I forgot to mention how easy, painless and noninvasive, the test for COPD is. You simply breathe in, and then breathe out (and that is what is measured). You do it many times to get the best reading, and the technician coaches you to breathe out as long as you can.
Not a big deal - and I understand from reading Thomas' blogs on the subject that there ARE things you can do to slow down the progression if you catch it early.
SO - what are you waiting for? Get it done. We know here that knowledge IS power!
I becamse aware of COPD here on the site from Thomas - which, I think, made me notice the commercials for Spiriva on TV a bit more. Someone also directed me to do the breathing/straw exercise to see what it would feel like - and that was truly scary! It really DID feel like an elephant was sitting on my chest.
I had the test as part of a bettery of tests before a major vascular surgery in 2012. At that point I just wanted to pass for the surgery - and I did. They said it was "really good" for a person who smoked as long as I had. I understand that as I get older that may change, but I feel blessed to be where I am today. I am a very active person and inactivity makes me CRAZY - so I will continue to be hopeful that I may have dodged that bullet.
If you haven't quit - DO it. If you have, protect it with every fiber of your being.
If you have quit, remember to blog BEFORE you make a decision to smoke again. It IS a mattter of life and breath!