MARGARET’S WORRYING STORY
Margaret is 72 years old and she lives with her husband in Primbee, on the South Coast of NSW and talks earnestly of her now limited future following the diagnosis of COPD.
I am independent with all my self care and am not a carer for anyone. I have had various jobs throughout my working life including driveway attendant and a teacher’s aid for the disabled. I am a former smoker and I was initially diagnosed with COPD 2 years ago by a new GP when I presented with constant coughing which I put down to being asthma related.
I was initially very scared, numb and devastated with my diagnosis. I had never heard of this disease, nor had my family who responded with anger and frustration. The GP referred me to the local respiratory clinic at the hospital which has been great and I was very well supported by the family. I have been very satisfied with the information that was provided to me by my Specialist and his team which he referred me to. This has significantly helped me learn about my disease. I am living one day at a time with my COPD and it has affected my life as I have been forced to put a lot of social activities on hold and this has obviously impacted on my family life. I am still trying to learn to live with my COPD and I know that with all the help I am getting with the Respiratory clinic I will improve.
I have recently completed the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Programme and have been linked in with their support group. I feel that there are many restrictions on my life including not being able to do the housework anymore, trips to the shops are not pleasant anymore, I am not able to have my family come for Christmas or Boxing Day and I feel all my glory days are gone due to fatigue. I am very worried about my future and I feel that it is not too good – I am afraid.