Connect with others who understand.

sign up log in
Resources
About MyCOPDTeam

Connect with others who understand.

sign up log in
Resources
About MyCOPDTeam

Member Spotlight: What Knowledge Can Do

Posted on June 13, 2019

When I was first diagnosed, I was under the impression that COPD was a death sentence... and in a short time. I was experiencing depression, and I knew I had to find a way out of that. I started to research COPD. I wanted to learn everything I could to slow the process down and even see if it was possible to stop COPD from progressing. There is an enormous amount of information out there, and lots of it is doomsday stuff. Then I noticed that sources focusing on gloom and doom were selling a product of some sort, and the places that weren't selling anything had helpful information. About this time I became a member of MyCOPDTeam and started learning from the experts—the people who have COPD and have had it for several years.

Yes, COPD complications can lead to death, but not next week. With proper care you too can have a close to normal life. Granted, you won't be entering too many dance contests or running and jumping with the 6-year-olds—I don't know too many adults who attempt that even without COPD. So, you have to slow down a bit, take better care of yourself, take a nap now and again, but above all you have to keep moving. I got myself a pedometer, and I shoot for four miles a day. The days I make it, I treat myself to something I like—a popsicle! If I don't make it, I sometimes just treat myself anyway. My friends have all been great and treat me well. Of course we are all oldsters, and some of us are in poorer health than others. Among my friends there are three of us who have different severities of COPD, and mine is not the worst.

It is a bit of a challenge with my kids though. I have to remind them often that I can't walk fast, and I have to stop often because I get short of breath. My muscles also start doing crazy things; like my balance is affected and my back muscles tighten up. After a little bit they catch on, until the next time. I have no problems with my wife, as she was a nurse for 45 years and just goes at my pace. Of course she is no spring chicken, but she is faster than me.

I kind of wished when I was diagnosed that I was given a better prognosis and an upbeat outlook for the future. During the course of my learning curve I found that attitude plays a very big role in how my day will go. If I get up and am depressed, then my whole day will be that way unless I change my attitude myself. And even on days that I am short of breath, with a good attitude the whole day isn’t that bad. We can all look back and say I shouldn't have done this or that, but you know the saying, "Hindsight is 20/20.” Spilt milk... what's done is done. Humans can forgive other people's indiscretions in the blink of an eye, but we find it difficult to forgive ourselves. We have this disease, but if we take care of ourselves we can figure out how we can live good lives with this illness rather than trying to fight it or deny it. We can live a dang good life.

I live in a three-story house and I have to go up and down the stairs several times a day. I don't run up those stairs, I take my time. The object of going up the stairs is not to see how fast I can do it, the object is to get to the next level. So what if it takes me two minutes or four minutes? The destination was achieved, which is the only thing that matters. It's funny, I have found this new way of living and looking at the world around me, and I am enjoying this slower pace.

Would I rather not have COPD? Sure, but that's not going to happen. So I have to find ways to have a good life while living with it, not wishing or denying I have it. So what does COPD mean to me? It’s an illness, but with proper treatment I can have a good long life with it. How has it impacted my life? At first it impacted my lifestyle a lot and my relationships, but now hardly at all. It’s surprising what the right knowledge will do. I'm glad that I had to search for the information that I now use every day. I only wish that I was given a better prognosis when I was diagnosed. All the information I dug up was because I felt there had to be a better way.

This article was written by MyCOPDTeam member Johnny as part of the Member Spotlight series. Johnny is a retired commercial fisherman who enjoys taking care of teacup poodles.

Do you want to be a part of the MyCOPDTeam Member Spotlight Series?
Let us know here: support@MyCOPDTeam.com

All updates must be accompanied by text or a picture.

Related articles

I used to be very fit. I ran three London Marathons and got lost in the Harlow Marathon in the...

Member Spotlight: How Val Lives with COPD, Epilepsy, and Deafness

I used to be very fit. I ran three London Marathons and got lost in the Harlow Marathon in the...
Hi everyone, my name is Chris. I think it was 2015 or so that I joined MyCOPDTeam, and from day...

Member Spotlight: Community Support

Hi everyone, my name is Chris. I think it was 2015 or so that I joined MyCOPDTeam, and from day...
by Russell of COPD Athlete Asthma and COPD are lung diseases. They both are defined by reduced...

Story of HOPE: Asthma, COPD and Me

by Russell of COPD Athlete Asthma and COPD are lung diseases. They both are defined by reduced...

Recent articles

Emphysema is a respiratory illness that is a form of chronic obstructive pulmonary...

Emphysema Symptoms To Watch For: Could You Have Alpha-1?

Emphysema is a respiratory illness that is a form of chronic obstructive pulmonary...
If you’re living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), you’re already aware of the...

COPD Awareness: How To Get Involved

If you’re living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), you’re already aware of the...
Alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency, sometimes called genetic COPD, is an inherited genetic disorder...

Screening for Genetic COPD (Alpha-1)

Alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency, sometimes called genetic COPD, is an inherited genetic disorder...
You can never ask too many questions on MyCOPDTeam. Other members are here to support you, help...

Share and Receive on MyCOPDTeam

You can never ask too many questions on MyCOPDTeam. Other members are here to support you, help...
It takes a village to support living with a chronic condition like COPD. Whether other MyCOPDTeam...

Find Your People on MyCOPDTeam

It takes a village to support living with a chronic condition like COPD. Whether other MyCOPDTeam...
A great first step on MyCOPDTeam is to share your story with other members. Introducing yourself...

Tell Your Story on MyCOPDTeam

A great first step on MyCOPDTeam is to share your story with other members. Introducing yourself...
MyCOPDTeam My COPD Team

Thank you for subscribing!

Become a member to get even more:

sign up for free

close