Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder

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Sick man abed

I learned that COPD is a fancy way of saying they aren’t exactly sure what is wrong with my lungs. I may have permanently destroyed some tissue with my three pack or better cigarette habit. You can never be sure. The body is such a wiseacre.

I don’t feel particularly bad. But for the last couple of weeks have found myself easily winded. Today is a lovely exception: my lungs feel very clean and open. Subjectivity makes me want to credit the phone call that woke me out of my withdrawal with curative powers.

I saw the pulmonary specialist yesterday for the third time. The final time. The doctor had clearly made up her mind about things when she read the chart before seeing me. And she’s a terrible listener. Probably the worst physician I’ve ever encountered in the Duke Medical Center system.

Not that I’m not thankful to have health insurance. And very thankful to have friends who help me.


I went to visit my friends Frank and Jacq in Asheville in September. It was during the period when people were brawling in gas stations over the lack of fuel. I thought about dropping in but was afraid you’d be in your sleep study and all. Also I was renting a car, so that didn’t help. I drove down through the backroads. Virginia, Tennessee. They loved me in them there states.

And Iīm thankful you are still there. Funny how people can be worried by the absence of someone they donīt even know… COPD is not nice but as long as you donīt start smoking again it shouldnīt get much worse, I hope. Anyway, I really do wish you a happy new year.

I know from my own reading of folks online how attached we can become to people we’ve never met. Effect of empathy I guess. Certainly makes life more humane.


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