Ken is home for now.
Emphysema is a form of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD. Emphysema involves the air sacs of the lung. Without the ability to transfer oxygen, the air sacs become worn out and look like an overstretched balloon. In Bullous emphysema, the sacs become enlarged and can even rupture.
Dr G. said that the only treatment for the condition is lung surgery, but he will have to consult Ken's cardiologist before going down that path, as the risks for Ken are higher than most cases in view of his heart condition.
In the meantime, he said Ken can go back to work if he feels up to it, but the underlying message was that he would be better off retiring from work in the near future.
Poor Ken is beating himself emotionally, cursing all those years of smoking. What can you do? I was accused of nagging every time I begged him to quit or at least cut down on the cigarettes, so in the end, I just shut my mouth, and tried to get as much fresh air as I could by keeping windows and doors open.
I've been mildly affected by passive smoking from both Ken and the boss in my last office job. I don't have emphysema, but if Ken was still smoking, there was a chance of my developing COPD. I'm very grateful that he quit 11 years ago, but he is now paying the price.