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  • Shared Experiences

    Smoking wasn't the only cause of my emphysema

    I started smoking at the age of 16 because it as the thing to do in the 1960's. Following that I started working in the agricultural industry because i love the outdoors. Working in agriculture i was subjected to artificial fertilizers and chemicals on a daily bases. Back then they didnt have the workers protection and protocols as they do today. Needless to say after working in the industry for 40 years, at the age of 56 I was diagnosed with COPD emphysema. My symptoms were very noticable, a shortness in breath and even walking the dog was a struggle. I was diagnosed by a specialist after seeing my GP initially (and my family insisting I see to my breathing issues!). I now live with emphysema and have an incredible support network from my family- loving wife, two children and 5 grand children. If I could give anyone diagnosed advice I would say you need to keep active and not let it take over your life. You need to work out a way to do the things you love and have a positive outlook, a positive mind is the key. So while smoking didnt cause my COPD it certainly contributed to it, occupational hazards need to be taken into consideration for people in the agricultural industry and thankfully today there is more awareness and protection for workers.
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