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Chronic Illness Changes Everything

When COPD strikes, it means lots of changes happen in a very short time in every part of our life. Our social life changes, our careers change and everything about our everyday living changes. Life is now filled with major challenges. We can no longer be independent. From now on, we are going to need assistance to live a comfortable life.

The effect of diagnosis on mental health

Your mental health becomes a huge issue. The reality of the diagnosis itself combined with the changes your body has experienced is enough to start negative self-talk that can send you on a downward spiral. How you are treated when you are initially told you have a positive diagnosis impacts your ability to control COPD and to cope with the disease. Asking for and accepting help is a great first step. Then it is up to you to follow through and seek to care for the whole person, mind, body, and soul.

Family impact of COPD

Family is supposed to be a safe haven where you can do and say anything and still be accepted. Sometimes, family turns out to be the very ones that point their accusatory fingers and offer the least amount of help. Children and spouses can be inconsiderate to our needs out of ignorance of the limitations and their refusal to understand COPD. Sisters and brothers who are too lazy and won’t take the time to read and understand COPD will often have a hard time believing the extent of our disability, therefore never truly understanding it.

Loss of friends after diagnosis

Friends, regardless of how long we have known them, can sometimes, seem to turn away from us. They are neither sympathetic nor empathetic. There is a sense of fear as if they are afraid of catching what we have. We can no longer keep up with the crowd like we did in the past and so they move on.

Colleagues and working with a chronic illness

Trying to work with a chronic illness is really the hardest of all. While we are trying to earn a living and productively supporting ourselves, our work environment, it seems, is unwilling or unable to accommodate us. Most countries have very weak laws protecting those who become chronically ill. When companies and managers don’t consider accommodation, we are always under the pressure of being terminated. In the back of our minds, we know it’s true. Trying to maintain our mental health while feeling threatened at work makes every job harder.

Housing changes due to COPD

Once COPD progresses into the more advanced stages, we often are unable to keep up living appearances. Whether we can live on our own and by ourselves becomes a major question. The devastation of having to downsize and move out of your home after the years spent here can cause a plethora of mental health issues. Your very security is removed. Everything that is familiar is gone and all new adventures seem daunting.

Changes in things that we used to do

The things that we used to do can no longer be achieved. Do you want to use all of your available resources trying to keep things the same or can we learn to accept the changes, adapt to them and use our resources as necessary? Things will change but not all change is bad. Now you have permission to miss someone and let them go so you can make your life about you.

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

  • Megan
    5 months ago

    Barbara Moore and et al…..everyone, every single person here. Should watch the YouTube Documentary about the amazing Claire Wineland (she had CF…).
    If it doesn’t change your attitude towards living with very little lung function and on oxygen, nothing ever will.

    Make time to watch it!!!

  • Megan
    5 months ago

    If I may ask why am I chided for mentioning a great uplifting video, when others write dated or doom and gloom, and alot of incorrect blabble? With all the problems in our world…you actually are going to call me out for mentioning a YouTube video twice and it was pertinent to both conversations. Really?
    I would worry more about the dated and inaccurate information than this.

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    5 months ago

    Hi again, Megan, and thanks for posting here.

    On the contrary, you were not being ‘chided’ or ‘called out’. An effort was being made to alert our readers to the ‘you tube’ article/video you advised all to view in two separate locations, responding to two different posts.
    If that wasn’t clear to you, I apologize.
    Please know you are always welcome here!
    Leon (site moderator)

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    5 months ago

    Hi again, Megan, and thanks for this post. I remember you told us about this ‘Claire Wineland’ You Tube video in another of your posts on COPD.net when you responded to our own Karen Hoyt. That post can be found here: https://copd.net/living/getting-sympathy/.

    It is relatively simple to locate the presentations. Simply use the words – you tube claire wineland – and you will have choices to select.
    Regards,
    Leon (site moderator)

  • Janet Plank moderator
    5 months ago

    Barbara, this is a wonderful article that will touch so many, because of their own COPD lives.
    Janet (site moderator)

  • Barbara Moore moderator author
    5 months ago

    Thank you Janet. I appreciate your opinion. Barbara Moore (site moderator)

  • Janet Plank moderator
    6 months ago

    Very food article Barbara.
    Thank you,
    Janet (site moderator)

  • Connie
    6 months ago

    The hardest thing I have found is finding a good doctor, dealing with insurance companies, getting my prescriptions filled especially the cough medicine that I have to use maybe twice a year that has a minute amount of codene in it. This is some of the most frustrating things I have to do. I do have medicare 141.00 a month they take from my S.S.check, I also pay $113.00 a month for a supporting insurance and then $60.00 a month for part D prescription. That doesn’t cover my inhalers fully. I feel like I am being reemed and robbed and on top of that I can’t breath well and this on top of all that is just not right. It looks like they could look and see how often I fill a medicine and have some common sense and know that I am not a drug head. Sorry for my rant but it is rediculous and if they think this law that has been made to stop drug abuse then they are bigger goofs than what we deal with in everyday life. People that have an addiction are going to get their drugs from somewhere or make it themselves. This law is hurting the ones that seriously need it. Ok I am done sorry I don’t usually rant and rave but dang it is frustrating. Love you guys hope you all have a great day and no problems!!!

  • Barbara Moore moderator author
    5 months ago

    Connie, You raise a valid point. Have you tried calling the companies that make your puffers? Often if you can’t afford the meds, They will help you will coupons. Please try it and let us know how you make out. The stress you are feeling is not good for your overall health. Barbara Moore (site moderator author)

  • Megan
    5 months ago

    Have tried calling the Pharmaceutical company that manufacturers your inhaler and other medications? Many times they will send coupons, that lower the amount for the whole year, this is for brand names.

  • mellsue
    6 months ago

    I can so relate to you, why is the inhalers this costly and other meds also, I call my insurance company and sometimes they will lower the co/pay.
    It’s good to vent ! This awful condition is hard to deal with.

  • Barbara Moore moderator author
    5 months ago

    Thank you for your comment mellsue. Never stop using your voice. Make sure you are heard, and understood. Thank you for commenting Barbara Moore (site moderator Author)

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