This study is based on Newman's theory of health as expanding consciousness and applies Newman's hermeneutic dialectic method and hermeneutic phenomenology in describing the experience of people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The researcher engaged in five in-depth interviews with 10 people. Results demonstrate the participants' life pattern of isolation and being closed in. Core themes characterizing the life pattern are resignation to the situation as it is, unsuccessful solutions to traumatic events, and difficulties in expressing oneself and relating to others. None of the participants had experienced the turning point central to the process of expanding consciousness.