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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Why COPD Can Kiss My Ass....

I never even knew what COPD was until my Mom's diagnosis a few years back. I wish I had never heard of it. It's a vicious, evil diagnosis. And it's slowly killing her.

She's always been a feisty one, my Mom has. Active, slim, always busy, always running from point A to point B. Growing up, she hated driving, so she walked everywhere. Grocery store, bank, 5 & 10, if she had errands to run, she walked there. I remember when I got my drivers license, she pretty much stopped driving and relied on me to take her where she needed to go if it wasn't in walking distance. She was never one to sit still.

A smoker from the age of 13, she has no one to blame but herself. Years and years of smoking have taken a terrible toll on her lungs. She now has 30% lung capacity. Go get a straw out of your pantry. Now put it in your mouth and try to breathe through the straw. Forever. That's how my Mom's COPD is now.

This past weekend I went up to visit with Mom in New Jersey. On Saturday, we walked from her apartment to a little breakfast place about a block from where she lives. When we got back, I took her out grocery shopping, and when we got back from the store, I took her to church. Those 3 tasks completely wiped her out for the day. Thanks, COPD. Thanks for slowly destroying my Mom's life. She struggles to breathe in the hot weather, she struggles to breathe after a trip down the hall to the trash chute in her building. She struggles to breathe when getting into and out of the car. She's on oxygen 24/7/365. She'll miss my daughter's high school graduation because she's paralyzed with the fear that her oxygen will run out and she won't be able to breathe.

COPD, or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is an ugly, awful disease and it's slowly taking my Mother away from me, one breath at a time. I don't know how many more Mothers Days we'll have left to celebrate together, but I will cherish every moment I spend with her, every phone call, every precious minute I can get. This disease will eventually take her from me. But my Mom's such a fighter, she won't go easily. She'll struggle, she'll battle, she'll fight to breathe. Until she can't breathe any longer.

I thank God every day that she doesn't have cancer from all the years of smoking. But make no mistake, I hate COPD with a passion, because it's slowly, painfully taking my Mom away from me. So if you are reading this and you are a smoker, for the love of God please stop. The minutes of pleasure you get from smoking now will eventually lead to pain, struggle, suffering for both you and your loved ones down the road.

Happy Mothers Day, Mom. I love you and I wish I could breathe for you. 


  1. Thankfully, smoking rates have gone down but not enough. It's such a self-destructive habit that can lead to so much suffering. I'm so sorry that your mother is going through this and that you're going through it with her. My heart goes out to you both.

  2. As a smoker, I actually fear COPD more than cancer. COPD is years of disability.

  3. I wish my f-i-l would quit smoking. He almost lost a limb due to bad blood flow and his life is RULED by cigarettes. But he just won't (can't??) stop! And then I'm worried what the future holds regarding his health. Sorry to hear that about your mom.

  4. I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. My BFF's mom died from COPD a few years ago, and my uncle suffers from it as well - he's getting near the end. I've watched it destroy people, and I wish it could be gone, but sadly, in a lot of ways, this one can be avoided. Never tried a cigarette in my life, but have lived with parents who smoked when I was a kid. I can only pray that my mom quit early enough.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your mom, Teri.

  5. I agree, my mum has COPD, even though she quit smoking 15 years before her diagnosis. My mum was with my dad until his death, then 16 WEEKS later watched her eldest child die, then had to deal with my health issues that were terminal, but are now just incurable thanks to my miracle drug (Thank you God) and she gets diagnosed with COPD, about 5 years ago now. Then just before Christmas my uncle died (mum's brother in law) from MND and she found out her mum has Alzheimer's disease. Through all of this she has never complained, luckily she's not on oxygen yet but has to use an inhaler. What used to take her 20 minutes now takes 2 or 3 hours. So yes I agree COPD can kiss my arse and bark at the f@cking hole.

  6. I'm sorry to hear about this Teri, glad to see some fighting spirit though and that you're using it as a lesson to smokers who haven't (yet) got COPD, it does seem though recently that the amount of smokers is dropping, so that's something to be thankful for.

  7. Hugs to you Teri. I'm so sorry this is happening. Breath in every moment with your mom. xox

  8. So sorry to hear your mom is going through this. It's a horrible way to live. My dad was a long time smoker who got lung cancer from it. Thank God he make it through the chemo and is recovered now. Smoking is so bad I still wonder why people do it. I wish your mom well.

  9. This slow and inevitable decline must be so hard to bear and so hard to witness. I had never heard it described the straw way before, but that helps me to understand what it's like.

    I will share with my kids your pleas to not smoke. My best to you and your mom.


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