Living with COPD
For people living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, it’s painfully obvious how much we take for granted the simple act of breathing. For them, it can be a daily labor, as damaged lungs struggle to pull in oxygen.
The cause can be either emphysema or chronic bronchitis. Both are considered COPD; neither is curable. Supplemental oxygen can help those with the condition stay active, and medication can slow COPD’s progression. But a diagnosis often prompts a spiral into depression as the prospect of a diminished future takes hold.
Here are the stories of four people who wrestled with how their bodies were failing them, and then made choices that allowed them to take more control of their lives.