They tend to suffer needlessly because they are too tough or too proud to seek help. Actually, and closer to the truth perhaps, they are too scared to seek help. They are what we call Martyr COPDers.
Like Undiagnosed COPDers, they tend to brush off symptoms as not serious. Even as their symptoms get worse, they think their sheer willpower will beat their disease to submission. Because of this they do not seek medical help when they should, and might even forgo COPD medicine.
There are only two things that will get them to seek help. The first is a caring spouse who is aware of the fact that help is needed, and who encourages the martyr to seek help. The other is a COPD-flare-up that gets so severe a mad dash to the hospital becomes essential.
COPD Attitude: “Yes it’s true I can’t take a deep breath. I’m fine! Leave me alone!”
COPD Strength: They do not overplay their symptoms for empathy. They only seek help when they need it.
COPD Weakness: Breathing trouble is important not to ignore, and no level of toughness will make it go away.
Lessons to Live By: COPD is a difficult disease, and it requires some toughness. But you should never ignore breathing trouble. The earlier help is sought when breathing trouble starts the easier it is for a physician to fix you. The longer you wait to seek help the harder it is for a physician to help. Get help when you need it immediately, and work with your doctor to develop a COPD Action Plan that will help you decide when to seek help.
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