In this interview Frank tells us what it is like to live with COPD and fight it thanks to the love of his family.
Frank, a grandfather of 7, was recently diagnosed, and he has a powerful message to share with all the young ones.
Hello Frank, could you introduce yourself in a few lines?
I am a married man with 4 grown up children & 7 grandchildren. I retired from my work 2 years ago due to my COPD. My wife works part time in the nearby town. I see my grandkids nearly every day which is brilliant (I love them to bits). My family all lives locally. There was 14 kids in my family, 1 of my brothers died last year (heart attack) so there are 4 boys & 9 girls left.
When was your COPD diagnosed?
After my heart attack I made an appoint to see a Respiratory Specialist and after MRI scan the specialist diagnosed me with COPD.
Has it been easy for you to cope with your condition? Has it changed something in your relationship with your family?
It is easy to cope with COPD, but can be very frustrating when I can't go for a walk or do jobs in the garden at home. My family understand my situation so nothing has changed.
What has been the most challenging thing you have had to go through because of this condition?
The most challenging thing is being out of breath easily when shopping or walking. I try to disguise the out of breath bit by pretending to be looking in shop windows to catch my breath.
As for today, what medication or treatment you think has worked best for you?
The medication I'm on is Uniphyllin 300mg, Esomeprazole 40mg, Atorvas 40mg, Symbicort 400.12, Spiriva Respimet. I have an appointment with my specialist next month to review my medication.
What practical advice could you give to other people who live with COPD on how to cope with it in everyday life?
Advise any young person in your family to NEVER NEVER start smoking. I know it might look cool to their friends but at the end of the day it's not. I would describe COPD as a blind illness, if you meet someone sitting in your car they might say your grand but in fact you’re not.
I would say to people to understand what COPD is, to explain the illness & what it does to people. I am only learning myself at the moment.