British Lung Foundation
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Afraid of the future

I am healthy at the moment. Was diagnosed just recently with moderate copd , a lung age of over 100 "wonder just what that means" ?? .. I am a widow, my husband died in 2009. My main concern is being a burden on my daughters. I like to think I was there for my husband , and in my mind, husbands and wives support each other .. Should we expect the same from our children ?? I would like support, a life time partner would give that freely . I don't want to put that pressure on my daughters. I read here of the care that is needed in the latter stages of copd . It scares me

22 Replies

Hi Susand

We all feel as you do to a greater or lesser extent but it is likely given you have been diagnosed at the moderate stage that you have many years ahead of you during which period you will be able to have a good quality of life provided you take the medication as prescribed and regularly exercise. Enrol in a Pulmonary Rehab Course. I have seen statistics that whilst you may depart this life with COPD, you are unlikely to die of it. Meantime, stay well!


Thank you martin1945, you made me smile. I understand that I am not going to die any time soon. I am not maudlin, just worried about being a problem to my daughters if or when the worst happens. The rehab course is good advice ..


Taking the right way of managing the condition you will be caring for your daughters more years than they will need care for you. Halting any downward slide in health with help and support from doctors and members here will ease many worries it has for me.


I'm very severe stage and not really a burden to anyone. My partner carries the heavy shopping in from the car but apart from that I carry on as normal, allowing a bit longer to get things done. So don't worry too much. I would think you will have many happy years ahead as long as you exercise and keep as healthy as you can.


Hi Puffthemagicdragon, it heartens me to read you are doing so well in the severe stage.. it gives hope for the future , thank you x


Welcome Susand, so pleased to hear that you are feeling well at the moment, and there is much that can be done to keep yourself well for years to come. Keeping fit is the very best thing that we can do for ourselves. Over the last 10 years since I was diagnosed with COPD I have gone from severe, to moderate to slight, so wish you many happy healthy years to come.

This is a great forum, with lots of supportive people to help. Enjoy this day.



PollyP can you share how you went from severe to moderate to slight please? Many thanks


A slip of the tongue such a thing would be Asthma with reversibility of copd only small amounts. Many would wish for such a cure were there some means.


polly Ive gone from severe to moderate how have this happend thanks Carol x


hi copd moderate got told at xmas.ceased the smoking ther and then.i was told from a health profesional that its possible with copd to go up and an umbrella.but was cautios didnt blve him.but well we can live in hope.i had that spimerty test with old gp at xmas.i have a new gp now.hes ok.not like previos 1 who let me down badly.ignored my xray of june 2012 no action needed.wen swift action was needed.could have ceased smoking in june if id could i ask my new gp 4 another test do u harm in asking .take care then.



Well, don't rightly know what has done the trick! I can only share my story and you are welcome to take what you like and leave the rest.

After always being very healthy, I became very poorly on New Year's Eve 2003 and I had been struggling for about 4-5 years before that, and after smoking for 40 years I thought ahoh, better stop, and stopped that night in 2003 because I was too ill to continue. And never picked up a ciggy again. ( might start again when I am 90 years old, hahaaa ) Formally diagnosed with Asthma and COPD in Feb 2004. At that time I made a determination to use what remaining lung function I had to good effect. Planned to maximise it to the limit. I have always exercised, eaten a very healthy diet (macrobiotic), dont eat meat, practised yoga for 20 years and followed Bhuddist teaching for 25 years, I have a very positive nature (from birth). After a trip to India in 2005, for the first 6 months I suffered a severe pneumonia, and gradually picked myself up from that back to as good health as best I could. Stopped working full time after that! I had altered my priorities !

I take my medication religiously! And without fail, otherwise I would be in a health pickle.

Over the last year I have made the most of our local respiratory exercise trainer Lisa Bailey, and Pulmonary Rehab. Classes and the gym. Still teaching a little yoga and laughter yoga. Walk the dog daily, up to 3-4 miles on good days. Also join the Walks for Health when I can.

Sitting for too long, comfy though it is, is a real no no.

Use this forum. I am interested in people, and the world.

One of the hardest lessons I have learnt is to rest and recover when I need to, and do it without feeling guilty about it. I smile a lot! and laugh a lot. I am grateful for this precious human life, after all I could have been born a slug or a worm -:)

Don't have a consultant and rarely see the doc. See the nurse once a year to help them tick their box. I look after my own health where I can.

Still only have 49% lung function but it doesn't feel anything like it was when I was first diagnosed.

So I reckon that is about it, don't get me wrong, there are a few days every year, maybe 3-4 when I feel rubbish, and then I take it easy until I feel better.

Thanks for asking. Good luck and good health to you all.


Thank you very much for your reply - do you mind my asking what medication you are taking? - Am still struggling with what I should/shouldn't be doing to help myself......


hi recently diagonised copd moderate.the reading was 67.on the spimetry.didnt get told anything .ive changed my gp now .for the 63 a mum gran an great gran stopped smoking there an then 4alf month ago wen i was told.i use seritide twice daily 500seritide and a blue inhaler.but ive never had to use blue 1 yet.ive been reading comments left for u.there very uplifting and im looking forward to years to cum with my family same to u many years.just do wat we get told with the meds exercise walks etc.ive asked my new gp about rehab hes looking into for me so have c.but im not sat waiting am up an out .walking cleaning cooking.taking care of my normal,u didnt say how old u was or wat your spimetry reading was.take care of urself long life


Hi caroll , I am 58, a mum with 2 girls, both married, plus one very boisterous grandson age 6 :)


Hi susand.Welcometo the site.We are all a nice friendly buch here and always ready to liste and help when possible.

If you feel down or want advice at anytime phone the caring ,friendly people at the British Lung Foundation.Their Helpline numnber is 03000 030 555 10am-6pm Mon -Fri,they will even call you back if you wish.

In the meantime look at my posts for some humour to cheer you up



Hi Susan. I received a diagnosis of COPD just two weeks ago and it was a total shock. I gave up smoking over 30 years ago and the GP, nurses at practice and consultant at hospital all said my breathlessness was probably not connected with smoking as it was so long ago. I got my diagnosis from the nurse at my GP surgery when I asked her what the letter from the consultant said - the GP just told me I needed an inhaler but no explanation as to why. The nurse told me the consultant had said I had COPD probably due to smoking. I must admit to being scared like you. I've had no advice or explanation from my surgery and have no further appointments at the hospital. I'm in the process of finding out as much as I can myself and I'm compiling a list of questions to ask the nurse at the COPD clinic at the surgery when I go back next week as she wants to see how I'm getting on with the blue inhaler. I don't even know what stage I'm at or which disease I have.

I think what scares me most is the fact that I saw my uncle (a lifelong smoker in his 80s)struggle through what must have been a lung disease, he was on oxygen 24/7 at the end. He had other problems too but seeing his suffering is what keeps coming to mind and yes, that has scared me.

I'm 65 and was widowed in 2011 so it's just me and the dog, my son lives quite near and my daughter lives 100 miles away and I don't get to see her much as she has a busy family life. Neither of them seem to understand what COPD involves long term. I worry about things that might not be a problem for others, the main one being my dog as she is very sensitive and a "mommy's girl", she has never been nor could be left in kennels and it's really worrying me what I would do if I had to have a hospital stay.

I am hoping to get answers from the nurse next week and try to find the best way to help myself stay as well as possible.

You said " my mind, husbands and wives support each other .. Should we expect the same from our children". I think if you have a good relationship with your daughters then I'm sure you can expect support from them. I have a very good relationship with my daughter-in-law (who lives quite close) and she's always jokingly said "I'll wipe your bottom for you when you get old" LOL!!! I hope that by the time I may need some support she is not so busy as she is now (two jobs, three children and her son's pregnant girlfriend moving in next week so a baby on the scene later in the year too, plus two dogs) and will have the time to give it.

Hopefully we'll both feel more comfortable about our diagnosis soon and will feel less scared but I understand that a bit of reassurance at this time would be a big help.


Hi SeasideSusie, sorry to hear you have COPD when you haven't smoked for so many years. The advice from the GP's regarding this disease seems to be in very short supply. I must admit to getting most of my information regarding COPD from this caring community and reading the BLF web site. I wish you the very best for the future x


I'm sure your daughter will be a support to you when the time comes, 2 years ago myself and my daughter sold both our houses to buy one big one between us, it was her idea so that I wouldn't ever be alone in the later stages of my condition and she will be on hand if I need her,I look after my younger grandaughter too which helps her out for working so I feel like I'm helping her as well and we get on very well,I enjoy being with a lively household of 4 Grandaughters. I get lots of exercise with my dog which is important, I am waiting to start a PR course which will be beneficial, I think its up to us to manage our own illness as well as we can.

Keep well x



Hi Susan, I do get where you're coming from with regard to your daughters. I too dont want to be a pain in the proverbial to mine either. My 3 have recently witnessed their fathers 8 year battle and lost him. It's been a very painful experience for them (and myself).

Now there is something wrong with me and I think it's just too much for them to take. It's horrible when you want them to live their own lives to the full, be happy and independent.

We must do our best to stay well so that we dont become dependent on them. All the best to you and good luck. P


Hi peeg , we have similar situations and similar thoughts .. Stay well x x


I would like to send a big thank you to you all. I am not articulate enough to express how pleased I feel by your uplifting comments and support x


Exercise is the key in my opinion. Don't take the easy option and sit around. I know it's tempting and some days I do take it a bit easy. Don't overdo it either. Good luck.


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