I have been a COPD patient for a number of years and was encouraged to meet with our local lung disease support group shortly after my diagnosis. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting with everyone.
As time went by our group leader became seriously ill, and she asked that I take over her job. With great reservation I picked the reins and haven’t looked back. We have monthly meetings and two socials a year. We’re always on the lookout for speakers to bring new ideas and the latest industry items to preview. My biggest hope for my members is that they will "BE THEIR OWN BEST ADVOCATE", never to sit back and wait for things to happen. My biggest worry is that patients are given oxygen tanks and sent on their way without hope, education or encouragement. Some of our meetings include representatives from our Congressional District office, leaders from our local DME providers, and RTs from the local hospitals.
My favorite saying is "Never say Never" – The year prior to COVID our hospital Navigator organized a COPD Day at the hospital. Many booths from various trades were present and our booth was in the center of it all. It was a very enjoyable day. During COVID I hosted a monthly ZOOM meeting which was great fun.
Personally, I have been an Administrative Assistant in the Navy Department for a number of years. Worked as a volunteer and paid staff for the American Red Cross. My late husband was a 30-year career Navy man who loved his job. After his retirement from the Navy we moved to Fredericksburg and bought that 5 acres in the country and moved our beloved horses to the new location. I was a founding member of the Fredericksburg Chapter of the Virginia Dressage Association. I worked many horse shows over the years – lots of dust and lots of beautiful horses. An unabashed lover of the American Morgan Horse.
Like so many individuals in my age group I started smoking very young. What a mistake that was and now we all pay dearly for it. If wishes were horses – beggars would ride for sure. I would love to address high schoolers – as of this writing, I haven’t worked up the courage to ask our local schools for that opportunity. I don’t know if it would do any good, but one less would be a success.
My proudest COPD moment was when one of my group members said to me "I feel safe with you".