When people say something like “it took my breath away” I try to breathe deep. They know not what they say, for I have felt the strangling panic that comes when my breath leaves my lungs. Every time I breathe I feel a struggle to regain my oxygen. So much misunderstanding around chronic lung disorders has promoted me to use my experience to highlight this Canadian journey of a COPD survivor. I welcome you to join me on for my ongoing journey as we all strive to catch our breath.
My name is Barbara Moore, and this is my story…
In 2016 as I am turning 60 years old, I was diagnosed as having Stage 3 Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or (COPD). I wasn’t surprised at the diagnosis. I was a pack a day smoker for over 50 years, I was born a preemie, I lived in an industrial city and I had blood clots in my lungs before, all factors for developing COPD.
If hindsight wishes came true, I would have asked a doctor about what was going on with my lungs much sooner. If I knew how bad it could become I would have done something about it and made better choices. I like to think I would have at least been proactive because the bottom line is that I had to quit smoking in order to breathe. Wish I had done it sooner rather than later, but I made the sorry mistake, like many of my friends, and choose later.
Having known for about 10 years that I was not doing well, I didn’t want to get it checked out because I didn’t want to quit smoking. At the time it was an easy decision to make. I had no idea how sick I could get. Upon diagnosis, I immediately quite smoking and was given an appointment to see a Pulmonary Specialist.
Not sure what I thought would happen but it turns out there is no magical pill or potion. I thought the same as most people when they say, “It will never happen to me.” In those early COPD years I was very happy not to do any research because I truly did not want to know the what. why or when it would all happen. I figured some pill or medical syrup would be available. I always said I never met a smoke I didn’t love but now the smokes never touch my lips and the smell leaves me breathless.
I born and raised in Southern Ontario and I am married for over 40 years. My husband and I have 3 children, 2 sons and 1 daughter. We also have one grandson that we adore as he has added 10 years to my life. We have a German shepherd named Gracie and 4 domestic cats.
A retired college instructor, I taught Accounting and Finance in a college setting for over 15 years but retired in 2018 due to my COPD. I also run a small bookkeeping business that sometimes runs hot and mostly runs cold.
My goal is to build a community to help those who suffer from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease from a Canadian perspective. This blog is my story as I continue my journey, sharing information and education as I learn it.
The vision of CatchYourBreath60 is to help shed the prejudice of having a chronic disease, navigating the Canadian medical system and striving to meet the day-to-day demands of working, living and surviving.
If we have COPD or any other chronic illness climb aboard. Let’s take this journey together.
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It's been awhile, hasn't it? Join me today at 3 PM EST as we discuss what triggers and anxiety that causes your shortness of breath. You can reach us by tapping on the address below. https://www.facebook.com/catchyourbreath60
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