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‘Tis the Season to Be Jolly fa la la la la…

Person “M” turns the TV off, as a tear runs down her cheek. She knows this time of the year, with all of the holidays, is supposed to be special. Why though, is she here alone. Her son offered to bring a plate of food to her. He told her that he felt she would be better off at home because people will probably wear a scent that she can’t handle. He said he’ll try to bring the kids by to open presents tomorrow. She sighs. Why can’t he acknowledge that she would at least like to be invited.

She has COPD and can’t help it that she has more difficulty breathing when people wear their scented perfumes and things.

The holiday celebrations are supposed to be a time for family, and here she is, alone again. Yes, they were probably right by saying they would just bring a plate. Why couldn’t they just ask her, let it be her decision. Even though it would probably be no. He said he’d try to bring kids by tomorrow, that doesn’t mean he will. Why can’t they invite her, so she can watch the gift opening and be part of the family? She says that this COPD is ruining her life.

Person “B” got up early today. He is so tired since he was up coughing much of the night. It’s really cold outside, so the neighbor must have been smoking in his lower level apartment again. He’s been looking forward to going to his son’s house, with the family at 2:00. Maybe after a nap, he’ll feel better. A few hours later he’s feeling horrible. More coughing and a lot of mucus. Does this ever stop? It seems every time he looks forward to doing something, something triggers a COPD reaction. So much for family time. He doesn’t want to ruin their day, especially with family and friends joining the celebration.

He decided to just call an ambulance. He didn’t want to be a bother anyone. His son went to pick him up at the house, and he wasn’t anywhere to be found, inside or out. His son went to the neighbors, who saw an ambulance at the house.  “B” was still in the ER; they would be moving him to a room before long. The doctor wanted him to have another breathing treatment and to adjust his meds.

His son told him to always let him know what’s going on.

His son was worried more about not knowing what happened to his dad, then he would have if he had known. The Christmas celebration broke up soon after, since most wanted to go to the hospital. After all, they were family and friends. Dinner will wait until everyone leaves the hospital. He was going into ICU. They knew they wouldn’t all be able to see him, but they were there and close by. He feels so loved by his family, knowing they were there for him. He tried to protect them from the effects of his COPD and they came to be there for him, so he wouldn’t be alone.

Sadly, people are often lonelier and more depressed over the holidays. It seems for each one, it’s a family affair and often friends. With all the traditions that have been created over the years. COPD is one that doesn’t go away. So many, even myself, get sick of being sick.

We want to be included, that’s the way it is for many with COPD and other chronic illnesses. It takes time to get ready. Sometimes it’s difficult just to be ready to go. Give us time to rest after showering. That’s hard work, especially when we can’t breathe. Another nebulizer treatment is needed.

When I leave, I look to see if my inhaler and EpiPen are in my purse, my keys as well. I ask if there is anything else I might need. My hubby says Don’t forget your Kleenex. Mine are unscented. I’m so excited to go and see everyone; I hope I can stay for the whole party. Everyone cared enough to be as unscented as they could be, yet, after an hour or two, I need to lay down for a bit.

But how wonderful that I could be there and participate!

I hope that those who find themselves in depression, find someone to talk to about options. Loneliness can be so very hard as well. Always know that there is someone there, be it a counsellor, family member or friend. It may be a face to face support group or an online one. Someone is there.

Some of you may be grieving for your old life. That can be okay and even healthy. But it’s important that you remember, that you likely have living to do. I hope you can find hope in that.  With some of it, just remember, we cant change our COPD, but we can change our way of living to a way that will work for us to feel alive and peace.

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.