Posted 04 July 2006 - 09:05 AM
My name is Eileen and I have been diagnosed with COPD since 1998 after a hospitalization for respiratory failure. Looking back, I had been having symptoms of shortness of breath and coughing for about 5 years prior to that. I smoked since I was about 13 years old and always attributed the cough, yearly bouts of bronchits and shortness of breath to smoking. Who knew at 13 what an horrific addiction smoking was!
In 1998 I was 48 and working full time in nursing. I thought I knew all there was to know about COPD ~ what an illusion THAT was! I was told after being on a vent for respiratory failure the first time, that if I quit smoking that would never happen again. I was sufficiently scared to quit but I didn't stay quit. I was hospitalized, in the next 7 years, at least 4 times (once on the vent again and not expected to live).
Between 2004 and 2005 my health declined rapidly. I couldn't do anything without being short of breath, and that included just walking and doing regular activities of daily living! I attribute the decline to smoking, not taking good care of myself and working at a relentlessly stressful job. I had to resign from my job in October 2005.
Leaving work was devastating for me but finding the time for recovery was life changing!! I went to pulmonaray rehabilitation and learned ways to breath properly and exercise to make my muscles better utilize my limited oxygen. I am on oxygen, which allows me to have a quality of life that I didn't have prior to it. Oh, and I quit smoking in Sept 05!! No small feat ~ and if I can do it, anyone can!!
I am now, at 55 and, less than one year from resigning my full time job, on SSD and working part time at a job I absolutely love!! I wouldn't have found this if I hadn't gone through all that I have in the past year. I feel like I am making a difference and doing something valuable!! I am better able to help myself (and ask others to help me if I need to) and to cope with living with COPD.
I learned most of what I now know about COPD on the internet and from sites like this one. I call this one home because of the caring, giving and knowledgeable people who are its heart and soul.
Posted 04 July 2006 - 12:11 PM
Hi my name is Melisa, I was told at 39 years old I had COPD, I am now 42 years old and have a son who is almost 11(end of the month), and a wonderful supportive husband and family, with all that said let me tell you about my experience with COPD.
I have had Asthma for as long as I can remember, yes I also smoked from probally around 14 years old. All of my life I have had bronicitis and in and out of the hospitals with puenomina(sp?). After I had my son we had gone to Disney World he was just 2 years old and I got very sick, we came home early and went to the Dr. who said it was my asthma, at that time we asked could it be Emphizima and we were told no your too young to have that. I quit like 5 years later after being so sick with a cold and I couldn't breath. Five years later woke up and my husband took me to the dr for he said I was breathing labored, thank goodness he realized that and got me help, I was admitted to the hosp. for 13 days, I had double puenomina, and they diagignois me with COPD, with a few other things as well. I had gone into resp. failure 4 times with no vent, and my co2 was at 89, one more point and i would have had brain damage. I had 5 MRIS" and untold Cat scans as well. I made many changes in my life, all I feel are positive for me and my family. I have taken a more active roll in my son's life, I have really presued my love of photography, and have learned to stop and smell the roses.
I love my "new" life" and yes I do have challanges, but with love and friends and of course my online family, we work together and get things done together, here at BBLW you will find what your looking for support and caring friends.
Posted 29 January 2007 - 03:18 PM
I am married to my best friend, have two children Chris and Kelly-Ann, and six grandchildren.
It is so nice to meet you all , something else that may never have been....
Posted 29 January 2007 - 08:01 PM
Posted 03 February 2007 - 06:27 PM
In 1984 I was dyignosed with breast cancer and did chemotarapy for a year and servived all that until 1985 I started having problems breathing then the Dr put me on Theodur and I had an albuteral inhaler,still did not stop smoking. Hard headed! I did OK for a while but then I would be sob and didnt even know what that was,I was scared to death! But still afraid to give up my cigg until 1995 I was really having lots of breathing problems, Im still working. In 1997 I could not go out the door with out being sort of breath,My sob would hit me in waves and I didnt quit smoking! I quit working. Then in 2001 I ended up on the ventalator and they did a heart cath, thank goodness nothing wrong with my heart. Still smoked! and suffered! Then in 2003 I about killed my self on ciggeretts, I was on the resperator for about a week and in rehab for 5 weeks then I took COPD very seriously!
I am a widow of 18years and I have 5 grown children,3 boys and 2 girls and 11 grand-childern and 1 great-grand daughter, Charlie and I had a blended family his 3 my 1 and we had a boy.His, mine, and ours!
Im so glad I found this site everyone is so kind and I get lots of great information!
Beverly-IN PS forgive the spelling!
Posted 03 February 2007 - 09:56 PM
I'm a newbie here but I feel like I know all of you already because I had been reading alot here before I joined or posted. I'll be 47 next week and was diagnosed with COPD and asthma in 2001. I'm on Spiriva, Singulair, Albuterol inhaler and nebulizer, Advair and Xanax associated with anxiety due to shortness of breath among other medications for other ailments.
I have tried to quit smoking several times with no luck but I'm sure if I keep trying and reading everything here I will succeed at some point. Hopefully soon. I work part time (only 18 hrs per week) and my SSD hearing is coming up in a couple of weeks. Say a prayer for me. The only reason I can work at this job is because I can basically sit or stand and work at my limitations.
I already am telling other people about this site and I thank God I found it because I can tell its like family and I'm already learning so much that I didn't know.
Thank you all!
Posted 03 February 2007 - 11:03 PM
For all who smoke, have smoked, trying to quit, etc., please join us in the No Butts About It, Free at Last, Free At Last, chats on Monday at 8PM, Wed at 1 PM and Saturday at 8PM All are EST.
Connie, we are here to help you with that all that we can whenever you are ready, dear one. We are on the same meds, Connie. I have the Advair 500. I also have the asthma component with the COPD.
Dee, I'm a stubborn cuss, too, and have a whole lot of trouble asking for help. I'm learning. We all do. I do admire the strength I feel in your words, Dee. I look forward to getting to know you better.
Bev, you have so much strength and we learn a lot from you. You are truly inspiring. Thank you!
Dear Eileen, always an inspiration and so giving of her knowledge. Thank you, Eileen.
And sweet Melisa. I miss you girl. Fly and breathe, Melisa. Fly and breathe.
Sweetest blessings to each of you and thank you!
Posted 04 February 2007 - 03:11 AM
I'm 56. I have 4 children, two boys and two girls. 6 grandchildren, 4 girls, 2 boys and just got word another grandchild is on it's way. Got officially dx'ed with COPD in October of 2004. Sent home with o2 on Halloween day. Now was that a trick?..... or treat?
I had been told several years prior that I should see a pulmonoligist after an ex-ray taken in ER when I had an earlier episode of SOB. No mention of "E", Broncitis or much less COPD, just that lungs looked bad. Well I didn't go. After they got me to breathing again, I continued to enjoy my vacation with my kids and returned home. Went back to work, went back to school and forgot about it more or less. Did notice at times I was a bit SOB, but not enough to bother me...or so I thought. Kept on smokin' those cigs, nobody except my ex-FIL ever told me they would kill me, then I laughted at him. Oh I saw the warnings on the packages and knew I might be flirting with cancer, but I just knew I'd be fine. I had never even heard the word COPD before....or was that what my sister said she had? I knew she was on o2, because I would help her at school get selltled in and out to her car (we had a few classes together), but she never even mentioned she had the "E" word. I thought it was her heart or something. Mom had a bad heart and I just figured she did to but maybe worse!!
I got really sob one night, I'd say about a year before I was officially dx'ed, ended up in the ER and stayed in the hospital for about three days. I was told I had Broncitis and a touch of phnemonia. Told then that I may have COPD and to stop smoking!! Did I listen....NO!! I didn't even inquire what COPD was. I guess they thought I knew what it was. But again I felt better, so I'd be ok!!
In October of 2004 I had another SOB attack, but much worse!! This time it was a biggy!! When they got me back to somewhat normal I felt ok until I got up to walk. When I couldn't make it to the bathroom and back to the bed without being able to breath they would check my o2 stats. Still didn't tell me I was going to be sent home with o2 until the oxygen man came in the room just before I was released. Then I was told I diffinatly had COPD. I needed to see a pulmonoligist.
Well after I got home that Halloween day with all this extra stuff and a hose in my nose, I called my sister and asked what that was she had again? COPD was her response. OK....now I'm taking it seriously....that's what they said I had. She said it only gets worse and she was sorry to hear I had it to. Sounds like I'm pretty calm about all this doesn't it?........oh NO.... I'm freakin' out!!!
Nobody is telling me nothing I can understand and I'm scared to dickens!! I'd run to the ER everytime I got SOB again, just knowing I was going to die. Finally one nurse sat me down and explained that I was not going to die, but I had to settle down and not get so upset all the time it only made it worse......yeh right!!
I didn't have a reg. doctor so I went to my son's doctor and she set me up with a pulmonoligist. Couldn't get on SSD, but I did get SSI and on Medicaid. Saw the Pulmonoligist and that didn't do much good, she more or less told me my lungs were a disaster and all I heard was your going down fast. I'm sure she said more, but when I heard the FEV of 21% and there was really nothing she could do, except tell me to quit smoking NOW!! I left just as confussed as I was before.
This is crazy, there has to be something that can be done!! I made it a priority to purchase a new computer real fast and find out all I could on my own about his COPD thing. Typed in COPD and oh my goosh!!! I ended up on an old forum that was about to be closed and was directed to another forum newly started. And there is where I started my journey. Once I learned a little more and was told I could "buy" green bananas and they would have time to ripen before I died I felt a little better. They told me I needed to get into a pulmonary rehab and to ask my pulomonoligist about one. She said she could put me into something like a rehab hospital but I'd have to stay there. Oh NO...that's not what these people were talking about I'm sure. She said that's all she knew of. Back on th PC I went and finally found one. They were associated with another Hospital, but this was at a reg. Gym so they would take anyone with a doctors ok. The Lady I talked to was a GOD send. I went in she tested me and gave me some papers to have my doctor sign and I was enrolled. It was 3 days a week, and a small charge each time. Billed once a month and you could keep going forever. Joined better Breathers and between that and the PC, I learned so much more than any doctor had told me thus far. Didn't even smoke for a long time, I was afraid to. Kept my patches on religously. Tried to get my sister to go, I jsut knew she'd feel better. But she wouldn't. Mom said she'd pay her way if she would. But then MOM got sick from Dec. 2004 her heart was failing. She was in and out of the hospital from Dec until March of 2005 when she passed away. Everything fell apart durring this time. I missed alot of rehab, my sister lost interest and my stepfather was sick with cancer himself and needed constant care. My sister needed care and I didn't have time to be sick anymore, much less worry about getting better. Just before he passed away in October of 2005 my stepbrother got power of attorney and kicked me and my son out of our apartment, because Raymond had signed the house over to him already. I guess he thought I might get something from my stepfather that he thought should be his. All I wanted was for my stepfather to get better. My son moved in with some friends and I moved here to Texas with my other kids. In the middle of "NO WHERE" I might add. NO good doctors, no pulmonoligist, no rehab and not a really good Hospital either.
My sister kept getting worse and very depressed, because I was down here and she was still up in OK. She missed MOM so very much. Her doctor told her after her last really bad spell that she would have to go into a nursing home. That's when I think she just gave up and worried herself to death, Litteraly. About 2 weeks after she told me this and only a day after I last talked to her tring to tell her it would be ok she would have people to visit with and they had all kinds of recreation, her son called and said she slipped into a comma and it didn't look good. We rushed up there and in the mean time her son and the doctor decided it was time to unhook her and remove her vent. They had already had to resistitute her 3 times and She had very little brain wave. I stayed by her side until the end, March 3rd of 2006. They made it very peaceful for her and for that I was thankful. But she was only 52, my baby sister and such a loss I miss her so.
It's been almost a yeaar since then and a year and a half since my mothers death. Just a little over a year since my stepfathers death. And I'm still worn out and somewhere in between all this I started smoking again. A little at first and then a little more and now big time.
Now it's time for me to get me better or at least in shape to get better. Quit smoking, find a good doctor, a pulmo somewhere and hopefully a rehab. I didn't know Melisa very well, but concider her my guiding angel. Upon her passing, I found this wonderful caring forum with the most wonderful people who seem to really care. For that I will always remember her dearly. So here I am, returning from a year and a half of pure pain and drain, for lack of another word I wont use. Now I'm worried about my older brother, he has COPD too. I do hope he will take care and learn all he can.
I hope you will forive me for going on and on like I have, but I feel much better now that I've got it all out.
Now it's time to straighten up and I know with the friends I've made here I can do that. Just bare with me....I'll get there.
I love you all....Kathy
Posted 04 February 2007 - 10:09 AM
Dee, acceptance of this disease is not easy. I have days when I do, and days when I resent someone calling me "sick". I just go back and forth and keep pushing on. You have a wonderful attitude about it! I'm so happy that you're best friend is your partner in life too. That must be a tremendous comfort.
Bev, spelling correctly is not a forum requirement! I understand you perfectly! Congratulations for conquering the cancer. How awful that must have been for you! You are a very courageous lady. Like you, I smoked despite repeated hospitalizations and increasing debilitation. It wasn't until I quit work and started working on myself that I starting "getting" it.
Connie, I'm so happy that you joined us. I'll be saying prayers and sending good vibes your way for good luck. Your day for quitting will come and as long as you keep trying, I know you will succeed. You're part of the family now and we'll support you unconditionally!
Kathy, what a year you've had...I am so sorry for your losses. I lost a sister, too, to COPD several years ago. I wish I had known more about COPD back then so that she could have been helped and supported as much as I have been. I felt very helpless at the time. Hang in there and take all the time you need to grieve and heal. Just please try to take good care of yourself, and be good to yourself, too. You deserve all the love and care that you showed your family.
You are all part of our family and we are grateful for you!
Posted 04 February 2007 - 11:50 AM
by all of them. You are all courageous and strong individuals
in your own right.
I talk about myself so much on this board, I wasn't sure that
I should post on this thread. I discovered early on that I could
lay it all out on the line here at BBLW without fear of reticule
So here go's:
I come from a family of lung'rs...Every last one of us.
My Parents generation all died of lung Cancer .
My brothers ( 7 ) and Sisters ( 2 ) all have COPD.
We have all been tested for ALPH-1 and the results
where negative. Many of our Children are affected.
This disease has to be hereditary but more research
needs to be done.
I talk to my children every chance I get about the evals of
smoking. My Dad told me the same things that I
try to tell my children and I didn't listen. I hope my
children will hear me and heed my warnings.
I will turn 49 in March and My Wife and I will also be
celebrating our 12th wedding anniversary. We have
three Children. The eldest daughter from my wife's previous
marriage and another girl and boy from my previous marriage.
We have three grandchildren. Two girls and one boy.
I was diagnosed with Asthma in my early 20's and was told
that if I didn't stop smoking, I wouldn't be able to run or climb
staires within 5 years and would be on oxygen soon after.
I was 22 years old...I didn't believe a word of it. I continued to
smoke another 26 years.
The Dr's where wrong....( or so I told myself ). Although I had many
lung infections; Bronchitis, pneumonia, etc...I kept on smoking. I have always
carried an escape inhaler. Litteraly, a cigarette in one hand and
an inhaler in the other.
I went to the Dr in January 2004 for a bad cold ( ya right ) that I
just couldn't get rid of. MY WIFE INSISTED. I figured if I just smoked
another Cigarette, the cough would stop and I would be able to breath
again ( worked for years ).
I was admitted for a three day stay for testing ( very good insurance at that time )
Three Days later after many test and seeing more specialist then I can remember,
I was diagnosed with COPD...What is that? Emphysema with an asthma component
in my case.
I was sent home with o2 24/7 @ 3 lpm. My GP reevaluated me later and lowered
me to 2 lpm at rest and 3 lpm with exertion. originally I was on Advair 500/50,
Atrovent and albuterol ( inhaler and Neb's ) and Theophylline.
I was eventually switched from Atrovent to Speriva and have had great results
with it. When I'm not smoking, I rarely need to use my escape inhaler and never
need to do Neb's. It's a whole other story when I'm smoking.
I managed to work for another year with o2 but the company I worked for
did a realignment and my job changed. It required a lot of traveling and I
just could not do it any more. I loved my job. I worked so hard to get to
the position I was in and it killed me to give it up but I realized that I no
longer was an asset and I don't do well as a liability.
I quit my job on Feb 1st 2005 and was awarded SSD in Jun. My son bought
me a new laptop because when he moved out I gave him our PC. This Laptop
has been a life saver.
Just like Kathy, I typed in COPD and OMG. I spent a year and a half surfing the
support groups and I too came across this site because of Melisa. I don't know if
she sees how many people have found this site because of her passing but since
I have been here, It's her work that has inspired me. I can only hope to come close
to being the caring and loving person that she was.
Smoking seems to be my greatest downfall and an on going battle that I hope to win.
Posted 05 February 2007 - 09:53 AM
Thank you , Tim for encouraging me to come here.
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