Hello my name is Michael McGloin and I am from Sligo, Ireland. I was born and reared in a little place called Wynnesfort, about 4 miles from Sligo. I lived there with my parents and my two sisters Anne & Mary. I went to School in Rathcormac N.S. and later moved to St. John’s Marist Brothers School in Sligo town.
Music was in our family. My grandfather played the fiddle and my father played the accordion. Our house was a “Rambling House” where visiting neighbours would call each Friday night to play music, sing songs, dance and tell stories. My father taught me my first tune on the accordion when I was 6 yrs old. In School I got lessons from Bro.Angelo and later from the late Great Alphie Joe Dineen. As I never learned to read music I play my music by ear.
I married Anne in March 1975, we have two girls Claudia & Lamisse.
I got my first job from Tommy Devaney “Car Electric” as an auto electrician, and then changed to a salesman travelling around the Northwest selling from a catalogue and back to the motor trade again where I worked in the service department in Henderson Motors Sligo.
For many years as well as my day job, I played my music all around the North West of Ireland. I played with bands like The Mellowtones, Ivy Leaf and Pearl Express. In 1990 after a lot of encouragement from supporters, I became a One-Man-Band called “Solton Sound“. This took me on a totally different journey. The following year I recorded my first tape “Rose of My Heart” which got airplay on local radio. This opened up new areas for me. I was very lucky. I got bookings from Northern Ireland as well as the North West. In the years that followed I recorded another 3 tapes: “You Are My Woman”, “Beautiful Sligo” and “From Sligo and Back”. There was a lot of travelling and not getting home most mornings until 6 or 7 o’clock. Then a quick change of clothes and off to the day job. However I enjoyed every minute of it and I hope I brought a little joy to those I came in contact with.
In 1997 it all started to go wrong when I started to have difficulty breathing. As a result of smoking and playing in smokey pubs, clubs, halls and community centres. I Had my first Respiratory Arrest on 10th October 1999. At that time I was diagnosed with having a Chronic Lung Disease known as C.O.P.D. An umbrella name for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. This leaves you very breathless on exertion and is very frightening.
I had to give up my day job and playing my music which was the hardest of all. However, I must have done something right because in September 2000 my good friends organised a tribute night for me which was held in The Southern Hotel Sligo. There were names like Martin Cuffe, Frank Nelson, J.P. Ruddy, Gene Stewart, John Farry, Patricia Rogers and a host of local bands plus a special appearance by Declan Nerney. A fabulous night was had by all but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend as I was in Hospital. I am very grateful to the organising committee for the Tribute Night. I would like to say a special thank you to Patricia Rogers and Bill Carney for their tribute song. I would also like to say a big thank you to all the people who supported me down through the years through hail, rain and snow. We will meet again!
Although I spent a lot of time in hospital, I always had it in mind that I was going to record again and so against medical advice and against the odds I went back to the recording studio and recorded a 14 track CD entitled “Against The Odds”. It was difficult but I am very happy with the results. I would like to thank Percy Robinson and John McHugh for their time and patience. The CD was launched in Kelly’s Strandhill, Sligo. A great night was had by all and it was nice to meet so many friends and supporters again. I long for the day that I may get back to playing music again.
I have now been referred for a lung transplant .
Well I had my lung transplant evaluation in Sept. 2007 and February 2009 and again in April 2010 and I am now on the transplant list
If you suffer with C.O.P.D./Emphysema I would like to hear from you
Michael McGloin : Though I had smoked since I was 12, it never bothered me until October 1979 when I got a bad cold/flu, I was a heavy smoker, I couldn’t shake off the flu, and it stayed with me for the most of the winter.
In January 1980 I got out of bed one morning and I collapsed on the floor, I found it very difficult to breathe, however I managed to go to work, later that day I had to seek medical attention.
My GP sent me for chest X Ray and it showed that I had a R/H Pneumothorax (collapsed lung). I was reluctant to go but eventually was admitted to Sligo General Hospital where it was inflated again,
On discharge I was advised not to lift anything heavy, however on the following Sunday night the lung collapsed again, I was readmitted to hospital, it collapsed 4 times in all.
I was transferred to St Vincent’s Hospital for surgery on R/H Pnenumothorax, I had part of the right lung removed. After been discharged I continued to smoke for years after.
From 1990 onwards I had a lot of chest infections, I received steroid and antibiotic treatment from my GP.
I gave up smoking in May 1995, by 1997 the infections became more frequent, and by 1998 they appeared every month.
By the end of ‘98 the infections became pneumonia like, I would wake up in the middle of the night unable to breath, I remember one night leaving a hall in Cookstown after finishing a gig while driving home I became very breathless, didn’t know what was happening. I finally got home at 07.30 in the morning.
I visited my GP and after she examined me she made an appointment for a barium swallow and chest x ray,
I was diagnosed with having a Pharyngeal pouch, this is when the pharyngeal lining balloon’s through the muscles of the pharyngeal wall at the side of the pharynx.
I had difficulty in swallowing, a cough, respiratory problems because of aspiration of pouch contents into lungs.
I was admitted in Feb. 1999 to St. Vincent’s hospital to have Pharyngeal pouch repaired. By March 1999 the Breathing really became a lot worse.
In October I was admitted to St. Vincent’s hospital for some Gastroenterology Investigations and on 10th Oct. the night before the tests were to take place I suffered a respiratory arrest. This was the most frightening thing ever to happen to me, thankfully I don’t remember a lot of it..
It was then after a series Blood tests, chest X Ray, HR CT, Spiral CT scans, Bronchoscopy, Endoscopy, PFT, ECG, Video Fluoroscopy, Barium swallow, Ultra sound PH, and Manometry studies etc. I was told that I had emphysema, I thought my God what is happening to me, after more tests Chronic bronchitis was added, then fibroses was mentioned and later Bronchiectasis was added to the list.
I thought this was the end, as I never heard of those diseases before. In the following years I collapsed on four more occasions.
Then reality finally sank in, along with fear, anger, and depression. I wanted my life back the way it was, but it was clear this disease wasn’t going to go away and I needed to learn how to cope with it. So I began searching the Internet for information.
then thankfully in 2000 I found the information that helped me understand the meaning of the words and my condition. I’d never talked to anyone else with COPD.
I love music and enjoy working on the computer. A lot of adjustments do have to be made, but they’re not all bad either. I had to give up my day job and playing my music in public. I had to except that I could not do most of the things that I enjoyed doing.
In the years that followed I was admitted to hospital many times with infections. In September 2003 I was referred to Mater Hospital for L.V.R.S. I was told that I was unsuitable I was then referred to see if it was possible to have bronchopulmonary stents again I was told that I was not suitable so I was referred for a lung transplant. I had my
Transplant evaluation. At the moment I’m on lung transplant list
In the meantime I have attended a Pulmonary Rehabilitation Programe. The programe is an twelve week course actually blending of various health specialties to meet the individual needs of every patient. The Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program seeks to control and alleviate symptoms, increase exercise tolerance, decrease anxiety and depression commonly associated with pulmonary disease, learn more about their disease, feel better about themselves. and also to find that there is life after COPD.
I do suffer one or two flare-ups every week.
My medical problems : COPD/Emphysema/Chronic Bronchitis/Fibroses, Pharyngeal Pouch, Hiatus hernia, Reflux Acid Disease, Hypertension, Osteoporosis and high cholesterol .
Medication : Bronchodilators, Rotating Antibiotics, maintenance dose Steroids + medication for other medical problems like G.E.R.D and a Hernia.
Nebulizer, Bi-Pap and o2 24/7
There are so many caring people out there and I would like to take the time to help others going through the same as I am. So as there was no internet support group in Ireland I decided that I would set up a website where many COPD patients and their families could get information to help them cope with this debilitating disease. It took eight or nine months to build it and now the first support website is online at www.copdsupport.ie and I’m so glad I have the opportunity to be a part of it.