Just got COPD diagnosis

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New to this.  Just received diagnosis from chest x-ray, GP not very sympathetic.  Says stop smoking and make appointment for breathing tests with practice nurse.  Feeling lost and shocked.  Not sure where to go for help and advice.

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  • Posted

    I'm sorry if you don't have a sympathetic GP and the diagnosis can be a shock, but the advice to stop smoking is the single most important advice to follow with COPD:  if you don't your condition will deterirate much faster and you'll die much sooner.   It's possible to live reasoanbly well for decades with COPD and many people do exactly that.

    The test with the practice nurse will tell you what your lung function percentage is and if you're lucky this has been caught fairly early.    

    The second most important thing will be the correct medication, and then rehab to learn breathing exercises.

    COPD isn't curable, but it IS manageable

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    • Posted

      Smoked for 40 years.  Not been breathless, just had bad cold and then burning pain in upper back which would not go away, prompting trip to GP.
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    • Posted

      COPD is not usually diagnosed from an Xray but certainly it can reveal a lung infection, and with a lung infection you can experience pain, although with a lung infection you usually also experience a shortness of breath.

      If your xray showed a lung infection you should have been prescribed at least anti biotics, if you have finished the course of these and you are still experiencing symptoms you should go back to the doctor asap for a further course of anti biotics, keep returning to the doctor if the medicine is not clearing the lung infection.

      You can have a lung infection without having COPD, but if you are smoking 40 a day with the symptoms you are presenting a full lung function test will indicate if you need further tests carried out. ie referral to the respiratory consultant.  However, NHS doesn't usually carry out the full lung function test if you have a lung infection.

      Priority will be to clear the lung infection.

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  • Posted

    Can you tell us about your smoking history. How long did you smoked for ? What are your pack years ? How old are you now ? It can tell a great deal about your current status.
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    • Posted

      Smoked for almost 40 years, 56 next birthday - 20 a day.  Not feeling breathless but had burning pain upper back after heavy cold and went to GP.  Xray indicated smoking damage.  
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    • Posted

      Ask your doctor if you are eligible for LVRS surgery. It is basically removing the damaged tissue from your lungs. In some cases it does help.
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  • Posted

    i understand,  my pulmonologist seemed to be the same,  i currently am under the care of my primary physician , will be seeking a new pulmonogist.  i currently have copd, am taking spiriva, and advair.  your disease can be treated and healthy living is the key.  #1 stop smoking,  exercise according to your ability, (walking)  stay hydrated,  remember  :  you will die with the disease, but does not mean you will die from it)  whatever stage they say you are, it is only a label.  God Bless
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  • Posted

    Hello Maureen

    Now that you have ben diagnosed, you can make a plan to deal with this COPD.

    This is a disease of the lungs, the highest cause of it is smoking. This disease affects each person differently, so we can experience it in different ways and the effects can be there at different rates. It will progress at different rates for different people.

    To minimize the symptoms and to extend your quality of life for as long as possible, there are three key efforts that are imperative.

    1) Stop smoking...as immediate as you can, it matters not if you smoke two packs or one cigarette a day...it is imperative to quit. Use a multitude of aids...patches, gum, inhalers, even apps on your cell phone and you can use more than one at a time, together. The first two weeks will take more effort because during this time the body is getting rid of the physical addiction to the nicotine. After that, it is behavior modification...getting used to not putting that hand to your mouth, not smoking everytime the phone rings, not doing it in the car etc... Do whatever you have to to stop and do it as soon as you can.

    Second ~ ensure your medications are what you need, and ensure you are well educated in HOW and WHEN to use them and what each one does. There is a gold standard for COPD medications and you need to ensure your physician has followed it. Book an appt to speak with your pharmacist.  If you have been given  'quick relief' inhaler, (may perhaps be a blue color, referred to as a 'rescue' inhaler that is fast acting for short of breath..), Ensure that you have what is called a 'spacer' to take this.  The pharmacist will know what this is and will explain why this is very important to use with that particular inhaler.

    Third~ You must exercise. Start slow. Use a mix of cardio, strength training, and resistance exercises. The more you exercise the better your breathing will be; you must reach a high enough level of exertion and maintain it for it to help...talk with a physio therapist about this and to give you some information. This exercise will slow down the progression of the disease, help you gain muscle. More muscle means your lungs and heart work less. Also, exercise will give you more energy.

    Hopefully your doctor has referred you to a pulmonary rehab program or clinic.

    Educate yourself and understand how this works.

    There is no reason you cannot improve and live a better life.

     

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for taking the time to reply with so much helpful information.  Have not yet had lung function tests (have to wait til January) so still don't know what I'm really dealing with yet - it's all very scary.
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    • Posted

      Maureen I understand.

      This is new to you and there is fright involved...fear of the future.

      However. You can do much to help yourself and this is where you need to put your mind. Once you have learned about this, you will also feel more settled.

      It may be consoling to consider, that in fact, a good fact, is that we CAN do things to slow the progression.

      Everyone is different with this disease...we all progress or reach a plateau at different rates.

      Pulmonary Function Test (PFT) are necessary...I asked for copies of my results so that in the future I could compare results.

      Throw out those smokes Maureen.cheesygrin

      And start out with a bit of exercise...do some while you are sitting.

       

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