Great to find a community to share and learn experiences of coping with this illness. I was diagnosed COPD/Emphysema a long time ago in the UK but obviously didn't take it seriously enough. I had got used to being out of breath and adapted accordingly ... except for giving up smoking .... Addictions are insane!!
Moved out to Spain with my husband in 2004. Eventually stopped smoking some 5 years ago and went on to vaping. Been "well" since then up to this year when, on a trip to the UK in March, picked up a really bad infection (probably at my Grand daughter's 1st birthday party) and ended up in hospital on return here in Spain; I have to say the Spanish health service is 1st class. Knocks spots off the NHS!
Anyway, to cut a long story short, I'm now on oxygen 15 hours a day and been provided with a portable unit for exercise etc. There are no respiratory support groups here yet in English so it's wonderful to be able to make contact with other sufferers through HealthUnlocked. I've learned loads already by reading many of your posts.
Really great to have found you all. Michelle x