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Lung & Respiratory Disorders / COPD Message Board

Lung & Respiratory Disorders / COPD Board Index

hi, thanks for your posts. I did not originally have emphysema, I had asthma (starting at 3). My parents did not believe in drugs or conventional medicine however, and, since my dad had asthma also and went without drugs, they assumed that I would just grow out of it eventually. I walked around for days, weeks, and months with blue lips and finger nails. Because I was homeschooled and very very sheltered from any outside influence, only my extended family saw to some extent what was happening, and they felt pretty helpless to do anything. When I was sixteen, I finally saw a pediatrician for the first time. There, I was told that I had the lungs of a 40 year old chain smoker. He was not happy and got me on albuterol promptly. This was in a small Oklahoma town however, and he didn't not put me on anything but this. So, for 3 more years I had several large asthma attacks per year that landed me with walking pnemonia or bronchitis each time. My mother still did not believe in steroids, so I was not put on anything other than the albuterol, in higher doses. About a year after I left home, and ended up in the ER once again for asthma, I was refered to a pulmonary specialist. He, after doing some tests and looking over my x-rays, got very agitated and told me that if i didn't get on $500 worth of steroids and drugs per month, I would end up on an oxygen tank, confined to my house by the age of 35. I thought he was an *******, had no idea how to take in the info he gave me, and so brushed the experience off as unlucky. Now, I have gotten a second opinion from additional tests and a different specialist (allergist) who said that I did not have asthma as my primary concern anymore, I had emphysema. He had never seen the damage percentages in my lungs so young. And once again, wanted me on several different drugs at higher doses than I'm currently on to prevent it from growing worse fast. He estimated maximum of 5 years of quality of life before I would be ending up on a respirator in the hospital every time I got sick.

I'm not 'giving up." I appriciate your need for me to fight. But I don't need to. I don't want a lung transplant and I don't want to fight this. I am so happy that this will be over within a given time period, and I don't have to struggle anymore. I am not looking forward to the dying process because I know how bad I can get and can't fathom feeling any worse than I already do and have. But, I really would like to be respected for my choice not to fight this. I will live until I die.

Thank you for your concern and understanding,

-Ruth diaz

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