My Story: Rosemary Caudill

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What were the steps leading up to your diagnosis?

I quit smoking in 1996 by using hypnosis. After my first appointment, I never wanted to touch another cigarette.

I had two boys in college, so I continued to work. I told everyone it was only asthma that I had. Unfortunately, I became very sick and had to go to the hospital. My doctor said I had pneumonia, and he put me in the hospital. After a while, he said he needed to run some tests.

He did several tests, and the next morning he sat by my bed and said, "You have moderate to severe emphysema." I asked, "How can you use moderate and severe in the same sentence? I want a second opinion."

He made me an appointment with a lung specialist, and I took all my medical records with me. The specialist looked over everything and told me the same thing. I had COPD.

In 2011, when I stopped working and started walking and exercising as much as I could, my husband got sick, so my life really changed. He was diagnosed with ALS. ALS is a disease that takes away all your muscle movements, so I took care of him until he passed away in November 2014.

For the longest time I didn’t take care of my self, so I had to go back into the hospital. In December 2014, my doctor told me that my health was in my hands and I was the only one that could make my life better, so that is what I am doing.

What lifestyle changes have you needed to make?

The life changes for me was that I was having to take a lot of medicine and got short of breath.

I loved to travel, but now I am afraid to go very far away from home. So now I am exercising and taking line dancing three days a week.

I continue to do the housework and cooking, but I take my time doing it, so I do not overexert myself. I have learned how to breathe the right way.

I also spend time outside doing yard work. l just love flowers, and that’s what keeps me busy in the summer.

So, all in all, the changes that I have made is exercising and keep moving as much as I can. I also try to eat healthy because I have two wonderful sons and six grandchildren to live for and they keep me going.

Who has been there for you? How?

My two sons and my wonderful sister-in-law.

My two sons live two hours away, so it is my sister-in-law that is always there for me. She calls about me every day, and when I have to go to the hospital she is the one I can count on being right there which is only once a year.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

I am very proud that I can exercise, walk, and dance as good as I can, and I can clean my house and still take care of myself.

I do live by myself, but I try and make everything as easy as I can.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

I am very proud that I can exercise, walk, and dance as good as I can, and I can clean my house and still take care of myself.

I do live by myself, but I try and make everything as easy as I can.

I am very proud that I can exercise, walk, and dance as good as I can.

I am very proud that I can exercise, walk, and dance as good as I can.

What's your advice to someone else living with COPD?

My advice to others living with COPD is just to keep moving if at all possible, don’t just settle down and accept it!

My advice to others living with COPD is just to keep moving if at all possible!

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