What part of your condition do you consider the most disabling?

Hi Everybody

I hope everyone is well today.

Just out of interest we would be really interested to know what part of your condition or which symptoms are the most disabling or problematic to you.

Is it the breathlessness or the persistant cough that bothers you the most? Coughing up sputum is public or in company can also be very difficult.

I know there are many more parts to living with a lung condition besides breathlessness and a cough.

Any thoughts?



24 Replies

Hi Jo, for me it is the breathlessness and tiredness, everything I do is an effort and I find it difficult to get motivated, so much easier just to sit it out and then I feel angry that I have not tried.

polly xx

Exactly my feelings Polly! Libby

And mine!


Ditto again.

Add me to that list - Breathlessness is the biggest problem, being so tired just makes everything worse.

There was a time where I coughed up quite a big chunk on a bus and had no option but to swallow, nowhere to put it other than an open shopping bab on the floor beside me - not mine ! I don't think I'd have been very popular. My Gran used to have a little opaque bottle, very much the size of a Bovril one, she had from Boots for many years - it looked and smelled disgusting, but she would go nowhere without it.

Mine is breathlessness, tiredness, and the feeling of being a nuisance when out with able bodied people.

All as above really, breathless when I do simple tasks and just lately no motivation to even bother.


Breathlessness is the main problem but I have learned to live with it. Its just part of normal life now. You do tend to become less active just to avoid being out of breath especially in this cold winter weather. I recently took a local bus journey and because of the cold weather and a hurried walk to the stop I was coughing quite badly as I sat down. The old lady in front of me moved to the other side of the bus which I felt pretty bad about, but It was'nt her fault, It was mine, you get so used to coughing that you sometimes forget to be considerate to others around you. whoops, i'll think next time.

Breathlessness ! It's annoying. What Is REALLY frustrating however is that two years ago, when I was smoking I could do anything, Chop wood, walk for miles, swim and amateur surfing, etc. About three months after giving up smoking ( I gave up after being diagnosed with angina so I blamed the fags ) I found I couldn't walk a hundred metres without getting very short of breath, like drowning in fresh air. I then got diagnosed with COPD. Now that is the most annoying thing out of the whole business

Breathlessness, but as others have said you learn to live with it. The other thing is not doing things in case you get breathless, it's has become to easy in the cold weather to sit indoors and avoid any dangers which means lack of exercise it's a catch 22 situation. To breath you need exercise, but you can't exercise because you can't breath.

Anger is the thing I find hardest to deal with, I get angry beacause I get breathless and cannot do the things I used to do especially dancing. I cry when I see couples dance cos I cannot do it any more.

I find the cough embarassing, because it comes on without warning,can cause incontinence ect and other people presume it is catching, just like a cold, so they avoid you like a leper.Yes as said above you feel dejected when out with able bodied or simply a hinderance because you are slower or even unable.Ditto to breathlessness thats another feeling that gets us all down on occassions. Sum total is our feelings are what overcome us not necessarilly one particular aspect of the illness.

I am certain Pete would say breathlessness, cough and tiredness plus the fact that yesterday evening he had a coughing fit and collapsed a bit on the sofa. He goes red in the face as he breathes out, out and out and does not catch his breath back in again immediately. He soon came round but did not know where he was! I just speak to him quietly, stay calm and ask how he is. It is still scary but that is what happens.

Hi Jo,

Breathlessness is my main problem but running it a close second is the sheer frustration of not being able to do the jobs I want to do. Stamps foot! Grrrr

The tiredness. I can only do a task for about half an hour then have to rest for two hours. It is so frustrating. There is so much I want to do.


Having to be linked to oxygen virtually 24 hours a day, with portable oxygen tank lasting only around 2 hours at 4lpm, plus no 4lpm portable concentrator in existence so I can't even go on a break (my wife deserves a holiday). I am getting cabin fever as I deteriorate.

hi jo

breathlessness and extreme tiredness, which i find very frustrating


Hi Jo, Like most of the others it is the breathlessness and tiredness that causes the most problems.

Hi Everybody

I hope everyone is feeling well today.

Thank you to you all for posting about the things you all find the most difficult, certainly breathlessness and tiredness seem to be the most common problems.

Please keep posting - your opinions are really helpful.



It is the knowledge that my leg muscles are getting weaker daily through lack of exercise. Cannot exercise without getting breathless. Cannot go outside in this cold weather = which seems to have gone on forever. Am even finding that having a shower requires a half hour rest before breathing and heart rate return to something like normal.

What does breathlessness mean to people who can breath normally ?.. they will recover when they get their breath back, this does not happen for us....

Sorry to be contrary but Both Breathlessness and the Cough are my problems. At 76 and a long term COPD sufferer, I also suffer the many of the side effects mentioned in these posts.

However my mind is still sharp and my memory good,so its not all bad !!!

Hi Jo the breathlessness is horrible, I am so tired and I hurt allover. but I love your quote

"A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort". ~Herm Albright, quoted in Reader's Digest, June 1995

have put it on my facebook page. its the laughing that keeps me going.

all the best Linda x

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