What I Wish Others Understood About COPD

Sometimes, folks think I’m lazy.

And, admittedly, I am.

I think I’ve said this before – in fact, I know I’ve said this before – but I’d sleep until noon, if I could, almost every day.

I’m much more of a night owl.

And if I’m comfortable in a chair, please don’t ask me to get up!

It’s not always laziness.

But there are other times for instance, when I realize I’ve forgotten something in the house and retrieving it would take a return trip into the kitchen from the car. If it’s not a good breathing day, this can cause stress.


It wouldn’t seem like much to someone who doesn’t understand COPD but, to some of us who do, it can feel like the Bataan Death March, re-strapping on my backpack with the “D” oxygen tank that I just took off, walking up the driveway and up the front flight of stairs, retrieving whatever it was I needed.

Now, granted – that’s a huge exaggeration. And, even as I re-read what I just wrote, I’m thinking, “boy – is this guy lazy or what?”

But, if you don’t have COPD, I don’t think you can understand what it’s like to think things through before you set out in such a fashion, mostly to avoid SOB – shortness of breath.

Not taking movement for granted.

Yeah…I probably take advantage from time to time (and I don’t think I’m the only one) but the thought of having to walk back to where you just came from because you dropped something when there’s someone there who might pick it up for you, chances are, you’re hoping for the help.

Because physically, movement – of any kind – can be painful at times. And in different parts of the body.
Sharp pains to the stomach, lower back, chest – you name it, pain might come there.

Would the exercise you’re avoiding do you good? Probably.
Do you ever look at it that way? Never.

Movement is taken for granted by those without COPD, as it was for those of us who now have COPD but didn’t years ago.

I never thought about crossing the street, heading up subway stairs in the city, bending down to pick up the quarter I just dropped, making the bed, walking through the mall to the store I need which just so happens to be at the furthest point in the shopping center.

There are as many things I wish folks understood about COPD as there are folks who have the affliction – millions.

My wife is very tough.

“You pick it up. You’re so lazy,” she often says, but not always.

Once in a while, she has pity. And if you’d like to understand something about COPD, sometimes we need help. (But sometimes, we’re just being lazy – LOL!).

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

View Comments (15)
  • cher1215
    6 days ago

    Preach KevinDavitt!! I totally relate!!

  • KevinDavitt author
    6 days ago

    Totally!

  • KevinDavitt author
    6 days ago

    Thanks Cher.

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    6 days ago

    Hi Cher – we understand your tongue-in-cheek kidding. However, it is a good feeling to be part of a community that understands how you feel and knows what you are going through, too. You are always welcome here! Leon (site moderator)

  • cher1215
    6 days ago

    Misery loves company right? LOL just kidding!!

  • Baron
    7 days ago

    Actually, bending down to pick something up is one of the most physically stressful things you can do as the disease progresses. Your oversized inflated lungs will impact your stomach and try to flatten your already depressed diaphragm leading to acute shortness of breath. So, it’s fine to get someone else to do it. Be lazy!

  • KevinDavitt author
    7 days ago

    Exactly! Thanks, Baron.

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    6 days ago

    Hi Baron and thanks for your post. Well said! Wishing you well, Leon (site moderator)

  • Squirrels Holt
    1 week ago

    I found Kevin’s article described exactly how us COPDers,have to preplan literally everything,before we even move from our chair/bed/car etc. It gets to the point whereby it nearly drives me mad! I am fortunate to have a family member and also my best friend who both do some of the things I find too hard to do. However, they also encourage me to at least try…after all my fear of getting SOB does need to be checked every now and again,as I almost convince myself that I can’t do “it” so why should I get all out of breath,and panicking with my heart beating so fast…..and then the whole cycle starts again. In effect,its best to try even push ourselves out of our comfort zones -especially if we have our carers/best friends and family there to support us(or to find a chair for us to sit on,lol).

  • Barbara Moore moderator
    1 week ago

    Hi Squirrels Holt,
    It sounds like you have a great attitude about about COPD. Keep trying and no one can ask more of you. Barbara (Site Moderator)

  • KevinDavitt author
    1 week ago

    Thanks. I’m glad it’s not just me!

  • Lyn Harper, RRT moderator
    1 week ago

    I love your attitude, Squirrels Holt! I agree, it is sometimes good for us to push past our comfort zone and give ourselves a little challenge. We often find we can do just a little more than we may have thought we could.

    Best,
    Lyn (site moderator)

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    1 week ago

    Hi Squirrels Holt and thanks so much for your post in response to Kevin’s article. We appreciate you sharing with the community your viewpoint and how you are managing your condition. You are indeed fortunate to have a family member and best friend as your support system! Keep up the good work! Leon (site moderator)

  • John Bottrell, RRT moderator
    1 week ago

    Nice article. And sometimes it’s nice to have someone push you and motivate you. But, sometimes it’s nice to have that someone who will understand and help you. A combination of the two, I find, can be quite helpful when dealing with a chronic disease. John. Site Moderator.

  • KevinDavitt author
    1 week ago

    Thanks John. I agree. Wholeheartedly.

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