Thursday, January 14, 2016

Once more into the breach

New year - new resolve. I am trying again to chronicle the direction my life has taken since COPD has tried to become my defining characteristic.

I was a newspaper staff writer during my working life and also wrote grant applications and designed business publications and advertising copy. Along the way I have consistantly littered my floor with the detritus of what I considered self-indulgent efforts at poetry, opinions and other scribbling. Every single time, as I began to write, I became acutely aware of my failings and my presumption in writing down my ideas. Most recently my crippling criticism has been an insistent whispering that I am too old and not sophisticated or interesting enough.  I have been just too insecure to expect other people to pay attention to anything I have to say. I originally wrote  a few pieces about developing COPD after smoking for over 30 years, in this blogging effort I call "Breathe Easy." That ground to a halt - in part a result of a short-lived and ultimately brutally humiliating experience as a telephone "information line associate" at the COPD Foundation. I had posted some of those blog pieces on Facebook to underwhelming response while still with the COPDF. Once again, I wondered who would want to read about my experiences and/or insights. I thought, "Probably no one." and gave it up.

Heather King, a blogger whose essays and memoirs have very often spoken to me with uncanny timing when I needed them, one day said  that she began a discipline of writing four hours each day when she finally committed to becoming a "writer" and to submitting her work to others.  I am encouraged to make a similar promise to myself. I am also a writer, and writers write. Where it will lead, only God knows, but I feel like I am fulfilling a need I have been trying to deny for many years even as COPD does away with  many other interests and activities that used to define me.

In a quick update of the COPD that tries to manage my life for me...

The progression of my condition is for the most part manageable. I very recently began a medication new to me, Daliresp. It has been on the market for about a year. The list of side effects is formidable, but fortunately I don't seem to have any of them, so I have hopes that this medication will actually decrease the shortness of breath that accompanies any exertion on my part, leading to more activity. We shall see what we shall see.