Talking Openly Is Key To Moving Forward
Ron — I have COPD and we support each other
Edna — Working together
My husband Chuck is a prince. I don't know how the heck he's put up with me all these years, but he is always there for me. Read More Read More The two of us really enjoy new places, new things to do, and new flavors. We're big foodies. I used to think I was a good cook. I am not a good cook. I can make meatballs and spaghetti. I can make macaroni and cheese. All the bad food, I can make. He is a wonderful cook, so I let him, and I give him a standing ovation for helping us both.
He's my brick when I've been really, really sick. If I start to slip or just feel really crummy and ugly, he always cheers me up, even if it's just a bad joke. He knows how to cheer me up, so we make a good team and enjoy almost everything that we could do together when I was really much healthier, just a little bit slower. Close Close
Phil — Adding humor to help everyone understand
Marie, my wife of 37-plus years, is a fantastic individual. I love her dearly. She has been one of the mainstays in my rehabilitation and support group, a personal support group for my illness. Read More Read More It wasn't always that way. Like anyone else, she has her good days and bad days. But Marie stuck with me. Most women would have taken off. But she has been a rock in my foundation and helped me tremendously.
Without my wife prodding me to go to the doctor and see and advance myself medically, I could have very easily been staring at the tulips from the root end instead of smelling the flowers. She was very investigative towards the disease, and I just wanted it to go away. Being very much a digger for information, she found the head of the pulmonary department at the hospital that I attend, and he became my pulmonologist. Close Close
Marianne — How COPD affected my relationship
Corazetter — The more we know about COPD, the better we deal with it
Dolores wants to be my mom. Because she was the oldest of the four of us, my mom would leave her in charge, so she took on that responsibility. Read More Read More And she thinks she still has it. She takes good care of me. And sometimes I have to rebel and just say no.
My daughter was adamant about my taking real good care of myself and not doing things, and she tried to keep me from going places and doing things. It was as if she was going to protect me from being ill. But the more we know about COPD, the better we'll be able to deal with it. Close Close
You, your spouse, your child, your caregiver, and any other family members living with you will function better, day to day, when you work together. Read More If you don't have a family member that you feel close to, learn about your other options here.
It may feel odd to shift responsibility that was once yours to someone else, but you may not be able to do all the things you once did, or may have to do them differently. Remember to ask for help when you need it, and offer to do things that require less physical exertion. Close
Don't Keep It All To Yourself. Communicate!
Living with COPD can leave you feeling out of sorts. It can cause stress, fear, and anxiety. Talking to your loved ones can help. Talk about how you feel, what's bothering you, and what they can do to help. Read More Getting support from your friends and family may help relieve any stress or anxiety.
You also have the option of communicating with others with COPD. Seeing how others are coping may help you adjust to the challenges that come with COPD and help you deal with COPD on a day-to-day basis. Talk to your healthcare provider about finding local support groups. Close
Living with COPD doesn't have to be isolating. Once you develop new habits and get into the swing of things, it may be easier to get around and maintain your social relationships. Read More
Try to keep your relationships going with friends and family. When needed, let others know more about your condition, what to expect, and how they can help you get around.
Here are some ways to be social with your friends:
- If you like to talk about how you're feeling, call one of your friends and ask if he or she has time for a chat.
- Make plans to have friends over if you don't feel comfortable leaving your home. Let them know that you have good days and bad days, and would like to get together but can't always plan ahead.
- Be specific about your wants and needs. For example, if you are feeling good and would like to go out for lunch, ask some friends or family members if they're free and let them know where you'd like to go. Close