Walking into a new and brighter life.

Walking into a new and brighter life.

The healthy me

The healthy me

Finding your way around

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This I know.................

This I know.................

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Interview Questions

This was done on August 22, 2010 for a COPD site I belong to.  It is interesting to read my answers then and compare it to nearly a year later. 

INTERVIEW QUESTIONS – extensive answers are unnecessary and any question is optional to answer. Please return within the next couple of days.


1. When and what were you doing when you first noticed symptoms? Like most smokers I noticed shortness of breath and colds taking longer to get over. Those symptoms continued for probably 4 years until diagnoses.

2. What were the symptoms indicating the diagnosis? Shortness of breath when walking, a cough that wasn’t going away, coughing up colored phlem.

3. What did you think at the time? I was scared, angry and fearful of dying. or what have you thought since? It is burdensome to family members or caregivers. I am damaged goods.

4. What experiences have you had with the illness? I am on fulltime 24 hours of oxygen. Walking in public with a cannula around my face makes it impossible to keep private my struggles.

5. Any humorous stories? A few coming to the end of my tubing stories, having my head jerk back because I ran out of O2 tubing while walking through my house. Not so funny anymore, now just irritating.

6. What has been your inspiration after diagnosis? My daughter and granddaughter. I want to be well for them.

7. How have you coped with your challenge (positive)? I write. It helps to get my feelings out. I started a blog. http://asiliveandbreathe-kellie.blogspot.com/

8. What do you think now? I know my time is limited. I would guess with good health about 15 years MAX. It’s odd to know your time here is fragile. I know from here on out it will only get worse, and I will lose freedoms that I now take for granted.

9. What else do you know about your illness you would like others to know (undoubtedly you have learned a great deal)? That cigarettes do kill. I am proof of that. That when people ask me what it’s like to have emphysema…. I tell them, at my worse (so far) it’s like being underwater and running out of air but not getting to the surface in time.

10. What memorable events transpired in your life to bring you to the point where you are? I watched both parents struggle and ultimately die of complications of emphysema, so to now walk in their footsteps is frightening.

11. How do you think your challenge has impacted you? Like everyone says… When faced with mortality, you find out what truly matters, and it’s not money or big houses or nice cars… all the things we spent our lives accumulating. It’s family and friends and memorable times spent with them.

12. (Brag!) Would you like to talk about your successes? My only success I have at this moment is my blog and it’s ability to reach those who also suffer. Or, to have their family members thank me for writing so honestly so they can learn what their loved ones are going through.

13. What might a typical day for you be like? Out of bed around 9:00 a.m.. Have coffee, shower, get on the computer, maybe go shopping with my ex husband. Watch T.V. or spend the evening with my granddaughter. Go to bed around 10:00.

14. What do you look forward to? Spending time and laughing with family. Having good breathing days and walking through the stores.

15. Given everything, what do you think about life experiences? I wish I would have enjoyed my early adult life more. I wish I hadn’t been so focused on making money. I wish I would have had more kids.

16.

17. What might be a theme throughout life (family, education, excitement…)? You only have one chance at a good long life. Take care of yourself and your body while you’re young. Don’t make fun of those who eat veggies and ride bikes or jog. Get up and chase them! Give up bad habits. Because they are bad… otherwise they would be good habits.

18. Would you like to talk about your family (parents, siblings, children)? My husband of 27 years and I divorced last August. I knew what was ahead for me as far as health and costs. I didn’t have insurance and everytime I applied I was denied for pre-existing conditions, so we divorced so I could receive SSI and get our state medical insurance.

After 27 years I had to take off my wedding ring because I was diagnosed with Copd and severe Emphsyema. I didn’t want to bankrupt our family. I wanted to be able to spend the remainder of my life doing things that brought me and my family joy… not worrying about finances.

That is my biggest regret.
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