This is all new to me, it’s almost like im taking a journey with you all into discovering things about this illness that I didn’t even know existed. Now im aware my blog is usually filled with things that link to my anxiety and other mental health issues but after the week my families been through i feel as though this could be a way to make people aware of something so common but often not considered.
Now my parents bless their hearts are never well, jumping between different illnesses they often spend days in bed or on the sofa unable to even get a breath of fresh air, my dad being the worst. You see my dads been through it all from severe back pains to problems with him arms to discovering his SVT and now COPD. You see before this week none of us knew this existed I mean sure as everything we had heard the letters uttered on a TV program but the meaning of it was still unknown to us.
This week started out brilliant, like any other week, me and my mum had ventured to town on Monday with probably half a country worth of family in tow and then ventured back home with all the goodies we had brought, or should I just put a whole in our purses after my nieces pulled that very well-known face and i ended up giving them whatever they wanted (it’s an auntie thing, they’re sensitive souls). Tuesday started off pretty normal too we had collected my eldest nieces to have for the night like usual and spent the night being run around in circles. 6PM is when it started, the coughing fit. At the time we thought nothing of it as my dad has quite a bad cough naturally due to him smoking since a young age. He slept downstairs as usual to not wake or bother my mum during the night and Wednesday started the same, i thought nothing of it at the time. Going up to my nans to go to town and just to really muck about with whoever decided to show up that day, then i got a call. A call that started everything off.
If you know my mum you would be aware what a worrier she is, I suppose you can say worse than me, to the point sometimes its me calming her down instead of her calming me down so when she told me she didn’t know what to do and should she call an ambulance i thought nothing of it, walking down home and thinking i would see nothing but my dad and the usual situation but it was worse then that. I have never in my life been as frightened as that before, for personal reasons i want to keep some details of this private for me and my family as it was a sensitive time for us all.
Watching two ambulances drive away with my parents was one of the hardest thing to watch, granted I had seen it happen Quite a few times in the past but none had been as severe as this, none made me worry if i was only going to see one of them again. I remember that night clearly, god i must have been so annoying. I tried to busy myself until i got a call from my mum but i still somehow found myself to be calling her every 20 minutes to see if there was any news. That night we were still none the wise, all we knew is my dad was on a drip and oxygen, my mum being sent home with only small details and the doctors themselves not really knowing what was wrong. It was something like a mystery.
The next day was the worse. My mum had worked herself up so much overnight that she brought her illness on so had no choice but to spend the day in bed throwing up meaning i stepped forward to help, now doing things on my own isnt very easy for me but i decided to push everything aside and grow some balls because someone had to keep everything together.
I went to the hospital, arriving 10 minutes early for the visiting times and getting a severely bad attitude from the nurse who was at reception but knocking it off I went into my dad, worst sight ever. In a none cruel way ive never seen him look so terrible, he was almost yellow, oxygen attached to his nose and his arm attached to a drip, ive never been more scared. Luckily however the nurse said the drip would be the last one and that he would feel somewhat more awake after. I was so scared i cant even put into words, my dads usually the strong one, he can be crippled in pain and still be out cutting the grass so to see him so vulnerable was heartbreaking.
That afternoon after wandering around town for hours to waste time before the next visiting hours i arrived at the hospital again. We were told he had a bad chest infection and due to his age it affected him worse than usual because his immune system isn’t what it used to be, we were told that within a couple of days he will be out right as rain again.
It was anything but, the next day we were told he had Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD for short. Of course we were clueless, it’s not something we had encountered before nor was it something we were educated in. I hadn’t a clue and I suppose you could say i brushed it off as just needing pumps and he will be fine.
Since being home ive realised how wrong i was. No matter the medication or the pumps my dad is still bad, not even being able to walk to the back door without causing himself some discomfort and bad shortness of breath. It’s scary to watch and if im honest with you it scares me to sleep because i never know what im waking up to.
Now for all of you that don’t know COPD is a condition where the airways become inflamed and the air sacks in your lungs are damaged, this causes shortness of breath which can make day-to-day ‘normal’ activities very hard. There is no cure for COPD, no way to get rid of it and no way to keep it at bay. Some people may say its my dads fault I mean he did smoke for most of his life but i say different. When smoking you dont think about the effect its having on your body just like everything else that you can get addicted to. It’s a want, a need and all you think about it fulfilling that need and making the stress somewhat better. My dad knows it was his smoking that caused this, that if he didn’t smoke there was a chance that this couldve avoided happening but then i suppose you can say there’s a chance that it might still have. I’m proud to say that this is his 5th day cigarette free and although i know its hard for him i also know that he can do it and before long it will be months of not smoking and ill be even more proud of him then i already am.
At the moment our family is familiarizing ourselves with this new addition and trying to change things to make it easier for my dad, of course he has a lot of appointment and things coming up, he has alot of struggles and battles that will no doubt be tough on him but I know my dad and i know he will be as fine as he can possibly be.
I’ll keep you all updated, thank you for reading