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I Live with COPD and You Can Too.

Updated on July 28, 2011

Hi, my name is Lew Newmark, and I'm not an actor.

I'm a normal person just like you but I live with a chronic disease that you've probably heard about through television commercials with actors who talk about living with the condition that I have.

I have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or simply COPD. I was diagnosed with it back in 2005 on the day of my 49th birthday. Happy Birthday to you, you've been diagnosed with COPD. It was an amazing day to say the least.

I have lived with COPD for six years now ( well actually, it will be six years in another few days) and I lived with it while working for five plus years in a fragrance factory. My condition has also been inextrictably tied to another condition that I have called Churg Strauss Syndrome or CSS for short. For those of you who may have an idea of what it's like to live with a disease such as CODP, I want to talk about it without a lot of the usual medical jargon that tends to be associated with medical articles written by health care professionals. So let's begin with a basic definition of what COPD is...

COPD is a form of Asthma, and its also the worst form of the Asthma condition. There are actually two distinct types of COPD and they are:

Chronic Bronchitis-The person who is diagnosed with this form of COPD typically has a chronic cough. A mucous discharge which can range in color from clear to a mildly green color can sometimes be associated with this form of the disease.

ยทEmphysema-Someone who has been diagnosed with this type of COPD will almost certainly over the course of time, experience the breakdown of the lung tissue in the chest area.

I live with Chronic Bronchitis, and I'd like to share with you what a typical morning usually is for me. I'm usually awake no later than 7:30 each morning, and my routine certainly is not the same as yours, because my first 15 to 20 minutes of each and every morning starts out with my trying to breath correctly, which I have a problem with because I'm trying to bring up mucus from my lungs. I usually have to cough on and off for around 10 to 12 minutes of that 15 to 20 minutes as part of clearing out that mucus. Honestly, it's the worst part of my day, and I usually just want to die.

There are regular symptoms associated with COPD that I want to share with you:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough with mucus
  • Wheezing
  • Fatigue
  • Numerous respiratory infections

There are a few medications that you may have heard of and in my case one that you may not realize can be used to help control forms of asthma, so I will go over with you the medications that I use to help control my COPD.

Advair-this medication is used to help open the passageways of the lungs themselves and includes a bronchodilator. There are two different strengths of this medication, I have to use the stronger dose of 500/50. I use Advair twice a day every twelve hours.

I also use an Albuterol rescue inhaler. It's portable and I carry it with me in case of an Asthma attach.

I also use a prescription medication called Prednisone. In my case it helps to control my asthma when it really gets out of hand, and it also is something that I have to use for my CSS disease.

I want everyone to understand that there is no cure for COPD, but you can live a healthy life style with this disease as long as you see your pulmonary specialist regularly, and take your medications as they are prescribed for you.

If you are a smoker diagnosed with COPD, it goes without saying that you will have to confront the notion of having to quit smoking them if you want to prolong your life.

Also eating properly is paramount to your continued good health. Take in plenty of water daily, and this is not the same as drinking iced tea or drinking coffee, you need to take in plain drinking water to help break up mucus that your body produces. And the other thing is to limit or in some case completely stay away from dairy products such as milk and cheese products because they tend to increase your mucus buildup.

Trust me, it's not always a great day for me living with COPD, but I have learned to manage it. It doesn't control me, don't let it control you either.


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    • animekid profile image

      animekid 6 years ago from Upstate NY

      Hi Simorgan.

      Thank You. I'm glad that you enjoyed the article. I didn't want to write a piece that just explained what COPD was. Sometimes you have to tell people what you have and how it effects you, even if it means exposing some things that others would keep to themselves.

    • slmorgan profile image

      slmorgan 6 years ago from San Francisco

      Animekid, thank-you for sharing your experience with this debilitating chronic condition. I know how it feels to not be able to breathe properly. I suffered severe asthma as a child and grew out of it about my last year of college. I also worked as a nurse in the hospital on a unit for awhile with patients who had respiratory concerns. I wish you well. It sounds like you have a routine that helps you manage the condition and stay in control of your life as well as a routine that you feel good about. I HOPE YOU HAVE A WONDERFUL BIRTHDAY!! useful and interesting article.