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Maria D.

Denial can kill you. For longer than a year I’ve experienced shortness of breath and used Advair on and off and chalked it up to being overweight and old and sedentary, but deep down I knew something wasn’t right. I was scared of the diagnosis.

Then one day at the beach I could not catch my breath and had to drag myself out of the water before family came to the rescue- I couldn’t get up, could not breathe and was slightly out of it. My blood pressure was 50 over 80. An ambulance ride and emergency treatment stabilized me and spent a day in ICU and two in a regular room. Oxygen and respiratory treatments and medicines worked their magic and I was released with the dreaded diagnostic: COPD. Severe, at that. Since then I’ve seen a pulmonologist and taken medication and honestly feel better than before the “exacerbation” which is what this episode was.

My oxygen level is good on its own and I’m taking care of myself as if I was one of my children. Please, If you are out of breath, go see your doctor and be honest about your symptoms. A scary diagnosis is better than dying from denial.

First published: October 8, 2019

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