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“What It’s Like to Live with COPD?”

“What It’s Like to Live with COPD?”

A friend of mine asked me this question recently.
I asked him, “What do you mean?”
He said, “What do YOU mean?”

I told him, “The question can be taken two ways. First – what’s life like when you have COPD or
second – what’s it like to live with someone who has COPD?”
“Oh,” was all he managed.

I’ll start with the first

Ten years ago, I’d make a list of the things I needed to get done around the house on a Saturday or spare time during the week. Sometimes, I’d write it down. Other times, I’d make mental notes and if I forgot, my wife never did and was there to remind me. (lol).

Most of these items had to do with repairs or putting up storm windows or moving boxes of household junk up from the basement to put curbside on “trash” days.

Occasionally, these chores might involve some heavy lifting – moving pieces of furniture; beds, couches – sometimes up or down a flight of stairs.

With COPD, it’s one of the things, the routines, that changes

I’ve not given up entirely on “heavy lifting” or doing the physical exertion that needs to be done to keep our home in shape. I’ll strap on the portable oxygen “D” tank and do what I can. But I’m also lucky. I have Sam, our twenty-five-year-old son who is always willing to pitch in – if he’s around.
My wife is also a workhorse. Her strength always amazes me. Sometimes I will see her lift and move an object that I would have had difficulty with, even in my pre-COPD days.

To live with someone who has COPD is very difficult, I think

And I’m not trying to be facetious. I can see the stress it can cause in my own, immediate family from time to time although, I know we all try to make the best of things.

It can have financial implications.

We’ve had to change much about our lifestyle – almost no vacations, less eating out, fewer Christmas presents – and still – we are just getting by.

Keeping up with medical treatments, prescriptions, therapies, rehabilitation – can be very expensive. One of the inhalers I use will cost you $340.00 a month, alone, if your health plan doesn’t cover it.
My wife, God bless her, has taken on a second job to help make ends meet.

COPD certainly has emotional consequences

There are arguments – sometimes about very silly things. Other times, they stem from everyone being tired as a result of a number of causes – my wife’s being overworked, my fatigue from COPD, fear of the disease’s ultimate outcomes.

But it also draws us closer together at times when we lock the doors, draw down the window shades, crack open a bottle of merlot and put “It’s a Wonderful Life” on the 20-year-old DVD player.

And sometimes, that’s enough.

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.