I haven’t posted on here before but I have been reading your stories and absorbing a good deal of information regarding COPD and various related problems. My story is quite a long one and I’m not sure that it will be acceptable as it may be too long so I hope I don’t bore you all too much. I’ll keep it as brief as I can because now that I know I’m on borrowed time with lung fibrosis and emphysema I feel the need to get things off my chest.
I think I am watched over by a very attentive guardian angel. In the year 2000 at the age of 50, I suffered three heart attacks. Two of which were less than a week apart. The first one was in January of that year but I was too naive and in denial that it could possibly be a heart attack and I put it down to a bad bout of indigestion. Fortunately it passed and I carried on teaching in my capacity as a driving instructor. In July of 2000 after suffering some suspicious pain in my shoulders, I ended up on a trolley in A&E where I suffered my second heart attack. The third one came on the day I was due to leave hospital. That was the one which almost finished me off but for the skill and determination of one particular doctor who pumped me with umpteen different drugs in order to stabilise my failing heart. After rushing me to another hospital they found that I had lost one of my arteries due to complete blockage and decided I needed a defibrillator installed in my chest. However, I first had to spend two weeks on antibiotics because of a hospital bug I picked up, before the defibrillator could be fitted. Had I not been in A&E that day I might not have been here to tell the tale, hence the mention of my guardian angel. He or she came into my head again in December 2014 when just before Christmas I decided to attend a voluntary ultra scan of my aorta at my local surgery where they found I had an aneurysm the size of a large orange, 8.5cm! After living on tenterhooks for a couple of weeks in fear of it bursting and after one cancelled operation, I had an operated on December 29th. This led to other associated problems for most of 2015 but I won’t go into detail about those because I finally overcame most of them.
Then lo and behold in September 2016 after suffering breathlessness I was diagnosed with emphysema and Fibrosis of the lungs and told I had three to five years left. I’m told that this is probably down to sixteen years use of Amioderone and flecanide for my heart problem. So unless they come up with a cure sometime soon, I guess my guardian angel has done all that he/she can do. But I am so grateful for the years I’ve had since that first heart attack and I have no reason to complain. Something has to get us in the end. So all we can do is make the most of the time we have left in any way we can that gives us pleasure. Happy new year to you all.