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You can be upset
because rosebushes have thorns
Or you can rejoice
because thorn bushes have roses.

   Joanne Greenberg


COPD-Support provides a variety of programs where patients and caregivers can talk to each other, sharing ideas and experiences - the unofficial information that is so valuable in day by day living. We all need and depend on the official medical advice provided by doctors and medical staffs but when we get back home we always have more questions. Our programs provide ways to ask those questions and get answers - they are information exchanges similar to family discussions over the dinner table, the kaffeeklatsch of young mothers discussing raising of children, or the coffer break at the job where workers share techniques they have found that improve things.

Our primary program is The List which uses LSoft and other methods to distribute e-mail to subscribers of the COPD List. Presently there are many subscribers world wide representing a number of countries and cultures. Frequently referred to as "The List", there really is no single list. Rather, there are a number of programs intended to help meet the needs of individuals afflicted with COPD, caregivers who are responsible for an individual so afflicted, and medical personnel who have a particular interest in pulmonary medicine in general and COPD in particular


The List was established to provide support and education, and as a forum for sharing ideas and solutions in dealing with this affliction. Subscribers are encouraged to participate in the discussion, though they are entitled to just "lurk" if they so choose. The List, and thus this web page, was established to bring together people affected by COPD. It is here to help us communicate with one another; to share ideas and knowledge; to support one another; and to live longer, better quality lives.

About COPD

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD, is a disease that encompasses one or more of the following:
lung_1.gif - 2855 Bytes Emphysema  can best be characterized as the progressive destruction of the grape-like sacs that fulfill the lung's basic function: exchanging oxygen in the air for carbon dioxide in the cardiovascular system. Emphysema is the chief "culprit" in COPD.

Chronic Bronchitis   is a first step toward impending emphysema/COPD. It often results from "ordinary" chest infections (colds, flu). Folks with chronic bronchitis know that every, or nearly every, cold they get will "go straight to the lungs". With proper care it need not lead to COPD. In a COPD patient chronic bronchitis contributes to the "gunk" that we spit up regularly (there's no pretty way to say it)

Chronic Asthma  is the third constituent of COPD. Not all COPD patients have asthma, and most certainly most asthma patients do not have COPD. But many of us suffer from it greatly. Already sick, our airways are easily constricted by all manner of airborne nasties. It is why we carry our inhalers. Some authorities do not consider asthma a component of COPD because unlike emphysema and chronic bronchitis, asthma can be reversed.

What Are The Signs?

Symptoms vary somewhat from one individual to another. However, most of us have experienced most of these:

Shortness Of Breath after normal-to-light exertion is an important sign and something that needs medical attention.

A lingering, or even constant cough. If a cough lingers long after a lung infection has cleared up something is wrong.

A history of lung problems. Chest colds don't clear up like they do for other folks...they linger. Maybe you've had flu several times, or worse, pneumonia.

Other family members have been diagnosed with emphysema. Perhaps your family carries the gene responsible for Alpha1 Antitrypsin Deficiency which is a brand of emphysema brought on by an enzyme deficiency and which may be contracted even though the individual has never smoked.


Where To Go From Here

Persons with COPD can most certainly lead productive, fulfilling lives. How we handle our disease, and its effects, is very important.

If we sit back and let it take charge, then it will. We may decline rather rapidly; our spirits suffer; normal activities become major obstacles.

However, if we take charge then we can dramatically affect the progress of the disease, learn that we can still lead quality lives, and be proud. At whatever stage of the disease, this simple approach can make an important difference.

These web pages are but a beginning. But through them you can start the journey to improving your life and your spirits - in a significant way. There are many excellent COPD sites on the net. Our web links page can be your jumping off place to these valuable resources.

Join One Or More Of Our Programs

Our internet mail list (e-mail) is an excellent way to stay in touch with other COPD patients and caregivers. We are patients, some with mild lung problems, some with quite severe. We are also caregivers and friends of COPD patients. We are sons and daughters as well as health care professionals. If the volume of mail inherent in an mail list is too much, or if you just want additional information then you might look into one of our other programs which include a Caregivers List, COPD-Watch Program, SmokeNoMore Program, chatroom with scheduled chats, a link page with only top notch information which has been reviewed by our staff, and a listing of member pages which may be of interest. So, if you are interested in any of our programs, click here for our Programs Page and choose what suits you.

The list began in January 1997 when six or seven people were solicited to participate in this experiment in information sharing. By our first anniversary we had grown to 267 members. We now have members on every continent except Antarctica. We share knowledge of the things that have helped us, and the things that have hurt us. We stay informed regarding treatments and medications. But, most of all, we give one another the encouragement and support that is so important to our lives. Many of us become very dear friends. If you are interested in becoming a subscriber please read both the explanation of what to expect as a list member as well as our posting guidelines and then join us. We hope you will introduce yourself to us soon.

Financial Base

There is no charge for any subscription.   However, sponsorships, donations, and memorial gifts are greatly appreciated! The hosting of our lists by outside vendors and our other programs does cost money. These costs are paid by COPD-Support, Inc. which is the corporation established to provide the means to fund, administer and manage the Family of COPD Support Programs. Some subscribers and organizations help provide funds by joining the corporation as a member or with voluntary contributions. We would prefer, however, that new subscribers to any of our programs DO NOT contribute until they have at least 60 days with us. This will allow adequate time to determine if your subscription provides you with necessary and lasting support. While we certainly welcome such contributions, please do not believe that they are necessary. We're kind of like public television - contribute if you think we're performing a service that makes a difference in your life or the life of someone you love. If you're not sure, or can't afford it, then that's OK. Contributions are all used to defray direct costs of running the various programs. Individuals serving as Management are not paid for their time, labor, or the use of their computer equipment.

COPD-Support, Inc.

We are recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a non profit organization under the definition provided in Internal Revenue Service Code 501(c)(3). As such, donations to the organization may be tax deductible the same as other charitable organizations. Donations will be acknowledged and should be forwarded to:

COPD-Support, Inc.
c/o Janice L. Reynolds
85 Main St
Windham, ME 04062

For your convenience we have established an account with Pay Pal for donations, sponsorships or memorial gifts to the organization. Just click on the Pay Pal Logo.

Our programs are also funded through membership dues. If you would like to be involved and help us provide these programs to the individuals who benefit from them, please consider joining us as a member. For further information click here.

This web site and our COPD programs have been put together by individuals with COPD or COPD caregivers. It has had little professional medical input. While we believe that our accumulated experience has value, and a unique perspective, you must accept it for what it is...the work of COPD patients. We vigorously encourage individuals with COPD to take an active part in the management of their disease. They do this through education, and by sharing information and thoughts with their primary physician and pulmonoligist. However, medical decisions are based on complex medical principles and should be left to the medical practitioner.

Our Angels
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