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Portable Oxygen Concentrator Resource Center

How to Process Your COPD Diagnosis in 6 Easy Steps

Posted by Erin Lowry on Jun 5, 2018 11:00:00 AM


how to process your copd diagnosis in 6 easy steps

Take Control:

It is important to understand that COPD does not define you, and that you are in control of your life.

No matter how you may feel, taking control over how you feel can help reform your life after a COPD diagnosis.

Those with COPD can struggle with the diagnosis as it is progressive, meaning it gets worse over time.

Besides treating your COPD, is it very important to take control over your life. COPD can take over an individuals life, by making it hard to be out and active.

This in turn makes patients feel as if they have lost control, and they can’t do what they want to anymore.

By not allowing your condition to define you, you can continue to live your life. Though COPD can add some challenges to your life, that doesn’t mean it is impossible to do what you want to do.

Many COPD patients believe they are unable to achieve their goals due to their disease. This is not true, as it is possible to do what you dream of, there will just be a few challenges along the way.

Letting those challenges stop you from achieving your goals is one of the struggles many COPD patients have.

Options (insist on them):

Patients with COPD tend to get a small list of options on treating their COPD.

If the treatment plan given is not how you want to fight your disease, insist on other options. See if there is anything else you can do to help fight your COPD.

Your doctor should have other suggestions, or help calm your concerns. You should make a decision that will make you feel comfortable in the decision and how you feel.

Your doctor is there to help you and make you most comfortable while you fight your COPD. If you feel that they are making choices that do not benefit you, talk to your doctor, or find one you feel will listen to you.

Being involved with your treatment plan is helpful, and if you feel that you won’t be able to keep up with the doctor, bring someone you feel can help put in input for you.

Having a partnership with your doctor can help make your voice be heard. It can also open up a door to new treatment options if you speak up and communicate with your doctor.

Find a doctor and build a partnership:

 a senior couple talking with a doctor about options for treatment

Your doctor and you need to have a very strong partnership. Your doctor should never give you a treatment plan that you do not understand.

Ask questions when you go to the doctors, be as informed as you can.

Though the doctor may know the best plan for you, you are the one who has to follow that plan and should know what you need to do to successfully follow the plan.

Working together, find a treatment plan that you both feel will be a good way to manage your COPD, and will be easy for you to follow the plan (i.e. exercising, taking medication).

Your doctor should come up with treatment plan, and should see how you feel about that plan. If you do not feel it is going to work for you, let your doctor know.

Keeping this partnership means keeping in touch. If you feel that your medication makes you drowsy, call you doctor, if you think the exercises are making you back hurt, call your doctor.

Your doctor will have an idea of what can be tweaked in your treatment plan to prevent you from feeling that way.

Your doctor will also have answers for questions you have, and even resources for you to use.

By keeping in touch, your doctor will be able to assess if testing needs to be redone, or if a prescription should be changed.

Always cost vs. benefits:

If a lung transplant that may be a high risk option really worth that risk? When being diagnosed with COPD, you need to find treatment plans that will work for you.

Finding a medication that provides the same estimated outcome as a major surgery may make it easier to decide the cost versus benefits.

In the above example, the medication is most likely cheaper than surgery, and it has the same outcome/benefit.

When sitting down with your doctor, listing your options, discussing which can be most beneficial and seeing what the costs are will help you decide your plan of action.

You may also want to sit down with friends or family and see what they believe to be a healthy, safe and financially friendly option for you.

Getting others opinions can help you get a better idea of what is the best decision for you as well as what you may want to do.

Claim a good life:


road sign pointing to the good life


Sitting at home, watching tv and feeling bad for yourself won’t lead you to a healthy and happy life that you planned.

It is vital to get out and stay active, by doing these, it will help your mentality overall.

Though you may feel like you can’t, exercise can help your COPD. Doing what you can to get out, even if it is a short walk to the garden, can help your COPD and your mood.

You have to decide to live a happy life, claim a good life. Otherwise, sitting at home and being miserable isn’t going to be abnormal.

Life, for people with and without COPD alike, isn’t going to make itself great, unless you actively make it great.

Get a support network:

Life without a serious disease can be tough, but having COPD can make it a little harder to have a positive outlook on life.

Making yourself a support network can help with your accountability, and your happiness.

Finding a group on Facebook, or turning to your family to keep you in check can help with your overall life.

Facebook support groups are very positive, and help cheer each other on. Many in the support groups have COPD or have a loved one with COPD.

Finding people with similar issues that you run into can help you realize you are not alone and there are people out there who are going through the same thing.

Support groups also open up communication and brainstorming. If you are having a hard time with cleaning, someone in the group may be past that point and have found a solution.

Your family and friends are also a great outlet for you. They may not have the same disease as you, but that doesn’t mean they cannot help you and support you.

They are able to support you and help you through challenges that you may face. Speaking with them about your feelings can also help open up their eyes to what you are going through.

Your doctor may even have resources, support groups or therapists that they can recommend for you to turn to as well.


Though a COPD diagnosis is not ideal, it does not define your or your life.

It is important to do what you can to take control of your life, by doing so you can change your mindset.

Your doctor should be able to give you options for your medical treatment, if not, you need to demand them.

You and your doctor should work together as a team to make decisions you both feel will be beneficial to you.

Make sure you look at the cost versus the benefits for any treatment plan you may encounter, as some may not actually make sense financially.

Claim the best life you can, as if you think and believe that your life is good, it most likely will be good. If you stay in a negative mood, then you will continue that negative mentality.

Find a support network and keep in touch with them constantly. Finding Facebook groups or an in person support group can help you follow your treatment plan, and can help you stay positive.

The most important thing to process your diagnosis is to keep a positive mentality.

Topics: copd diagnosis, how to process

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