Extremely annoyed with COPD Nurse

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Hi all.

I was diagnosed 3 yrs back with COPD and was measured at 67% FEV1.

1yr later dutifully went back and didn't feel any worse.

Had Spironmetry and was told - No Difference.

Didn't see much point in goimg every year exposing myself to the waiting room so decided to miss it till the following year.

Reading this time - 51%

EH!!! How come I think to myself.

What was I originally,  I asked - she checked and it was 67%

And the following test, I asked. 'Oh 62%'  I'm told.

Would YOU be annoyed?

So, for want of better knowledge (And none was offered) I must assume I shall degrade at 5% per year giving me just another 10 yrs to go.

I am 67 yrs young at present (And can STILL walk 3 miles).

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4 Replies

  • Posted

    Yeah I have had a annoying nurse myself. But I learned those numbers do bounce around some also. Now in my case it was extreme because I didn't give it my all the first time and the second it had jumped up over 20 points.

    Anyway if it went from 67 to 62 in a 3 year time frame that wouldn't be 5 percent a year. You said you skipped a year so that would be 5 every 2 years but I don't think that is set in stone. You probably can be higher or lower depending on the day. I'm not a expert cause I myself am new to this but I think people would agree to not start counting your days or years just yet.

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  • Posted

    good for you being able to walk 3 miles ,,,,but how often do you/can you do that ? ,exercise is one of the best things you can do to help yourself along with not smoking of course,,,,as a for instance ,, from December 2015 until august 2016 I was unable to exercise as usual ( gym 2 times a week ) due to a different health problem,and when I  had my lung function tests in the September my fev had dropped to 63 ,consultant was talking about me going on supplementary oxygen ,,,,I refused and said with exercise ( the other health problem was dealt with fully ) I can get the fev numbers up ,he said I would have another test in December ,,,,I spoke to the copd nurse at pulmary rehab and the trainer at the gym I attend and we decided to exercise 4/5 times a week instead of the usual 2 ,but instead of 1 hour ,,, I was to do 40/45 minutes so I recovered better ,this I did ,and when I had the tests again  in December ,my fev had gone up to 76 ,so no more talk of the oxygen ( for now haha) so the benefits of little and often are much better for us with lung conditions,I hope this is of help ,best wishes ,
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  • Posted

    No I wouldn't be annoyed.

    Once diagnosed with COPD and condition is stable an annual spirometry test is the norm.

    Lung function can fluctuate, many things can affect a reading even though 51% down from 67 and later 62% is quite a drop, however, if for any reason you had a cold or lung infection, or any other number of reasons, lung function would be quite drastically lower than say during a measurement when a person was feeling well, good air quality, temperatures and is exercising regularly.  Any period of inactivity for instance can result in deconditioning which in turn can lead to a drop in lung functioning.

    In your situation I would be thankful you're last spirometry was up to 62% and you can still walk 3 miles.  If you do this most days and perhaps do other regular exercise there is no reason you must assume you will degrade 5% each year.

    Whether you have another 10 years to go is unknown of course, certainly there is not a fixed cut off date for any of us.  There are people with COPD still functioning with 23% lung function, but for sure the higher the  FEV1% the more likely to have have better lung functioning and a better quality of life.

    If you look after yourself, keep up with the regular exercise, avoid exposure to any smoke, or people who may be infected with a cold of flu virus the greater the chance of you being able to maintain a stable lung function.

    I usually get a copy of my spirometry and any other tests I undergo, just so I can compare and have an idea on how I am doing.

     

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  • Posted

    I understand your frustration. I've come to realize that I must be more assertive when asking questions about my health.

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