Chandrakant lives a completely independent life, despite his COPD.
Here’s the thing about being young – it’s all about having fun and different experiences. We tend to not think about what’s going to happen to us say 20 or 25 years later. That’s where my problem started. When I was young, I took up smoking, without knowing or realising how badly it would affect me later in my life. I tried to quit smoking many times, but always reasoned with myself saying ‘I was an independent young chap with a smoking habit. What’s the worst that could happen?’
The answer was just four alphabets – COPD.
The symptoms were mild to begin with, things that I could ignore, like mild breathlessness or a recurrent cough. At first, I thought it was just signs of old age, and didn’t think too much about it. But with time, I was getting worse. I’d get breathless when doing perfectly ordinary things like grocery shopping or going to the washroom. Things were so bad that I was scared to use the washroom alone, and the next thing I knew, I was bedridden.
After trying different remedies and ‘treatments’ that didn’t work, all I knew was that I had to do something about my condition. I didn’t know I had COPD until I consulted a doctor. The first time the doctor mentioned it to me, I thought he was making it up. When I said so, he explained how the smoking had affected my lungs and airways, and how I ended up with COPD.
I was sure that this was the end of the line for me. The doctor then told me that COPD can be managed, provided I undergo the correct treatment and make a few lifestyle changes. Today, I live my life the way I always have, independent and happy. Because I quit smoking and am undergoing the right treatment, my doctor says that I am on the right track to control my COPD.
I am no longer scared of going anywhere alone or eating anything. Like me, I hope people with COPD realise that it’s not the end of the world, and that with the correct diagnosis, treatment and lifestyle changes, you can live a healthy and active life.