--- HELP TERRIFIED!!!

Posted , 5 users are following.

This discussion has been locked due to a period of inactivity. Start a new discussion

Hi I'm new here, my name is Brooks and I am petrified I am going to die soon. Please read and help me.

First off I am a SEVERE hypochondriac with SEVERE anxiety panic issues and always feel like I can't breath. I am a 39 male 6' 189lbs 

and a heavy smoker for 20 years (1-2 packs a day). I recently (4 months) ago quit drinking and I am an alcoholic.

I had a chest CT scan (no contrast) last week and below is the radiologists remarks:

"The central airways are patent. There is mild centrilobular emphysema. There is no consolidation, effusion or pneumothorax. 

No pulmonary nodule or mass is seen"

So went to my pulmonologist who ordered a PFT. Here are the results:

SPIROMETRY ACTUAL PRED %PRED

FVC (L) 6.51 5.73 113%

FEV1 (L) 5.27 4.55 115%

FEV1/FVC (%) 81 80 101%

FEF 25-75% (L/sec) 5.12 4.23 120%

FEF Max (L/sec) 10.78 10.75 100%

FIVC (L) 6.14

FIF 25-75% (L/sec) 7.44

FIF 50% (L/sec) 7.84 5.25 149%

FIF Max (L/sec) 7.90

FIV1/FIVC (%) 99.17

MVV (L/min) 198 174 113%

LUNG VOLUMES ACTUAL PRED %PRED

TLC (Pleth)(L) 8.94 7.43 120%

SVC (L) 6.62 5.73 115%

ERV (L) 1.97 2.06 95%

RV (Pleth)(L) 2.32 1.96 118%

RV/TLC (Pleth)(%) 26 26 99%

TGV (L) 4.30 3.76 114%

AIRWAYS RESISTANCE ACTUAL PRED %PRED

Raw (cmH2O/L/s) 0.73 1.45 50%

sGaw (1/cmH20*s) 0.34 0.20 167%

DIFFUSION ACTUAL PRED %PRED

DLCOunc (ml/min/mmHg) 30.65 35.70 85%

DLCOcor (ml/min/mmHg) 35.70

DL/VA (ml/min/mmHg/L) 3.85 4.80 80%

VA (L) 7.97 7.43 107%

So after the PFT I spoke with her and she said not to worry the test is normal.

I said what about the CT scan radiologist saying mild emphysema?

She said:

"It is not emphysema but mild emphysematous changes and that emphysema is diagnosed 

clinically with a PFT and according to my PFT there is no emphysema"

So I'm totally freaked out....how can the radiologist say mild emphysema and she say its not?

14 months ago I had a PFT that was also normal, except my DLCO was at 99%, how can it drop to 85% in one year? 

She said its that one extra year of smoking. Does that seem right?

Can smoking right before a PFT alter the DLCO test?

I was chain smoking all day right up to the test...can't that make a difference in the values since cigarettes have carbon monoxide?

Scared to death DLCO will continue to drop and this time next year I will be below 70%!!!!!

I am quitting smoking Monday (already bought the patch). Can that help raise my DLCO? 

HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO LIVE???????

Please, someone, read my PFT and questions and help me understand whats going on.

Thank you so so much! 

0 likes, 9 replies

Report

9 Replies

  • Posted

    Forgot to add

    DLCO Test was repeated 5 times results are

    Blew 77,78,84,86,90%

    So went up to 90% 

    But average on PFT results is 85%

    So confused

    Report
    • Posted

      Hi Brooks,

      To panic causes more stress. You can combat fear by researching all the facts instead of going only with your imaginings. Reminds me of two days ago when I took my car to the auto mechanic for a diagnosis. My car is fine and only needs a simple tune up, but I had responded to the changes in my engine with fear and expecting the worst!

      We live in a scientifically enlightened world and we have at out finger tips all the resources we need to live a healthier life. You mentioned recently quitting alcohol. Have you done so with the proper help and support? Typically a reason for becoming an alcoholic is because one has poor coping skills. Having poor coping skills will affect your life negatively while causing even the small things to appear larger than they are.

      You are to be commended for the positive steps you have taken! Quitting any habit is not easy. It produces an opportunity to observe oneself clearly and spot ones own thought patterns and resulting behaviors which perpetuate negative cycles. You have taken a few steps towards positive, please do not stop now over the stress you feel concerning your lungs and make sure you put a strong support system in place like counseling and groups and strong emotionally healthy friends.

      Hold yourself accountable in that you chose to smoke and drink and there is more than one price to pay for it, but pay for it not as a frightened child, but as an adult who knew what the risky behavior could bring. No self pity. You have the opportunity to radically change your life, your health and finish your life on a positive healthy note!

      Be excited! Go forth and find out everything you have never known about yourself because you dulled your senses and rejoice in the new life you will find!

      Keep fighting the good fight Brooks!

      Hugs

      Dawn

      Report
  • Posted

    BrooksI4,

    Stop panicking .. ..please calm down! You are fine and your test came back that you are fine so please understand that.  I have some medical training and background so I am telling you the truth when I say....you can't have smoked 20 years and not have at least alittle emphysema. They can pretty much say the same thing to all of us smokers and X smokers. You smoke...it has done some damage to your lungs and they can see it. That's all they are saying. That's it! But your tests show that you are not bad yet and it has not really affected you in such a way like COPD does. You basically have smokers lungs. And if you were to quit now, your lung function tests would be even better in no time. I know bc i have smoked over 30 yrs and on Sept 3rd 2014 I was diagnosed with severe COPD after being rushed to the hospital bc i woke up and couldn't breath. They sent me home after being admitted for 6 days and I am supposed to be on Oxygen 24/7. But i take Spiriva and a steroid and now I'm not even on the oxygen anymore. Just stopping smoking is really going to help your lungs more than u even realize.  I hope you believe me, although I do understand your fear at first.  I think we were all like that when told we had COPD, much less emphysema. Keep us informed.....Sincerely. ...ladyjack51

    Report
  • Posted

    PS....want to encourage you to try through Ecigarettes....that's how I quit on Sept 3rd after over 30 yrs of smoking. It satisfies the hand to mouth habit, the inhaling feeling, the nervousness bc you can just hold it alot too. That's what I find myself doing. My pulmonary dr says he has no issues with these since it is just vapor and it just evaporates when u blow it out. Just FYI....the patches help the craving but I like the Ecig to feel like I'm smoking. I like to smoke...but agreed it is so nasty and so bad for us. 
    Report
  • Posted

    BrooksI4,

    Stop panicking .. ..please calm down! You are fine and your test came back that you are fine so please understand that.  I have some medical training and background so I am telling you the truth when I say....you can't have smoked 20 years and not have at least alittle emphysema. They can pretty much say the same thing to all of us smokers and X smokers. You smoke...it has done some damage to your lungs and they can see it. That's all they are saying. That's it! But your tests show that you are not bad yet and it has not really affected you in such a way like COPD does. You basically have smokers lungs. And if you were to quit now, your lung function tests would be even better in no time. I know bc i have smoked over 30 yrs and on Sept 3rd 2014 I was diagnosed with severe COPD after being rushed to the hospital bc i woke up and couldn't breath. They sent me home after being admitted for 6 days and I am supposed to be on Oxygen 24/7. But i take Spiriva and a steroid and now I'm not even on the oxygen anymore. Just stopping smoking is really going to help your lungs more than u even realize.  I hope you believe me, although I do understand your fear at first.  I think we were all like that when told we had COPD, much less emphysema. Keep us informed.....Sincerely. ...ladyjack51

    Report
  • Posted

    Paniking is not always an answer. You need to take strong steps and to quit smoking if you want a healthier life. You mentioned that you are alcoholic,but didnt say that you want to stop it either.Did you think about how alcohol has damaged your liver,or you are just waiting for the disaster to happen all of sudden( liver cell failure)? 
    Report
  • Posted

    Hi Brooks14,

    I comprehend the sensations of panic disorders. 

    Can I ask, have you had any particularly difficult events this last year that has caused you symptoms, stress or anxiety, even struggling to breathe can be really scary in itself?

    I recall being wrongly diagnosed with asthma many years ago. I felt neither of the inhalers were helping, so opted out of using them.

    After moving county, doctor and hospital, I was finally offered support from the Mental health services.

    After a particularly stressful year, symptoms persisted again, tightness in my upper and lower chest, running out of breath before reaching the end of a 'normal' sentence, seemingly needing to put in more effort than 'normal' breathing to get the required amount of oxygen.

    So again I was told asthma, then two weeks later that diagnosis was disregarded in favour of infection. Two and a half months after 'treatment', I was no better off. I had a great chat with my GP who followed up with a chest x-ray (all clear) and some basic spirometry (also clear/normal), but I also requested a referral to mental health services. I was eventually told I have generalised anxiety disorder, put on new medication, which over the year was increased and increased. 

    When going for spirometry it specifically stipulated not to smoke for four hours prior to the appointment, but if I found this too stressful to manage, to make sure I informed the nurse so the smoking could be factored into the results. 

    Therefore, although I don't know how much continuation of smoking between PFT's can be with different results, I can confirm that smoking before these tests can give false negatives. 

    Also I am acutely aware that being a smoker is taking its toll on my voice and breath control (I used to sing), but those facts don't make it easier to take the decision to stop smoking. 

    After a time I realised that on top of a delightfully difficult year, a new diagnosis and new medication, my breathing worsened, but we realised it has been partly down to a side effect of the anti anxiety (it causes palpitations) which are as yet unlisted as side effects due to the drug being new, and as yet a very rare and uncommon side effect.

    I've resorted to, and invested in Mindfulness, meditation and yoga breathing techniques.

    Don't believe everything you read, but don't believe everything you think. 

    I feel that your doctors are being honest with you, but with any anxiety comes doubt, self doubt and otherwise. And yes you will have damage from smoking, and as you know that can escalate a decline in anyone's health. 

    There are a wealth of free online CBT, Mindfulness and meditation courses via the Internet, but I find a lot of these things are commonly available locally too. 

    All best wishes quitting, I am sure you won't need these wishes as you've already abstained from alcohol for four months - you have two possible options, quit smoking before further decline, or keep smoking until it seems pointless to try stopping. 

    The time is now, you can do this, but in the meantime, if in doubt, get checked out. 

    Love, light and hugs, hanb

    Report
  • Posted

    I've been there. Scared silly over my past smoking history, like you I was a borderline alcho.

    i had asthma as well as a child. Had a battery of test over 10 years. Here I am 10 years later with no change in my lung function since I gave up smoking. You stop now and you will preserve what you have, FEV1 is the most sensitive indicator of lung disease picking it up before you even feel it.

    Relax and be thankful you caught this in time.

    Report

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion

Report as inappropriate

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up