Friday, August 25, 2017

New Day New Challenges

I saw the pulmonoligist  yesterday and was diagnosed with  COPD.  After a year of wheezing and coughing it came as no surprise but I was sad none the less.  I am embarrassed by the diagnosis because I associate it with smoking.  Even though I know a lot of people with COPD who have never smoked.  But I'm one of those former smokers.  I quit over 30 years ago but I have regretted every day that I did smoke.  I got started in college just messing around with girlfriends.  Out of probably 10 of us I was the only one who continued to smoke.  I was addicted almost immediately! The questionaire yesterday asked if you had smoked at least 100 cigarettes in your lifetime. Ron has never been a smoker but he thought he might have smoked 100 in his lifetime.  I only marked yes on 2 questions but it was enough to put me in the COPD category.  The doctor just confirmed it.

Now some of the discussion after that went over my head but from what I understand he thinks I have an infection.  (explains the chills and fevers I have been getting)  He increased the strength of my inhaler.  Ordered me to use my nebulizer 3 x daily.  Put me on an antibiotic and steroid pack.  Ordered a pulmonary function test and a CT scan.  He is trying to identify the type of infection and if it caused by a certain bacteria he will do a lung biopsy and possibly go in and clean out lung infection. (that is the part where it flew over my head which was reeling at that point. 

I will say he seemed very nice and as personable as any doctor is today.   I'll be ok once I adjust to my new normal.  

My concern always is Mike.  If I get sick who will take care of him?  I got the name of an organization that provides assistance to people with mental illness.  It is not income based only by diagnosis.  I'm going to go and talk to them.  They have a social worker, psychiatrist, aides who help and their mission is to help people with mental illness live as healthy and independently as possible.   Keep fingers crossed that they can help me or direct me to the next possibility.

Anyone living with COPD I'd love to hear from you.  I'm trying to wrap my brain around it and any advise is welcomed!



Deb said...

Hi Dani,

Sorry to hear you have received this not-so-good news. Hopefully your coughing will subside once the antibiotics and steroids get the infection under control. I think there's been some really significant progress made in treating and managing COPD in the last couple of years.

Please keep us posted on how you are doing. Make sure to get enough rest, if at all possible.

Hugs from Canada

Olga Hebert said...

I am sorry to hear of this added struggle to your life. The medication protocol sounds like it should knock out any infection. Positive thoughts coming your way.

oklhdan said...

Thanks Olga and Deb. I'm still trying to wrap my head around this. The only side effect of the meds is they make my hands shake. I think it is their steroid in the inhaler. Weird but sure makes typing difficult.