I was diagnosed with COPD around 2012. The diagnosis was moderate, but I think that perhaps it was at the bad end of moderate. I had at least one flare up due to a chest infection which saw me hospitalized for a short period. I was in a right state before going into Hospital. The infection saw me waking up two or three time a night gasping for oxygen. It was getting to the point of me being scared to go to sleep, and it started causing me to have panic attacks at the drop of a hat that stopped me breathing. Sometimes I would be inwardly laughing at myself as I knew these attacks were psychosomatic, brought on by the memory of the very real breathing problems I was having at night, it took months for it to stop. Around 33% of my lung capacity had been lost due to years of smoking and I was put on Tiotropium once a day, and Seretide twice a day inhalers. My condition has been monitored at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, London, since my diagnosis, and needless to say I have given up smoking.
My recent hospital check showed that my situation had improved to the point of me being re-diagnosed with 'Mild' COPD and my lost lung function has now been put at 18% as opposed to 33%.
The Doctor at the Hospital said he had no explanation for this, and has now discharged me from Hospital care. The only thing that has been different besides giving up smoking is that in January this year (2015) I got one of those new style juice machines a 'Nutri-Ninja' and since then I have been getting my 5 a day plus, every day.
I still curse the day that I took up smoking, as 18% loss of lung capacity is still more damage than I would like.
What makes it worse is that in 1998 I gave up smoking for 5 years, and it was not really all that difficult !! I used the 24 hour release strong nicotine patches and gradually reduced the strength of them. It had it's odd moment of doubt but that was just psychological. The patches contain as much nicotine as you need for the day and the rest of the process is just getting used to the new lifestyle.
Because it is a lifestyle change. Giving up smoking in the manner I did felt strange, odd, unusual.
But that is NOT the same as difficult !
It was because of this that I thought to myself it would be OK to have the odd single cigar when I was boozing as drinking and smoking go very well together, and I told myself that I could give up any time that I wanted to. And that was true as I knew that I could, having done it once before. So I became complacent smoked too many cigars and damaged myself. At least giving up the second time was easier than the first, the second time round was like doing a chore that I had been putting off, like doing the washing up or cleaning something. So, considering that I was a heavy smoker for over 40 years, I have probably got off with a light sentence.