Holding down a job while living with COPD

By embe13 Latest Activity February 11, 2011 at 7:41 am Views 3,185 Replies 14 Likes 1


I was wondering if there was anyone else that is trying to continue with a 'normal' life as in working and raising a child while trying to cope with COPD? I am a 53 year old single Mom of a 16 year old teenage boy. If bothers me that my sone has to see me sick so often. Also, I am having an episode currently and have been out of work for a few weeks which concerns me because I worry about my job. I typically go back to work too soon because i need my job which is where I get my health coverage so it's important that I keep my job plus I really enjoy working. Work is not always too understanding and I do get that but mentally it really is a struggle for me.

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Replies (14 replies)

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  • kcfire
    kcfire July 16, 2012 at 12:52 am   

    You are very lucky to be at 47% and to be able to afford to go off to an island. And to work a full time job. And have Blue Cross Medical coverage. Many of us are less fortunate. Please keep that in mind. Hugs :)

  • embe13
    embe13 July 16, 2012 at 6:41 pm   

    Hi kcfire…I do know how lucky I am to have what I have but it doesn't make it less scary to not be able to breathe and do the things I was once able to do. It also has been very hard on my son to watch his Mom slowly go downhill since I wrote that over a year ago. My most important thing now is to see him off to college in September. Of course, there will always be many who are less fortunate than me and even you. This website was developed to be supportive of each other and not to knock anyone down because they may not have a sadder story than someone else. By the way, as it goes, that may have been my last vacation away but that's okay too. I don't think you really meant to make me feel bad but I am very touchy about my illness. I continually get approached to prove that my handicapped plate is mine and not an elderly parent because I don't appear to be sick. I am tired of having to explain myself to strangers. I have been told that I should be ashamed by using someone else's plate so I can get a good spot. I am very defensive about being sick because it's not how I wantto be. I am very lucky but unfortunately, a lot of the population is not very understanding but when you have felt as sickly as I have felt, you need to be more open. We need to support each other, not remind each other that others hve it worse. We will all get there at some time…I am sorry I have rattled on but I think a reminder to be supportive was in order.

  • Dr Gary
    Dr GaryCA February 17, 2011 at 8:51 pm   

    When I talk with patients facing chronic conditions like COPD, the one word I hear the most is the word that you also used, that word is "normal." It's certainly understandable. Illness doesn't have to define us. Patients tend to develop a "new normal" over time, one that includes aspects of life that they value the most, like family involvement, working, etc., and making accommodations in routine and lifestyle that support staying healthy and maintaning compliance with treatment regimens. It sounds like you are working toward finding your new normal. I'm glad that you have a job that supports your health issues, that's a blessing. And I suspect your son is also learning to understand what you are dealing with, and to be a support to you. It's a journey.

    But I am glad you have reached out to your friends on COPD Connect to take this journey along with you!

  • Raen
    Raen February 12, 2011 at 10:26 am   

    Jeanne…could you please give more info on the disability act and COPD? Thank you

  • Jeannie Holmes
    Jeannie Holmes February 12, 2011 at 8:21 pm   
    Edited February 12, 2011 at 8:27 pm by Jeannie Holmes
  • kittenpurr1
    kittenpurr1 February 20, 2011 at 9:17 pm   

    I applied for disability, I was fired b/c they clinic said, it took me too long to perfom task. This was a doctor, so it's who you know- not what you know!! This was in Sept. 2009, still broke.

  • Jeannie Holmes
    Jeannie Holmes February 11, 2011 at 6:16 pm   

    Just remember that COPD is a disablity and is covered under the disablitiy act. They can't fire you for being sick.

  • embe13
    embe13 February 11, 2011 at 9:07 pm   

    I know that a company can't fire you for being sick but I work for Blue Cross of RI which is a very large company and they seem to have layoffs 1 to 2 times a year and I always worry that there is some underhanded way that they can get around the issue as in a job/position elimination. I've seen it happen before and then months later the job/position gets another title and someone else is hired. I have always been an excellent employee and always received excellent reviews but still in the back of my mind…I get concerned as I am all that my son has and I like being able to pay my bills and take care of things. I have trouble asking for help as I was always brought up to never take advantage of someone and to always try to take care of things yourself. It's tough being an Irish Catholic woman…we feel the need to handle everything and then some.

  • Jeannie Holmes
    Jeannie Holmes February 12, 2011 at 8:27 pm   

    I was broght up the same way. I'm slowly learning that I can ask for help. I don't alway get it when I ask, but thats another story. I've seen companies do the same thing. I worry also, but that isn't healthy. All we can do is take it one day at a time and pray that everything will work out. HUGS

    BREATHLESSDIANE February 11, 2011 at 4:41 pm   

    What is a normal life with COPD? It was so hard for me trying to live a normal life.My job was the hardest.Like you I enjoyed working,I needed my job to pay bills and health care.I would go back to work too soon just to get sick all over again.Little by little it was a struggle both mentally and physically.Work was a nightmare at the end I had to give it up.Looking back at it all now I don't know how I did it.I was afraid I would not get disability or would have to wait for years,but to my surprise I got it right away.Health care was another story,a 2 year waiting period for medicare and since I am not on SSI the state couldn't help me.I go to a health care clinic which helps me out with med too.I have my hosp.bills on a payment plan which is not to bad. I have had to give up lot of things and tighten my belt but my bills are paid and food on the table. I am very carefully with germs and wash hands all the time.I have people stay away if sick even a cold.I have all my shots.On and on.Which has helped,I have stayed out of the hosps. for a while now.Hurts me that my kids have to see me sick also.But they just go on as if I am not sick.

  • screamingnikita
    screamingnikita February 11, 2011 at 9:23 am   

    this has been a tough winter, I really tried to breeze through with no problems, my kids are worn by me being sick so I really try not to be, as it is the house chores have been on them, but these frigid temps really have created a difficulty. I am praying for you and that the weather will return warm soon very soon. I am thinking that we will have to move to warmer climates, and I use to make fun of why people aged and retired to florida, now I know…

  • screamingnikita
    screamingnikita February 11, 2011 at 9:03 am   

    I know the feeling, I have been out of work for 2 years because I had cancer, then surgery, chemo and more surgery. Then I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and now again when i think that I am getting back to a normal life and can go back to work with restrictions, this what they thought was asthma flared back up and now living off of 2 inhalers to get through a day…I am only 35 but there is a reason that God has blessed me with so many trials, I now am a scentsy consultant, as I know that this does not help you in the insurance side of things, it has helped me with a bit more income and fun…and i meet some of the greatest people. Have you checked into state medical help or something similar? I will keep you in my prayers. screamingnikita.scentsy.us

  • embe13
    embe13 February 11, 2011 at 9:14 am   

    I'm very lucky that I amy employed by Blue Cross so I have great health coverage and sick benefits but I always struggle with trying not to be out sick that often which never seems possible. Unfortunately, most people don't understand what it is like to live with a chronic illness. They never really buy into that you are sick. I suppose I get a bit paranoid with the way the business world is today…how they layoff people so often. I hope that I can continue to work but I get concerned that somehow or other, I will not be able to keep my job based on the company needs. I don't feel protected enough and get feel even more vulnerable while I am sick. I have been out of work for a couple of weeks now and expect to be out at least 1 to 2 more weeks. Just looking forward to the warm weather and then I pretty much am not usually sick until the cold weather comes back again.

  • sheets
    sheets September 22, 2011 at 7:07 pm   

    i used to feel the same way about my job,my doctor advised me to feel out a family medicail leave act papers,then legaly they can not fire you,i think for up to 18 months,if your not already done so,i would check into it,god bless

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