COPD and loneliness

By tech2d Latest Activity May 31, 2012 at 7:15 pm Views 3,295 Replies 30 Likes 4

tech2d

I am a 51 year old male with severe COPD and emphysema. I am also on oxygen 24/7. Granted this is used to improve my health, it also makes me feel like a leper. I don't consider myself to be too old. I live alone and wish for a companion in life but I always feel like" who wants a man that is always attached to oxygen". Friends tell me I'm wrong, (what few I have) and my sons have pretty much abandoned me. I just want someone in my life. I don't make a lot of money. We all know how much you get from disability. I have tried to get a part time job but…once again…the oxygen gets in the way. I am at this point frustrated, alone and don't know what to do. Bills are growing and I can't do anything about it. A little help or advice?

  • Report Report as inappropriate
  • Share
    Email Email
    Print Print Twitter Twitter
    Facebook Facebook

Replies (30 replies)

Add your reply Reply Down
  • Dr Gary
    Dr GaryCA July 12, 2012 at 8:24 pm   

    Hi,

    I am so sorry to hear that you are feeling lonely. It is hard to live with a chronic condition and to be tethered to oxygen.

    I can understand why you would want to find that one special person to be with, of course. But I would also encourage you to have a network of good friends that you can be in touch with you. I know that is not the same as one special person, but a range of people who can offer you support.

    Have you looked into support groups in your area? Might be something to check out.

    And I hope that you will stay in touch with your friends right here.

    Gary

  • embe13
    embe13 July 18, 2012 at 2:42 pm   

    Dr Gary, You have said some valuable things. Unfortunately, having a chronic condition can be a very lonely thing as no one can get inside your head. I try to remain positive and felt lucky enough to have what I thought was a very good relationship with my boyfriend of 11 years who I had actually known a total of 13 years. Turns out, the last 2 years, he has been cheating on me. I am lucky enough that I am not on oxygen and continue to be able to work which at times can be tough. I began seeing a therapist to help me accept my illness and to help me address my relationship. 'Russ' has been very helpful over the years when I have had some very bad episodes but I think it made him unhappy to be with someone who wasn't always able to do things. He says that isn't true but I think I have become too much of a 'future' responsibility. I was never going to let that happen as I have Long Term Care insurance. My problem is at 54 years old, I am very lonely and although I have family and friends, they all have their lives so I need to be my own full time support system. I have no plans to try to find another special person as I don't want to say…oh by the way, at the end of the day I cough an awful lot to the point that I sometimes throw up. I don't even like typing this as it is a very private and unpleasant part of my condition so I can't even imagine having this conversation with someone I am trying to get to know. I don't even like people that already know me to know this about me. I will continue to get up every day and work until that isn't possible but the nights are very lonely and causes great sadness. The best thing is to try to keep busy and that is what I try to do.

  • deadpidgeon
    deadpidgeon June 19, 2012 at 9:48 am   

    Hi. I was moved reading about your feelings. I know about the loneliness. My wife died almost three years ago. Now I'm out here in the woods all alone. There's hardly anyone around here and much less, people who would be friends. I'll get back to that in a minute.
    If you were in the military, you should see your local VA rep or advocate. My doctor sent me there to get connected with the VA hospital and the rep informed me I was entitled to a small pension even though I didn't spend 20 years in the Air Force. It's not much but it adds up when you pay those bills.
    Some strores such as walmart and sears have a quota for hiring disabled persons. I don't know how sears is now under the control of kmart. But when I had experience with them, they had the most accomodating part time scheduling.
    I started last year to look for a companion too. Not only were the women on dating sites almost all scammers, the sites were just as bad. Then I came across a small social network site called Tagged. I was just there playing games. And I got tagged. It seems most people in the Phillipines although they are a proud and decent people, live in poverty as the average. They don't expect as much from us as the women here. The one I met will be coming at the end of this year to spend whatever time I have left enjoying life here with me. So you might want to check out that site. I also made a few friends on that site from the carribean. I know I didn't spell that right. Whatever.
    If you are on social security disability and prescribed for O2, you may be able to get one of those portable concentrators. That would make it so much easier for work.

  • tech2d
    tech2d June 19, 2012 at 12:46 pm   

    Thanks for your reply. Since my first post I have found someone and guess what? I found them on Tagged!! She is a associate minister of a local church here and she is awesome. We hit it off right away and my O2 doesn't bother her at all. So thank you for the advice and keep me posted on how things turn out with yours!

  • sheets
    sheets June 19, 2012 at 5:02 pm   

    just wanted to say,good job,tech2d ,you restored my faith in the fact that,there is someone out there for all of us,i am really happy for you,god bless you,my friend

  • deadpidgeon
    deadpidgeon June 19, 2012 at 1:03 pm   

    Yea, I read that you are already on tagged after I wrote the first note to you. If you want a buddy to talk to once in a while, I'm here. I can't work anymore so I'm here at least half of every day.
    These days I'm working on a van to accomodate the scooter I will be bound to soon. I have heart and circulatory problems that make it hard to walk any distance or uphill. I got a good deal on a four door. And I'm enjoying it more than any of my trucks. I will get the metal I need soon and build a fold out ramp by the left rear door.
    Do you keep an oximeter with you? I wonder how your O2 is today. After albuterol, Spiriva and Symbicort, mine is 95 right now. It goes down at night.

  • tech2d
    tech2d June 19, 2012 at 1:10 pm   

    I don't have a oximeter yet but when I am just sitting it is about at 95. I go to Pulmonary rehab twice a week to work out and it is fun! I flirt with the techs there but we are all like family. I have a nebulizer, use Spiriva and carry a inhaler. I have a oxygen condenser at my home and carry portable tanks when I am out. I too do not work although I am trying to find part time work so I am usually online everyday except when my honey comes over. We usually go out to parks,etc. Tonight we are going to church to support her pastor speaking at a different church and then we are going to dinner. Tagged has turned out to be a blessing for me. I met my sweetie there.

  • deadpidgeon
    deadpidgeon June 19, 2012 at 1:33 pm   

    95 seems good enough for me. But you need the supplemental O2 to get that. That's a drag. The one thing I don't have yet is the nebulizer. The VA won't issue it yet because I can maintain 95. It was 80 the night the ambulance took me in. But they didn't see that, just the paramedic who saved me saw it.
    I just learned a few minutes ago those omega-3's they always talk about for heart health also reduce inflammation in all parts of your body. A large part of COPD is inflammation of the muscles around the lungs. And country eggs are good for that and your heart. Go figure. They always told us eggs are bad. There's a lot of info on that at webmd. But you're right on top of things. You probably got to that site before me. Hey, do you still play on tagged? I had to resign. She didn't want any more women seeing my pic there. Haha.
    Back to the job thing, have you considered the leads I gave you in my first note? With that van and the expenses of the mods on it, it looks like I need to find more income. Trouble is, I can't work for an hour even if it's just things I really want to do here around the house. I live way out in the country with eight acres of wild land to maintain. It's growing into a jungle out there. I'm barely able to keep one acre cut around the house.

  • tech2d
    tech2d June 19, 2012 at 1:41 pm   

    i will check out the job leads and see where that takes me. I'm still on Tagged because my girl is on there and she plays the pets thing. She made sure I changed my status to in a relationship. But even by doing that I still get hit up by women. As long as I am there for her..she doesn't care. I eat a lot of eggs mainly because I like them. I live in the city so I don't have to worry about lawn care. My landlord has a service come out and cut my grass. I couldn't do it if they didn't.

  • deadpidgeon
    deadpidgeon June 19, 2012 at 2:14 pm   

    I hope it leads you to what you need to supplement your income. i need to do something too but I don't know what yet. Does your handle have anything to do with what you used to do? I was a tech too. I did a lot of work in the medical field back in the day.
    haha, That's why mine wanted me off the sites. I was on a lot of those dating sites too. I played with the scammers until they would ask me for something, usually money. Then I would 'drop the other shoe'. It was fun when I was so alone. Now I have her, I hope. See, I'm very cynical. I made it clear from the gitgo, you can come here and we will probably get married. But the day you tell me you're a little short and need some money from me, that's the end of this movie. She still writes me every day for seven months. So maybe I got a keeper. Their time is almost exactly opposite ours. So while she's at work I try to occupy myself including having friends like you to talk with. And I do get out for a few minutes three or four times a day to do a little on the grounds. I'm getting way off on too much me now. And not enough you and me.
    I had a couple friends in the Netherlands Antilles when I was on tagged. The guy was 71 years old. I never did ask the woman how old she was. The guy was a real card. He used to talk about how we would get together for a drink some day and go out and find me one of those young girls. yea, I wish.
    I like eggs too. If you can, the best thing is real country eggs. Walmart has some brown shelled eggs they claim are country eggs. I never tried them. The brown shells have nothing to do with country eggs. It's all in how they're fed, free range or forced, captive, chemical feed. In the thirty years I've been here, one of my many endeavors was chicken farming.
    It's nice that you have such an understanding woman. And sometimes I miss that city life you have. The clubs and the convienience. But I used to walk a lot back then. That movie is over too.
    Do you keep music on your computer? I have a library of about 400 songs from the 50's and 60's. Television is boring. i watch one or two things, then the jukebox plays the rest of the day. Then at night, I sleep with the television on. i still can't stand the quiet after all these years.
    Well, I better quit and give you a chance to talk.
    Rob

  • tech2d
    tech2d June 19, 2012 at 2:35 pm   

    well Rob…I watch tv but not a lot. I don't have cable because I think it is a unnecessary expense. I have Netflix so if I want to watch a movie I use that. I am usually online most of the time. I do online surveys for extra income and that keeps me busy. I met a woman on Tagged from Aruba and she was very sweet. But I don't see me going there and her coming here as she has 3 children and their father is there. She knows I found someone but we continue to talk. I will check out the country egg thing as my girl is a real health nut and she will probably want to check that out too. As for living in the city…well here in Nashville country music is the thing and I don't like country. Yes..I have music stored on my cloud drive. My main laptop just lost its hard drive for the second time in a year. (the computer is only a year old) My girl brought one of her desktops over to my house and I use that. I also have a 7 year old acer laptop that I use. I don't do the club thing…its just not my style anymore. I am usually online everyday..so you can probably find me. Here is my email:tech2d629@gmail.comEmail Small. I can check that anytime even on my phone. I too sleep with the television on unless she is here..when that happens…no tv… keep me updated!!

  • deadpidgeon
    deadpidgeon June 19, 2012 at 3:07 pm   

    I agree about the television, or more specically the cable. I have dish which is just as bad. I don't even want to say how I got into that. It was the one time I let a woman beat me at the 'game'.
    I would be interested to learn what you have on those surveys that really pays. I've looked at them and always a lot of stories instead of pay.
    You're right about that woman. You sure don't need an instant famiily in your current position.
    Don't forget to tell her to check out webmd. My VA doctor has never disputed anything I said from there.
    Oh, I guess you're not a vet or you would have said something about my comments on that by now. No big deal. I was just hoping that would help some. Every body deserves to get what they can. My one friend here is a vet too. And he scorns the benefits I get because it's government spending. But it's okay if we support our enemies after the war. He's rich. If he wasn't, it would be a different song.
    I don't hold much stock in those online things. They usually end up wanting your money. My work around for the hard drive is a flashdrive. I have one that holds all my documents I sent to the department of homeland security, all the pictures I have and all the music. I don't trust my machine to hold it Someday, it will crash. Let me guess, yours is a Hewlett Packard. Those are the worst for first year failures. I beat them on that for a while. But that's another story. I bet I'm boring you to death with all these stories. And I wouldn't blame you if you thought I was lying. I don't know anyone else who has done as many things as I did in my 65 years. Oh, I'm reading your letter as I write. Acer is better than HP.
    I'm just like you. I haven't been to a tavern in 20 years. It's just a fun memory. But I was married 40 years. So even if I spent the whole night in one of those places, I never even tried to get lucky. Thanks for your email. I will try to copy it to my mail. I'm not very adept with the new email I'm using. But I'm sure when I send you a note, you will get my address too. I may just have to write yours and type it into mine. You apparently are more adept with these new things. I got behind when i got sick. My wife got me a phone with all the features. I couldn't figure it out. And I found Verizon was charging a dollar a day to have it even if I never used it. It went back to the store.

  • tech2d
    tech2d June 19, 2012 at 3:16 pm   

    No..I'm not a vet..my father and brother were just not me. No…you are not boring me…I enjoy having people to talk to. As far as my benefits…I paid for them. I am on SSDI…I PAID for that so I have no problem accepting them. My computer that died was a Toshiba..I never would have expected it to give me the problems that it has. It's a year old and now sitting in a corner useless until I replace the drive.I use WebMD a lot. It helps me with a lot of issues. Yes…I am a tech guy…I'm into all of that so yes I have a phone that does everything. If you need to know something let me know…if I can't do it or fix it..I can find the answer

  • deadpidgeon
    deadpidgeon June 19, 2012 at 4:38 pm   

    Too bad. i was hoping you would have that benefit to go with. Well, whatever. Of course you paid for the SSI. If you hadn't, they wouldn't give it to you. I just wish I had known how to get it when I was younger. I've got my head up you know where.
    I'm surprised too that the Toshiba failed like that. And I just realized my suggestion is useless. Unless you can use a 'hot' key for statup to go to the bios and set a flashdrive with a boot sequence created on another sytem with the same OS as the first boot drive. If it won't start, you can't put your stuff on a flashdrive. At this time of day, after having a few, I have ot think three times about what I say. Haha. That's why I went back and iserted that possible workaround above. You might find if you put up with me long enough, I'm the guy who always has another answer. Even if I don't know what I'm talking about.
    I appreciate your offer about the phone. I got rid of that thing as soon as I learned Verizon's fees. I didn't need to learn how to work the junk. The cell I use is something called lifeline or something like that. I can't remember the other word linked to it. Anyway, it's for poor, old people. Apparently you're not as poor as you think if you can afford that $50 a month thing. But that's your business. We're here to talk about surviving, not your finances.

  • deadpidgeon
    deadpidgeon June 19, 2012 at 4:51 pm   

    But maybe since you have your music saved online, you can put it on a flashdrive too with the system you're using now.

  • tech2d
    tech2d June 14, 2012 at 2:50 pm   

    Thank everyone for their comments! I got a lot of good information from them. I wanted to give everyone an update on what has happened in my life. I am a member of a social internet site called Tagged. I would check this site from time to time to see who want to communicate, become friends, etc. Due to this, I met a fantastic woman. We communicated for a while and then had our first date. It is early in our relationship, but she does not let my disability bother her. She has proven to be a godsend to me. She understands how I feel regarding my disability and she tells me to be positive. We have decided to start dating. I hope this relationship works out. I noticed some people who have commented said that they were comfortable being alone. I am not one of those people. I have been married twice and hope to eventually find number 3 as she will be the last. Once again…I thank everyone for their comments, it has been a tremendous help. I will keep everyone updated on how things are going!

  • deadpidgeon
    deadpidgeon June 19, 2012 at 9:52 am   

    Sorry I wasted your time talking about tagged. I only read your older post before writing that. I'm happy you found that for yourself and are on your way. Peace and relaxation alleviates the symptoms we have a little.

  • tech2d
    tech2d June 19, 2012 at 12:48 pm   

    no…you did not waste my time. I found mine on Tagged too!!

  • Gemm
    Gemm June 13, 2012 at 10:27 pm   
    Edited June 13, 2012 at 10:30 pm by Gemm

    Hey tech2d - Being alone can be rough, especially when we are ill. I was alone for a couple of years after my late husband died so I know how depressing it can be if we allow it to get to us. Fortunately I now have a wonderful hubby who supports me, the best he can, with my illnesses as I do for him with his. We both have multiple problems and one we have in common is COPD though mine is a bit worse than his at this point. We get his disability and my retirement (taken early because we needed the little bit extra to help pay for our health insurance as neither of us qualify for medicare yet) to live on. We don't have a mortgage or rent as we own our home outright but we do have needed repairs from the years when he was working away and didn't have the time to be home to work on the home. Our children are all grown though his 22 yr old has come back for a spell with his girlfriend (she's a wonderful girl) as their place with her father is also under some renovations and there is no bathroom there at the moment and our son needs to have one close as he has ulcerative colitis (diagnosed when he was just 16) and is at the stage that his doctor is considering a bowel resection and a colostomy bag for him. They help out when we need it but since neither are able to work there is no extra coming in to help out. Both have applied but not been approved for disability and it looks as though they may both have to get attorneys. Regardless of what is going on though we take just today as it comes and don't worry about either yesterday or tomorrow. It makes life a lot easier that way :)

    We have made friends in our neighborhood and help them when they need stuff as best we can, even if just with instructions on what to do. We look in on our 92 yr old next door neighbor daily if we don't see her out as her son lives some miles away, and with his job and all he can't get here to look in on her every day. We have some young people too that have come over to talk and take advantage of our life experiences. I occasionally give people cooking, baking or preserving and jam & jelly making lessons or sewing, gardening etc. instructions. We all have life experiences to give if we look for places to use that.

    Neither of us have a specific religious belief but both have our own inner spiritual belief that we have come to know through his 23 & my 24 (25 in Aug) years in recovery from drug addiction. For me the Native American spirituality is the closest I can come to trying to explain my belief. Even without being able to explain it I draw what comfort I need from it and know that no matter what happens my HP (Higher Power) isn't going to do for me what I can and need to do for myself, no matter how much prayer or meditation I do.

    As Lin said, check out local Senior Centers, Boys and Girls Clubs always need volunteers, get to know the neighbors if possible and maybe invite a couple of them over for a meal or BBQ. We do that occasionally and will let the whole street know (small dead end street with about 10 houses or so) and sometimes most of them show up and sometimes none, all depending on what they are doing. Extra stuff we just put in the freezer for another day. Many cities also have support groups for all kinds of illnesses and there are many things that can be done. Go to a local hospital or nursing home and just see if there is anyone who needs someone to read to them or something. If we are willing to look there are many ways to find company and friends.

    HUGS to ya :)

    PS - My hubby is my 5th :) I had 3 while in my active addiction that were total disasters. The 2 since I've been clean have been great. My last hubby died of a sudden heart attack partially attributed to his 3 - 4 pk a day cigarette habit.

  • joroge
    joroge June 4, 2012 at 7:11 pm   

    hey , i'm black and 58 with full blown emphysema. Like you i am on 02 24/7 Ben married 3 times and that's enough. Don't need a companion, they drive me crazy. Have a few friends i can count on but that's it. Live alone and happy, Don't worry about bills they will work out. I still live life as i was 30, i brought this disease on myself by smoking. What i am saying is don't let this little lung problem bring you down!! I had emphysema for 12 years and probly another 20. i refuse to get depressed

  • tech2d
    tech2d June 14, 2012 at 3:04 pm   

    I am impressed with what you said. I suppose after time, I will get used to this.

  • Phonse65
    Phonse65 June 3, 2012 at 5:51 pm   

    Lin will soon be in London, competing at the OLYMPICS! Those of us that are fortunate enough to know her, would NEVER bet against her. What she seeks, she accomplishes! Well the part about London isn't true, ONLY because she is too busy!

  • cajunrbuckeye
    cajunrbuckeye June 2, 2012 at 2:34 pm   

    Great information, so glad i decided to check back in here this afternoon..wish everyone a great weekend…

  • Lin~Texas
    Lin~Texas June 1, 2012 at 1:32 pm   

    Hi tech2d, you have started a good Discussion that gets to the heart of a lot of the COPD/other catastrophic illness issues. Few of us have the experience that sheets (Paul) has, and we can all learn from his words here - profound. Also, few probably have the enjoyment of spiritual belief that Lizard1320 (Dianna) has, and there is always so much to learn from her. If memory serves, she has changed 'religions' in her adulthood, so when she says to shop around, she knows that it can work. I am a problem/solution kind of person. You pose a few problems and I will contribute a few thoughts for you and something might be a solution.

    Work - extra money, and also a sense of contributiong back. We lose that when we become ill and as you said, more isolated. Please contact COPD Foundation if you would like to work a limited number of hours every week on the toll-free COPD Info Line. You can get info on the Foundation home page (www.copdfoundation.org) or by calling the toll-free line, 866 316 2673. There's a training program as well as follow-up so info is readily available for you to use (and learn while helping!). Also they know exactly the amounts of money that can be earned without impacting disability programs so that shouldn't trip you up.

    Get out and meet people. The more you practice, the more comfortable you will be with the o2 'accessories' and thus people around you will do so. It may take some time, but time is one thing that we have, right? I am happiest now when I am around people who are 'into' my new lifestyle. I belong to a fitness center/gym and have gotten to know staff as well as other members and look forward to being there every day. In addition to paid memberships (which are fairly inexpensive right now, at least in my area), there are Senior Centers who may allow your attendance due to disability. There are COPD programs with American Lung Association called Better Breathers Clubs that typically meet monthly. You can find through ALA in your area or just Google Better Breathers Club. There's also a seniors exercise program called Silver Sneakers. I have never heard anyone complain about it or say that they didn't have a good time at a Silver Sneakers workout - which is primarily chair exercises. There is also chair-programs for Yoga, Tai Chi, Qigong, others.

  • tech2d
    tech2d June 14, 2012 at 3:03 pm   

    Thank you for the information you have provided. I am moving on this now!

  • sheets
    sheets June 1, 2012 at 6:17 am   

    tech,i can relate to you,i am a 52 year old male,with stage 3 copd,on oxygen 24/7 and single,i have been married 3 times and now i,m a friend with all three,i had good women in my life,but loved drugs more,i always was looking for that extra something to make me happy,i always had to have a women in my life,thinking that would make me happy,it did not,the drugs,well they let me down also,so three years ago,alone in life,i decided to give up drugs also,i have been clean for three years,i,m still single and i love it,the one person i needed to make me happy was infront of me all the time,it was me…what i,m saying is this,if your looking for someone else to fullfill your life,you will never find it,your it…the old saying is true,you have to love yourself ,before you can love someone else..if you just looking for companion ship,look for the single women in your church and ask them out for dinner or a movie…god bless and be with you,your friend paul.

  • Continued on Next Page Arrow-right
Hide the Social Toolbar Show the Social Toolbar