“I can breathe: I overcame COPD and we can face any challenge”. This is what my husband Don “Fuzzy” Nichols has to say when he want’s to express gratitude. When the oil market slowed down in Texas, which is a big deal for us, he said, “I can breathe.”
If I complain about anything, he says “Do you know how grateful I am, I can breathe.” Of course I need to remember to tell him to breathe when we are in traffic.

I have watched Don’s breathing improve over the last 13 years. Two week ago, Don had his yearly doctors appointment to check his lungs. He came in and told me that Tony told him that it was the best yearly exam in 16 years. Don was diagnosed with end stage COPD 16 years ago. He never uses phrases like end stage COPD, it sounds scary and insurmountable.

Don decided to go to respiratory rehab. He walked his way back to breathing without having to use an oxygen tank. Take that walk so your story is not about saving all your energy to breath.

I read blogs that explain what it is like to live with COPD. I am sure they are helpful. They tell you to wear elastic pants to save energy putting on your clothing and other helpful tips. Don was so sick that his Doctor did not tell him to go to rehab. It was good advice but the only action plan the Doctor gave was to “quit smoking”. He told him they would make him comfortable. They sent him home with oxygen and medication. Only after surfing the internet did Don decided to ask his Doctor about rehab. So if you have end stage COPD do not think, “I am sicker than this man, I cannot get better”. Even if your Doctor does not see that you could improve, that is not the last word.

Breathing freely.  Being able to say, “I can breathe”.  Breathing could be in reach. Check into going to respiratory rehab.  Take action, take the steps that will lead you to breathing.I want to hear your story of,  “How I Over Came COPD”.



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