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Living with Chronic Lung Disease

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This information was reviewed and approved by Kristen Holm (3/1/2019).

Living with chronic lung diseaseLiving with chronic lung disease changes a person's life and means adjusting to a new way of being in the world. You may have been active for all of your life and now you can't do things you once enjoyed. Many people miss doing the things that made their life fun like traveling, dancing, gardening, walking, and spending time with family and grandchildren You may feel slowed down and less spontaneous. You may feel self-conscious about being on oxygen or having a chronic cough, and reluctant to go out in public.

These are common losses with chronic lung disease that must be grieved like losing a loved one. It is normal to feel angry, afraid, sad, depressed, guilty, stressed and frustrated with all of the changes. You need to allow yourself to feel all of these things even when it is uncomfortable. You may feel like a burden on your family, but you also need to use the support of others to help you feel less alone in dealing with these changes. Adjusting to an illness is a process and will not happen overnight. Be patient with yourself; learn more about your disease and how to make lifestyle adjustments to have an improved quality of life. 

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