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signed Congressional bill.

The COPD Declaration of Independence

As we turn the calendar page to July, we come upon the most American holiday of all: the Fourth of July (Independence Day). Our core memories of this holiday may involve mosquito bites, sparklers, hot dogs, and barbeques with neighborhood friends and family.

As we venture towards being school-age and beyond, we note this day's importance beyond the pomp and circumstance. 

COPD independence declaration to affirm rights and resilience

As many patients who are diagnosed with COPD can relate, the biggest frustration of COPD is the growing loss of independence. But as I look upon the actual Declaration of Independence, I feel led to create one for those who live with COPD, as well as those who give care to them.

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The Declaration of Independence states three basic ideas:

  1. God made all men equal and gave them the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
  2. The main business of government is to protect these rights
  3. If a government tries to withhold these rights, the people are free to revolt and set up a new government

The  COPD Declaration of Independence can affirm three basic ideas as well:

  1. Everyone is made equal and has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
  2. The main goal of living each day is to carry out these rights for those we care for, and most importantly, for ourselves
  3. If a disease like COPD, tries to withhold these rights, we are tasked to revolt against the disease in ways large and small to retain our quality and quantity of life, regardless of the symptoms of COPD

Reclaiming our independence

Liberty emphasizes the importance of individual rights and the limitations of governmental power, while freedom is more central to a person's ability to pursue their interests.

You may feel like COPD infringes on your right and ability to go out with friends and socialize or do common chores like laundry, the dishes, or a shower. 

Some ways to shift your perspective that may help you reclaim your independence may be:

  • Planning extra time to do your tasks so you do not feel rushed
  • Give yourself the grace to celebrate what you accomplished instead of being frustrated with what you can and will have to wait until tomorrow
  • Work each day to strengthen your mind, body, and soul in tangible ways
  • Start a COPD Journal to assist in keeping records of your symptoms, medication, and overall wellness

Embracing our daily victories

Our nation's founding fathers sought independence without knowing if it would be successful. The risk was high, and the reward was handed down to us and the generations that would follow. As a patient with COPD, you can claim independence from the tyranny of COPD each day, each hour, and each task.

We hold these truths to be self-evident. You CAN live your best life and be free to pursue what makes you happy! 

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.

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