15 Aug

As taken from the merriam-webster online dictionary.   Definition of INSPIRATION 1) a: a divine influence or action on a person believed to qualify him or her to receive and communicate sacred revelation b: the action or power of moving the intellect or emotions c: the act of influencing or suggesting opinions. 2) The act of drawing in; specifically: the drawing of air into the lungs. 3) A: the quality or state of being inspired b: something that is inspired a scheme that was pure inspiration. 4): an inspiring agent or influence

For those keeping track, definition 1) a … clearly does not define me LOL. For the purpose of this post I think I would fall under maybe 1) b: or 4). the fact of the matter is that inspiration comes in many forms, from many places, and from many people.  In can be a phrase in a book, or stern conversation, an event at any time in one’s life, a movie, or God.  It can also come from a child speaking to an adult or from one suffering an illness. Each of us finds and accepts inspiration from that which moves us.

Today‘s post is about what inspires me to fight so hard against the disease that has me by the short hairs and will not let go.  I have COPD. There is no cure for COPD, as we speak, doctors and scientists continue to work on and create new drugs to fight it each day, each week, each year, and yes it would appear they are making progress.  But today, there is no cure, and it does not appear that one will be available until long after I am gone.

I was diagnosed with COPD about 8 years ago; at that time I was using about 90-92 percent of my lung capacity.  But I was and am overweight, and I figured it was more a weight issue than anything,  So when I talked to the pulmonologist, I kinda let what he said go in one ear and immediately out the other, I wasn’t on oxygen, and he only prescribed a single inhaler to use when I was having issues.  The inhaler went into my desk drawer, and the advice out the window. Damn I wish I had paid better attention, and actually followed instructions.  Four years later, after both heart and lung surgery I was on oxygen 24/7.  I had also changed pulmonologist, to the now infamous Doc Lungs.  I now hang on every word every instruction Doc Lungs gives me.  I trust him, and we have a great Dr/patient relationship. Through all of this I was still self-reliant and self-inspired.

But about 2 years ago I had the grand awakening.  I wasn’t handling my pending demise well, I wanted to live, but I was making arrangements for my death. And even as I was making these arrangements, my fight against the disease continued and still does.  But at some point you realize you need more.  You have to do more to just cope.  My wife had been after me for a long time to write.  To write about COPD what I was going thru, what I did to cope, to seek others with the disease and found out what worked for them.  So I started my blog, this blog, and my original stuff was informative and whiny at the same time.  I did some research and shared what I found, and spoke about how I was feeling.  I wrote my first “How I feel Today” on 6/23/12. About the same time as I started my blog, my health Coach from BCBS called, and suggested I consider joining a COPD support group.  She offered several potential organizations that sponsored such groups; such as American Lung Association, Daily Strength, MDJunction, and a few more.  I was drawn to the Daily Strength COPD/Emphysema Support Group, and have been there ever since.

Now finally I am getting to the heart of the matter, that being, who inspires ME YOU DO!!!! That certain someone who reads a blog entry and does something positive about their situation, and I never know about it. The person that reads my blog for the 1st time and sends me short comment thanking me for saying this that or the other, that started something within them which got them going.  Or made them feel better about their situation no matter what that situation may be.   You that individual that reads me on a continuing basis, offering insight, comment and yes INSPIRTATION. That person that sees me at the grocery store with my portable oxygen, that smiles and nods at me, or stops and wants to chat for a few moments.  The person that inspires me is YOU! the encouragement, the patience, the praise, the positive remarks, and the thoughts I never hear.  YOU inspire me. I speak of COPD/Emphysema Support Group group on a regular basis because they are a large part of the YOU! Being sick is no fun, living with and loving someone who deathly ill is no fun.  One of the most important sources of inspiration comes from FAMILY and FRIENDS. The inspiration that I get from all of YOU is in part why I did so well when I was going thru pulmonary rehab last year.  I didn’t want to disappoint you or me, so I worked harder, I pushed harder, and as a result I did so so much better than I would have without YOU.  More recently taking the family on the Disney cruise was my motivational push.  Ensuring I stayed healthy enough for the trip, and it was thru your support and being there with me that saw me thru the end of the cruise.  And here 3 weeks later I am still flying high.  Over the last 14 months the collective you have made a significant difference in my life.  I am constantly inspired by the DS group.  The caring they constantly show to other sufferers, family of someone with the disease is truly amazing.  If someone doesn’t post for a week, a hunting party goes out looking for that individual.  Actions like that are a constant inspiration for me.  And anyone that joins the group or even just stops by with a single comment or question is treated with genuine caring.

I have had several notes that specifically stated some action on my part inspired an individual to do some action on their part.  When I get such a note I almost come to tears (sometimes I do).  But they are tears of joy.  Because when I started this I wanted to matter, I wanted to help, I wanted to yes inspire someone anyone to fight the good fight, to not give in or give up. And it is working, the inspiration I get from you keeps me going, allows me to fight the good fight.  Hopefully I have given a bit back, and I am going to continue to try and give back.

Thank you all!

As usual if you have any comments or questions please feel free to ask.  Take care, Bill


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16 responses to “Inspiration….

  1. Nancy Hamilton

    August 15, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    I was just thinking about you a few minutes ago and said a little prayer thanking God for your life. I love you.

    • FlaHam

      August 15, 2013 at 1:36 pm

      Nancy, that is very sweet, thank you, and thank him. Love Bill

  2. Chatter Master

    August 15, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    What a beautiful and gratitude full post Bill. Your attitude is contagious and inspirational. Thank you SO much for who you are, and sharing your self with us.

    • FlaHam

      August 16, 2013 at 10:02 pm

      Colleen, Thank you for you lovely words, and all that comes with them. Some times when I am sitting here in the office, I wonder if I share to much, if I try to hard, I wonder if I should hold back, but then I realize I am not writing for those that read my blog. I am writing for me, my family, and for my granddaughter giving me a way to feel better. Sharing with Cari, that which I won’t be here to share in person. Then I get a comment, from you or Wanda, Paulette, Dee, or Ela, or from folks that are no longer here, or even a random comment from someone that just bumped into my blog, and I realize that while I am writing for me, some of my stuff actually makes others feel good or laugh. All of this inspires me to write more, to share more, to continue to express how I feel about my future, to you the people that thru your acceptance have shown me that it is okay, who have inspired me to continue my battle. Sorry I got so wordy, Colleen the bottom line is Thank You !! Please take care, Bill

      • Chatter Master

        August 17, 2013 at 11:44 am

        Oh Bill, you never have to apologize to ME about getting wordy! HAHAHAHAHA! 🙂

        I know what you mean though. Sometimes I write something and it feels so personal. And I’m hesitant to hit ‘publish’ and then someone responds with a heartfelt connection and I know it mattered to someone else. That’s one of the joys of writing/blogging in our tech world. In some things we feel so isolated or not understood….and we write it out, and somewhere someone says….hey, I get this, or I hear you, or I appreciate what you say/feel.

        It’s a great connection we have, our feelings.

        Thank YOU for sharing. I look forward to it always.


  3. jmgoyder

    August 16, 2013 at 7:23 am

    YOU are all the definitions of INSPIRATION, Bill!

    • FlaHam

      August 16, 2013 at 11:11 am

      Julie, Your words are so sweet, and I appreciate them from the bottom of my heart. But my dear, please understand you have been a constant source of inspiration for me since the 1st time I read your blog. I believe we give each other strength from thousands of miles away. I have watched and read every word, I have seen your despair and heartbreak, but I have also seen the love you have and share with Ants. That my dear inspires a lot of folks. My friend we will continue to share and inspire each other. Please take care, Bill

  4. The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

    August 16, 2013 at 11:12 am

    You, my friend, inspire me to continue to stop by to read your posts, authentic, entertaining, funny, scary (concerning health issues at times), loving, so many other descriptive adjectives but all from the heart. I’ve been inspired by you to stretch a little, open a little more about my insides, not always easy. Thank you, my friend, for this post and your friendship. Be well, Paulette

    • FlaHam

      August 16, 2013 at 10:07 pm

      Paulette, You have been a true inspiration, and thru our writing we have become wonderful friends, and for that I am so grateful. I think we would have been friends no matter the circumstances of our meeting. But the written word, has been the key, your book, and my 1st feeble efforts at writing my blog. You offered so much encouragement, your one of the driving factors for my abundance of posts LOL. Thank you again for all you have shared, the direction, the support, the encouragement. Take care, Bill

  5. gita4elamats

    August 16, 2013 at 11:45 am

    You are an inspiration, Bill. ❤

    • FlaHam

      August 16, 2013 at 9:39 pm

      Ela, Soft smile, All I am is a guy trying to make the best of what I think is a bad situation. And I couldn’t do it without the likes of people like you. Ela your a sweet lady, who’s kind words and encouragement I always look forward. Please take care, and understand, for me the strength I gather from my friends helps me fight my battles. Bill

      • gita4elamats

        August 16, 2013 at 10:08 pm

        I look forward to lots more of your posts, Bill.:)

  6. DeeDee Granata

    August 16, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    Thanks for being you and caring about me and all of us.

    • FlaHam

      August 16, 2013 at 9:34 pm

      Dee, Soft smile, I do care, and yes I care a lot. When your a kid you never imagine yourself going out the way we most likely will. I am grateful for the courage and understanding the group and YOU in particular have given me since I joined. We started infusion treatments about the same time, so nature kinda pulled us together. I am glad it did. Please take care, Bill

  7. Wanda

    August 18, 2013 at 5:19 am

    Bill, this post is a gift from you to all your readers. Though we already know it, it’s nice to know how much you value us, the comments we make, etc. You, of course, are a huge source of inspiration as well. Your sense of humor, the love you show here and in real life, the grace with which you deal with your COPD are excellent and enduring examples for all of us.

    • FlaHam

      August 18, 2013 at 8:30 am

      Wanda, You have been here with me since the 1st post, you have sat here at my desk with me and helped create this thing. Your words, your thoughts and encouragement are in almost every post I have written, and the only advise I haven’t taken to heart is to keep the posts relatively short. Wanda, without your hands on help those 1st couple weeks, I don’t know if I would have stayed with it. So thank you my dear sweet friend. Take care, Bill


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