Oh, I just love this item from the search engine list – “If you have COPD and do nothing…”
It’s insane – you have an illness which has only one prognosis no matter what you do, so why would you want to hasten that by doing nothing?
I’ve covered COPD in many posts, the most important of which are covered here and I’ve made it perfectly clear that while COPD is incurable and – unless the patient dies of something else – ultimately fatal, IT IS EMINENTLY MANAGEABLE. With proper treatment you will live longer and in better health than you possibly could just leaving it to its own devices.
Not to treat COPD is mind-numbingly stupid, even for that sector of society that won’t take “pills” because of the side-effects. But, hey, if that’s the way you feel, go ahead and die. Think of it as Darwinism in action.
Drugs are always a balancing act between benefits and side-effects – work with your doctors to find the best combination – be prepared to accept that you will always get some side effects. For those with the sense to want to do something about it, you need a referral to the chest clinic at your nearest hospital and they need to refer you for a full-scale assessment at the nearest Pulmonary Function Laboratory. If you GP is able, and willing, to do that, fine, go with that. However you get there, it’s likely to take a couple of days.
That you may well wind up taking a lot of drugs is something you need to get your head around – I take 16 different drugs daily, 9 of which are COPD-specific, so I tend to me intolerant of people who bitch and whine about taking their meds! That you will live longer, and feel better if you take your meds in regular routine, instead of haphazardly, should be considered holy writ.
So, if you have been diagnosed with COPD, get all the help you can get – do as you’re told, take your meds as regular a clockwork, and see how you go. No matter how it turns out, that you’d be a hell of a lot worse without treatment – or even dead – is a given.
And if you smoked, and continue to do so after being diagnosed, then screw you – you’re a waste of valuable resources.
Alternative medicine is 100% inappropriate in COPD. COPD is the accumulated damage from many years – maybe even a lifetime – of insults to your lungs, either from smoking or, as in my case, from other illnesses – bronchiectasis and asthma, and from repeated infections (3 or 4 serious bouts of infection a year for 63 years). Emphysema, the principal indicator of COPD, is mechanical damage to the structure of your lungs as a result of the above. Herbs, magnets, positive thinking, crystals, needles – whatever – will do you know good at all. Stick with conventional medicine and don’t get sucked in to fringe “medicine” that won’t help you and may actually make you worse. And please don’t post comments arguing with me – I won’t give space to crackpot theories on this blog. Go write your own.
And if you think I’m trying to scare the shit out of you you’re absolutely right – COPD is extremely serious, and has to be taken seriously. It’s not my place to pat you on the head and tell you you’ll be fine, you won’t be, but you will be a hell of a lot better with medical help than you would ever be without it – you can’t dick around with COPD, or it’ll turn around and bite you in the ass!