32yo F, smoker for 16years. Been advised I have Emphysema - so scared please help

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So I have a chest infection and bad cough and wheezing, so I went to a Dr locally that I had never been to before.... I just wanted antibiotics and didn't want to travel the 30mins to my regular medical practice (where my Dr is currently on leave anyway)

Anyway, after my appointment I walked out with prednisone 25mg (3 days only, 1 per day), antibiotics and an inhaler (ventolin).

But when the Dr listened to my chest (she seemed fairly young I guess, maybe late 40s). She said she is treating my for emphysema!

I'm going into panic mode!!!

I'm imagining myself dying of emphysema at 40yo and never seeing my kids grow up.

I'm a single mum of 3 beautiful young boys (7yo, 5yo and 4yo). I stopped smoking immediately, but I'm so so scared that I won't be around long.

I have had a chronic cough for years (smokers cough) and your usual chest infections through the changes of seasons etc and coughing up mucous.

But I didn't think I had emphysema!

2months ago I had a chest X-ray and it was fully clear. But as I've read, you can have a clear chest X-ray and still have emphysema.

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16 Replies

  • Posted

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    • Posted

       brinny copd can only be diagnosed by a spirometry test and ask your doctor for a chest x-ray.

      because you are so young you should also have a simple blood test to see if there is a genetic link.  have you had/have any close relations with lung disease?

      meanwhile try not to worry as you have mäny years ahead of you.


    • Posted

      I've had a chest xray that was 100% clear.

      I haven't had any other testing done, as the lady Dr I saw just listened to my lungs and said "emphysema".

      So when I see my regular Dr on the 4th October, 8 will request the spirometer test and see how I go.

      I was surprised she thought she could diagnose me with COPD/emphysema in one sitting........ I just went in because I had a bad cold that turned into a chest infection.

    • Posted

      Thanks you Hypercat, that calms me down a great deal.

      I was shocked, so shocked I didn't even ask any questions when she said she was treating my for emphysema........

      I won't return to her. She was young and probably just trying to scare me. But I guess it is a very real reality for many smokers and if I don't have COPD now, I must take this warning and quit the smokes for good.

      I slipped up tonight and had a smoke, but hoping I don't have any tomorrow

    • Posted

      Perhaps this explains the rash of 20-30 years olds on here who've been told they have COPD. Heck, I've had it close to 20 years and still no doc can tell the have it via either xray or stethoscope. That's aside from those self-diagnosed by dr. Quack Quack Google.

      Brinny, you've done the right thing in paying attention and taking care of your lungs. At least the doc gave you some meds!

    • Posted

      I truly think Drs are throwing around the COPD and Emphysema words more with younger people to scare them and they truly are panicking!
  • Posted

    Don't be scared briny I was diagnosed in2009 when I was getting out of breath and having chest infections frequently. I stopped smoking immediately with the right medication you'll be fine I have antibiotics and steroids on repeat prescription and you'll soon know when to take them. My low point was getting pneumonia but since then I get reviewed every 3 to4 month. I also work full time as aplumber but the young lads do the heavy lifting as I get out of breath. I'm 64 and retire next year and have lots planned to do. So cheer up briny you can still have agreat life ahead of you yet

    • Posted

      Thanks James, i really appreciate you taking the time to reply. I am feeling better, even if I have early stage emphysema, it's not the end.


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