I have been away for a while. I have had some pretty bad medical issues and I have been in denial about my COPD.
I had a supposed simple surgery on my right eye to fix a very small blind spot in that eye that originated when I was diagnosed with diabetes and my sugar went over 600 and my vision in that eye went blurry for a couple of months then had floaters, strings and a tiny blind spot. The VA sent me to a Doctor in Cincinnati and they operated on me, it was called a vitrectomy and afterwards I had to stay face down for a week…..The Doctors said I was an enigma and this never happens...the operation was a failure and I had a full blown hole in my retina…...The VA sent me to another Doctor and they operated and I had to spend another five days face down. They say this operation was a success but now I have a blind spot in my right eye the size of a dime.
Next I have had some blockage in my legs to the tune of about 60%. I get checked every year...the right leg was the worst. They went down the right leg (Which Now is 90% Blocked) and said they decided to do the left (The stent in the left leg is below the Blockage) In surgery they cut something inside me inside and it took 45 minutes to stop the bleeding. They actually let me go home that night and at 2AM I started bleeding from the femoral artery….blood was everywhere covering Andrea and myself. We live somewhat in the country and at am it took the volunteer rescue 4 minutes to get there….that was awesome. The next morning they had to put Andrea in the hospital for a nervous breakdown for three days….
This all happened in the same year.
When I first stopped smoking, I was concerned because I never experienced that clearing of my lungs that everyone talks about...well I discovered I had COPD. Thomas tried to explain the numbers but I actually thought it was going to get better…It didn't. There is no cure and it's progressive which means over time it gets worse.
The test they give is called a spirometry where you breathe into a machine that measures different values, One value they look at is what they call FEV1 which is the amount of air you can exhale in one sec after a deep inhale based as a percentage. The following is table that shows what stage COPD you are in based on your FEV1
Stage 1 Mild Above 80%
Stage 2 Moderate Between 50 and 80%
Stage 3 Severe Between 30 and 50%
Stage 4 Very Severe (End Stage) Below 30%
I am at 32%
There is no cure and it gets worse with time...I am confused, depressed and a little scared as I don’t know what to expect. This is the same thing Johnny Carson died from...And to quote him about it all he said “Those Damn Cigarettes” All of us in this situation did to ourselves.
We have no one to Blame but ourselves.
I always told my kids to never quit and never give up..If you are running and you fall … get up...if you can’t get up...crawl...and you will tired of crawling...get mad and get up and run again. Well I am mad and tired of crawling and feeling sorry for myself and I am ready to fight back.
I will become an advocate for COPD and I am starting to get involved with the American Lung Association….