After suffering from asthma and respiratory infections for most of my teen and early adulthood years, my physician finally gave in and conducted x-rays, breathing tests and more in-depth blood work. In doing so, he came to the conclusion that I was suffering from COPD. While he was astounded that I should have such problems as I was not a smoker, further questioning confirmed the findings.
Growing up in a household of avid smokers combined with helping my father in his carpentry business had exposed me to toxins that I wouldn’t normally of been expected to come into contact with. It was only through my doctor’s extensive questioning about past years that brought forth the reasoning behind the diagnosis. It was all information that I had taken for granted. I didn’t think that it was anything out of the norm. The best I can say now is to be sure that you always think back at family history and actions.
I was initially given the opportunity to change my lifestyle and choose healthier eating options and exercise routines as a way of building up my lung capacity. While these options did offer some relief, we did not feel as though they were at adequate levels. My breathing treatments were increased to three times a day and I was also prescribed Advair to take each morning. I had always been prescribed an inhaler so that wasn’t much a change for me to accept.
To suddenly become aware of the need to really concentrate on my diagnosis and situations to avoid, was stressful to say the least. In an attempt to assist me in transitioning from an oh it’s just asthma to a clear, concise and more severe diagnosis of COPD, I was referred to a therapist to help in controlling and decreasing bouts of anxiety, stress and depression. I felt as though I had been dealt a powerful blow that would leave me with nothing to enjoy in life. I needed to steer clear of smokers, reduce stress levels, not become anxious, change my diet, increase my exercise etc… My mind was swimming a thousand laps even if my body couldn’t.
All I wanted to do was crawl into a hole and go back to the time when the doctor had said I only had mild asthma and a few allergies. I didn’t want to have to become so responsible for my actions and reactions to everything in my life.
In hindsight, I am glad that it was found when it was, I would hate to think that I could have continued on the same path with irreversible results.