Emphysema and persistent cough

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My wife was diagnosed with moderate emphysema (COPD) last year and takes Salbutomal,Seretide and Tiotroplum inhation powders.She is 74 and smoked since she was 18,even now she has one or two a day.She has had xrays and CT scan and these were OK. I am concerned about her cough which is persistant and night and to a lesser degree during the day.Is this normal with COPD in smokers,The cough worries me sick.

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  • Posted

    Hi Brilliard!  Hmmmm.....I was basically a "closet smoker"....maybe 3 cigs a day, off and on for 6 years; however, MY CT scan showed lung damage.  I don't understand how your Xray and CT scan were normal.
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    • Posted

      Hello Sandy,I can only tell you what the Consultant said.When she was diagnosed with COPD I insisted she had an xray because of the persistant coughing.They found a little spot on her left lung and because of this she had to have a CTScan before her appointment with the specialist.The specialist said the spot was an old calcified granulomas probaly from childhood.Other than that the CT scan was normal and the Specialist discharged her with a diagnosis of moderate emphsema caused from a lifetime of cigarette smoking.She was to continue with her medication and try to stop smoking altogether.
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    • Posted

      Sorry Sandy I got that wrong,the CT scan shoewd lung damage as well but nothing nasty (Docs words)
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    • Posted

      Sanday, how many yrs have u really smoked ? Its highly unlikley that 6 yrs and 3 cigs of smoking can cause damage to your lungs !!  
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    • Posted

      Thanks for the question, abbi!  I truly did smoke very little; however, being around my husband that had smoked for about 50 years could have made a difference.  Also, I worked for 10 years in the clothing industry and I truly feel that the formaldyhyde in the fabric affected my lungs.
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  • Posted

    Thanks for clarifying, Brilliard.  We, on this site, kind of "look out for each other".  wink   I am 73 and was diagnosed with emphysema 4 years ago.  I am doing great and trying to stay on top of everything.  I'm on Spiriva and Advair and I am on oxygen during the night.

    I DO wish the best for your wife.  After the initial shock of diagnosis, you just take a day at a time and do EVERYTHING to slow down the progression.  Give her a hug from me.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Sandy,do you think the coughing is something we should expect given the lifetime smoking habit and do you think a couple of cigarettes a day makes any difference?> Thanks for you help.
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    • Posted

      Hi Brillard

      Am so sorry about your wife's diagnosis, but yes, she must quit smoking. The longer she smokes, 1st or 2d hand, the harder it is to stop or slow progression of the disease. Unfortunately all of your desire can't make her stop, only her desire can accomplish that. Still, sometimes with people less stonehearted than myself, a spouse can help by a simple conversation wherein you state that wife and her health are THE most important things to you, period. You want her around in as good health as possible for several more decades. You will do everything you can to cheer her on as she quits smoking, whenever she's ready to do that, but you won't nag her.

      (Every year in which she smokes a mere 400 -500 cigs still counts as a year of amoking for her lungs. Where I live, all the pulmos say that if you smoked pack a day for 20 yrs then only 5 cigs daily for 10 yrs, the last 10 yrs count exactly the same as the 1st 20 for folks with COPD.)

      And then you have to do that impossible thing: don't nag.

      I'm unfamiliar with those meds, but I'm in the States. I feel sure that one of those is designed to help with the cough that's worse at night, but she may have to be on it for a few wks for it to take effect. Check with the pharmacy or doc on that. Once the cough clears or abated, she probably has to stay on that particular med. If I miss 4 or 5 doses of the med that stops my cough.

      I wish the best for both of you.

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  • Posted

    Brilliard....you will probably hear over and over from people on this forum that it is critical that your wife COMPLETELY stop smoking.  My husband and I both quit completely, cold turkey, when our daughter was pregnant and he said "I want to see our grandchildren grow up".  She needs to think positive and do EVERYTHING possisble to stop the progression of this disease.  Right now, I'm sure you are both in a panic mode, as we ALL are when first diagnosed; however, there is so much that can be done to slow things down.  But again, she needs to completely stop smoking.  If you are a smoker, PLEASE stop....this will further give her encouragement to give up smoking.  
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  • Posted

    By the way Brilliard........when my husband made the remark about quitting in order to "see our grandchildren grow up", he had been smoking a pack a day from age 16...we were 60 years old when we quit.  It just goes to show you what a strange disease this is.........I barely smoked for a short time compared to him smoking almost 50 years and his lungs are fine; whereby, I am the once that is cursed with COPD; however, I think positive EVERY day.
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    • Posted

      Sandy, I gave up over 30 years ago following a heart attack at 47.My wife has tried everything including hypnosis but what ever she does the old devil "Nick O'Tine" wins her back.Our generation were the ones who thought smoking was cool and part of the lifestyle.
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