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Colleen K’s Story

I’m 57 years old and my story started in 2005. I had a failed back surgery and put on disability from a job I absolutely loved. I was a certified medical assistant. I was diagnosed with a heart arrhythmia and sent to a pulmonologist because my breath sounds. I was diagnosed with COPD/Emphysema and congestive heart failure. Not long after diagnosed with diabetes. My last lung function test showed only 33% lung function. That was in 2015, I am due to take another test soon. I have a lot of faith and that helps me day to day. I don’t get out very often as it is hard to just get to the bathroom. I’m sure this was caused by smoking. I started smoking when I was 13 and when I quit 4 years ago I was smoking 2-2.5 packs a day. I wish I was able to show everyone what smoking does to your lungs, I also pray for a cure for this disease. Thank you for reading this and I look forward to learning 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

  • donald martin
    2 years ago

    Hi Colleen,My name is Don,I am 63 years old and was told 8 years ago that I had COPD and have been on 02 ever since, what happened is I could breath just fine worked around the house went work like a normal man that was recovering from back surgery too such as yourself had to do,then I came down with a cold,I had it for 3 or4 days I didn’t think much of it at the time then one night I went to bed ,woke up Sat up,and went to take a deep breath and there was nothing there,all I could do is take tiny little puffs of air,it was like my lungs had been filled to the top with cement,air just wouldn’t go in,my wife was already up and on the computer,in the front room so I new I had to get her somehow so I took me in one little gasp and got to my chair behind her,I sat there then thinking this was the end of for sure,her back was to me so I tried to call out her name but not a sound came out of voice,no air,then I think the next tried I got out some type of noise and she turned towards me, I was holding my chest and mouthing out the words to, call an ambulance,she did it right away, she thought I was having another heart attack,so that’s what she told the 911 person,I didn’t care, I was about to keel over ,they got my house very fast bad got me on O2 and rolled me out,they gave me some meds to calm me down and when I woke up I was told I had pneumonia in both lungs,and it was bad,so this test and that and 8 days later I was told I had COPD,so I went in with pneumonia and came out with COPD,this is what bugs me,so in my book pneumonia can cause COPD ,been on O2 ever since this just don’t make any sense to me,maybe someone can sit me straight with this ,sorry for the long letter Colleen I get going at times,thank you Don

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi Don and thanks so much for sharing your story with us. It sounds like you went through quite an ordeal. While we cannot provide medical advice over the internet (for your own safety), I thought you might find it helpful to review some of the basics of COPD, including the causes. In this article, the ‘basics’ I mentioned are reviewed: https://copd.net/basics/ In this article, the causes and risk factors of COPD are discussed: https://copd.net/basics/causes-risk-factors/
    I hope you find this material to be helpful. Please feel free to visit our website as often and for as long as you like. You also may find it interesting to check out our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/copddotnet/ This is where many of our community members go to exchange thoughts and ideas. Hope to see you there as well.
    All the best, Leon (site moderator)

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi (again) Colleen. It’s my pleasure. In view of your comment about not wanting to upset your children (but understanding that you’d probably like to share your concerns with family), I thought you might find it helpful to read this article on that very topic: https://copd.net/answers/expert-answers-explaining-to-family-friends/ You also mentioned that you have a lot of questions concerning things from last week. if there is anything we can assist you with, please let me or any other moderator/team member know. Warm regards, Leon (site moderator)

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi Colleen and thanks so much for your candid story. We appreciate you sharing your experiences and medical history with our online community. You are always welcome here!
    If you haven’t as yet, you may want to check us out on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/copddotnet/ There you will find many like minded community members who discuss all aspects of COPD.
    All the best, Leon (site moderator)

  • Colleen K author
    2 years ago

    Thank you Leon, I’ve been having all these feelings but I don’t want to upset my children. I also have alot of questions about the last week’s. It’s hard not to think about.

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