those of you who do not know, COPD is an acronym that
stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
COPD is actually an umbrella term that includes emphysema,
chronic bronchitis and bronchiectasis. I have seen
some lists that leave out bronchiectasis and add asthma.
mother was diagnosed with emphysema and COPD in 2003.
Signs of the disease were not yet present however,
conventional emphysema treatments were added to her
daily regimen purportedly to slow the progress of
the disease by masking its symptoms.
had worked in a hospital years earlier and remembered
the emphysema patients. I remembered their slow but
steady decline until, eventually, they were no longer
being admitted. I assumed correctly that they had
succumbed to the disease.
the next 2 and a half years I made certain that my
mother took every prescribed medication, performed
every nebulizer treatment and attended every scheduled
Pulmonary Rehab session.
had quit smoking yet this disease continued progressing.
I understood that smoking had caused the emphysema.
What I did not understand was why this disease was
progressing so long after my mother had quit smoking.
I asked her Pulmonary Spceialist what was causing
this progression. He told me that they simply did
not know why emphysema progressed so long after smoking
cessation. He said it was a mystery!
knowing any better, I set out to solve this mystery.
My degree is in engineering and in engineering when
something is removed from the equation, it is no longer
a factor in the outcome. Therefore, smoking could
not be causing the progression of my mother's emphysema
since she no longer smoked. It had to be something
else. It had to be some sort of living organism since
it seemed to be proliferating in my mother's lungs.
medical industry seemed very good at measuring and
testing everything. They were able to quantify everything,
they just never had any answers or solutions.
watched my mother slowly decline over these 2 and
a half years. She continued the conventional
emphysema treatments which did provide temporary
relief from the primary symptoms of emphysema. The
problem was that once these drugs wore off, she was
right back where she started before taking the drug.
Not one of these conventional emphysema treatments
provided any lasting improvement in my mother's condition!
realized that if my mother was going to survive this
disease we would have to find our own solutions. The
treatments being utilized by the medical industry
would obviously not provide any actual improvement.
We would need to rely on them for temporary relief
from the debilitating symptoms but not for anything
I continued researching my mother continued deteriorating.
After the entire 2 and a half years under the care
of the medical industry she had deteriorated down
to "End Stage Emphysema" or "Stage
IV." Their conventional emphysema treatments
were providing no lasting improvements.
weighed only 77 pounds down from her normal 103 pounds.
She required 4 liters of supplemental oxygen 24/7.
She could only eat about a cup of food or she would
complain that she couldn't breathe. I had watched
her meal size decline over this time period and made
a mental note of this fact. It would prove relevant
later on. She could only sleep about an hour at a
time before waking in the middle of an exacerbation
("shortness of breath").
this latter stage of the disease I was shocked to
see these conventional emphysema treatments stop working!
Once by one they stopped providing the temporary relief
they had provided in the beginning. First was the
albuterol sulfate int he nebulizer. I called
her doctor and he switched her to DuoNeb
which is albuterol sulfate with Ipratropium
was Spiriva. My mother said it wasn't doing
anything any more and she refused to use it. My mother's
Pulmonary Specialist told her to swallow after doing
the treatment. This seemed to work for a few more
weeks but also eventually stopped providing the temporary