I was born in Glasgow, Scotland at a time when there was a lot of tuberculosis going around the city as the air wasn’t exactly pure. I developed tubercular lesions which apparently healed themselves(!?). Goodness knows how!
Issues that arose during my childhood
This was not discovered until after I had had three bouts of bronchitis one winter at aged 6 which lead to the decision to have my tonsils and adenoids removed. Oh, as well as that, it was also discovered that I had a heart murmur when I start school at nearly 5 years of age.
Nothing was done about the latter until, approximately 10 years later on I began talking about wanting to become a P.E. teacher which forced my mother to have my heart examined to make sure I wouldn’t be refused entry to P.E. College because of that.
Surprise, surprise I was diagnosed with a Patent Ductus Arteriosis which was operated on when I was nearly 16 years of age. I ended up with a collapsed lung after the operation and, from then on, I never really felt that my left lung was as good again, or had any stamina. Still, I made it through P. E. College, probably because I did an awful lot of sleeping! Oh, by the way, I never smoked in my life.
Reflecting on my youth
Upon looking back over my life I now realise that I probably began to have signs of COPD when in my 30s, due to having had 3 breathing attacks in 1.5 years, the last one of which was when I was about 8,000 feet up a mountain in the Dolomites in Europe when I REALLY REALLY thought I was going to die! Somehow I survived! Of course, it never entered my head that that (or Asthma) could have been at the back of it all....just being unfit!
Diagnosed with COPD in adulthood
Anyway, it wasn’t until about 3 years ago at aged 70 that I began to have continual breathing problems but it took almost a year before my doctor would believe me and I was finally diagnosed with Asthma & COPD, much to my surprise. Hmmm....I always thought I was immortal, that I had had my 'serious' illness (Heart murmur) so nothing else could possibly go wrong. I just thought that the symptoms I was having were due to NOT being fit!
Fortunately my condition so far isn’t too bad but I am using 2 inhalers and I am terribly tired all the time. Despite that, I walk as much as 6km most days but this in now done in several stages throughout the day instead of just 2.
Oh, I bought myself a treadmill that I could use when the weather was bad which means that if I find I can't keep going I can just step off it and rest. I can also set the speed to as slow or as fast as I want. Dead handy!
One thing I am grateful for is that I am so lucky to be living in Scotland as over here you don't have to pay for ANY drugs or treatments, unlike in the USA (you still have to pay a nominal fee for drugs in the rest of the U.K., though, but not hospital treatment) I especially feel sorry for you all on the other side of the 'Pond' in that respect.
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