COPD - a mystery

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I am new to this & have a bit of a problem.

Last year, I went to doctor because I was increasingly breathless on exertion. I was given a spirometry? test which was a bit suspect as I noticed the machine was calibrated for 2001 although this was 2009. I queried this but nurse said it made no difference :?

Anyway doctor said I had COPD & was given spiriva & another inhaler.

Second inhaler gave me severe palpitations ( I thought I was dying).

Nine months on, I am even more breathless, get severe pain & have no energy.

Do not know what is normal for this condition. I did not expect that in nine months I would go from being a bit breathless to being useless.

My lifestyle means that I have to walk a lot but now each step is an effort.

Again, is this normal?

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  • Posted

    Ali what fantastic news! :thepost:

    But you are right - not telling results if they are good is a terrible system, leaving people worrying needlessly. Still, good result. :bubbly:

    Your FEV1% isn't great (but twice as good as mine on diagnosis so don't panic!), which is why you feel breathless. I suggest you try Google and look up COPD, or FEV1 and see where you fit on the scale of things. However, stopping smoking, staying out of smoky atmospheres and taking exercise are ways in which you may be able to improve your FEV1 score.

    The pain in your ribs is definitely not a normal component of COPD. Please go back to your GP :doctor: , or ask for a second opinion if he continues to dismiss what you are feeling as psychosomatic. Good luck - and thanks for updating us.



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  • Posted


    Just to say I eventually got my results - no heart problems :D

    Apparently you do not get told results if everything is all right! Do not know how long you are meant to wait before you know that you are in the clear.

    I am sitting this morning waiting for my lungs to get good enough to allow me to do something physical. It seems to take longer every week.

    Had a test from the nurse last week ( first in a year)- fev1 - 46%. Do not know what this means.

    Pain in my ribs seems to be getting worse, it is constant now. Normal?



    Hi Alison - so glad your results showed no heart problem. My own doc always discusses results with me either way, but I know not all docs do this. However the person carrying out the test will usually tell you when the results will be back with your doctor, if they don't mention it do ask them.

    Have you been referred to pulmonary rehabilitation yet Alison? I feel that you will be better monitored if you attend this course and any underlying difficulties that do not improve within the course duration will be more appropriately addressed. Your doc can refer you for PR.

    The FEV1% means your forced expiry volume in one second, indicating a prediction of 46% for your age. The FEV1% can change from test to test and some people notice a marked improvement when they exercise regularly which will of course help your mobility ability.

    As Jacee advises - do check back with your doc about the pain in you ribs, it really does not pay to delay. The symptoms we each experience may or may not be the same or the result of the same health condition.

    Hope this information helps you Alison.

    Do take good care and let us know how you go.

    Good wishes for Christmas


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