A few week’s ago, I talked about the self-blame game and chronic illness like COPD. The question was, why are you playing it and why are you blaming yourself? I had a lively discussion with many people that believe that getting COPD was all our own fault and that we should accept total blame for it. Can I take a moment to say I disagree? I will accept blame for some of what caused it but not the entire blame. #TV and #media played a big role in the amount of people that #smoked. The #cigarette manufactures knew better than we did what the likely outcome would be. There was an absence of knowledge back them and it was lightly mentioned to us that there could be dangers to consumption.

BandwagonBand Wagon

We may have jumped on the band wagon a little too soon, but we lived in high stress times with lots of changing ideals. We needed something to belong to. As smokers we created groups of our own. We gathered together in smoking circles and that would soon become our source of entertainment. It took not time for smoking to be acceptable in every establishment, including medical offices and in all circles. We were practically encouraged to participate. If that is our fault, then I accept blame.

A History of COPDBooks on COPD

An interesting read that puts our condition into perspective. Discovered as early as the 1600’s, scientists had little knowledge of COPD or its cause and effect. Smoking was not in fashion during those days. Again it is mentioned in medical journals in 1821 but still, very little was known of this disease. Spirometry was invented in 1846 but was rarely used. Smoking becomes the norm at the end of the war during the mid 40’s, and by the 1950’s the facts begin to come to light as doctors realize the connection and some research begins. By the mid ’60’s and ’70’s we start to see the true effects of lung disease but it will take another generation for changes to occur. Puffers and bronco inhalers are  first introduced in the mid ’40’s but don’t become common until in the 1990’s, along with supplemental oxygen and exercise routine.

History of COPD

Accepting COPDThe New Century

Research begins after the turn of the century and although spirometry becomes more common, it still very underused. Into the year 2000 and beyond we are still not using spirometry as often as we should. Ideally a spirometry machine should become common and reside in every GP’s office. Then, any person who has pneumonia or any breathing issues could easily be tested in the fast amount of time. Over 1 million of people in Canada have COPD and have not been diagnosed properly.

COPD: A Fairly New Disease

There were so many things in our generation that hurt us. Second hand smoke enveloped us and hung in the air everywhere. Plums of fumes were emitted from gasoline, diesel, wood burning fireplaces and coal fired furnaces. Pollution was everywhere. It was the sign of prosperity. It meant jobs and that men could work and moms could care for their babies.

Accepting blame means that we know what caused this and that puts the blame squarely on me. Once that happens, it prevents further research and we will cut short any new knowledge about the real causes. Not everyone who smoked got COPD and not everyone who has COPD smoked. We carry the stigma because of the fact that we smoked, but in reality only 30% of those that smoke ever develop lung issues. What makes us so different from those others.  When COPD has been researched enough we will begin to see a new model of why’s and what’s.

Maintaining Your Mental Health

Factors That Cause COPDAccepting Your COPD

  • Being born a preemie means that our lungs were not properly developed when we were born.
  • Having blood clots that travelled to our lungs
  • Living in an industrial city
  • Working with high pollutants/ Chemical Exposure
  • Age
  • Chronic Asthma/ Bronchitis
  • Alpha 1 antitrypsin deficiency

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