Copd Diagnosis

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Mr. L, a 55 year-old bartender and long-time heavy smoker, was diagnosed with COPD seven years ago. His daily commute to and from work includes a three block walk to and from the bus station. These walks have become increasingly difficult for Mr. L, as it renders him breathless and necessitates him to make several stops along the way to rest and catch his breath. His excessive coughing has become a concern for his employer as he is worried about its effect on the bar’s customers. His boss has also voiced his concern over his excessive coughing and its effects on customers. Mr. L is exhibiting severe COPD symptoms. He requires treatment, rehabilitation and needs to make lifestyle changes to slow down the progress of his COPD. These changes will most likely require him to find a different job that will be better for his health.

COPD refers to certain lung diseases that block airflow, where damage to airways interferes with the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in lungs, when you exhale and causes increasingly difficulty in breathing. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema are the two main conditions of COPD. COPD is the leading cause of death all over the world. COPD is mostly caused by excessive long-term smoking and can be prevented by quitting or by not smoking at all. Long-term exposure to air pollutants and lung irritants also contribute to COPD. COPD is irreversible and treatment can only control the symptoms and minimize more damage. COPD develops slowly and worsens over time. Severe COPD hinders one from doing routine activities.  It is usually diagnosed in middle-aged and older persons. It is not a communicative disease. Treatment and lifestyle changes may slow down the progress of the disease.

COPD is a progressive lung disease. The earliest sign and symptom of COPD are a chronic morning cough that produces a large amount of sputum also called smoker’s cough.  Progressively, these other symptoms may occur: breathlessness, especially when doing routine physical activities, wheezing, chest tightness and fatigue. Those with COPD often have a cold or the flu, they may  also experience swelling of the lower extremities, have a bluish colour to their lips due to lack of oxygen and fast heart rate. The symptoms of COPD only worsen over time, if lifestyle changes and treatment are not made.

 Mr. L is a long-term smoker and is exposed to air pollutants by his living and working in a big city. Second hand smoke exposure while working in the bar has also aggravated his condition. His COPD has increased in severity.  He has a chronic cough and is experiencing increasing difficulty in breathing when doing routine physical activities like walking to and from work. It is evident that his disease has progressed from the time he was diagnosed seven years ago. COPD is a non-communicative disease, meaning that you cannot catch it from someone. So Mr. L’s employer should be confident that he cannot contaminate the customers.

COPD is a progressive disease. It cannot be reversed, but with treatment and lifestyle changes one can slow down the progression of the disease. Mr. L is a middle-aged, heavy long time smoker whose work environment further exposes him to second hand smoke. He lives and works in a big city whose air pollution levels are high. He already has difficulty in breathing while doing mundane activities like walking. This is a clear sign that his COPD has progressed. If Mr. L continues in this light, his lungs will further deteriorate faster and his COPD will be fatal. The first thing recommended for Mr. L is to stop smoking. Though this will not reverse the COPD, however, it will stop the advanced aging of the lungs and bring it back to normal aging. For his breathlessness, Mr. L needs to see his doctor so he may be prescribed with bronchodilators, corticosteroids and antibiotics. His doctor may also immunize him for flu and pneumonia. It is also recommended that Mr. L make changes with his employment. He may still tend bar but at a non-smoking establishment as second hand smoke aggravates COPD. It is also recommended that he consider living in the suburbs, where air quality is better. Finally, it is also recommended to have a pulmonary rehabilitation program consisting of daily exercises for breathing and muscle strengthening combined with a nutritionist-recommended diet to improve quality of life of patients suffering from COPD. This rehabilitation program also allows the patient sessions with a therapist to help one cope with the emotional adjustments of living with COPD.

Mr. L will need medical care to help control the symptoms and slow down the progress of the disease. He will also need psychological help in order to cope with the emotional adjustments and fears of living with COPD. At this stage of his COPD, Mr. L will need a rehabilitation program that will help improve his quality of life. By making lifestyle changes, Mr. L can take an active role in controlling his COPD and help improve his health. He will be able to resume his regular activities as he feels better. He will feel better, if he carefully follows rehabilitation program and takes his medicines regularly. As his symptoms improve, he will be able to take on more activities.

Mr. L has to consciously take an active role in controlling his COPD. His condition affects all aspects of his social life thus making his life miserable. COPD has a big impact on the relationship with a partner. Mr L’s COPD has made him not have the energy, desire and the ability to participate in sexual activity, which puts a strain on the relationship. This adds to his stress as Mr. L feels depressed, frustrated, angry, guilty, worthless and anxious.

COPD will definitely create many changes within the family of Mr. L.  It could be an emotional roller coaster ride. The loss of control and independence as well as his altered role in the family will be difficult for both Mr. L and his family to accept and adjust to. They will have to give support to each other. However, these changes may strengthen his family.

COPD has been affecting the work of Mr. L. He is already experiencing difficulty in getting to and from work because of the progression of his COPD. Soon this will affect his time record at work. His employer is already showing concern of the effect his coughing has on the customers. Although COPD is not catching, a stigma has been put on him of being sick and is embarrassing to him. This will contribute to his depression and low self-esteem. He needs to be accepted and be supported by his peers. His COPD is also affecting his other social networks as he physically cannot sustain activities they do and is embarrassed. His depression and low self-esteem also have made him refuse to mingle with his social network peers.

Mr. L is a middle-aged, long-time heavy smoker diagnosed with COPD seven years ago.  He lives and works in the city as a bartender. His COPD has progressed to a point, where doing mundane activities is becoming increasingly difficult for him. COPD is a progressive, non-communicable disease affecting the lungs, where airflow is blocked and makes breathing difficult and if not controlled will be fatal. As COPD progresses, it will hamper physical activities and deepen negative emotions of the individual  As such his personal, social and work relationships will be severely affected. One can cope with having COPD through treatment, rehabilitation program and lifestyle changes.

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