For me battling COPD/Asthma also means a responsibility to take this battle seriously and that means to always look for ideas, research, diagnoses, game-plans and all that go with keeping the true seriousness of the battle at bay.
It also means being willing to be transparent about my travels with the diseases and to be willing (even on those days I don’t feel like it) to constantly share with whomever is willing to listen the ins and outs of both COPD and Asthma so that maybe, just maybe, someone else will find the needed hint of encouragement, knowledge and comfort needed for their own battles with either or both COPD and Asthma.
I take that responsibility seriously as it has importance, for attempting to help even just one person feel better or become more knowledgeable about these wonderfully not-so-friendly life companions we call COPD and/or Asthma.
Today’s ‘Reflections of COPD/Asthma’ is a look at those ‘dirty looks and misunderstandings’ that go along with having a health issue that is not visible.
Can’t tell you how many times I have parked in the handicapped spot, plopped my card on the review mirror and walked the shortest distance possible to the door, especially in the heat and humidity of summer – and as I progressed to the door there seems to always be someone who looks and relooks with that question in the eyes of ‘that guy is using the system he isn’t handicapped’. I’ll bet everyone that is fighting their own battle with COPD/Asthma will have the same story, especially if you are not yet on oxygen at all times.
The sad part is when many of us get the same treatment from our own family members and/or friends.
Daily I find myself struggling to do much of anything that may need much physical work while fighting the frustrations that go with it – but most people don’t see that.
Daily I check my oxygen level (no I am not on oxygen yet, but know I will be someday soon), watch my diet and try to do things which will help loose that bit of extra weight I need to loose – but most people don’t see that.
Daily my wife asks me several times how I am doing, calls and checks on me while hoping that I remember to take my meds, get on my nebulizer and take puffs off the inhalers so I will breathe as close to normal as I will get – but most people don’t see that.
Most people only see me for those short spurts of time on my occasional trip to the store, church or maybe out for a visit – they only see me long enough to wonder why I look so normal, act so normal, maybe sound so normal but claim to be disabled and unable to work.
Do you find yourself explaining to others just what is wrong, sometimes more in depth than should be necessary and yet still get that look like, but you look fine.
Dirty looks and misunderstandings are one of the most frustrating things to deal with while battling COPD/Asthma, but as I get further along in my path I realize more and more that it is not me – but them – who have the real problem for not being willing to walk in my shoes even for a single day and begin to understand what I go through, what I battle each and every day.
My best response is to simply smile, nod and move on – although many times I just want to throw them a little kiss and wink just to irritate them more since maybe they don’t want to take the time to walk in others shoes.
Okay, before I start to ranting I will finish with this – YOU FIGHTING THE DISEASE ARE NOT THE PROBLEM – remember that. Stay positive, think positive and know you are always doing your absolute best.
As with most postings from wheezingaway.com and CrossDove Writer, we like to throw out a question for our readers/followers to consider and maybe even add as some feedback, information or insights in the comments sections of wheezingaway.com – the question for this posting is: How do you in your battle with COPD/Asthma deal daily with those dirty looks and misunderstandings?
NOTE TO REMEMBER: We only give descriptions and highlights of various aspects of having COPD and/or asthma and no way do we ever want our information to be considered medical treatment type of information, always consult your physician for more, clearer and more medical founded information.
As always – if you or anyone you know have any symptoms involving lung and breathing functionality, and they linger over and over while disrupting a lifestyle – then please ask questions and get it checked out.
Remember that without breathing a person is without life itself.
With that I bid to all – smiles, prayers, blessings and steady breathing – Mr. William.
(Copyright@2015, CrossDove Writer)
(Information gathered from various news/health websites, COPD Foundation’s “Big Fat Reference Guide on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease” and the book “Live Your Life with COPD”)
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