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Goals Before I Go

My breathing was becoming more labored and I couldn’t cross the room without having to sit down to regain my breath. My son was always asking what could he do to “make me whole again”. He would ask, “Do I need to buy you new lungs?” I would laugh and tell him I didn’t qualify because I wasn’t at that stage.

My journey with my conditions

I have COPD with chronic asthma. I see my doctor regularly and use my inhaler as instructed. After many incidences of bronchitis bordering pneumonia, we changed my inhaler to Dulera. From that point on my incidences of bronchitis have all but ceased.

My son was still concerned. He and his family work out daily with a trainer and eat healthy foods. I asked him at one time if he knew a trainer who worked with COPD patients. He said he’d check. A few days later he put me in touch with his trainer and we made a date to begin in my home.

Eddie, my trainer, walked through the door that first day and was a ray of sunshine and spoke only positive words. The more he talked the more I was finding hope. He really has the capability to lift people up. Eddie was formerly with a couple of NFL teams until injuries forced him out. He was already familiar with training…and sometimes grueling training.

In the course of talking with him I asked him if he was familiar with COPD and respiratory problems. He said he had a very close friend who had COPD. I told him of my attempt to do physical therapy and how it was so crowded that they didn’t have enough personnel to properly train. I told them I would just use YouTube and find exercises.

I told Eddie I wasn’t afraid of dying but I did want to live my best life with what time I had left. He smiled and said, “Momma V, we’re gonna do it!” That started out my cycle of slowly becoming more mobile and increasing the air into my lungs. We do this every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for one hour. He encourages me as I exercise and he watches my hand signals when I need a break from either no air or lightheadedness. He always tells me to sit down at those times and to focus on deep breathing. All the while I’m doing that he is giving me encouraging words and positive reinforcement. We are a real sight as I walked from my front door to the back door (thank goodness for open space living). I have Eddie, my husband and our dog all walking behind me having my back.

The goals I want to accomplish

My first goal in this exercise regimen is to be able to dance with my husband. It used to be when we were listening to music that a song would come on and I’d grab my husband and say, “Let’s dance”. I really miss doing that.

In the past when my son would appear frustrated because I wasn’t my usual self. I would say “If you could only spend one day in my body you’d know how I feel.” Now my second goal is to say to my son, “If you could spend only one day in my body you’d know how much better I feel”.

I know how this story ends and I’m at peace with that… only after I’ve danced with my husband and given my son hope.

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

  • KevinDavitt
    2 weeks ago

    wonderful story, Vittoria. Just seeing it now.

  • Vittoria author
    2 weeks ago

    Thanks Kevin. I’m glad you liked it.

  • DawnE
    2 weeks ago

    Vitorria – We have similar stores! Wishing you all the best on this journey!

  • Vittoria author
    2 weeks ago

    Best of life to you DawnE. I’ll keep you in mind as we all celebrate life.

  • TracyCarnahan
    1 month ago

    What an uplifting story, thank you for sharing your “goals before you go” Vittoria. I understand completely about wanting to give your adult son hope. I got sick pretty quick, all the while being misdiagnosed because of my age. I started coughing occasionally at 34 and was stage 3 and on 24 hr. 02 by 39. My son and I, who had always been very close and done everything together suddenly got very busy with work and making hasty wedding decisions and when he did come to see me could barely look me in the eye. He wanted to know what all he could do to help but he wkould practically run away from me personally. It was his way of living in denial. That was awhile ago now and he sees I’m still here. I spend time with his son, my grandson…which he thought he would never see. . Tommy started kindergarten two days ago and I’m still here. My “goals before I go ” is simply to make memories with the people I love and love me back….

  • Vittoria author
    2 weeks ago

    Hi Tracy. It’s hard for our adult children accepting that they can’t control or change our lives. I’m so happy that you can continue to celebrate your life with your grandson Tommy and share your memories with him. My grandchildren bring me so much joy and, best of all, laughter.

  • Janet Plank moderator
    1 month ago

    Vitoria, what a beautiful story and so encouraging. Thank you for sharing your training and positive experiences. That brings hope to others that it could be possible for them, me too!

  • Vittoria author
    1 month ago

    Thanks Janet. My trainer is really inspirational. I had an exacerbation just a few days ago and Eddie was there with gentle encouraging words. Some days are tough but I’m pretty good at pushing through it.

  • Janet Plank moderator
    1 month ago

    Good for you Vittoria. That’s the dedication needed. How nice to have a trainer that is encouraging as well.
    I hope you have a breathe-easy day/night.
    Janet (site moderator)

  • Janet Plank moderator
    1 month ago

    Janet (site moderator)

  • Vittoria author
    1 month ago

    Leon, thank you for your message. I have gotten so much encouragement and comfort from the people at COPD.net. This site has helped me more than any other.

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    1 month ago

    Hi Vittoria and it’s our pleasure! Please know that you are always welcome here! If you haven’t as yet, you may want to check our our COPD Facebook page. (you can find the link at the bottom of this page). Many of our members choose to interact there with one another and the COPD.net team. You will find all topics there are related to COPD, as you might expect. Wishing you well, Leon (site moderator)

  • Alesandra Bevilacqua moderator
    1 month ago

    @vittoria, thank you so much for sharing with us. What a beautiful sentiment to share! I think it’s lovely how much you value the relationships between your son and your husband. I can tell you’re a close-knit family with a lot of love. I hope your new routine works out for you and that you’re able to accomplish both of your goals. We’re behind you every step of the way! – Alesandra (COPD.net Team)

  • Vittoria author
    1 month ago

    Thank you Alesandra. It’s important to me to surround myself with positive people. I’m a huge believer in laughter being great medicine…as are positive encouraging people.

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    1 month ago

    Hi Vittoria – we appreciate what you’ve shared about the type of people you prefer to surround yourself with. You’ve certainly come to the right place as our COPD.net community is filled with just those types of people. We’re happy to have you as a member here. Warm regards, Leon (site moderator)

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