The real meaning of COPD

Everyone’s heard the medical extrapolation of COPD – Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. But when my manager Clair meets new people, she explains the acronym slightly differently.

COPD – Can Only Plan Daily

It’s an expression that’s been taken up by a huge number of my Breathe Easy groups, as members often struggle to explain to the people they meet exactly how COPD affects them – and the fact that it can affect them so very differently from one day to the next. I’ve also heard the long serving members of my groups saying it while talking to newly diagnosed members, who are trying to get to grips with their condition.

No-one wants to have to spend all day trying to explain what they’re going through – particularly on a day when you’re fighting for breath – so I’m particularly curious about how other people explain it. After all, the number of people who know what COPD is may be gradually increasing, but this is very different from really understanding what it means to the person living with it.

12 Replies

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  • i love that - think i will be using it in future.

  • I'm glad you like it!

  • Clair’s been working with Breathe Easy grips for quite a while and has got a great understanding of the condition from our members, so many of whom have COPD. I think she's certainly cut to the heart of the matter with this description.

  • I don't think it's selfish, just self-preservation. It can be hard to start thinking that way because we live our lives considering others, but I think that most people can be very understanding if only it can be explained to them well. It sounds like you're already doing that, but I hope that "Can Only Plan Daily" will help more people to do so.

  • Very interesting reading, I felt like that when I was first dianosed as to what is COPD it cover's a multitude of sins realy and its difficult to find which one is mine, dose it mean if you hmaave COPD that you have a difficulty breathing or is it Empsyma or Bronchitis, I asked my doctor if I had Empsyma and he said no you have COPD?

  • lol Nancygirl, my consultant told me I had emphysema, but that we have to call it COPD nowadays. I always tell anyone who asks that I have Emphysema, then they immediately understand my problem. Once when I explained that I had COPD, someone said 'that must be hell, having Compulsive Obsessive Disorder as well as your emphysema!!

  • Hello Bethany,

    What a simple but accurate way to describe COPD.

    Beryl Lloyd

    Breathe Easy Lewisham

  • Good to see you on here Beryl, I hope you're enjoying the site.

  • COPD = Constantly Overcoming Personal Dilemmas

  • Oh I like that too. (Or is 'like' the wrng word in this situation?) It certainly fits with a lot of the stories and concerns I've heard from Breathe Easy members.

  • Loved your article, but one thing we people with copd must remember is that doctors know what our disease is and its symptoms BUT medical people doctors nurses ect should try and listen to us as to what it is like to live with copd and how we cope [manage] on a daily basis.

  • Id say chronic bronchitis or emphysema or congestive heart failure whatever it is----and then say all which fall under copd--They don't understand the catch all effect--as well as singular diseases under one umbrella--make sense???--Hell I don't know-Im tryin here-MmeT

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