From down under down under

G'day all. I'm Gerald from a small country town in Central Tasmania Australia. I have COPD as a result of smoking for 50 years. I am a recently retired nurse. (Its amazing the number of nurses who do smoke) I finally quit smoking in January 2014 after 3 nasty COPD exacerbations. I completed a Pulmonary Rehab course joined a gym and exercise everyday for about 2 hours. I have been on every type of Reliever and Preventer ever made and was on Prednisolone for "too long" and slowly took myself off. I am now on Spiriva before bed and Symbicort 400/12 am and pm and feel a million dollars. I also have a Ventolin puffer I religiously take with me everywhere I go just in case. I haven't needed it for the last 6 months. My only issue is "I cant cook" so I am slowly teaching myself how to cook. It is time consuming. I have a cat who is 11 human years old and while people with COPD are advised to avoid hairy pets, how do you tell "a family member to go?" Its winter here at the moment and the Island is experiencing a FLU epidemic. So I am avoiding crowds. I have had my flu shot and am fronting up for my pneumonia shot on Monday. That's all for now, I look forward to speaking to many of you in the future. (As long as you don't mind an aussie on your site). P.S. I was born in London and migrated to Australia at the age of 4 so I don't have any recollections of life in the UK.

Gerald.

89 Replies

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  • Morning and welcome to the site Gerald, you seem to have things under control, I could take a leaf from your book. Im just new too copd and still learning. I too have a cat and wondered if Charlie has any adverse effects on my health, but it wouldn't matter. I couldn't just turf him out.

    We certainly don't mind an aussie on the site everyone is welcome and each of us always has some contribution. Enjoy your stay.

    Jjude xx

  • Jjudy, Its 5.53pm as I type. Thank you for such a warm friendly welcome. I look forward to making a contribution to discussions here. Gerald.

  • Hullo Gerald, nice to meet you. The wonder of modern technology that you can come and meet us. I dont post all the time. You will meet some great people here. I know there are some fellow Aussies + some American folk. X

  • Hi Pergola. Thanks for your warm welcome. Gerald.

  • hi Gerald welcome, theres people from all over here, good you have your copd under control. its upto the individual about pets. I had a cat and had to re home it last year. she wasn't affecting me directly, she shed lots of hair and I was struggling keep on top with hovering was needing done every day and just couldn't manage it.

    tam

  • Hi Tam. Thanks for the welcome. Gerald

  • Ooh! Gerald, that was a quick reply from the other side of the world. I, too, am a retired nurse (Charing Cross Hospital in London) I could write a book about all the changes since I trained. Even diseases and conditions some of which are strange to me. X

  • Pergola I spent my nursing life in Aged Care rather than a major hospital. We must chat about our experiences. Gerald.

  • Good morning & welcome! 🙋 9am here in Scotland & weather today is sunny & warm in my part of the country. I'm on same medication as you & find it helps my COPD.

    You'll find we are a friendly bunch on here & no matter where in the world you live, you will be made very welcome.

    Apart from discussing our various lung ailments, you'll read stories about our everyday life, see some lovely photos of lots of interesting subjects, hear all about our pets & everyone seeking advice from the others.

    So again, welcome & we'd love to hear from you from Tasmania! 😀

  • Hello there and thanks for the welcome. I am beginning to feel right at home already. Gerald.

  • Hi and a warm welcome ,pleased you have your copd undercontrol

    One of my daughters is on holiday in Richmond NSW She spends a couple of weeks in Manyana and loves it

    You take care

    Dorothy

  • Hi Dorothy Its a bit cool over here at the moment. Your daughter should come during Summer . Thanks for the warm welcome. Gerald

  • Hi Gerald my daughter can only come in 6 weeks school holiday as she works in a school

  • Oh Ok. Its not so cold in New South Wales as it is here in Tasmania. Gerald.

  • Welcome Gerald I'm fairly new to the site but everyone is so friendly and I love hearing about there gardens and pets . Have you got any pets

    Carolexx

  • Hello Carol. Thanks for the wonderful welcome. Yes I have a half British short hair and half Himalayan Cat called.... wait for it.... Kitty. Look forward to speaking more in the future. Gerald

  • What an original name.

    Carolexx

  • Actually Carole. I named my cat after my mother. Her name was Katherine and my father called her "Kit"or "Kitty" I have let the cat out of the bag. Now the whole world knows. Gerald.

  • That's so sweet bless you

    Carolexx

  • Carol. Thank-you. xx Gerald.

  • You welcome I havnt got any pets anymore I had 2 pappilons ( butterfly dog's) they cost me so much in vet bills not that I minded as I was working then I could afford it .Now I am retired I don't have the money but my daughter and my friends have dods so I go walking with them, just off now for a walk bet I get soaked .

    Carolexx

  • You are more than welcome, Gerald.

    Good to hear your story. I too have COPD.

    All the best

    Malinka

  • Hello Malinka. I feel at home already with all the wonderful welcoming I am receiving. Thank-you. Gerald.

  • Good Morning Gerald and welcome to the site! I care for my husband who has severe COPD - he is on the same medications as you but also uses oxygen when necessary. Well done for all the exercise and getting the jabs. You are doing as much as you can! Lots of love TAD xxx

  • TAD, you deserve a medal. Thanks for the welcome. Gerald.

  • I do you are right!!! ha ha xxx

  • A very warm welcome to you Gerald and of course Kitty :-) cx

  • Thank-you. I do feel very welcome. I just told kitty of your warm welcome. She didn't say anything tho. hahaha. Gerald.

  • Welcome Gerald ! The fact that you have a cat ( or dog) will make you fit in here almost more then the COPD :) Of course it's not all COPD around here, some of us have even more fun conditions. You'll become an expert in them all eventually.

  • Thanks Billiejean. I am laughing my head off at your comment "some of us have even more fun conditions" .. Oh and I don't have a cat I am Kittys servant. (as most cat owners are). Cheers Gerald.

  • Let's hope Kitty can't read :)

  • hahahah. She probably logs on to my computer when I am asleep and chats to other cats on a feline chat site. hahahahahah Gerald.

  • Wouldn't surprise me at all :)

  • Welcome Gerald. This is a great site it makes you feel human .

  • Thank-you. I hope I can add to the warmth which everyone here has welcomed me with. Cheers. Gerald.

  • Hi Gerald and welcome!

  • Will we be seeing you on Masterchef down under next!!!?

  • Thank-you for the welcome Lolly2.Well I must admit I have mastered the art of making great porridge with rolled oats. Just having a little difficulty with portion sizes. Gerald.

  • Hi Gerald welcome to the site! An ex smoker Brit from Sydney.

  • Hi there. When I migrated from England many many moons ago we (my parents and 6 children) stayed in a migrant hostel in Parramatta for a short period of time. I still have family in Sydney and manage to get there every couple of years Thanks for the welcome Cheers Gerald.

  • Hi Gerald, welcome to this great site, there are so many lovely people on here. I have been on for quite a while now and although I have had COPD for over 20 years and thought I knew it all :-) I have learned loads.

    It looks like you are doing all the right things, quitting smoking, exercise and good food and getting your shots or jabs as we call them.

    Keep up the cooking and look after yourself.

    take care

    polly xx

  • Thank you Polly. I have had a wonderful welcome. Cheers Gerald.

  • Hi Gerald nice to meet you and welcome to the site. Or should I say g'day cobber? :) x

  • Thanks for the warm welcome You know its strange everyone here says g'day but I don't think I have ever heard anyone use the term "cobba" except on TV. hahaha. Gerald.

  • Ha ha Gerald. Well we in the UK say 'Oright' then 'Oright mate?' x

  • Hi Gerald and welcome to the forum. I can see your going to be a very valuable asset to the site.

    I'm glad to hear you feel so well, your hard work has obviously paid dividends. I wish I could say I exercise enough - but I can't lol. I've never been an exercise fan, which doesn't help and my fibromyalgia, makes any efforts it damn near impossible.

    I look forward to further posts from you so, don't be disappearing!!! Hahaha x

  • Hello and thanks for the welcome. I aint going nowhere Casper. Looking forward to making some great friendships here. Gerald.

  • Hi Gerald. Welcome. Only been in here a couple of weeks but the advice given by folk has been invaluable. 😀

  • G'day Lyn. Thanks for the welcome. Looking forward to interacting with people , if not for advice, I can offer lots of support. Cheers. Gerald.

  • Hi Gerald. Welcome, nice to meet you. Congratulations on giving up smoking - well done. I have never smoked but my partner did before I met him finally giving up at the age of 43. It was hard for him as he really enjoyed the nicorette gum - in those days you didn't get it on prescription you had to pay even though your Doc recommended it. He went away working and didn't have any and thought he could get it where he was but couldn't! So then he got addicted to chewing gum which ge still is! ha ha!

    All the best

    Sian

  • Hello Sian. Thanks for the welcome. I worked with a nurse who started on Nicorette gum to give up smoking. She did stop smoking but like your partner she became hooked on the gum. (the Nicorette gum) She has been now for over 5 years. Our local GP thinks its better for her to be hooked on the gum rather than take up smoking again. Its not on prescription here its an OTC medicine and is very expensive. But she is happy . Cheers. Gerald.

  • Yes it is available on prescription here now too. Best part for my other half was that he could chew his nicorette while despatching troops from an aircarft whilst on oxygen - you can't smoke on oxygen but you can chew nicorette - and apparently get a better "kick" from it at that height! He was a parachute jumping Instructor in the Royal Air Force for 37 years.

  • Hi Gerald, and welcome to this great site where you will get lost of help, advice, and humour too. We don't mind where anyone comes from and have other people from Australia, America and elsewhere too. Nice to have a mixture. You seem to be doing well with your COPD which is great and you appear to be doing all the right things.

    I am carer for hubby Pete who has sarcoidosis and COPD mainly, with a prolapsed disc in his back for good measure. We live on the South Coast of England so get some nice weather generally.

    Stay well and keep in touch. Good luck for Monday and nice to hear you have a cat. Ours is 17 now but still full of life. Keep cooking and take care.

    Carole xx

  • Carol. You deserve a medal. Pete is a lucky man having you as his carer. I live in a little town/village in central Tassie called Campbell Town and the temperature has been in the minus 4 to minus 1 range for the last 3-4 weeks. Tasmania can be a very cold place in winter. Kitty is extremely active and loves to ambush me when I am doing my laps from the back door to the front door. Gerald.

  • Thanks Gerald we are lucky to have each other. I hope things warm up for you soon as it sounds pretty chilly in Campbell Town.

    You take care. Carole xx

  • Ninus 2 this morning with a BIG frost.

  • Brrrrrrrrrr! Too chilly for me. xx

  • I,m sure I drove through Cambell Town when I was there, any chance of a photo? Chris x

  • Hi Grerald, welcome to the forum..............it did make me laugh that you called your cat kitty. It reminded me of my friend who called his dog "plug", the reason for that was it was Christmas and he thought his girlfriend was buying him a new drill.

  • Mandy, I cant stop laughing. Actually my mothers name was Katherine and my father called her "Kit" or "Kitty" so really kitty is a reminder of my mum. Thanks for the welcome Mandy. Gerald.

  • Hi Gerald and welcome, now you are an inspiration, often think what's the point, then along comes your post and I'm now thinking 'get active girl !' Please keep posting, is it spring time down under? Lovely August day here, autumn just round the corner, it's in the air, it's my favourite time of year, by the way I have a cat called frog, don't ask !!!!! Xx

  • Hi there Medow. Thanks for the lovely warm welcome. Yes.... "Get Active Girl" Actually I started doing exercise to stay alive. Now I love it. It makes me feel like I am 18 again. I am saving a fortune by not smoking. My home smells nice. People continually keep telling me that I look great. (I must have looked really bad before I stopped smoking and started exercising.)....Tasmania is in the middle of the coldest winter for 20 years. Its been freezing here. Snow everywhere. I am hanging out for spring so I can get out and start walking . I have a treadmill and its not the same as walking in the open. And you have a DOG called FROG. We can save that discussion for the future. Speak soon. Gerald.

  • Welcome to the forum. Lots of great people on here. I have learnt more about COPD on here than I would from the doctors. Great that you gave a cat. Lots of cat and dog owners here. And it seems as though you have a great sense of humour, that always helps! Xx

  • Hiya Lyn. Thanks for your warm welcome. I am really looking forward to sharing spreading and increasing my knowledge of respiratory issues here on this forum.. . One thing I have learnt is COPD can be controlled. Its no secret, lots of exercise every day can put COPD in the background of your life. Here I go I am beginning to sound like a teacher. Thanks for the welcome again and I am looking forward to chatting with you. Gerald.

  • Hi Gerald, Welcome to our world, nice to meet you. You seem to have your life under control, doing all the right things, well done. Have been a life long smoker myself and stopped smoking a couple of months ago but have to admit I lapsed a couple of times and had a ciggie, but I now have one of those vapour cigs which is helping , still crave cigs though, hope it goes away soon. Like you I have Copd & Asthma which I have had for 12 years , done the Pulmonary rehab which was good and now attend a weekly excersize class to help with the Copd plus the Osteoarthritis that I also have. My husbands family live in Melbourne ,emigrated there 37 years ago after there children all left home, think they ran away myself Ha! Going to have some lunch now , imagine your ready for bed, so will good night. Take care Tina .

  • Hiya Tina. Thanks for the welcome. I think the only reason I finally gave up smoking was when I was told that if I didn't stop smoking I would probably die within 6 months. That was in January 2014 and I was very sick. Since then I haven't looked back. The more I exercise the more I want to exercise.

    Hope to speak to you more in the future. Gerald.

  • Welcome to the site Gerald you are most welcome and might can give advice on certain matters on copd or any other advice so look forward to hearing more from you so again welcome onboard

  • Hiya Jimmy. Thanks for the welcome. I am here to share my experiences and knowledge and learn others. Cheers.

  • Hi Gerald, welcome to our site, you will find some lovely people on here, all coping with one form of COPD or another. some of their stories are really inspirational, and their positive attitude very encouraging. You will get advice, support and lots of humour, some great photos and many stories and photos of peoples pets, all in all, a fantastic site. I have a little sausage dog called Rosie, she is about 9 years old, and has the sweetest nature possible.

    Once again, welcome, I look forward to reading your future posts,

    Take care,

    Christine.

  • Thank-you Christine for the warm welcome. I have a lot to offer and I continue to learn about COPD. I look forward to connecting with people from this forum. Cheers. Gerald.

  • A very warm welcome to you Gerald! You'll be able to give lots of future new members advice ....

    Good for you on quitting the cigs. 👍

  • Thanks for the welcome. Hope to speak to you in the future. Gerald

  • Hi Gerald sorry this is a bit of a late welcome. Nice to hear from Aussie, my niece is travelling there at the moment and my sister and her hubby and other daughter have just returned from visiting. I think you will like it here, we are a friendly bunch, and there is plenty to read, and to laugh at. But I suppose we will have to get used to the time difference. :-) are you about 9hours ahead?

    take care and keep up the exercise.

    jan x

  • Hi Jaan. Thank-you. Yes 9 hours on the east of Australia and 11 in Western Australia. Cheers. Gerald.

  • Sorry about the double "a".

  • Hi Gerold

    Sorry for The late welcome. Actually just saw your post. A warm welcome to you and your pets. We love photos of pets on here. . I'm from New Jersey, USA. I've been a member since Nov. You sound like your doing well with your copd. I have an fev 1 of 60%. I am still working cleaning offices 4 hrs. a day. Got a fitbit and was pleased to see, I am taking 10,000 steps a day. Just taking one puff of qvar once a day. You have the right outlook. The more you do, the more you'll be able to do.Look forward to getting to know you 😊 By the way, that was a great post!

    Rubyxx 😊 😊

  • G'day Ruby. Thank-you for such a wonderful welcome and your comments. I think I am doing the right things to minimise the negative consequences of my COPD but don't have anyone to share issues with except my GP. (sometimes I think I know more than he does) I am really beginning to feel like one of the family. Will put a pic of my cat Kitty up as well. I live in Campbell Town, in Central Tasmania. Freezing at the moment. Its great your still working. I'm sorry I stopped working, but I had to get away from the hospital environment. It was making me unwell. I do my 10000 steps in my home at the moment on a treadmill. In summer I walk around the local football field. Got lots of time to exercise at the moment. Looking forward to speaking with you in the future. Gerald xx

  • Hi Gerald & welcome to the "family."

    They're a great lot on here...give good advice, comfort and cheer you up with jokes.

    My Sister-in-Law comes from Tasmania and she's lovely, so I guess you are too? Lol.

    Congrat's on giving up the evil weed- difficult, wasn't it? Took me 45 years to stop :-D

    Can't honestly say I feel better for it, but at least I'm still here. I too was addicted to Nicorette gum for years when I first gave up, and it was costing me more than the cigarettes, so I had to wean myself off that as well - life's a b**** sometimes , isn't it?

    By the way, I have 3 cats and I've never noticed that their fur effects me?

    Hope you enjoy the site. We look forward to your posts. Nikki XX

  • G'day Nikki. Thanks for your warm welcome. Tell your sister-in-law I came from Campbell Town and she can describe it to you. I had tried to quit smoking hundreds of times over 50 years. I am getting more healthier slowly by the day. I'm enjoying the exercise AND I don't seem to be getting any worse. My cat doesn't seem to affect my health in any way. I was advised when I did a Pulmonary Rehab Course that it would help not having a furry animal. I love her too much to let her leave. Thanks again Nikki for the lovely welcome. Cheers Gerald. xx

  • G'day Gerald,

    I would NEVER get rid of my babies, they were born in my house and are almost like my children. If they were affecting my COPD- I'd wear a mask! Lol.

    I'm pleased you like the poem. I tend to put "funnies" on the site rather than posts. I have so many still to put on here.

    Have a nice day. XX

  • Hello Gerald, How lovely to hear from a Tasmanian! I was over in Tasmania two years ago as my daughter lives in Melbourne and she has bought a house in Shearwater where she goes to do locuming jobs! I love it there and even thought about moving out of here to the Tassy house! Must say that the sea air seemed to do my COPD a world of good. I came back full of beans, was able to walk for ages and generally felt as though I had improved 100%. You sound as though you are doing very well indeed and have it sorted (well, sorted as well as you can be with COPD). You are doing all the right things to keep fit and well and there are many knowledgeable members on here who will help you whenever you need it. You will learn to cook as you have managed everything else so well. I have two cats, one of which has not long been here having been flown over from Melbourne! Just now I have my work cut out trying to get the two used to each other so don't have time to think of my COPD! That may be a good thing! Anyhow, it is lovely to have you with us and you are more than welcome. Take care, best wishes, Juney.

  • Hi Juney. Thanks for your warm welcome. Shearwater is about 150 klms from Campbell Town where I live. Tassie is just a well hidden secret away from the rest of the world. We don't tell people its freezing in winter tho. I have had a massive change in my life and coping well so far. Hope to speak more soon. Cheers Gerald.

  • Hi Gerald

    I have a brother called the same,nice name, welcome to the group,its like a big family with nice folk really.

  • Hi Hummingbird. Give my best wishes to your brother Gerald. Very rare name and wonderful people we are. hahaha

  • Hi,

    I was born in Tassie, Bellerive. I live in Melbourne now, but by Feb 2016 will be in Perth. I am a newly Dx with Bronchiectatis, and of course COPD..just joined this forum after a google search came up with your post. Off to Resp. guy today actually. Take care.

  • Hi there nanooskar. Welcome to the "lung" family. When you said you are going to Perth in 2016 is that Perth WA or in Tassie? Lots of really great information here and lots of people here tp advise and encourage you at all times. Hope to speak lots more. Cheers and welcome. Gerald

  • Perth WA...we are a Defence family and that is the go to state after retirement. Taking my time to read the posts and yes, people on here seem to have a lot to offer.. Xx

  • Good to hear you are doing well. As for keeping pets, I have had four dogs until recently. I was doing dog rescue but COPD and being short of breath brought that to an end. I now have just one dog and nothing would make me give her up. It's my responsibility to take care of her for as long as she lives and I will live up to that responsibility. She's a very hairy breed but I have strong doubts that she makes breathing more difficult for me. In fact if it wasn't for her I probably wouldn't make the effort to exercise. I walk because she needs to be walked. Exercise is so important for those of us with COPD.

    I'm an Aussie too. I'm in Melbourne and according to my Respiratory Physician there is a lot of flu going around here. Like you I avoid crowds, I stay at home most days.

    I agree about many nurses being smokers. My son is a nurse and he smokes despite warnings about COPD. He seems to think only patients develop COPD, not nurses.

    Good luck with your cooking, you may grow to like it and before long you'll be whipping up gourmet meals.

  • I forgot to welcome you Gerald...so here's a Big Welcome.

    I'm loving the posts by you all who are so devoted to your pets. I trained my rescue dogs, taught them house manners and found them excellent new homes. Of course I would never rehome my own two dogs, they're here for life but I lost my boy dog four months ago to congestive heart failure. He had been medicated for months but his time was up. How heartbreaking it was to lose him.

    Have you had a lung function test so you know what your grade of COPD is?

    Keep on cooking and take care.

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