José is 64 years old and lives in Lisbon, Portugal. He has been living with COPD for 15 years. Since his diagnosis he has had to make significant changes to his life. He gives his perspective on the impact that COPD has on him.
Since being diagnosed with COPD, I’ve had to adapt to a new reality. As time passes, I’ve developed an understanding of what my limits are. The main symptoms I have are shortness of breath, feeling tired and coughing – especially in the morning.
I struggle to climb up the stairs and if I walk on slopes, no matter how small the incline, I get out of breath. Even those normal “runs” we need to do in our daily lives make me tired, for instance: I struggle with speeding up to catch a bus or a train.
Learning to manage my condition
Now with my experience of living with the condition, I do things differently. I have to perform activities slower. I take my time with everything that I do. I have to be sure not to panic, and to try and control my breathing, remain calm and take deep breaths.