"You have end stage COPD..." is possibly one of the most frightening - and confusing - things a person can hear.
Let's talk about the four stages of COPD and what it means for you. Here are three simple steps that anybody who has heard these dreaded words - and anybody with chronic lung disease for that matter - should follow.
1.) Get the Facts Straight.
When somebody, anybody, tells you you're at a certain stage of a disease, ask questions.
First, find out what it is that determines that stage and, next, where you fit in.
The very first question I ask when a new patient comes in to Pulmonary Rehab is: "What has the doctor told you is going on in your lungs?" The answer tells me a lot about what the patient has been told, what they understand about it and what it means to them. (It's interesting to note that one study revealed that over 26% of patients were unaware of what their COPD diagnosis meant!) Most of the time when I ask patients what t...
Children and teenagers are not little adults; they cannot be treated either medically or psychosocially like adults. The diagnosis of diabetes takes on very different ramifications depending on the age of the child. The tasks related to diabetes management are delegated to different family members based on the child's cognitive and physical abilities. Therefore, diabetes related tasks evolve as children pass through different developmental stages. Because of these different stages, diabetes becomes a new diagnosis with different treatment goals as each child enters a new phase of development. The strategies utilized to care for toddlers will not necessarily apply to those needed for a school aged child or adolescent. Diabetes therapy is in constant transition as children grow. Herein lays the discordance of blood sugar monitoring in a toddler and perhaps a school age child vs. an adolescent. Expectations are very different depending on the developmental stage of the child.
Since I have started my blog many folks have asked me how I have progressed through the Stages of COPD. I have been asked: Do you know what caused it? How long have I had COPD? When did it start and how fast has it moved taking over my lungs? For those questions, I don’t have definitive answers. One of the easiest answers I do have is my COPD didn't start the day I was diagnosed.
My COPD started a long time ago. It may or may not have started with the first cigarette I smoked or maybe the first time I got bronchitis. My doctor tells me I was predisposed to COPD, like others are predisposed to heart disease, cancer, or kidney disease. Even if I had done everything right, lived in a bubble, exercised, ate correctly, and got plenty of rest, I could’ve or would’ve ended up with the COPD regardless.
The Stages of COPD
There are four stages of COPD: Mild, Moderate, Severe and Very Severe (which is now starting to be ...
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