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Mary and I were just at the National Institute of Health Town Hall in Bethesda, MD. It was an incredible gathering of clinicians (180 or so), and patients (only about 15). Over two days, we hammered out the first draft of a national action plan for dealing with COPD. A lot of work, and hopefully the beginning of increased awareness and concern about our disease.
A phrase that I heard over and over had to do with the "shame and blame", the "stigma" of being a former smoker. If we are trying to get away from that identity by others, why are we still using it ourselves? Isn't that just a form of self-branding?
One of the most important tools that we have available in our fight against COPD is attitude. Part of attitude is self-image. If our self-image includes embarrassment because of something that we did years ago, it is going to make it much more difficult to maintain that positive attitude that we so desperately need.
Stepping back down from my soapbox...
We are very pleased and proud to have been included in the Town Hall.
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It is not our intention to serve as a substitute for medical advice and any content posted should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. While we encourage individuals to share their personal experiences with COPD, please consult a physician before making changes to your own COPD management plan.