I am 68 years old. I have COPD (emphysema) and have been on oxygen for about six years. I have gone about my regular activities'I belong to my local Woman's Club, a book club and two respiratory support groups.
I am out and about, depending on the weather here in Southern California, two or three times a week. If I have no scheduled activity I will go browsing at a local specialty shop or antique store. Sometimes I use the scooters provided by the big box stores and ride around the store for an hour or more.
Imagine my surprise one day when, following one of my browsing expeditions, a woman came up to me as I was enjoying a cup of coffee from the vendor in front of the store. "Excuse me," she said. "I wanted to tell you how much I admire you. I watched you in the store and you were just a joy to see. My aunt is on oxygen and she will hardly even leave the house except for family gatherings. I wish we could get her to get out and be more active, like you are. I think she would feel so much better."
I asked if the woman's aunt had been through pulmonary rehab. When she said no I recommended she talk to her aunt about it and about joining a support group. "Often a person feels alone and different and it helps to meet others with similar problems."
The woman said she wished her aunt could meet me and impulsively I suggested we get together for lunch. That proved to be the first of several visits and I am now pleased to tell you that the aunt has been through rehab (not as hard as she was afraid it would be) and has joined one of the support groups I belong to. She even went on field trips with our group. What a difference it has made in her outlook and in her overall health!
She calls me her role model. Thanks makes me smile for I consider myself unlikely material for a role model. But I told her, and tell anyone else: I did it'you can, too!
Submitted by Anonymous
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