Stage 4 and Life Is Good!
My name is Carol. I have had COPD for a long time and had my share of hospital visits. I always bounced back and continued to live life, me and my cigarettes. There were activities that were becoming more difficult to do, but I compensated for them by finding easier ways to do them or avoided them all together.
This breathlessness felt different
Stage four COPD and respiratory failure
On April 1, 2015, my life took a turn. I woke up not being able to breathe. I knew from past experience it meant an ambulance ride. This one was different. I went into respiratory failure, I was put into an induced coma, life support and the waiting began, unknown for weeks if I would survive. After another month in rehab, a tracheotomy, much atrophy and a lot of work, I finally got to go home.
Community has helped me with my diagnosis
It took many months to walk and begin healing. Since then I started an online support group with another woman, COPD Exercise to Healthy Living. It is a highly motivational group about living our best life with this disease, not just physically but emotionally and spiritually. It is gratifying seeing the positive changes in people when they realize there is still plenty of life to live.
Editor's Note: We are heartbroken to share that Carol passed away in February of 2022. Carol's storytelling and advocacy will be deeply missed, but her legacy lives on through her articles and in all the people she inspired.
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