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My C.O.P.D. Blog
Saturday, 15 March 2008
Mood:  blue

Hi everyone, I hope all is well with you where ever you are. In the last 3 years of my life, the Co. I worked for decided that $430 million in first quarter profits wasn't enough, so they moved the plant to Mexico, since losing my medical insurance,  I have had some major changes take place in my life medically. The last being diagnosed with Very Severe C.O.P.D. I and my wife had  been trying to tell the DR.'s for the last year that something was wrong with my breathing. I was passing out when coughing and getting very short of breath when walking from the car to the house. If I was to carry anything such as  bags from store and such you would have thought I had just run a marathon. Well they would  just put this little plastic clip on my finger and say "your oxygen level seems fine." That would be that. After about a year and a half of all the trips to the Dr. I finally passed out in the Dr.'s office. Now Everyone takes notice. I have been on medication for High Blood Pressure and High cholesterol for about 5 or 6 years. I was diagnosed with Type II  Diabetes about 2 years ago. Now C.O.P.D. This is what I want to focus on and share some information with you.

What Is C.O.P.D.?
C.O.P.D.  stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It is a disease of the lungs in which the airways are partially blocked. It is not curable, but it is treatable .  The term  C.O.P.D.  includes  both emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

 What Are The Signs Of C.O.P.D.?

If you have mild C.O.P.D., you may:

  • Feel a little short of breath after you work hard or do high-energy activities (like biking or climbing stairs)
  • Cough often and sometimes cough up mucus (phlegm)

If you have mild C.O.P.D., you may not even know you have a health problem. You may think it's a normal part of getting older or being "out of shape." Or you may think that your symptoms are just from smoking and they will go away when you quit. Even if you've quit smoking, some of the lung damage  is permanent  Your DR. may tell you that you need medicine to breath better.

If you have moderate C.O.P.D., you may:

  • Feel short of breath when you walk up a hill.
  • Have trouble doing the chores like walking the dog or taking out the garbage.
  • Cough frequently and sometimes cough up mucus (phlegm)
  • Need a few weeks to get better from a lung infection like a bad cold.
  • Cut back on activities you enjoy.

If you have severe or very severe C.O.P.D.,you may:

  • Get short of breath during low energy activities like showering or getting dressed.
  • Not be able to work or take part in any simple activities you enjoy.
  • Cough frequently and sometimes cough up mucus (phlegm)
  • Need a few weeks to get better from a lung infection like a bad cold.
  • Have trouble breathing day and night.

People with severe C.O.P.D. may need oxygen therapy.

Talk to your doctor about your symptoms. If you think you may have problems please make your doctor  understand how bad you really feel.

Detecting C.O.P.D. early is important. The sooner you begin treatment, the more likely you are to manage it properly.  

It is more common than you think.

COPD is more common than most people think. But it goes unrecognized in many cases. About 24 million in the United States have impaired lung function. Ye only about 12 million have been diagnosed with the disease. If you have been diagnosed, now is a good time to take charge of your health.  

Many people who have COPD don't know what their symptoms mean. People with mild to moderate disease may not notice their symptoms. By the time they do notic, some have lost a lot of their lung function. Instead people tend to adjust by being less active, when this happens , they are less likely to notice their breathing problems.

It's important to know the Early signs of COPD. Many efforts are under way to inform the public about these signs. This could lead to earlier detection for many. Current or former smokers who are 40 or older are at risk for COPD. Anyone in this group should be tested.

To detect C.O.P.D. Doctors Rely On A Number Of Clues.

  • Age over 40
  • Smoking History
  • Symptoms (shortness of breath, cough,mucus), and most importantly
  • Lung Function Testing

One type of lung function test is spirometry. This simple test measures how much air you can exhale. It's an easy way for a doctor to tell if there is an abnormal change in how the lungs are working. (This is what I passed out on when I was tested)  Other tests measure how much oxygen is in your blood (blood gas).

Today, many things can be done to help the person with COPD. Healthcare Providers can help you to manage your COPD by: 

  • Diagnosing early
  • Educating you and your family about the disease and what lifestyle changes may help.
  • Prescribing drugs that help open your airways and allow you to breath easier.
  • Reducing the risk of complications.

I will add some URL's for more  information below. I just wanted to say that this is a serious disease and so many are like me wait until its to late. I can't wake up in the morning   with out coughing my head off and just walking to the kitchen to get my first cup of coffee makes me breath harder than if I had run a 2 mile stretch. Yes I am a heavy smoker and overweight, this was a wake up call for me and I hope this helps someone out there.


You can download useful COPD resource free


Free quarterly magazine

There are 160 trials recruiting patients now. Go to the web site and enter COPD in the search frame.

National Lung Health Education Program

US COPD Coalition

American Lung Association




Posted by samsbo at 2:58 PM EDT

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