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I was born in 1946. I was diagnosed with chronic bronchitis at age 4 after a few events of bronchitis and two of pneumonia - the first at three months.
At six I was diagnosed with Bronchiectasis and my parents were told I would not make it through my teens without surgery. (The current drugs and other meds didn't exist in 1953.) I had a lobectomy at age 7 to remove the two lower lobes of my right lung, and another at age 12 to remove the lower lobe of my left lung. I still had pneumonia and bronchitis a few times during my teens.
But, though most of my 20's through 50's I was active and able to work and play. I played recreational softball and competitive volleyball. Into my 40's I could still play a bit of basketball. I mention this to illustrate that I was able to do most everything, though I never had stamina for running. I had a lot of colds, a few bouts of bronchitis, and pneumonia twice. I had to be careful about colds and avoid the flu.
I never expected to live into my 50's.
It was around then that I had to more actively manage myself. I have a few exacerbations each year now and have to take antibiotics plus prednisone to get over it. I also use a few other meds and usue oxygen when I sleep or take moderate walks. I see my pulmonologist a few times per year.
I am 72 now and finally running out of air. I am still able to do many things but have more problems more often.
I'm starting to think I may be close to the record for longest life after a very early diagnosis of Bronchiectasis.
A friend told me last week that I was going to live another 20 years! I think she is overly optimistic, but I guess I'll go for it.
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