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To work or not

I’ve been being treated for COPD for almost eight years, I just turned 61. I recently began seeing a pulmonary MD back in August at the request of my Primary Dr. I’ve had several Spirometry tests over the years, CT scans and arterial blood gas tests. My lung Dr told me this week that my stage is 3, and that my lung volume is 30%. I work full time as an office manager for a media company. It is becoming increasingly harder to get through each day. I am on a plethora of medication, as most of us are. As well as oxygen at night. Doing my very best, no that’s not true. I’m struggling to quit smoking. My primary Dr suggested I go to oxygen 24/7. Because I need the medical insurance I hesitate to go to long term disability (which my company offers) or SSD. I don’t know how to proceed. Has anyone else been in this position and can offer some insight?

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  • missnana
    3 years ago

    Hi! Hopefully, you can take something from my experience. Until several months ago, I worked part-time in an office job with many vital younger people who kept me young and part of life. But being part-time made it manageable…3 full days a week. At 74, it was finally time to quit, and I miss work every day. If you can possibly continue at some pace, I urge you to do so. Currently, I am also about 35% capacity. Yes, I had my oxygen tank with me every day, and walked around the office instead of using the phone. I wish you good things and the knowledge that living life is the way to go.

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    3 years ago

    Hi Missnana and thanks so much for sharing your experiences here with our online community. I’m sure others will read your remarks and derive a benefit from what you’ve said.
    All the best, Leon (site moderator)

  • Erin Rush moderator
    3 years ago

    HI Jillybean! In addition to any community feedback you receive, I wanted to share some information we have on SSDI. This first article is about the process of applying — This next article discusses the details of SSDI; what it covers and what it does not, etc — Only you and your physician can decide when it might be time for you to cut back on work or quit altogether. It becomes that challenge of weighing the pros and cons of working versus not working. I would be remiss to not mention how much quitting smoking can help your overall health and breathing. I am sure you already know this and have heard it many times before. Has your doctor recommended pulmonary rehabilitation to you? It is a program that has helped many people with COPD learn new breathing exercises, among other things. It is often covered by insurance, so it might be something to look into to help you manage your symptoms. You can check out this information here and see if it’s something that might appeal to you — We wish you the best of luck as you decide what to do. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have further questions or concerns. Best, Erin, Team Member.

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