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My Journey so far with COPD

My name is Jennie, I am 62 yrs old but was 61 when diagnosed. I have smoked since I was 14 and quit for the first time in my life on 1/17/2024. I went to the doctor for the first time on 1/16/2024 because my breathing was out of control and I was avoiding going anywhere. I told her when I got there that I refused to go to the hospital. First thing, she checked my pulse ox and basically had her nurse RUN to get an oxygen canister. To make a long story short, she prescribed me 4 liters of oxygen, but the place we went to get the oxygen set up told us it needed to be 6 liters and set it up. Needless to say, I went to the hospital the next day and didn't even know it because I basically had overdosed on oxygen. I ended up being in intensive care for about 4 days and then was moved to a regular room for 2. My body wasn't expelling the carbon dioxide. My husband said I was acting drunk for 3 days!

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Multiple diagnoses

Since my stint in the hospital, I have had two CTs with contrast and one that was done a little differently so they can get a picture of my heart. I have, of course, been diagnosed with COPD, I also found during one of the CTs that I have a compression fracture of one of my vertebrae as well as an aneurysm of an artery or vein going to my spine. I also had a scan for osteoporosis, and I have that. My Thyroid is going crazy, and I also have 2 bulging discs in my lower back.

The emotional toll

My mental health sucks right now. I'm having panic attacks because I cannot breathe, and after reading some of the articles here, I'm so thankful that I'm not alone in some of the things happening.

Trying to figure everything out

Now, my big issue is, I am trying to get a handle on my mental health as well as my physical health. I work from home for a big-name company and have so many issues that I'm taking a leave of absence. My GP (who has been dealing with most of my COPD) thinks that I don't need any time off to absorb exactly what's going on in my life and the fact that I need to relearn everything I know in life in order to function. I'm starting Pulmunonary Rehab next week and I'm looking forward to it but having major anxiety because it's a big walk to the door. As for work, customers cuss us out (if they don't get their way) and it's never bothered me before but for some reason now, I have panic attacks and cry at the drop of a hat. I struggle and have panic attacks before work as well. I am starting to see a therapist on Tuesday so hopefully that will help.

Does anyone have any advice or on how to copy with the work situation?

Thank you all for listening and so sorry for the length.

Jen

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