoke for 35 years without thinking much about the effect.

The effects of smoking

Like many young folks, my gang felt invincible.

Nothing was going to get in our way. Cancer? No way.

“Let’s eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we may die,” as it says in the Bible. That was our philosophy. We didn’t deny ourselves much of anything.

It was easier to get beyond self-pity when I was still gainfully employed. Just the daily routine of getting up, showering, commuting, working and returning home took almost 10-12 hours out of my day.

There really wasn’t much time to think about how I was feeling (aside from the occasional flu or cold) and work was demanding so, oftentimes, all of that got ignored.

Keeping busy to stay positive

Now – keeping busy by volunteering and other hobbies keep my mind occupied in a positive manner.

Once in a while, there are grey dreary days (like today) and that old self-pity raises its ugly head. (I’m just glad I don’t live in London or one of the Scandinavian countries! Lol)

But I’m also blessed with a supportive family. My kids are always there for me when they can be. I try not to bother them too much. They have their own lives now.

However, once in a while there’s just a project or a task around the house that I just can’t do by myself anymore.

And I never have to ask for help twice.

My wife is so supportive that she refuses my requests for assistance whenever she feels like I’m “taking it too easy.”

I know that doesn’t seem to make sense, but my point is she knows I’ll take advantage of their collective charity at times because I am indeed just being “lazy.”

And so, I try to be aware of that – even when I’m feeling most sorry for myself.

Therapy was supportive, but it wasn’t for me

One of my doctors (I seem to have a bunch!) early on recommended seeing and talking to a therapist about how I was feeling about my life with COPD.

I went to two different therapists – both very supportive – but it wasn’t for me.

I especially didn’t care for the prescriptions I was given. They made me feel worse!

And so life goes on…and I’m so glad it does.

The sun just started to peak out from behind the clouds.

I’m feeling better already.

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

Comments

  • Cynthiajk
    6 days ago

    Thank you for sharing your experience with COPD. I could have written it myself, at least in part. I have reconciled myself to good days, bad days and accept that I do what I can, when I can. Fortunately, we aren’t the type to give up! Blessings.

  • KevinDavitt author
    6 days ago

    Cynthiajk – thanks. No, we’re not!

  • BeverlyDeMarco
    6 days ago

    Hi Kevin, This is Beverly DeMarco, Thanks for your reply but I am not on FACEBOOK, Its too complicated for me. I WILL SOON BE GOING TO PULMONARY REHAB AS SOON AS MY DOCTOR SENDS OVER MY BREATHING REPORT TO THEM, SO HOPEFULLY I WILL MEET A SUPPORT GROUP THERE TOO. I WILL STAY IN TOUCH WITH THIS COPD GROUP ALSO, I HAVE RECENTLY LOSS TWO VERY GOOD FRIENDS TO COPD AND REALLY MISS THEM SO I AM HAVING A LOT OF DEPRESSES DAYS TOO .

  • KevinDavitt author
    6 days ago

    Hi Beverly – do whatever you can to acquire the support you need. And you’ll be glad you joined rehab. – guaranteed!

  • khysha
    1 week ago

    I have my days aswell

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    7 days ago

    Hi khysha and thanks for joining in the conversation. All the best, Leon (site moderator)

  • Chloeshadow
    1 week ago

    That is wonderful!!!! Please keep us all updated on your journey.Good luck and God Bless!!

  • BeverlyDeMarco
    1 week ago

    I am so glad I found this COPD GROUP for SUPPORT, I LIVE IN OCALA, FLA BUT CANT FIND ANYONE TO TALK TO ABOUT THIS HORRIBLE DIEASE. IT GETS HARDER EACH DAY BUT THIS GROUP HAS HELP ME A LOT TO COPE WITH IT AND I KNOW I AM NOT ALONE.THANKS TO EVERYONE FOR YOUR HELP AND SUPPORT

  • KevinDavitt author
    1 week ago

    BeverlyDeMarco – I suggest you also join 2 Facebook groups – The first sponsored by Barbara Moore – Catch Your Breath 60 (https://www.facebook.com/catchyourbreath60/)

    and We Strive to Breathe Easier (https://www.facebook.com/groups/154790934878655/) with Derek Cummings.

    Both – wonderful people who write on COPD.net The groups belonging to those pages are very supportive.

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    1 week ago

    Hi again BeverlyDeMarco – we’re glad you found our website too! Please feel free to access it as often and for as long as you like. You are always welcome here! You also may want to check out our COPD Facebook page. Many of our members interact there regularly throughout the day and night. Warmly, Leon (site moderator)

  • BeverlyDeMarco
    1 week ago

    Today was a good day for me, I went to BINGO for two hours with my sister and took my Oxygen with me but didn’t have to use it until I got home.Ihate to keep it on all day and when I can I will try to give my nose a little break.and it feels good to get out for a couple of hours without the Oxygen on and everyone feeling sorry for you when they see it on your face

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    1 week ago

    Hi BeverlyDeMarco and thanks for sharing the successful and satisfying day you had today! It’s good for us all to hear how active our members are even with this condition. Keep up the good work! Leon (site moderator)

  • Chloeshadow
    1 week ago

    I was diagnosed with COPD 9 years ago…I now have end stage COPD.It is scary…im hangin in there..doing all I can to help myself.I live in West Michigan and have recently found out about a new treatment for severe COPD…called the Zephyr Valve.I am already in the process of being evaluated to see if I am a candidate..go to http://www.MyLungsMyLife.com

  • GAlexa
    1 week ago

    Today my Pulmonologist told me he sits on the board when I brought up the Zephyr treatment! There are 12 criteria one must pass before you get the treatment. I’m guessing you will qualify. I will start the paperwork process tomorrow.

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    1 week ago

    Hi GAlexa and thanks for this post. Sounds like you’re on your way towards a new treatment. Please be sure to check back and keep us apprised of your progress. We’d would appreciate going through this with you. Good luck!! Leon (site moderator)

  • KevinDavitt author
    1 week ago

    I traveled down to Philadelphia to meet with Dr. Crien of Temple University Hospital who also performs the valve treatment.
    I was ineligible because I’d had Lung Volume Reduction Surgery a few years ago.
    But he was pleased with the results they’re getting.

  • Chloeshadow
    1 week ago

    Thank you for sharing that information with me..so sorry you are not eligible…I don’t know if I am yet.But even if im not…I pray it helps others.And thanks for being positive….

  • Chloeshadow
    1 week ago

    Just to comment more on the Zephyr Valve…I go to therapy with a lady that had it done here in Grand Rapids.She is the 2nd person in W.Michigan to have this done.She is doing fine..can already feel a little bit of improvement..this gives me hope.Also went to listen to the doctor who has performed this procedure.It is for those of us with severe COPD that are still real short of breath despite treatment.I hope whoever reads this gets excited about this..it could be life changing!!!

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    1 week ago

    Hi Chloeshadow and thanks for joining the conversation. We appreciate you sharing your viewpoint and plans moving forward with this type of treatment. I thought you also might find it helpful to look over the article we have published on our COPD.net website about the very same topic: https://copd.net/clinical/endobronchial-valve-system/.
    Please do check back and let us know how you’re doing. Wishing you the best, Leon (site moderator)

  • Linda
    1 week ago

    Thank you for sharing your experiences. It sure does help to know I’m not alone. These online conversations help me more than anything else and it’s where I get most of my support. So thanks again. ~Linda~

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    1 week ago

    Hi Linda and thanks for joining in the conversation here. It’s good to hear the value you find in our conversations and website. Thanks for the kind words. You are always welcome here! Leon (site moderator)

  • KevinDavitt author
    1 week ago

    Linda – we’re all in this together. That’s why I think ( and I wrote) that we need to stay on top of things and read and share whatever information we come across because it’s very possible a lot of folks haven’t read what you’ve read or heard what you’ve heard.

  • Vittoria
    1 week ago

    I just read your article and I liked your statement, “I’ll always be sick, but I try to stay positive”. I think that I will make that my daily mantra. It’s facing this debilitating disease rather than pushing it out of my mind. Of course, this weather (allergies) and ozone warnings don’t help our cause and I feel like I’m hovering on the edge of bronchitis. I’m watching it closely and feel at ease that my insurance plan has e-visits and I can get medication the same day I submit the form. Thank goodness for computers. Thank you so much for sharing your experience.

  • KevinDavitt author
    1 week ago

    Vitoria – it’s my pleasure. When I’m having bad days I think to myself, “You’re not alone.”
    Somehow that makes it more bearable.

  • Beulah
    2 weeks ago

    I have been down with pneumonia and an exacerbation for 7 weeks. Was in hospital for a few days, I am starting to feel some better but I run a low grade fever 24/7 and I’m weak. With each flare up they are worse and takes longer to recover. The depression and anxiety is such a black hole and I seem to be in it more than not. I don’t know what it feels like to feel good anymore.

  • Chloeshadow
    1 week ago

    So sorry to hear all your going through.I have been in the hospital many times myself for the same reason.This bad patch will pass…and it will take time but you will feel better.It is a struggle I know…and if I could wish it away for all of us..I surely would.

  • pat02
    1 week ago

    I hope you are feeling better today, I know how hard this disease is and can be and I know there are some better days ..I spent Mothers Day with my children and grandchildren and I am fighting a new infection, it wore me out. I hope you will talk to your doctors about a medication for depression I am taking just a small dose but it sure helps. Will be sending good thoughts for you…

  • KevinDavitt author
    2 weeks ago

    Beulah – please keep the faith. Are you taking any anti-depression medication?
    I always try to get company if I can when I’m going through a period like yours.
    Are friends/family available to you?

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