Saturday, October 20, 2007

In the leading up to The Diagnosis.

COPD is very sneaky. You can have it for years and not know. Then one day you realize you can't keep up. Your energy is flagging. You become short of breath or have trouble walking up stairs. Activities that used to be routine become difficult - like running to catch a bus, or riding a bicycle, or even gardening.

Some people have more colds; come down with pneumonia or bronchitis, develop an early morning cough.

One fall day in October (a day very much like today), windy but warm, my hubby and I had driven downtown for a routine x-ray. We parked the car and started walking to the medical center downhill - downhill, not uphill. Suddenly hubby slowed his pace, looked at me strangely and said he couldn't go any further.
"What's wrong?" I asked him
" I don't know."
"What do you mean you don't know?"
Please don't throw up on the sidewalk, I thought to myself, Or pass out or have a heart attack.
"I don't feel right." he answered, sitting down right there on the sidewalk.
I sat down beside him, continuing to chat as if having a conversation on a dirty city sidewalk was the most natural thing in the world. People walked around us; some giving us funny looks, most ignoring us.
He did look rather pale, but besides that, there was nothing else to indicate what was happening to him. No cough, no shortness of breath - we didn't even think COPD or really know what it was back then. After a while we got up and continued on to our appointment.

Three days later, he came down with pneumonia. That was the beginning. The beginning of this roller coaster ride called COPD and oxygen dependency.


Anonymous said...

Hi, Wendy,
I started reading your blog yesterday, and thought that maybe you were wondering if you had any readers. I added you to my Google feed, so you have at least one! While I am not a caregiver, I am finding this blog interesting.

Wendy said...

Hi Anne,
Thanks for your support. I am very new at blogging, so am not sure what a Google feed is. Will find out!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your BlogSpot, Wendy. I remember my Mother's gradual slowing down -- first trips to the grocery store using the cart as a "walker," then no more trips to the grocery store, then her birthday trip to New Orleans in 2001, when she insisted we go out and enjoy ourselves while she stayed in the hotel room the entire trip. We didn't know what was wrong. She's been a "hot-house tomato" ever since -- but even with COPD, still our lovely tomato. Thank you for your wisdom.