Alone we can do so little: Together we can make a difference

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World COPD Day - November 17th 2010
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COPD is not a death sentence.

COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), is an umbrella term for describing chronic lung diseases that are charcterised by progressive obstruction of the airways and airflow in and out of the lungs and shortness of breath.

COPD is an insidious disease, which is often diagnosed after some of the lung capacity has been lost.
Disease under this umbrella term include emphysema, chronic bronchitis and some times asthma.

Until recently very little had been learnt about this disease but that is now improving with some very encouraging studies, clinical trials and research under way for new medications and treatments.For the first time, there is a very active COPD awareness program underway, which started in 2007.

There are also several COPD support groups being set up in various countries around the world and no more so than in Ireland, the Mayo COPD Support Group is one such group, their primary aim is to give support to sufferers, their families and carers.
In many cases they work with the hospital staff as this group does to keep people coming together following rehab classes this gives some continuity after rehab, this is considered most important, but not only does it keep you concentrated on doing excercises and taking your medications but it gives a reason to go out and socialise, this in turn builds your confidence so you can cope despite living with COPD.

Always remember although COPD is a debilitating disease it should not be allowed to take over your life you should aim to manage it and not let it control you, is this possible?, yes it certainly is as I am also a sufferer and like many started to let it run my life untill I realised I still needed to go out meeting people and I am now Chairman of the Mayo support group, play traditional music every other week do my garden and go on shopping trips when I am not busy taking the dog out.
My reason for telling you what I do is not so you think I am some sort of hero but just to let you know you too can live a good and active life, sure COPD is restrictive and we all get our off days, on these we need to take things easy and if you live alone maybe ask a friend round for tea and coffee so you have some one to chat with, it really can help.
REMEMBER YOU ARE NOT ALONE and it is great to smile it makes every body feel better.

I believe it is most important, and would recommend you, to locate a support group in your locality and go along to their meetings which may include going on outings and other events.
If there is no group in your area at present you can certainly contact our group and at least become a postal member which will keep you in touch with others who have the same or similar problems.


If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with COPD, general well being and prognosis can improve greatly with proper treatment and care.

Some of the most important factors contributing to a longer and healthier lifestyle include:

  1. Early Detection
  2. So if you suffer from serious shortness of breath you should consult your General practioner or physician with out delay and they can arrange tests for you and a specialised consultant appointment if necessary.
  3. A knowledgable consultant specialising in pulmonary diseases and its management.
  4. Following your medication regiem faithfully
  5. Healthy eating habits
  6. Stopping smoking
  7. A personal exercise program approved by your Physician and/or Physiotherapist who will be linked to the hospital you are attenting, it is important those setting out this program for you are aware of your condition and have a good knowledge of  COPD
  8. Become educated about all aspects of this disease and its related problems
  9. Infection prevention to minimise exacerbations which can lead to additional lung damage and in many case will hospitalise you for a time.
  10. Avoid dusty  and smokey places
  11. Avoid when ever possible visiting people who have colds or flu or having those with colds and flu visiting you untill it has passed
  12. Remember keep up a social life as when you feel down it is great to talk to friends
  13. Join a COPD support group is highly recommended  it will give you a social life and help you meet new friends, this in turn will help you realise life is not so bad after all

You are not alone !

  1. Our web site is always available for you to view and receive information
  2. At most times we are only a phone call away and can be contacted at most normal hours and in the evenings up to 10 pm see our contact page, if we are unavailable when you call leave a message and we will ring back
  3. You can become a postal member of our group if you wish see our postal membership page

“Alone we can do so little: Together we can make a difference.”