Different pathways with roadblocks, detours and shortcuts.

Stages and Ages of COPD

We are all curious about the stages and ages of our progressive disease. We tend to carry a torch about it, bragging from the hilltops about what we can still do.

Despite our stage of COPD, my doctor feels it is better never to discuss what stage I am at. That does nothing to satisfy my curiosity or cure my anxiety with COPD.

Not knowing always leaves things up to my discretion.

Accuracy of my COPD stage

At the beginning of my COPD journey, I was full of assumptions. Given a lung function number early on, I was sure I knew my COPD stage.

Being diagnosed with a lower number gives some of us the green light to think COPD isn't too bad, thinking we can continue to smoke and forgo exercise. Because I thought I was a stage 4 already, I remember being pretty brash about how easy things would be and how I would be able to handle living with COPD.

If I had known that I was only at stage 3, I would have better understood how to proceed.

I thought my COPD was at stage 4 already, which meant that I assumed it was as bad as it could get, but a lung function test proved that was not the case.

I was only at stage 3. My COPD could and would get worse than I could ever have imagined. I couldn't imagine what I didn't understand.

I thought I had all the answers and could call the shots with my lungs. Following the doctor's orders were for other people, not for me.

I had no time to give to my COPD, and I was too busy to worry about it. Pushing my luck too far for too long helped me to find out who was boss and what that meant.

It wasn't a lot of fun. I was learning the hard way, as I always had in the past.

COPD stage progression

I am not too sure why doctors refuse to tell us our numbers. I am sure there is some reason set out by someone who does not have COPD.

Changing with the times, when I know there is information about me that I have no access to, it gets my dander up. With Google as a ready and available option, it is time, and we are ready to learn our numbers and understand what they mean.

I spent an entire doctor's visit trying to convince my doctor to give me a number or clue about my COPD stage. We could not agree on the topic.

He refused to say it, and I knew that he knew what my numbers were, so I became frustrated. It was a total waste of my time and his. After that conversation, I began to think it didn't matter.

It is better to put your time into exercise and self-care and stop worrying about numbers you may never know.

Editor’s Note: We are extremely saddened to say that on January 7th, 2024, Barbara Moore passed away. Barbara’s advocacy efforts and writing continue to reach many. She will be deeply missed.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

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.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.

Community Poll

Do you have an exercise routine?