Don't Wait to Make Lifestyle Changes
I don't think I've ever told my story here. I think I commented once, years ago. In as much as my heart aches for those in advanced stages, my goal is to bring hope and motivation to all of us.
Developing COPD and diagnosis
I forget how this came about but, in my early 40's my General Practitioner told me I was developing COPD. She prescribed Spiriva and Smoking Cessation help. I wasn't ready. I loved my cigarettes. The only thing I noticed was being out of breath a bit after jogging up stairs. I thought I was just out of shape. Classic!
I was finally diagnosed 6 maybe 7 years ago when I simply could not breathe. The ER treated me and recommended a Pulmonary Dr. I was shocked! I was 52/53 years old and not overweight. I was active with work and life. Walked my dog 2/3 times a day. The Pulmonary Dr. told me that I would probably be on Oxygen Therapy with in 10 years. Keep taking your Spiriva and here's your Symbicort. Bye! I thought I was dying.
Lifestyle changes I made to help with my COPD
I quit smoking that day. Cold turkey! Please don't do this! What was I thinking!? There were other life issues going on and I sunk deep into depression. I got some help. It took some months but was better, thought clearer and I was smoke free. I sought groups such as COPD.net and learned as much as I could. Every six months for about 6 years this Doctor checked my heart and breath sounds, asked I was still smoking, told me to take my medication and sent me on my way. That's it!
I started doing weight training. First, to get in shape for my daughter's wedding. Then realized I was feeling so much better. I sought a new doctor 2 years ago. After all the tests again, he diagnosed me with mild to moderate Emphysema and explained how my weight training, not smoking and taking my medications as prescribed has help me. And he didn't need to see me in six months. Next year!
I saw him 1 week ago. After all the tests again, there has been no change in any of my tests compared to the year before. What!? He asked me which medication seemed to help me more and take that one only. I still use my rescue inhaler before working out (just 2 days per week) but so far, so good. Essentially, my lifestyle changes has slowed down the progression of this disease substantially. I'm told that if I keep it up, I most probably won't ever be on oxygen. Fingers crossed!
Don't wait to make these changes!
Please, if you've been diagnosed early enough take your medication as prescribed, eat reasonably well ( I love food and a drink or 2 LOL ) and exercise! I can't image how this won't help even in later stages! Peace & Love