As I said in a previous blog, I was in denial about COPD. I thought it would heal itself or I could cure it……..It Won’t and I Couldn’t. In the process I have learned some things about it that should benefit everyone that ever smoked. Some of these things are:
1 The top leading causes of death in the U.S. are:
- Heart Disease
- Respiratory Disease … The majority of this category is COPD ...The leading cause of COPD is smoking.
- These is no cure for COPD.
- Copd is progressive….It gets worse over time.
- Spirometry is a breathing test that can determine whether you have COPD and the degree of it
- One of the numbers on this test that is important is FEV1...that is the amount of air you
breathe out in one second. From this number they can tell the degree of COPD you have
- My Pulmonologist laid out a chart for me that showed where I was
- FEV1 @ 80% - 99%...........Stage 1 COPD is Mild
- FEV1 @ 50% - 79%............Stage 2 COPD is Moderate
- FEV1 @ 30% - 49%............Stage 3 COPD is Severe
- FEV1 @ Under 30%............Stage 4 COPD is Very Severe..They refer to this as “End Stage” They need to change the name of that stage.
I am at 32%.
This is not a doomsday message and the time for feeling sorry for myself and feeling depressed is over and I am ready to fight back. Everyone is different and some have told me their lungs have healed...I was not that lucky. I never experienced that coughing and clearing of lungs as many have on this site…..The damage was already done.
Even though there is no cure for COPD and it gets worse over time, you can slow the progression of the disease, and I have made a plan to fight back.
First I now have an incredible Pulmonologist…..Him and his staff made my visit one of the best experiences I have had. He wrote me a prescription for pulmonary rehab (which I start next week) and went over a number of options and plans we would take.
Next I am becoming involved with the American Lung Association…They suggested I become a member of the Better Breathers Club…...an organization through the Lung Association that meets once a month and has speakers classes and is made up primarily of people with Copd. I enjoyed the first meeting and learned some things.
And a representative from the Association put me in contact with a support group through them which many are in stage 4. Pretty compelling stuff. I try to always maintain a “Newbie” mentality, So I am like a sponge...learning so much and getting inspired.
In addition, I plan to become active in the COPD group on this site….
I am going to stay involved and have my eye on becoming a certified quit smoking counselor with them (The American Lung Association). This is not an advertisement for anything..it is just my plan for combating his disease…..Contact me if I can help you in any way.
Thomas please correct me if I got anything wrong here