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