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It is about COPD…..

29 Aug

When I first put fingertips to the keyboards, in my mind every post was going to deal with COPD.  I had been warned to show some consistency in when and how I posted.  I was further advised that it would be beneficial to the reader if I had a somewhat reliable schedule to when I would post, and once the schedule was defined to try my best to stay on schedule.  Well I didn’t listen to the advice.  In June of 2012 I started my blog, true to my thoughts everything I wrote dealt with COPD.  I didn’t need a schedule because I was posting every day, sometimes 2 or 3 in a day.  I had so much stored information, emotions and thoughts about COPD, in my brain, they just spilled out. Eight weeks and 42 posts later I am still firing on all cylinders.  The pace has slowed down, I haven’t stayed true to the subject line, and I still don’t have a schedule, but I have some readers that follow me, and for them I am thankful.  Having said that, this blog is still about COPD and the impact it has on me.

Sense I started blogging I have joined 2 different discussion groups.  One of the discussion groups focus is on COPD and emphysema, the other is less specific, and it pretty much open to whatever is on your mind at the time you submit your post.  Of these 2 groups the one on COPD and Emphysema is aptly name “COPD and Emphysema Discussion Group.” This group has 1929 members, I say again 1929 members.  But only about 40 are active at any given time, and of this group of 40, twenty-five are actively participating members almost on a daily basis.  I will say I am quite happy that only 40 of the 1929 are active.  If I got input from even 200 members or even 100 on a given issue, that would be information overload.  As it stands now, one can expect to get at least one input on any issue posted, but generally 10 to 15 posts per issue.  Sometimes an issue touches so many people, and causes so much add-on conversation, that a single post will have a discussion trail with 30 to 50 responses. Within those responses you will sometimes see a sidebar conversation or dialog between 3 or more members. The group is extremely active, and it is genuinely caring.

I have learned so much in such a short time span, the impact of some of the prescribed medicines, what might be coming out, when and where COPD conferences are being held.  I have learned about family members and pets, about children and grandchildren.  There is always a sense of caring and belonging that permeates through the group.  No question is stupid, and no answer is ridiculed.  Each of these folks is going thru a unique experience, because COPD treats us all with a level of uniqueness.  Most of the symptoms are the same, most of the medicines are the same, even the outcome is the same.  Yet the journey is different.  Some of the folks were smokers (including myself) yet many never smoked.  In some cases the environment they live in has caused them great harm. Yet again in others the environment played no part.

They say by 2020 COPD will be the 3rd largest killer of people in the world, yes the world, but there is no cure, and none is on the horizon.  Cancer and heart disease both rank above COPD on the list of killers, and with both cancer and heart disease an individual has the potential to survive, and many many do.  With continued research COPD will someday meet its match.  Doctors, researchers, and individuals suffering from COPD will finally start to bring significant change in how it is treated.  Maybe thru stem cells a way will be found to generate new air bags in lungs, which would go a long way in solving this disease.  The point to this is that 20 years ago COPD wasn’t even a medical term, it wasn’t recognized as a disease, you had asthma or emphysema.  If you were really unlucky you had lung cancer. The world of medicine has made great progress in the last 20 years, and hopefully they make even more progress over the next 20 years.  A key issue in solving the riddle of COPD is and will continue to be awareness.  30 years ago we were collectively not very aware of AIDS, but as the public awareness (and in some cases public fear) of AIDS grew so did the level of effort put forth by the government (Federal, State, City) to find a cure.  A lot of progress has been made with AIDS over the last 30 years. I even heard recently that they were testing a drug that might cure an individual.  Once COPD gathers that same level of public awareness then we will see a significant shift and efforts to gain a handle and find a cure will take place.

Take care and have a pleasant day, your comments are appreciated.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on August 29, 2012 in Observations, Ramblings

 

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6 responses to “It is about COPD…..

  1. jmgoyder

    August 29, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    It’s weird how some diseases get the media attention etc. COPD is a bit like Parkinson’s disease in that people just don’t know about it. Great post!

     
    • FlaHam

      August 29, 2012 at 10:07 pm

      Julie, I believe COPD’s time is coming, in the past month I have seen articles on Yahoo, and other news outlets. This is a beginning, and we have to start someplace. Please take care, and again thanks for reading my posts.

       
  2. Wanda

    August 30, 2012 at 5:19 am

    Bill, this is an informative and thought-provoking post. Your phrase “the journey is different” resonates with me. Speaking generally, not about COPD necessarily, we might think we know how someone else feels about something but we probably can’t ever know the totality of it. This is a good lesson–one I need to be more conscientious about.

     
  3. DeeDee Granata

    August 31, 2012 at 6:13 am

    You described our group well. I do hope the research continues. I would so get involved in a clinical trial . . .

     
  4. Lakendra Durch

    February 11, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    Cigarette smoking has been strongly linked to health conditions like heart disease and lung cancer. Other than these two dreaded disease, heavy smoking may also cause chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This condition causes inflammation and damages the small airways of the lung tissue and may cause breathing difficulties. COPD is usually a combination of two similar conditions: chronic bronchitis and chronic emphysema. Because cigarette smoking is the major cause of these two conditions, they often occur together in the same person. COPD damage is progressive and permanent and has become one of the fastest-growing health problems. It has become the fourth leading cause of death in the United States and is responsible for more than 96,000 deaths annually. Because of these health conditions the need to quit smoking has become more important than ever. Understanding COPD is essential in encouraging smokers to quit this dreaded and potentially fatal habit.’

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  5. Gabi

    February 17, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Thank you for this informative post. I have COPD too, but thank God only grade II and the progress is very slowly. But after all this disease impacts my life.

    Unfortunatly my English ist not very good. But reading in English for me is easier than speaking or writing. 🙂 So I am afraid, I can´t often leave a comment, because mostly I don´t know the correct words in englisch. 🙂

    Best regards
    Gabi

     

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