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My Own Doctor Struggles

When I was 30 years old I was involved in an explosion at my place of employment. I was burnt over 83% of my body with second and third degree burns and spent 105 days in intensive care with hundreds of skin grafts.

After I healed somewhat I started coughing a lot so my doctor sent me to a pulmonologist. She said I had chronic bronchitis and gave me several inhalers to use. Those inhalers did not seem to work for me but the doctor said to keep using them, after a year I just quit going there.

For ten years I just kept coughing so my doctor sent me to another pulmonologist, this one said I had asthma and prescribed some pills and different inhalers so I tried them for another year or so before I quit going back there.

In 2012 I was really having a hard time breathing and could hardly walk any distance at all so my doctor said they would contact a different pulmonologist – and by this time I was getting leery of pulmonologists but I went anyway. This new doctor was what I needed! After many tests the doctor told me I had COPD and he took away all breathing meds and started me on new inhalers and in months I started to see improvement.

On my second visit, my pulmonologist said that according to my PFT I only had 42% lung capacity. That day I went home and started preparing for the death that I assumed was coming soon, then I started doing some research and saw that people with COPD could live a long life if they worked at it.

I have since started walking at first a little ways and each week going farther, I am now walking up to 6.5 miles every day, and I have not missed one day of walking in 4 months. My latest report from the doctor is my lung capacity is now at 64%. So if you are not getting the results you want do not be afraid to ask for another doctor, because there are some good ones out there!

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.


  • AARONSDAD52 author
    2 years ago

    I just saw my Pulmonologist this week for my yearly checkup and my Lung capacity has increased again this year and is now 67%. Yeah!

  • Casey Hribar moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi again, AARONSDAD52! YAY!! This is such great news! Awesome progress!! Please keep us updated, and keep up the healthful decisions!!! : ) -Casey, Team

  • KevinDavitt
    2 years ago

    Good for You!

  • Casey Hribar moderator
    2 years ago


    I see Lyn has left a comment already, but I wanted to respond as well! I loved this story!

    First of all, I’m so sorry to hear about your accident at work. How truly awful and traumatic. I hope you have been able to heal over time, especially after all of those skin grafts. It’s amazing you were able to survive an accident like that. Wow.

    I’m sorry to hear about your chronic coughing, and the long journey it took to get the correct diagnosis. However, I’m so happy that you stuck with it and kept trying new doctors until you found the right one, and that you’re now receiving treatment that provides you with some relief!

    Your positive attitude and incredible progress are so inspiring. We’re so grateful to have members like you in our community! We hope you will keep us posted on your journey, and that you will continue to maintain your positivity and determination! Best wishes, Casey ( Team)

  • Lyn Harper, RRT moderator
    2 years ago


    That is a great story!! Thank you so much for sharing it with the community. You have had an incredible journey – one worth sharing.

    It pains me to hear what people go through in their effort to find a doctor that can and will help. I’m so happy that you found one and have had such great success. The success can certainly be attributed to your determination and resolve to feel the best you possibly can.

    Please keep us updated on your progress. It’s such an inspiration!

    Warm Regards,
    Lyn (moderator)

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