COPD flare up

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It's taken 12 months to get a COPD diagnosis and I'm new to the condition. I feel like I'm not getting enough oxygen today, I feel funny headed and have pain in my shoulders, I have a once daily spirits capsules and a blue salamol reliever, when do you know you need further medical assistance, and how many times a day can I use my reliever? I'm a 47 year old female and stopped smoking 2 years ago. Thanks

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  • Posted

    Pain in your shoulders should be checked out  NOW as it could be pneumonia, a common complication of COPD.

    Do you mean Spiriva and what exactly isthe blue reliever?  Cortisone?     The prescription or the packaging should tell you when and how often to use the product or ask your doctor or practice nurse, also ask them when you should contact them for help.

    What's your lung function % and are you going to pulmonary rehab yet?

     

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    • Posted

      I did mean spiriva, I had pneumonia in October and a chest X-ray confirmed it had gone so the pain could be lingering from that. I have been told by my GP to carry on with the inhalers and go back if I feel any worse so I haven't been referred for any kind of rehab. The blue reliever is salbutamol.
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    • Posted

      How recent was that x-ray?  Just because it was gone in October doesn't mean it can't be back again.   I googled salbutamol and it seems to be very similar to ventolin.   When you had the spiirometry test to diagnose COPD, did they repeat it with ventolin or salbutomol?  I ask that because ventolin has absolutely no effect on my breathing, although I know it does for other people, especially if they have asthma, which is what it's usually prescribed for.

      I have Symbicort, a cortisone puffer I use twice in the morning and it's made a HUGE difference to my breathing and endless nigh-time coughing.

      By the way, rehab isn't for when you feel worse, it's for you to learn how to manage your condition and PREVENT it getting worse or at the very least, slow down the decline.   I can't recommend it highly enough:  which country are you writing from?  I can only speak of Victoria, Australia but I do know from this forum that in the UK there are rehab groups and BreathEasy Groups.   If yuor GP hasn't suggested rehab then I think you need to change to a fully infoirmed GP or practice nurse

      Good luck

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    • Posted

      Thank you,

      I'm not sure which inhaler they used during the test, only that it made no difference to my breathing. I'm in the UK and please forgive me if I sound really stupid but it was a shock to be diagnosed with COPD and pneumonia I didn't really know what to ask, I'm not good with illness! I'm going to see my GP tomorrow and hopefully get more help. The more I read about COPD the more it scares me so I think I'm burying my head in the sand and thinking I can't really have this horrible illness.

      Jo

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    • Posted

      You should've been informed more when you had the test:  the usual procedure is to test once and then again with ventolin to ascertain whether your condition will or will not respond favourably to ventolin.

      It is a shock to be diagnosed with anything incurable and I certainly did, but COPD IS MANAGEABLE!     When I panicked after diagnosis my then GP told me not to over-react as she'd just been to the funeral of an over 80 yo patient who'd had COPD for decades.

      To balance all the scary stuff you're reading, I posted on here earlier today that statistically the rate of premature deaths from COPD  decreased by SIXTY-THREE PER CENT between 1982 and 2012, one can only assume as a result of medication, earlier diagnosis AND patients having access to rehab to learn how to manage the condition.

      At first I read far too much about what the end stage is like and not nearly enough about how I could manage the condition every day:  as someone else said on here not long ago, we'll all die WITH it but that doesn't mean we'll die OF it.

      Take care, take courage to ask questions and take responsibility for your health:  I can guarantee it's worth it

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  • Posted

    Hi Jo

    Not nice is it having COPD.

    It could be that you are getting a bit stressed, wound up and worried which is seemingly making your condition worse, (not surprising though).

    You should always follow the prescrition and what you have been told, and if you are not sure, go back and ask them again. Getting this diagnosis and trying to absorb all the information you are getting you are NOT going to remember everything. So, either see your doctor, practice nurse or Pharmesist so they can go over it again.

    Mostly, try to relax. Its not easy I know. Best of luck and I hope you have had a good Christmas Day.

    Best wishes.

    Kev  (UK)  smile

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    • Posted

      Thanks Kev

      I had a good Christmas thanks and I hope you did too. I have been worrying about how my health will be in the future, but I've decided to stop worrying and to live a more healthy lifestyle. It's got to help having a positive outlook.

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    • Posted

      I'm so glad you're feeling more positive now!   Next step would be to get yourself to pulmonary rehab as soon as you can, where you can learn heaps about how to manage your condition, including specific exercises to help your breathing levels.

      I've been doing specific exercises I learned at rehab (as well as my longterm yoga, stretching and weights)  since diagnosis and my lung function level has remained as it was then.

      Good luck!

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    • Posted

      Many thanks!

      I hope to be able to prevent my lungs from getting worse as I need to continue working full time and I have a family to look after. I've checked and there is pulmonary rehab in my area so I will ask my GP for a referral.

      I can see that you are a very supportive and positive influence on this site and therefore must be great help to many fellow sufferers.

      Take care

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    • Posted

      Hi Jo

      Thats the ticket. Good luck and take it a day at a time. Get as much help as you can from the various medical help you can recieve with this condition.

      Have a Happy New Year.

      Kev  cheesygrin 

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    • Posted

      Thanks Kev

      I'm going to do everything I can to keep my self well, and I'm learning that when I feel rubbish it's ok to rest and take it easy! I've realised that the wind is a bad trigger for me even if I'm exposed to it for only a few minutes.

      I hope you have a happy new year too.

      Jo

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    • Posted

      I found learning to slow down or stop when I got tired the hardest thing to do because I've always been a 'soldier on" type of person but I learnt at rehab that with COPD there's no point because it just takes longer for the lungs to recover.

      Take care and have a ood nw  year

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    • Posted

      It's took me a while too, but I realised that by not resting I felt worse for longer. It is hard when you are so used to doing everything.

      Happy new year and take care.

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  • Posted

    Hello.. Its been very good to read the chat going on here as it fits very very close to home for me.I am a 46 yr old wife and mom, smoked 30 stupid years and I was diagnosed with stage 1 Emphazyma about 8 weeks ago by a Pumonologist. Two weeks before that I had been told by GP that I was very close to having COPD and needed to quit smoking straight away.  That I could beat this and reverse the effects. So Im in a state of limbo at the moment.. have or not to have.. that seems to be the question.. good news is I quit smoking 9 weeks ago. Bad news is I live in Beijing and often am having to stay isolated in my home with air purifiers due to the horrible pollution.  Not only in my house but only on the second floor as air is obviously seeping through the windows and cracks often making the bottom floor over the 150 mark that I am meant to avoid. I am terrified I have it and at the same time terrified I dont and I will somehow miss an oportunity to repair my lungs to some sort of normal level. I feel I need a third opinion as I either have it or I dont and the stress really is playing a horrible toll on my attitude.

    What is this pumonary rehab??? Havent been told much other than excersise daily, take meds, and avoid air pollution of 150 which is near impossible in Beijing.  Is this something I can learn more about online?  

    Thank you so much for being here. It can feel very lonely in the middle of the diagnosis so a huge thanks that we can have this forum.

    Merry Belated Christmas

     

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    • Posted

      I don't believe it's possible to completely reverse COPD once you have it, but certainly your lung function will improve without cigarettes.

      I"ve seen vidoes of your pollution there and that would be very dangerous for someone with COPD:  can you move out of the city?

      Pulmonary rehab groups or classes teach COPD sufferers specific breathing techniques and exercises which can slow down the progression of the condition:  in my case my % of lung function loss hasn't deteriorated in the more than 3 years since I was first diagnosed, but I'm not living in a polluted environment as you are.

      If there are no rehab groups where you live, google for exercises, I'm sure I've read on this forum that you can find them on youtube

      Good luck! 

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    • Posted

      Hello Jude65855, Went to the Dr today and Im still terribly confused but pretty sure there is no getting out of having mild COPD. The Dr says that the disease will not progress more than normal aging would cause because I have quit smoking (???). I thought all stages of Emphezyma was progressive? Ive read tons on COPD/Emphezyma and I have not heard anything other than do everything you can to slow down progression starting with and most importantly quitting smoking. Do you know anything about this? The hopeful side of me wants it to be true but I want the facts upfront so I know what I need to do rather than have my head in the sand.

      Yes the pollution here in Beijing is well above anything I have seen outside China. China has been a huge factor in a lot of major chest infections and Asthma for me the last 6 years.  It was a less than humurous joke (in hindsite) that I couldnt breathe and smoke in Beijing. We are looking to find work outside of Beijing as soon as possible. In the meantime, hoping for more strong winds and blue skies though winter often doesnt have many of those. I have my masks, air purifiers, meds etc to pull me through the bad days in the meantime.  

      Thank you for the information about Youtube videos.I have found a few from reputable sources.

      Thank you so much for your reply and Happy New Year!!

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    • Posted

      Your doctor may be right if your COPD is very mild:  there's a saying I've read on here a couple of times, which is that we (COPD patients) will all die with it but not necessarily OF it.   However, I don't see how your COPD wuoldn't progress despite stopping smoking unless you can get away from that terrible pollution.

      Have a good 2016

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