Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Lung Disease & Respiratory Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Cal's Story: Learning to Exercise When You Have COPD - Cal's story

copd_200246979-001.jpg

"Why me?"

That's what Cal asked himself over and over after he was diagnosed with severe COPD 5 years ago.

"I spent the first 2 years moping around the house, feeling sorry for myself," he says. "I didn't go anywhere, I didn't do anything. I just sat in front of the TV and tried not to think about anything."

Then one day Sonny, his 5-year-old granddaughter, walked up to him as he sat in his easy chair. "She looked up at me-she's got these enormous brown eyes-and she said, 'Poppy, why won't you come outside and play with me?'

"Well, it about broke my heart. I decided that day to get out of that chair and get back into life. The trouble was, I couldn't take 10 steps without getting out of breath."

But he decided 10 steps was a good start. "I got on our old treadmill and walked for 1 minute that first day."

It was really hard for Cal. He had to stop twice, and he needed his oxygen while he was doing it. But he did it again the next day, and the next. Then he decided to see if he could add 1 minute of walking each week.

One minute gradually became 5 minutes. Then 5 minutes eventually turned into 15 minutes.

"That was 3 years ago," says Cal. "Now I walk an hour around my neighborhood every day. That's right, an hour! And I do it without my oxygen."

Cal thinks it helped a lot that he increased his walking time so gradually. It kept him from getting discouraged. "Now I feel better than I have in years. I'm really amazed."

And after school every day, Sonny and her little brother come over and play in the yard with their Poppy.

This story is based on information gathered from many people living with this condition.

If you need more information, see the topic COPD.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 09, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
1
Next Article:

Cal's Story: Learning to Exercise When You Have COPD Topics

Today on WebMD

man coughing
You may not even know you have it.
blood clot
Signs of this potentially fatal complication.
 
man coughing
When a cold becomes bronchitis.
human lungs
Causes behind painful breathing, fluid buildup.
 

chest x-ray
Slideshow
Bronchitis Overview
SLIDESHOW
 
Copd Myth Fact Quiz
QUIZ
Energy Boosting Foods
SLIDESHOW
 

lungs
Article
smokestacks
Article
 
woman coughing
Article
Lung xray and caduceus
Article