It is a funny thing that those of us with COPD are normally more tolerant of the summer with its heat and high humidity than the cold dryness of winter. But, I am feeling truly blessed for many reasons.
For me, once the cooler weather is here it brings with it anxiety and fears. Fear of what could happen upon venturing outside. That anxiety heightened by allowing my mind to wander back to the past year and anticipating what could happen again this year.
Exacerbated by the darkness of the days and long lonely nights that seem to go on forever. It is when dwelling on negativity and NOT staying in the moment and not being mindful of what is happening and allowing fear to take me where it will.
I Thought I Was Over It…
Working full-time and managing until I wasn’t. Until I couldn’t. My body was feeling really tired and run down and my breathing was becoming laboured with shortness of breath attacks coming more often.
My sick and tired lungs forced me to wear 02 to work twice that last week so I would have the ability to breathe. Embarrassed and feeling quit self-conscious about wearing my 02, I was determined to be brave enough to do this. It was just that, I knew I was stronger, until I wasn’t.
It started out that day on my way to work, the same as I did every other normal day.
I just got in the vehicle when I started to cough and I couldn’t stop, I coughed deeper and deeper and gasped harder with every cough trying to catch my breath. My puffer was in my hand but I didn’t have the strength to inhale it. The driver stopped on route and called an ambulance.
When EMS showed up with oxygen, a nebulizer and a ride to the hospital all my prayers were answered. That time it was a heart event and my visit lasted an entire week.
This Year of Mourning and Grief
It’s a good thing that I had no idea that after that day I would never return to my job, that my earning potential was gone and my independence was a thing of the past. I am full of mourning and grief for the life stolen from me and I don’t think I will ever get over that.
Last week someone commented that I was the lucky one who got to stay home and didn’t have to go out to work in the morning. That comment cut through me like a knife. I get to stay home every day, day after day, but I am not lucky.
This year has brought many happy days and I am feeling blessed and grateful.
- I am lucky that I have a good husband who is willing to support me without complaint.
- Our first grandchild was born this year. He means the world to us and has added ten years to my life.
- I am happy that my 3 adult kids live good lives. For the most part, I think they are happy.
- We have a nice house with central heat to warm us and air conditioning to cool us. There is lots of food in the cupboard and friends and family are welcome.
When Ontario Lung Support contacted me and asked me to co-chair a monthly meeting, I jumped at the opportunity. Now, I have an active role in helping others with COPD and chronic lung issues. I also have built good online supports that help me through issues and problems. My online community is also growing.
So although so much has been lost, I realize I have gained. I still have more than most and
I am Feeling Truly Blessed.