I was diagnosed with COPD (emphysema) in 2005. A couple years later, after I had lost my business, my home and much of my ability to do normal physical activities, I asked 2 different doctors to tell me how much time I had left. Both said (reluctantly) approximately the same thing: 2 or 3 years. Of all the meds and treatments prescribed to me, pulmonary rehab was not one of them.
That was 10 years ago. Yes, I’m very happy to still be alive. Very. But I also struggle every day, sometimes for every breath. The simplest things have become difficult – taking a shower, walking the isles of the grocery store, searching for my next great photograph. (more…)