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Here's an odd question for everyone....
As some of you know, I have stage 4 emphysema but am for the most part asymptomatic. I'm not on oxygen, I function normally 95% of the time, and on the few occasions when I've had any kind of SOB in public, I simply explain it away as asthma.
Not long after my diagnosis, I told four close friends (a couple and two single friends). The couple freaked out completely, despite me reassuring them that I wasn't planning on dying anytime soon, and I then had to spend the next several days nursing THEM through the disclosure. Another friend took it in stride. The fourth friend is supportive but is obviously concerned and is now a little distant.
Online I have a number of friends to whom I've said nothing about my COPD but suddenly, out of nowhere, I have people writing to me inquiring about my health. I seriously doubt that any of the four people I've told have spread the news and I have said nothing at all to prompt such questions. I guess I have intuitive online friends....
My mother was an invalid all of my life with multiple sclerosis and the last thing I want is to be treated "differently" or with "kid gloves" as she was.
So who do I tell? How do I not get treated as an invalid or as if I'm going to drop dead at any moment? (Telling people that I'm OK for now seems to have little effect on how they react to the news.)
Does anyone have any ideas? I'm at a loss for how to proceed.
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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.