Living with Chronic Lung Disease:
In most cases, living with Chronic Lung Disease change a person's life and it is hard to adjust 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 the things you once enjoyed. You most likely feel slowed down, and have lost much of the spontaneity you used to have.
Dragging oxygen around, sleep problems, and fatigue make it difficult to just pick up and go. You may be self-conscious about your oxygen or a chronic cough and become reluctant to go out in public. Many people miss doing the things that made their life fun like traveling, dancing, gardening, walking, and spending time with family and grandchildren. Consequently, they can feel like a burden on their family.
These are important losses that must be grieved just like losing a loved one. It is normal to feel angry, afraid, sad, depressed, guilty, stressed and frustrated with all of the changes. It is critical to allow yourself to feel all of these things even when it is uncomfortable. Using the support of others will also 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 and learn more about coping with your emotions.
This information has been approved by Kristen Holm, PhD (January 2014).