Living an active and social life, Margaret enjoyed life to the fullest. But like many of you, her long-term decision to smoke cigarettes led to her unfortunate diagnosis with COPD. Both Margaret and her friends were "shocked" at her diagnosis, especially since she was so active leading up to her diagnosis.However, as many of you know, no level of exercise can protect you from the health damaging benefits of cigarettes.
Margaret doesn't let her COPD control every aspect of her life, instead she takes an actionable and optimistic approach for treating her COPD.
Here is what Margaret has to say about her life with COPD...
What was life like leading up to your diagnosis?
I had no idea that I had COPD so the diagnosis came as a shock.
How have you adjusted your lifestyle post-diagnosis?
After going to pulmonary rehab I came to realize that exercise plays a big part in staying healthy. I try to take things a bit slower than I used to and I stopped smoking, but have had a relapse a couple of times.
What friend/family members provide support? How?
Family and friends were shocked as I had been such a fit person.
What is your greatest achievement in life that you are most proud of?
Winning the battle with cigarettes, its been so hard as I enjoyed them.
If you were talking to someone recently diagnosed with COPD, what's some advice you would give them?
Start to take control of your own health, get familiar with the signs of an exacerbation, and know when to seek help.
What was the hardest thing to cope with after your diagnosis?
The absolute fear of breathlessness and accepting my diagnosis, I was devastated.
What else should we know about you?
I will not let this disease rule my life but there have been times it has tried to. So I eat as well as I can and exercise every day and rest when I am tired.
I can not thank Margaret enough for allowing us to share her story with COPD. If you are still currently smoking cigarettes after being diagnosed with COPD, it's important for you to have the dedication that Margaret had to quit. No matter how many times you may have relapsed in the past.
Smoking cessation combined with regular exercise, proper nutrition, and sticking to your prescribed medications is your ticket to living the highest quality of life possible with a chronic respiratory disease such as COPD.
Help other patients cope with COPD by clicking the image below and sharing your story with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease!