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Readers Respond: How Has COPD Affected Your Job?

Responses: 6

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Updated May 01, 2014

From the article: COPD and Work
COPD not only has a dramatic impact on your personal and social life, but, if you are among those who still work, it can also affect your job, forcing you into early retirement or long-term disability. If your job was affected by your disease, please share your story and tell us what you did about it.

Having to Be Off Work

Hi, my name's Anna and I have a very energetic job at a insurance company. It involves a lot of running around, and i just found out i have COPD. Ok, it got me down a little but i am on the 2nd week of sickness from work and am hoping to go back to work so my boss can put me on lighter duties, he is very understanding.
—Guest anna

Job Has Made Accomodations

I found out I had COPD in 2009. I quit smoking 10 years ago. Now I am on oxygen. Working 3 days a week in retail. My bosses are great and have helped me by changing some of my duties enough to make it possible for me to continue to work. I live by myself and pretty much take care of myself. I stay active and try not to dwell on tomorrow. The people I work with, my church group and my family and close friends help keep my spirits up. It can be hard at times, but you can do it.
—kathleenstinson

COPD Killed My Job

I lost my job. My performance and mental thinking slowed done and I lost my 10+ year job because my boss thought I was loafing. I got short of breath a lot and wasn't aware that my speech and thinking was slower. My boss thought I wasn't reliable any longer. 17 mos after my job ended I ended up in the hospital and then was told I had severe emphysema and chronic bronchitis, it progressed so slowly I didn't realize it. The week I spent in the hospital the nurses kept asking my what kind of oxygen concentrator I had at home and how many liters did I use. No one acted like they believed me when I told them I didn't know I had a lung disease and did not have oxygen at home. A mediator filed for my Social Security Disability before I left the hospital and I was awarded my disability 5 & 1/2 months later. I miss my job and my life before this disease. My last cigarette was the day before I was admitted to the hospital in March 2010. Wish I had been smarter about the respiratory system.
—Guest Netty2019

Had To Get Early Retirement

When diagnosed in Sept 2009 I was an over-the-road truck driver. The stress of the job and the varied hours made me feel that I was unsafe to continue working. I retired at 63. My Social Security took a hit and $ is tight but I am making it.
—caspr2

I Miss A Lot But Boss is Understanding

I am newly diagnosed, April 2011. I missed a lot of work from Feb. - June. I missed out on my year of service, had two hospital stays also. I have summers off so I work my butt off to stay active. My boss is understanding so far. But, when I was so sick those other months, it was so difficult to get up and go, got breathless just dressing. I keep an air purifier in my room now, wash & disinfectant. I fear those who are sick. I don't like to do breathing treatments at work, but will if I have to. I plan to work till I can't any longer or they let me go!
—989mrst

Still Able To Work, But Difficult

I am a business woman. I was diagnosed with severe COPD last year. I am still able to work, but, it is getting more and more difficult. I am going to talk to my doctor about using oxygen during my workday to see if that makes things better. Thanks for the article, it provided some useful tips that I will be able to use.
—Delia

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