There are dozens of educational articles on COPD, however, it's often just as important to hear how other like minded patients manage and cope with their COPD. Because nobody can quite understand your situation like another patient.
Which is exactly why the COPD Store provides you and other patients the ability to share their story. Today you will hear Margaret's story with COPD.
Margaret lived an active and healthy lifestyle leading up to her diagnosis, but due to her decision to smoke, she was unfortunately diagnosed with the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
But I'll leave it up to Margaret to share her story in more detail below...
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 keeping 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 leading up to my diagnosis.
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?
In the words of Margaret "I will not let this disease rule my life but there have been times it has tried to".
Which is a quote that each and every one of you should keep in mind when faced with new or worsening COPD symptoms.
Whether you were recently diagnosed or face stage 4 COPD, it's vital to remember that you are in control and not COPD.
Take back the control of your health and improve the quality of your life through exercise, eating healthy, and following prescribed treatments. By doing so you will be able to better manage exacerbations, while living a healthier, more active and social lifestyle.
If you were or currently are a smoker with COPD, which methods have you tried or are currently trying to quit smoking? What do you find to be your biggest smoking trigger? Leave your response in a comment below to help current smokers with COPD discover additional tobacco cessation methods.