What was Life like Leading Up to Your Diagnosis?
My life was busy and very fast paced. I never walked to finish a project I ran to finish. I felt full of energy and life. The sky seemed to be the limit for me. I enjoyed traveling to see my grandsons and friends. I enjoyed walks with my dog after dinner. So many things I took for granted.
How Have You Adjusted Your Lifestyle Post-Diagnosis?
I knew for some time something was wrong 18 to 24 months, but I was young and my doctor over looked things because of my age 48. My life has changed in a big way. Things make more sense now. Why I have trouble walking long distance, why it is so hard to catch my breath, why I feel uneasy and filled with anxiety most of the time. It is harder to do the things I loved doing, it is harder to enjoy the things I loved doing. I sometimes feel isolated to my home, or choices I have because I just cannot walk as far anymore, or be in certain environments anymore.
What Friend/Family Members Provide Support? How?
My caregiver is truly myself. I take care of myself. I try to live with this alone with worry and wonder. Friends check in from time to time , but for the most part I’m alone . Although the best support I get is from my pets. Their love is amazing.
What is Your Greatest Achievement in Life that You are Most Proud Of?
I’m proud to say my legacy will live on through my grandchildren. I started my own business years ago which I still try to stay up on to this day. I’m proud to say that I lived my life with kindness, love, and understanding.
If You were Talking to Someone Recently Diagnosed with COPD, What's Some Advice You Would Give Them?
Those first few weeks are going to be very difficult. Try to learn as much as you can. Read, watch videos, Find support systems even if online. Build a circle of people who understand what you are feeling, some days you will be sad, other days you will be happy.
Try to remember you make a difference in someone’s life every day. You matter. Try to understand that used to take a few minutes will take longer now, but longer can be god too, enjoy the extra time some things take by enjoying the things around you, that you may have missed for years because you were in a hurry. Look closely at the people around you, the colors of things. Try to just enjoy and embrace the fact you have to move slower or sleep with a now funny looking mask. Just enjoy your time.
What was the Hardest thing to Cope with After Your Diagnosis?
The hardest thing is coming to terms with what you just learned. Try to just take it in slowly the word COPD. Do not feel overwhelmed. The hardest part is just coming to grips with how your life just changed in a conversation in your doctor’s office. You knew something was wrong you really knew that but once you hear the word it makes it real.
What Else Should We Know About You?
This disease may end my life sooner than I would have liked but it will not define me as a person. I will fight on and try too not let it limit me or my actions, I will fight till I can no longer fight. I will educate those around me about the important factors of this horrible breath taking disease. Just be a FIGHTER…
We can't thank Marcie enough for sharing her story with us to not only spread COPD awareness but also to encourage you to take action and learn how to properly manage your COPD. Remember, through proper diet, exercise, smoking cessation, regular doctor visits, and treatments you can effectively reduce felt symptoms. Helping to enhance your overall quality of life with this progressive respiratory disease. Do you have COPD and want to help spread awareness? Share your story here.