Fast onset of COPD about a year ago
May 2021 I woke up and couldn't breathe, just like most here it seems.
I did have an emergency inhaler, so I hit it like mad and finally was able to breathe. Scared me to death, so much so that was the last of the cigarettes (41 years as a moderate smoker and was cutting back). Just quit cold turkey, it was hard but after 3 weeks got easier and now over a year I cant stand the smell of it. Amazing how fast it hit and continued to hit, 2 overnights in the ER in 2021, so many tests and found stage 3 COPD, moderate to severe emphysema, and Very severe sleep apnea (could have had that for several years) stopped breathing at night 135 times in an hour sometimes for 2 mins at a time. This I found was killing my ability to think, or basically giving me brain damage.
I am now on Wixela, supposed to be using Spiriva (can't afford $500 a month), use a dual nebulizer 4x a day if I can, on supplemental oxygen during the day and on a BiPAP with oxygen at 2L all night. The BiPap has helped but not even close after 6 months of use to gaining back my mind. The fear of an attack is almost 24/7 and I check my o2 several times a day and won't go anywhere without o2 and my albuterol inhaler.
It's been tough
I own a landscaping business and I am failing hard to keep that going as I can't focus or do even the simplest physical thing, can in person get the crews going in the morning as I have to wait for all the meds to work. This has been tough, and tired of the people around me not understanding and thinking it is just a way to be lazy (including family, not all but..). Applied today for disability, but do they really think you can live on $1800 a month? I don't think I can find any job that can afford me to keep my house, and lifestyle. I'm scared.
Do you have an exacerbation toolkit?