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The problem with C.O.P.D. in the form of severe asthma and chronic bronchitis is that it is well chronic. Chronic refers to something that continues or persists over an extended period of time. I have had a respiratory infection that started in August when I was up in Indiana cleaning my parent’s house. I am still running a fever off and on and am constantly congested. Not having any health care until the beginning of March when Medicare kicks in has prevented me from seeing a doctor.

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One of the biggest problems with a chronic illness such as C.O.P.D. is the fact that it is always present. You never feel completely well. Some days will be better then others but even on good days your energy is at a lower level then when you were well. I have battled C.O.P.D. and the constant respiratory infections since 1997. That is a long time not to feel good.

The hardest part for me is adjusting to the fact that I don’t have the energy I once did. I ask my younger cat Pixie to lend me some of her energy but she won’t do it. I think back to the days when I could go all day. I use to ski and thought nothing of taking the chair lift over and over again all day long to the top of the mountain and skiing down. I use to run. Now I walk slowly.

I try and distract myself in order to forget the illness. I can lose myself in artwork for hours. I can sit down and write. I read voraciously. I watch movies since there is little on television that interests me or that I can get without expensive cable. I cook and develop new recipes. I’m on-line with friends.

I wish I could feel well again but am doing what I can to cope with the constant illness. I try to remind myself that a positive mental attitude is my best friend. In a month I’ll have Medicare and I can see a doctor and hopefully knock this current infection off. I know it will come back but a respite is okay. You learn to appreciate the days when you feel just okay.

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