In 1993, after being a moderate smoker for 27 years I decided it was time to quit. At that time I had no apparent medical problems that could be associated with smoking.
Within a couple of years bouts of shortness of breath became obvious which was diagnosed as asthma and treated as such. At the time I lived in Cairns so it was also suggested the high humidity could also be a contributing factor.
I moved to Brisbane in 1999. After consulting a number of medical professionals it was determined the dreaded Emphysema had taken hold. Life went on regardless and at no time did I allow the affliction to get the better of me. It is kept under control with a variety of puffers, regularly reviewed, and a positive attitude.
My problem does not inhibit my activities. It slows me down for sure but does not stop me from doing or trying to do what I want. Needless to say I can no longer run a four minute mile or should that read 1.6 kilometers?
During October 2012 I was hospitalized with what was diagnosed as Atrial Fibrillation (AT). No such problems since. During July 2013 was hospitalised for six days with pneumonia.
During May of 2014 I suffered a Transient Ischaemic Attach (TIA), which was originally thought to be a stroke. Within two hours thankfully the systems resolved. While under observation for the TIA at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital and in light of my other active medical problems it was suggested I become involved in a rehabilitation program.
Within two months and after I retired on the 4th July 2014, I immediately became involved in a twelve-week program - B.R.E.A.T.H.E Pulmonary Rehabilitation. Best cause of action and I would encourage and urge this type of involvement to all COPD suffers, whenever available.
That brings me to where we now stand, my involvement with Lung Foundation Australia and the Just One Breath Campaign. I appreciate this great opportunity to help others with COPD, to stress to them the need to become involved in programs, to maintain a well-balanced diet, to exercise regularly, to keep the weight under control and at all times to keep a positive attitude, be happy and to enjoy life.
Sadly, there are those whose problems are far worse than many others. If I can contribute in any way to their better wellbeing I will be a happy chap.