Quite impressive sounding when you say all of it at once but not so ominous when you just use COPD! 

Actually being diagnosed with COPD is not much different than the dreaded "cancer" word since there is no cure. There are treatments and medications that can treat the symptoms and delay the inevitable but NO CURE.

Patients experience a slow decline in lung capacity which eventually damages other areas of the body that rely on oxygen to function. Brain function slows from lack of oxygen. Muscles deteriorate because it takes oxygen for them to work. The heart must work harder trying to supply the oxygen to the  body. 

Okay, so if this subject is such a downer, why did I decide to make a website on COPD. Simple really, I live with COPD 24/7, not because I have the disease but because my husband (Dennis) does and I am his care giver. I wanted to let others know what to expect and how we handle the stress and fears. 


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This is a picture of Dennis before he was diagnosed with COPD in 1996. His weight at the time was 205-210. He is with his Mother who suffered for 40 years with respiratory illnesses.  She had been on oxygen for a number of years when this picture was taken in the late 1980's.  She passed away in 1994.

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After his diagnosis in 1996, his physical appearance began to change. This picture was taken in 1997 and shows the expansion of his stomach.  The upper portion of his lungs were no longer functioning and the lower lobes were expanding downward which caused his upper abdomen to enlarge.

Exertion of any kind put extreme pressure on all of his organs below his lungs. This is also when I began to notice his muscle's losing tone. I later understood that muscles require a lot of oxygen and as his supply depleted, so did his muscles.  He also had to cut back on his activities due to SOB (shortness of breath).

A few days after this picture was taken he came down with a severe infection. We had to contact the doctor (in Dallas) from a mountain town in Montana and request a prescription be called in to the pharmacy in the next town.

This is a picture of my husband during our Christmas 2006 celebration with our granddaughter, Brandi, and her three daughters, Natalie, Autumn, and Alanda. The change in physical appearance is due to his advancement into end stage COPD. His weight at this time is 163.

The pictures of him at the top of the page (in the heading), were taken on February 8, 2007. His weight dropped to 153 during his hospital stay for the first 2 weeks of 2007 and he has only gained about 5 lbs since the 16th of January when he came home.

If you would like to learn more about the progress of his illness from onset to current date, click here "Chronology of Illness"

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Site Owner: Ellen Mayo
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