COPD diagnosis today 😢

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I am so anxious and scared. Am 51 and had spirometer test today as short of breath whilst walking. Have COPD, Dr did not tell me level. X ray clear. Smoked cigarettes for nearly 30 Years and gave up 4 years ago and switched to e cigarette. Dr told me today to give up e cig or would be on oxygen tank in 10 Years!!! Gave me Nicolette inhaler and spiriva inhaler. Have 3 daughters aged 13, 12 and 10. Feel so anxious that breathing is worse since diagnosed and feel wil die suffocated and feel it’s advanced though dr didn’t say it was severe. Can’t function and feel heart beating - will this scared feeling end. Have not touched e cig since got home and miss that too. Someone help please!!!!!!

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  • Posted

    Just to add am afraid to sleep tonight as has read about sleep apnea associated with COPD and how do I know if have this too.  Am a worrier about health and this has hit me for six.  Just feel I can't breathe and know down to anxiety about diagnosis.  Does this feeling pass as don't feel it will.  Feel so scared to have an incurable breathing disease.  Any advice sooooo appreciated.

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  • Posted

    Hi. My name is Jeannie. I am 50 years old. My daughters are grpwn, 28 and 25, Plus I have two granddaughters and a grandson on the way. I had a collapsed lung early this past October which ended up needing lung surgery to staple shut a hole in my lung from emphazima. Yep, I was FLOORED! I SMOKED over thirty years and my last cig was the day before I was admitted to er. I miss smoking everyday, but I do not want to have this happen again. I go next Monday for my spirometry results. I am still scared about what is going on with my body. But I try to focus on not harming my lungs anymore. Good luck.
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    • Posted

      Oh yeah, I was able to get off oxygen during the day, but I do use it at night for sleep.
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    • Posted

      Jeannie, that sounds horrific but hopefully spirometry results will show ok.  Are you on no inhalers during the day?  I have been looking up COPD since this morning and worn out.  Symptoms seem worse since diagnosis and chest feels tight.  Just wish I could back track several years.  Hope all goes well.  Terrible feeling so helpless to what happening with our bodies.
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    • Posted

      I am on Anoro inhaler plus the oxygen at night. I will find out what other meds I will need (if any) on monday. My emphysema has been confirmed for he took a sample from my lung when I had surgery. I agree about the rewind thought, but best we can do is see how we can live full lives with this condition. I have been told that I still have many good years left in me. Not smoking is the main thing!
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  • Posted

    I have COPD was a heavy smoker 40 to 50 a day, but gave up nearly 40 years ago. I'm told my COPD is mild, if this is mild I certainly would not like it to be severe. I have  Spiriva and  Ventolin inhalers, recently joined a gym and started exercising which has really helped, my latest spirometer test was much better than the previous one.  Feeling anxious and scared will not help, try not to worry I think the doctor would have told you if it was advanced and put you on oxygen now.

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    • Posted

      Thank you David for your reply. Just feel chest tight since finding out and breathing seems worse. Have only used inhaler once so can’t be reaction to that so must be anxiety. I need positive replies like yours to keep me going.
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    • Posted

      Y'all are pretty much freaking each other out and making your anxieties worse.

      First, a collapsed lung, stapled shut, etc., is not the same thing as COPD. Terrible for the sufferer but not the same thing.

      2d as a wise person on here has said many times: COPD is a disease you live with rather than die from. Many of us on here have had it 20 or more years.

      3d yes anxiety makes your breathing worse. Get a paper bag, preferably not a huge stiff one, purse it up around your lips and breathe in and out, expanding the bag & collapsing it. Then go look up some stress reduction yoga poses online and start practicing them. Drink some tension tamer tea or some chamomile or Honeybush. Do not take any caffeine in the anxious state you're in.

      4th if you were end stage COPD, you would be much worse than having some shortness of breath. You would probably have already been on oxygen 24/7 for years. No stage usually means you're at the very beginning.

      5th quit googling. All it does is freak you out & you definitely don't need that.

      6th sleep apnea: ask your doc/nurse. If you are any level of obese, chances are somewhat better that you might have it. Nobody here is a doctor so we don't know.

      7th there are at least 40 inhalers on the market in the States. We must presume that each other's doctors have a clue which are best for our own bodies. Try the meds you're given for 1 to 3 months to see if they help. If no help in that time, call doc/nurse.

      8th enroll in a yoga or meditation class or something to help deal with anxieties. Learn to crochet or knit.

      9th. Yes, the more you focus on it the more you will hear each heartbeat & breath and the more fear you will feel. Fear releases chemicals into your bloodstream which are only helpful immediately & not long-term.

      Do what you can to improve your health, including whatever exercise you can do. Fund a way to get a grip on your anxieties or they will take over you.

      Sorry to do tough live, but y'all need to get a grip and do what you can to calm your fears.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for replying. Do need some tough love. Diagnosis so new just has shocked me that this will never get better and doctor was no help in explaining or any kind of reassurance. Just gave prescription and said she would see me in a year for another test. Prob feeling I have it worse as worrying. Would love to hide away at moment but have to keep going on as kids need me. Every time I wake I get this sick feeling when remember diagnosis. Hopefully time will help acceptance and help me to move on.
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    • Posted

      Great reply by aitarg and much better than I could have put it.  Copd is incurable and progressive but if you stop smoking,  eat healthily and exercise then you have every chance of holding it stable for a long time so it will not progress much.

      I was diagnosed mild 10 years ago and am still mild with virtually the same lung function as when I was diagnosed and never expect to reach the more severe stages.  As my doctor put it something else will get me long before copd does ie old age.  Most people these days die with copd rather than from it.

      Look online and learn some breathing exercises which will help you stay in control.  Also ask your nurse/doctor to be referred to PR (Pulmonary Rehabiliation) where you will learn exercises and also more about your illness. 

      I am sure you have many years yet of living to do.  x

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    • Posted

      Thank you Hypercat. Your response had helped me. I have just withdrawn into a cocoon a bit since diagnosis and can’t tell anyone but my hubby and haven’t told him full diagnosis as I always worry about other people worrying. Mum had a stroke last Oct doing ok but can’t burden her. Can’t find words to tell friends yet so struggling on. Also finding it hard without e cigarette but doctor made it quite plain that if continued would be on oxygen in 10 Years. Will try and join a rehab group. Have bought a oximeter and constantly checking oxygen!! I’m sure I will be on here a lot whilst I try to come to terms. Thanks again x
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    • Posted

      Good I am glad I helped a bit.  I also recommend the British Lung Foundation as well.  Although it is a British site they have members from all over the world.  I have been on there since diagnosis and they have really helped me.  x
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    • Posted

      I have to agree, not smoking, exercise and healthy eating does help. Also I went to pulmonary rehabilitation classes and felt better for it. They explained a lot about the condition. I then joined a gym and try to go 5 times a week when possible. I have not smoked for nearly 40 years but was a very heavy smoker, which certainly didn't help, fortunately I managed to quit before it killed me. I real don't understand anyone with COPD smoking. I once was in a shopping centre and saw someone on a mobility scooter with an oxygen tank sitting outside a shop smoking.

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    • Posted

      Yes, it's a shock. I don't know if that doc was a gp or a pulmonologist, but there is nothing wrong with calling the office & putting questions to the nurse because just about everyone who gets any tough DX goes home & comes up with questions that don't arise when sitting in doc's office, stunned. Feel free to call.

      There are 2 main ways to deal with this: acceptance plus moving forward from the present, and making oneself sicker by stewing and fretting and saying, "why me" or "whoa is me." We all spend some amount of time in the latter, even return there sometimes after moving to acceptance. That's okay, it's natural. Just do the best that you can on any given day.

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