I've got to say that one of the most frustrating things of having this disease is the realization that my life will never be what it once was. Sure, I can still get around and do what needs to be done, but every single day this disease let's me know it's there. And, with each passing day I feel it getting worse.
It's funny, I was talking to my niece when she visited this week and we got onto this topic. I told her that I wish I could turn back time to before I was diagnosed. Why? Well, they say ignorance is bliss and before my diagnosis, even though I felt bad, I attributed it to being out of shape, needing to work out, and overall the daily stresses of life.
My niece mentioned how the mind can play tricks on you, meaning that now that I know I'm sick, I feel it more and I agree with her. The mind is a very powerful thing, but as I mentioned to her, before my diagnosis I knew something was wrong. I did feel sick but had no choice but to go on about my day and try my best to ignore what I was feeling. This is why I say ignorance is bliss. In that area, yes my mind played me to the point where I could function and do what needed to be done but I felt it and I was so worn out all the time. Now, well, forget it. Things are very hard for me and there's not one day that goes by where I can pretend like I'm ok. So, is it the mind really, or has my disease progressed to the point where I can't ignore it anymore? I feel it's the latter and my numbers prove that point. I told my niece how hindsight is 20/20. I look back now on all the little things that I felt, odd things, odd pains, problems with shortness of breath and so on, things that my primary doctor (who, by the way, failed me) did not pick up on and I now realize that all along I've been sick with this disease - I just had no clue what it was.
However, while ignorance can be bliss, please do not put off looking into any ailments or symptoms you have. With COPD, the sooner you get diagnosed, the better your chances for long term survival. Me? I have no clue how long I have, not as long as if I had been diagnosed sooner that much I know. But, I have no intentions of laying down and dying either. I want to (and will) continue to live my life and try be happy and have a decent quality of life. I'll learn to live with this disease and not let this disease take over the person I am. Still, I can't do what I used to do, and I miss that part of my life. Well, there's no choice in the matter now, it's time to go forward and leave the past behind.