COPD latest test results

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Hi all i have COPD, have had asthma since a child and chronic Bronchial Asthmasince my early 20's.

Last month i had my annual spirometry test done & went last thursday for my results. The results show that at 52 i now have same lung function as an 84 yr old. I Was stunned when i got the news, forgot to ask questions. As i was a bit breathless, the nurse asked The doctor to come in and see me, he listened to my chest said i was wheezy, i was having an exacerbation. Doctor has put me on a short course of prednisolone 30mg daily for 7days.

He and the nurse reviewed all my other inhalers & tablets i am taking, said to take the cortisone tablets as instructed, carry on with my regular medication and if i have any problems to make an appointment to go back to see nurse.

[i:1334d03d5d][b:1334d03d5d]Does anyone have any idea if i have moderate or severe Copd?[/b:1334d03d5d] [/i:1334d03d5d]I did try to ask couple of questions but they seemed to give me vague answers, I suppose it is possible i wasn't concentrating properly.

Obviously, 1 main question was, do i have emphysema? the doctor and nurse both said i have copd and that Asthma Bronchitis & Emphysema all come under same umbrella.

I look forward to your replies.

Regards

Jen

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Jen, i was diagnosed 3 months ago and told my lung age was 84, i am 55 years old female. I was given anti biotics and prednisone x7 days plus three different inhalers. my first move was to educate myself as i knew nothing about this disease and my GP hadnt really told me much. i got a couple of good books on it and visited numerous web sites. Armed with the info i had gained, i booked to see my GP and asked him to tell me my FEV1 score from my spirometry test. I was FEV1 29, which i knew put me in the severe category. Shocked but determined to fight it i gave up smoking, walked every day and did aqua aerobics twice a week. Admittedly i am very slow due to shortness of breath but i tell myself i'm getting fitter with each step. Anyhow, last week i had a spirometry retest and was amazed to find my FEV1 score had risen by 11 points to fev1 40! This puts me in the moderate category with a much better prognosis. Jen, lung damage is irreversible, but apparently a spirometry test conducted during an exacerbation can give a poorer score. My advice to you would be to educate yourself as much as you can about this disease, give up smoking if you havent already, and exercise to the best of your ability. Go see your GP as soon as possible, get and write down the FEV1 score from your last test. It may be scary if you are in the severe category but knowledge is power and now you will have a baseline to work from. Fight back with exercise, good diet and using your meds properly. Then in a few months, and at a time when you do not have an exacerbation go back for another spirometry test and get a truer reading. Stay positive and fight. This disease cant be cured but it can be controlled. The main factor in improving our prognoses is how much we are willing to do for ourselves to optimise our health and our chances. So, get those books, visit those sites, know your 'enemy' and fight. I wish you 'easy breathing' with love , vanessa :wink:
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  • Posted

    Hi vanessalee thank you for your reply.

    Oooh, I am so pleased to hear that you have gone from severe to moderate so quickly. Wow FEV1 score has risen 11 points and in just 3months too. Must be great to know that all that you are doing to help yourself is paying off!!!!

    I do try to keep as active as possible, having a family and a home to run, being on the committee at our church I do keep busy but I do tend to get tired more quickly lately, may possibly have something to do with weather not being very wonderful and being stuck in for most of the winter.

    Nurse said I’ve remained exactly the same since my last spirometry test in 2008. Until Thursday I didn’t know much at all other than I have had COPD for a few years and have to have this test annually.

    I only found that out by being nosy a year or two ago on a visit to see Doctor about a waterworks problem. When she was testing my water sample I peeped at screen and saw COPD. I then asked are those my medical notes? I wasn’t aware I had COPD! The doctor was a locum and looked surprised I had not been told. She said yes, that diagnoses was made when I went to the hospital for a load of lung function tests that was back in 2005, was told routine test to make sure I’m still on the right medication will be notified if doctor wanted to see me. I remember I have had two of these and each time had to have chest x-rays & suck and blow into a lot of machines. Oh my, after each visit my chest was shocking for a few weeks after.

    This visit is the first time that I’ve been called back for results! Might be because surgery has moved to a brand new health centre and the Sister is a new one.

    I have to go back to see Sister in July she said we will discuss Pulmonary Rehabilitation. I am in the meantime to have some physiotherapy and to take more light exercise such as walking. My dog will be pleased to get out more, hate walking alone unless I’m just popping to local shop, I take him with me, when he stops to sniff or pee I can catch my breath.

    You say spirometry test conducted during an exacerbation can give a poorer score. My chest was quite clear when I had the test. I have gone downhill since having the test, plus, the recent hot stuffy weather hasn’t helped.

    I am on the following Medications for about two years now. FLUTICASONE+SALMETEROL dry pdr inh 250/50microgrms, two puffs twice a day, UNIPHYLLIN CONTINUS tablets, 1 every 12hrs. SPIRIVA 18 MICROGRAM caps for inhalation .One cap daily. ACCOLATE 20MG TABLETS. 1 every 12hrs PREDNISOLONE TABLETS 5MG (For Exacerbations of COPD) Plus of course, the good old faithful VENTOLIN INHALER.

    Thank you very much for your advice, I will have a good look around internet plus it mentions 1 or two books in the booklet Sister gave me on Thursday. Might even take a longer walk and pay our local library a visit.

    I think I may even make another appointment with my GP quite soon and have a good talk. Well discuss as much as we can in the 10mins that is allocated for each patient, might even ask receptionist if it is possible for me to have a longer appointment.

    Good luck with your battle with this horrid disease.

    Jen

    x

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  • Posted

    Vanessa,

    What a brilliant positive post. All filled with good advice.

    As you say smoking is the most important thing to do to help yourself.

    Taking the right meds at the correct times.

    Getting as much exercise as you can comfortably manage.

    You are quite right, knowledge is power and unfortunately we don't always get doctors who are willing to give us the information we need so we have to hunt around for the info.

    Keep your positive attitude :lol:

    Hi ReikiJen,

    It is not easy having a home and family. I bet you try to do things at a pace you would normally use then find you have tired yourself out.

    One of the things you could try to do is pacing. Organize your day so you don't try and do too much. Accept that you will be doing things a bit more slowly and sit down and have a rest when you feel the need to.

    If you do that combined with Vanessa's excellent advice then you should get control over this condition.

    Warmest regards

    Tessa

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  • Posted

    I took a spirometry test aged 51 and my lung age came out at 86 ... my fev1 was 57% which puts me at the mild stage. Since then after giving up smoking my fev1 has gone to 60% which I would imagin is as good as it will get.
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  • Posted

    Hi rib,

    Well done. That is good news. I cannot stress the importance of giving up smoking when you have this condition.

    Tessa

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  • Posted

    Hi Tessa thank you for replying.

    Yes i do tend to have to pace myself i get tired quite quickly.

    Try to get up early, get as much done as i can then have a 20min power nap in afternoon if i can.

    I will certainly take on board Vanessa's advice.

    Hi Rib

    Wow that's fab news your fev1 up to 60% keep up the good work staying off the cigs !!

    I have yet to find out what my fev1 is, did think i would make an app to see doctor but may now wait until i go to see sister in asthma/copd clinic in July.

    Kind Regards to you both

    Jenny

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  • Posted

    It is a matter of trying not to push yourself too far to the point of exhaustion. If you can pace your work and rest when you need to you will get more done.

    First I think you have to fully accept this condition then learn as much as you can about it as knowledge is power and then make as many adjustments to your life as is necessary like you 20 min nap. That is really good.

    Yes rib, you have done so well staying off the cigarettes. I know that it isn't easy.

    Tessa

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  • Posted

    Have read all of this conversation and find everything fascinating. COPD has a big learning curve and I will also have to ask the Doc (when he can be bothered) at what level I am. I am a bit confused with all the airflow levels but I will have to do some more research.
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