Coping with COPD on my own

Last Friday evening, my Husband Graham flew to UK with Ryanair. He was going to attend a dinner with friends of 50 years ago........they all went to the RAF College Cranwell at the same time. He had been going to ask our daughter or someone else to come over here...Carcassonne, be with me, but with one thing and another no one could come. I can imagine the comments if they had..."Why are we here just to watch you watch TV?" I decided that I could manage. Hah!

Anyway, I fed the cat and one dog, heated a microwave meal (which I did not really want) and sat down to eat. I was sweating profusely and shaky. How ridiculous I thought. Later after trying to get something to watch on TV (the weather was heavy cloud over the Pyrenees, so the satellite could not cope!) I was still shaky, and just pixillating TV to see! I went to bed early.

Next day, I gave the animals their breakfast, and tried to make myself a coffee. It's a new coffee machine we have, and I am not used to it. Graham wrote me an idiot's guide, which I followed precisely. Fail!!!

A dull thunk of my capsule falling inside told me I must have a cup of tea instead. Good! I have 2 Earl Grey tea bags left and that takes care of Sunday and Monday.

Sunday passed much like Saturday, with my bouts of activity in the kitchen leaving me 'wabbit' each time, as we say in Scotland. Graham 'phoned in the afternoon to tell me about the French calling a one day strike, and all flights to Carcassonne were cancelled for Monday, and Ryanair don't fly here until Tuesday!

My language was very Anglo-Saxon not Scottish! And I have run out of Earl Grey. My French neighbour arrived with Chicken Marengo, potatoes and cauliflower all with a sauce. I did the French thing and ate it (well, half of it) at lunch time. Napoleon liked this dish!

My admiration to anyone who lives alone and is on 24/7 oxygen. I do not have a panic button, so I've been carrying around one of my house phones, so that I can ring the kind friend in the village, who is walking our Border Collie twice a day, and staying to chat a bit with me. The cat keeps wailing that he wants his Daddy back, because he lets him sit on his lap...I move around too much for the cat.

So, thoroughly scunnered, here I am on Tuesday morning...hopefully just one day to go. Monday was much like Sunday, but I could not manage the other half of the Marengo! Graham is getting the very early flight home tomorrow morning, so should be here about 10-30am. I've just watched the news about the explosions at Brussels Airport, and it puts everything into perspective!

Love Lolly. xx

23 Replies

  • Oh bless you, you're doing very well on your own and what lovely friends and neighbours you have. I love France and it is my dream to retire there one day. I have visited Carcassonne and it's very beautiful. I liked the old town but it is very commercial. We have a small house in the Vendee but haven't been able to get there for some time which is a pity.

    If your animals are like mine they won't settle until the "pack" is back together again and it can be unsettling when they are mooching about.

    I can't send you any tea as I don't drink it but if someone pops round to see you could you ask them to see if they can make you some coffee.

    At least you are not alone, you have us and your husband will be home soon.

    much love x

  • Well done Lolly for coping, I spent last week alone as my missus was in Spain...... and it is surprising how little jobs become ginormous and a little drama can turn into a crisis! Most of all I missed just hearing someone move around the house........ as that little odd noise can be quite comforting.

  • I am totally alone, but I agree! Guess that is why the TV is on 24/7 just for the noise but I would prefer, the little odd noise coming from someone I care about. It would be comforting.....

  • Hi Lolly

    You should be right proud of yourself! You handled that very well. Everyone feels a bit strange, when not used to being alone.

    Bet you can't imagine living that way all the time. I know I can't. Yet so many on the site live alone and like it that way. I really like the way you told your tale. Nicely put! 😀

    RUBYXX 😊 😊

  • You have coped really well Lolly witha

    little help from your kind friend and Graham will soon be home.

    I also think of those who live alone and cope. The explosions in Belgium are horrific. Poor innocent people.

    Take care. Xxx

  • Well done Lolly, you're almost there.

    Trust the French. I was almost stuck in Marseille on Sunday. Luckily my Ryanair flight was the last one out only 90 minutes late but by golly Lolly I was shattered.

    How lovely of you to think of those living alone. It is tough when you are unwell & living alone, I'm not on O2 and usually have time to get to the Co-op 2 minutes away to stock up for what seems like a siege. I don't know many people here yet so it can be lonely at times.

    When your spouse goes away it's always nice to look forward to their return, absence makes the heart grow fonder & all that.

    Roll on tomorrow. Love Penelope & Lola 😃

    ps note to Graham: stock up on tea before you go away again! X

  • Thanks Penny. I am so used to being on my own having been a Forces wife, but it's a very different thing when you cannot do what you want. I'm so glad you got your flight.

    Roll on tomorrow indeed! Love Lolly. (Robbie-dog and Kino-cat)

  • Hi Lolly, I live alone & on 02, except for when my daughter comes home from uni in the holidays - and as she plans to teach in Colombia after she finishes her degree this year I think it will be a long time before she is home again. If you lived alone for any length of time you would cope admirably - we all learn and adapt, but the sudden absence of a partner is probably a lot harder to cope with and sometimes we don't realise how much we rely on someone else until they are gone. Of course it's hard having an exacerbation alone, and depression always lurks just around the corner so we have to find ways of coping with those. I do get terribly lonely as I sometimes go a month or two without human contact other than talking to the checkout girls at the supermarket - perhaps that's why I do so much advocacy work as it keeps me so busy that I am always working on something. I do wish I had learned to drive as the no partner + no car combo is very difficult, but is also probably why I am so fit for a COPD'er. I have to be. Keep in mind though that I also have times when I think 'thank goodness I live alone' - I don't have to worry about anyone else if the house is a tip & I am looking like I haven't seen a hairbrush for a week. If I can't sleep I can have the lights/TV on and raid the fridge and then sleep all day if I need to. I think there are pros and cons whether alone or not. As someone already pointed out - if there's a next time you will be so well organised with tea bags, coffee etc. Oh yes - I do envy you having someone to cook for you - I tend to live on a mix of salads and microwave meals - not just because of the oxygen, but because I simply don't have the energy or the inclination to cook. Even more than that I envy you having someone to eat with - eating alone day after day is the worst! Have a lovely Tuesday and may your Graham get home to you speedily and safely. I'm sure you will let him know how much he is loved and appreciated :) xx

  • What a lovely, informative reply, Parvati.

    Tee x

  • Wow! Parvati! I don't know how you do it! I warned the lady who is walking the dog, (she is British) that I was having a few pyjama days, as getting dressed is so tiring on top of everything else!

  • Aww made me sad when you said you can go for months not speaking to anyone. Speak to us on here if you feel lonely. And while you can keep trying to get out have a little walk, it does help your breathing xx

  • Can empathise with you Parvati. I don`t think I`ll ever really get used to the loneliness and as you say depression is something that is there in the background. Oxygen also curtails lots of things for me , the higher constant lpm makes even a trip to the shops limited. Wish I`d learned to drive ! However, there are bonuses - if I want to get up in the middle of the night for a cuppa and chocolate biscuit or two I`m not disturbing anyone. I`d gladly hand over control of the TV remote though. Keep well, Sheila xx

  • Hello lolly, what a great post. You describe it so well - the little things which at one time we wouldn't have given a second thought to that can now trigger a panic attack! Have you ever thought of writing a book??

    Congratulations on coping with your time alone. It isn't easy at all, but you did it and I hope Graham's home now and proud of you.

    Sue x

  • Lolly What a nice post to read so much that some of us take for granted isn't there. I thought that you coped very well being on your own, as you say some have to do it all the while. Going to look up the recipe for Marengo to see if it is something that we would like. Hope your husband is back with you now and that what has happened in Brussels has not affected his journey home.

  • Yes, Clematis, I am concerned about people wanting flights because of Brussels, but I cannot imagine East Midlands to Carcassonne being affected! Hope not anyway!

  • Glad he's getting back today Lolly. Bet he was never more welcome :) Sounds like you coped admirably though, even with the tea bag shortage :)

  • I hope your husband is now back with you, Lolly.

    And you coped very well!

    Tee x

  • Well done Lolly, you have coped admirably! I'm so pleased you that your Husband is homeward bound and he will remember the earl grey! 😁😉💛 x

  • Hi Lolly,

    At least, you survived. Well done.

    I have severe COPD and am on oxygen virtually 24/7. I live alone with my lovely cat, Tara. Animals are such a comfort: They are so uncomplicated, unlike humans. Fortunately I also have two wonderful sisters who are always there for me. A cleaner comes once a week for an hour to change sheets and clean floor: Just can't cope with changing sheets anymore.

    I envy you living in France. I always wanted to retire there, but Hey Ho. Just glad to be alive, basically.

    Hope your husband got back ok. The news from Brussels is horrendous.

    Look after yourself.


  • be grateful you actually have a partner..some of us are single and this is the usual pattern for us.

  • Dear Piping, I am very grateful to have a partner...i.e. a husband of 40+ years, during which I had to manage a lot of things when he was away, courtesy of the RAF Since my cancer and now COPD, I have not had to be on my own. As I said, I admire all of you coping so well on your own.

  • Makes it all easier with wonderful family and friends and such as people on here.

  • Well done Molly - you must feel a great sense of achievement - amazing what we can do when we have to x

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