Roller Coaster

Last updated: August 2021

In the past 2-1/2 years, I have gone from walking through a fairly normal (for me anyway) life, to jumping on this crazy coaster of chronic illness.

Refusing to see a doctor

I am 61, diagnosed with COPD & heart issues fairly recently. My diagnosis was delayed by my staunch refusal to see a doctor, living by the motto that "what I don't know won't hurt me". I knew that I had breathing issues for years. I called it asthma & used over-the-counter inhalers as needed, which gradually became daily & then not able to function without it. Finally, an allergy triggered a severe (near-fatal) attack that landed me in the hospital & then the fun began!

Seeing a lung and heart doctor

Now I see a pulmonologist & a cardiologist regularly. I have had tests & procedures, tried different meds, felt bad, then better, then pretty good, then not so good...hence the roller coaster effect. Right now I am in a holding pattern, feeling OK & able to get out for a morning walk most days, which my dog appreciates. Still, I wish that I felt better, had more energy, felt more positive. On a bad day, I feel like that may never happen & just feeling not horrible is the best I can hope for. It doesn't help that my most recent tests read almost exactly the same as a year ago--I'd been doing all the right things & went in feeling pretty optimistic.

The realities of living with COPD

My doctor had to explain that COPD doesn't really "get better", & remaining stable is the best I can hope for. The roller coaster took a pretty big dive with that! To deal with the ups & downs of this experience, I find that having contact with others who understand is helpful. So I am happy to have found this forum & will look forward to interacting with others on this crazy ride!

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