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Mental health

Hi, my background is I’m severe copd emphysema stage 4 @15% lung function, I been hospitalized 24 times since my first diagnosis back in 2004, I suffer 4 trips to icu with respiratory failure requiring incubation, the last time almost 4 wks ago due to a toxicity reaction to my Theophylline medication requiring dialysis for 3 day’s, I’ve pretty much been through the mill in every way, I lost me ability to work, my marriage fell apart, suffered an emotional breakdown requiring psychiatric intervention.

I’ve spent the last 5 years fighting to maintain a semblance of independence, up until the 18th Nov I was attending the gym everyday for 2 hours 7days a week. Also exercising at home, I was feeling pretty good. Following the event on the 18th I lost 6 kilos, most of my muscle mass & now struggle to walk 50meters. I’ve always suffered depression as a result of the death of my mother when I was 5 & been ostracized by my family as a result, I’m the youngest of 6, I also suffer from anxiety normally controlled by diazepam, depression medication is citalopram, with all these ongoing setbacks throughout my life I asked my Dr for a referral to mental health counselling, I found this to be very beneficial, as I’m only on a disability benefit, I approached the government agency here (Winz) to get extra assistance as could only have 4 free sessions, with supporting letters from doctors and counsellor I was informed I didn’t qualify for assistance, wow I was gob smacked.

How do you qualify for mental health assistance, maybe the odd suicide attempt might help, it seem ludicrous the someone such as myself living on the borders of sanity should need to qualify. I’ll be taking this matter up with my respiratory team, GP & counsellor. Sometimes I think the people who front these agencies are programmed robots. Hopefully I’ll get the help I think I desperately need.

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Comments

  • Phoenix59 author
    12 months ago

    Been a struggle since my discharge from hospital & the heats not helping, had lung function test on Monday & blew 18% so that’s a bonus. I’ll get the help I need. Just a matter of time.

  • Barbara Moore moderator
    12 months ago

    Hi Phoenix59, I happy that you have a good attitude about your struggles. Its great that you realize you will get help and it is just a matter of time. Thank you for your comments. We appreciate every one of them. Barbara (Site Moderator)

  • Phoenix59 author
    12 months ago

    Hi Barbara, the one think iv learned in the last 8 years, is the only person i can truly rely on is myself. i choose how i’m going to let any & all events in my life affect me, its to easy to simply roll over & give up, as far as this illness goes, i’v been to the very lowest of lows, to the point of despair, its been a long hard road lined with many challenges & setbacks, but my nature won’t allow me to lay down & give up. i’v been hospitalised 24 times, arrested in transit 4 time, i now suffer short term memory loss along with obstructive sleep apnea requiring bipap. my belief is in adversity we find strength. I’v recently completed a lung function test & to my surprise i blew 18% up 3% from last year. My specialist says its down to my level of fitness & my positive disposition. she gave me the all clear to return to the gym under strict instruction to take it slow. i began yesterday with a easy 5 min walk on the treadmill & a few reps on my favourite apparatus & although i have lost a good amount of conditioning i know i’ll return to my optimum level in a few weeks , rehab doesn’t recommence until early February so i should be almost back to my original levels hopefully. i do enjoy posting as i feel it may help others to realise they too can take control of their situation & perhaps regain some of their lost independence. Thank you for the opportunity the part of this group. Warm regards Peter Steele.

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    12 months ago

    Thanks for the update, Phoenix (Peter). Glad to see you are moving forward. Please do keep us apprised of your progress. Warm regards, Leon (site moderator)

  • j914
    12 months ago

    Hi Phoenix59, really sorry you’ve has such a rough go of so many things. It sounds like you’re doing all you can trying to get the help you need. I’m amazed at your level of exercise with only 15% lung function. I hope you find the answers you’re looking for.

  • Phoenix59 author
    12 months ago

    Been a struggle since my discharge from hospital & the heats not helping, had lung function test on Monday & blew 18% so that’s a bonus. I’ll get the help I need. Just a matter of time.

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    12 months ago

    Hi again, Phoenix (Peter). For clarification – it looks like you posted this twice. Thanks, Leon (site moderator)

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    12 months ago

    Hi Phoenix59 and thanks for your candid story. You’ve got quite the story to share and we appreciate your candor. I’m with you on this – hoping by pursing your issues with the respiratory team, GP and counsellors (attorneys?, you will be able to get on track with therapy and proper treatment. Please do keep us apprised of your progress. We’re glad to have you here in our online community. Wishing you well, Leon (site moderator)

  • Phoenix59 author
    12 months ago

    Morning Leon, Can’t really do much at the moment as most government agencies are either to busy or they’re in wind down for the holidays, funny how us copd warriors DON’T get to have a break. I’ve been battling this illness now for around 8 years, I’ve researched and studied as much as I can & I’m still learning. Copd is a destructive, demoralizing & debilitating illness, it robs us of our independence, confidence & in some worse cases our dignity. Having been hospitalized so many time I’ve got a pretty good understanding of how thing’s work, unfortunately the medical fraternity don’t seem to appreciate the psychological impact this illness has on its sufferers. It’s a daily struggle just to keep the mind focused & try to remain positive.
    After my last mishap with the Theophylline medication, my body suffered dramatic weight loss resulting in extremely sob & fatigue. To have come from a exercise routine of 2 hours daily at the gym to hardly been able to walk is demoralizing. But at the end of the day I have a simple choice. Keep fighting or give up. I’m a fighting so obviously giving up isn’t an option but by God it’s a struggle sometimes. I enjoy writing about my experiences with copd as I think it may help others to understand they’re not alone & there is support out there. Thank you for publishing my story aswel. Cheers Peter Steele 🙂

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    12 months ago

    Hi again Phoenix (Peter) and thanks for this reply, too. Glad to hear you’re a fighter – from my perspective, it’s the only way to be! Never give up!! Glad that you find some satisfaction in writing about your condition – it can be very rewarding as you well know. Keep up the good work (and the fight)!
    If you haven’t as yet, you may want to check out our COPD Facebook page. We have a great many members there who interacting continuously all about their COPD and COPD in general. I think you’ll enjoy it there, too.
    Warmly, Leon (site moderator)

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