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After worrying about the possibility of having COPD for months, i finally got tested. I'm almost 29 and have been smoking cigarettes on and off for 13 years. I would estimate my consumption at 9 solid pack years. In addition to this, I have been (and still am) a fairly heavy marijuana user for the past 3-4 years. I would estimate 1-10 small joints daily. There was a two year overlap where i smoked both cigs and the mj, but I eventually quit the cigs a few years ago.
I am a US Marine and combat veteran that took place in some of the roughest battles in the Iraq War. During several deployments I was exposed to constant smoke inhalation from burn pits and burning buildings, fired depleted uranium rounds, constant enemy mortar fire and smoke/tear gas, just to name a few. I am still constantly on edge and have problems with insomnia. I decided to use Medical Marijuana to help alleviate these symptoms instead of the prescription alternatives, Clonazepam and Ambien, both of which have heavily documented long term consequences. Unfortunately, i sort of got hooked on the mj for the past couple years and still smoke mj regularly. I have a regular cough that can be pretty intense compared to other smokers that i know. I haven't quit for a long enough time to know if this will go away completely.
The doctor said everything was fine, but a few things he said made me question his opinion. For example, he said the FEV1/FVC wasn't relevant because i was blowing at 92-93 percent in FEV1 and FVC. The criteria for GOLD 1 contradicts this statement. Also 92-93% doesn't seem that great since the range can go up to 120%. However, i did have a pretty bad case of Acute Bronchitis when i took the test today, would this have any impact on the results? Can anybody find anything in these results that should cause me alarm or can i let this go? I completely convinced myself i had COPD, but doesn't everyone that smokes have some type of regular productive cough?
Honestly, I had no idea you could develop a life threatening diseases in your 20s and 30s as a result of smoking. I was under the impression only lifetime users took that risk. Also, if i choose to continue to use marijuana when i get over this bronchitis, would vaporizing be a effective alternative? I would like to cut down to using it most nights right before bed., but honestly this whole experience scared me and i'm very hesitant to put anything in my lungs.
Thanks for taking the time to read my post,
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