Little Things

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I was just wondering if others have experienced / noticed either of the following;

This morning I had my usual toast for breakfast and all seemed fine for ten minutes or so. Then I started to cough, just a little and sporadically at first, but soon I was coughing violently and continuously, eyes bulging, tears streaming etc until a tiny piece of toast shot out - landing half way across the room. After a few moments relief to catch my breath the whole process repeated itself a couple more times with the same end result.

This has happened 3 or 4 times now over the past few months - the odd thing is that I am not at all aware that anything 'has gone down the wrong way' until some time after finishing a meal. There is no sensation of anything being lodged anywhere until near the end of the coughing fit when the offending particle is felt just below throat level and soon after is ejected. On previous occasions I have had it happen even hours after finishing a meal. Bread / toast seems to be the most common offender, though I've had it happen with other things too. Incidentally, I did read recently of an American man who had a pea lodged in his lung that had started to sprout and had shown up on x ray!

The second 'little thing' that I have noticed and had meant to ask about is this - my middle fingernails have gradually taken to growing in a curved manner - ie. as soon as they reach the tip of my finger they bend downwards and grow curled tight against the skin of my fingertip - so much so that I now keep them very short as otherwise I really have to poke the scissors between the nail and finger to be able to cut it. I did read that curved nails could be a sign of lung disease, so while I accept that as true, I am just curious if it has happened to anyone else? They did have a slight 'curve' for the past couple of years, but suddenly changed to this really tight curl!

Well, those are my current 'oddities' - do let me know if you are experiencing the same - or if indeed you have other 'little oddities' to add to the list (that you suspect may be related to COPD).

Love Vanessa xx

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  • Posted

    Hello Vanessa. I have no curved fingernails as they do not grow past the end of my fingers due to osteoporosis. They tend to break very easily and growing them is not possible now. Secondly, I have not experienced the coughing up, though have sometimes felt that something has been stuck just below throat level coughing has not produced anything and I can feel uncomfortable for hours.

    I do now have almost continuous acid reflux/severe heartburn, which I have only ever suffered before in very early pregnancy (mild heartburn) - and no, I am not pregnant. I have heard of others suffering heartburn/acid reflux and it seems to be par for the course. I wondered if it was because of the extra weight that we all seem to carry. Interestingly though, I eat less (and better) now and take more exercise than I have ever done and STILL the weight piles on - another 6 lbs recently.

    My biggie is that since being diagnosed with COPD my hair and skin are much drier. I am not sure if this is related to medication or has some other cause. Anyone else had this?

    Jacee

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  • Posted

    Hi again jacee, just finished one posting to you, but decided to get a cuppa and do some more instead of doing the treadmill - well it IS Sunday!

    Re dry skin / hair etc. Yes, I know what you mean. Mine is awful, and it makes no difference what I put on it either. Sometimes the skin on my legs gets really itchy - its so dry that if I rub it the dry skin cells fall off looking like white specks of dandruff. I don't think it's the meds as mine had gone like that over the year or so before diagnosis - I think its the lack of oxygen, particularly when overweight as it struggles to get to all areas of the body.

    My hairs not too bad though - other than its about 25% grey now, and I still haven't plucked up courage to colour it. Also it's waist length now - always had it at least shoulder length, but the past few years was just too tired to bother with a long trek to the nearest hairdresser. Now its so long (though I usually keep it up) I'm wondering whether to stay 'au naturelle' or whether to get a good cut and colour and tidy myself up - I always did love the Pre - Raphaelite look, but i'm not sure one can get away with it as an obese late fifties woman!

    My fingernails are a law unto themselves - growing faster than ever before, but soft and bendy and as previously mentioned, middle ones are curly - so despite fast growth I have to keep them annoyingly short. Likewise my toenails are growing faster - and although they were becoming ridged etc, I've noticed since being on 02 that they are much improved and new nail is no longer ridged (come to think of it, it's since the 02 that my fingernails began growing faster).

    What else? Oh yes, I'm getting lots of those red broken capillaries or whatever they are on my face and around my ankles - I literally felt and saw it happening once when I was on a course of Prednisone. I was sat bare legged on the bed with my feet up, and felt a little tingle and a popping sensation near my ankle. I leaned forward to rub the area and was amazed to see a little reddish purple dot appear and spread into a little patch. For a moment I thought I was bleeding, but when I touched it I realized it was beneath the skin. As I panicked a bit and automatically began rubbing it, I realized that the more I rubbed it the more it was happening, so I stopped. Obviously they are permanent so I hope it doesn't happen too frequently. I'm not sure if it was the pred or if it was the water tabs or the edema itself that played a part, as it was back last summer when my feet and lower legs were terribly swollen. Anyhow, that seems to have stopped for now, thankfully. When it comes to broken capillaries on the face though, perhaps its just age, I don't know if I may have got those anyway without the COPD as they are not uncommon.

    Oh well, i'd better finish, I've been sat on my bott long enough! Take care, bye for now, Van x

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  • Posted

    Hi Vanessa,

    I've been having those coughing fits for a while now and, like you, have found a piece of toast flying across the room. I assume it's caused by my breathlessness and maybe i'm inhaling the crumbs sometimes. I had it last night with melon juice - the whole bowl of chopped fruit nearly flew across the room in the suddenness of it!

    As for nails... a couple of years ago I had pleurisy and my nails all snapped off. They became very brittle and started breaking between layers (does that make sense?) - they were literally crumbling away. It has taken over two years for them to start to grow long again but they're nowhere near as strong as they were.

    Stitch

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  • Posted

    Hi,

    Van. my nails do not curl but my hair!! It is spooky. From birth I have had dead straight hair. I was jealous of all my curly friends and prayed for my hair to develop at least a wave. It never did. Then, lo and behold, I went to the hairdressers a couple of months ago and she pointed out that I have a corkscrew of hair growing (just the one) at the back and to one side, under the top layer of hair. I explained I NEVER had a curl in my hair and she said she had another customer who used oxygen some years ago and she had had the same thing. So NOW I get my wish and it looks bl***y ridiculous. Oh well. They do say be careful what you wish for.

    Jacee

    :oops:

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  • Posted

    [quote:bbe6c6b1ee=\"Stitch\"]Hi Vanessa,

    I've been having those coughing fits for a while now and, like you, have found a piece of toast flying across the room. I assume it's caused by my breathlessness and maybe i'm inhaling the crumbs sometimes. I had it last night with melon juice - the whole bowl of chopped fruit nearly flew across the room in the suddenness of it!

    As for nails... a couple of years ago I had pleurisy and my nails all snapped off. They became very brittle and started breaking between layers (does that make sense?) - they were literally crumbling away. It has taken over two years for them to start to grow long again but they're nowhere near as strong as they were.

    Stitch[/quote:bbe6c6b1ee]

    Dear Vanessa

    Please mention your symptoms to your doctor re the coughing and food ejections, I do not wish to worry you but I do feel this is something that should not be left to go without investigation.

    I do not believe that the food ejection or the curving finger nail growth is related to COPD.

    Please do let us know what the doc said regarding your food ejections and curved nail growth.

    Take care

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  • Posted

    The food ejection is caused by breathing isn't it? I thought it was just a 'normal' effect of this condition, Inhaling the food when you start gasping for air.

    If you just type 'curving nails' into google, the first hit is:-

    Nail ProblemsDownward curving nail ends, may denote heart, liver, or lung / respiratory problems.

    Van, you're not describing 'clubbing' are you? I know someone who has this and it's definitely caused by certain lung disorders;-

    [i:66f829076b]Clubbing occurs when the amount of soft tissue beneath the nail beds increases. Why this increase occurs is not clear but may relate to the levels of proteins that stimulate blood vessel growth. Clubbing seems to occur with some lung disorders [/i:66f829076b]

    Visitor, do you have a name? :wink:

    Stitch

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  • Posted

    [quote:0089e2e978=\"Stitch\"]The food ejection is caused by breathing isn't it? I thought it was just a 'normal' effect of this condition, Inhaling the food when you start gasping for air.

    If you just type 'curving nails' into google, the first hit is:-

    Nail ProblemsDownward curving nail ends, may denote heart, liver, or lung / respiratory problems.

    Van, you're not describing 'clubbing' are you? I know someone who has this and it's definitely caused by certain lung disorders;-

    [i:0089e2e978]Clubbing occurs when the amount of soft tissue beneath the nail beds increases. Why this increase occurs is not clear but may relate to the levels of proteins that stimulate blood vessel growth. Clubbing seems to occur with some lung disorders [/i:0089e2e978]

    Visitor, do you have a name? :wink:

    Stitch[/quote:0089e2e978]

    Hi Stitch - If you are also having same symptoms as Vanessa I believe you should also seek professional medical advice.

    I do not believe the food ejection is 'a normal effect of the lung condition'.

    Your description of inhaling food when gasping for air would be 'a normal reaction', but even if you are doing this every time you eat something, (either at the time of, or a delayed reaction), I am of the belief that for your own care and well being it is a good idea to chat with your doc about it.

    It can be very dangerous for people to self diagnose when these problems are encountered, as there are many reasons why they may be occurring. Sometimes if left untreated by a medical professional a situation could develop into a life threatening one.

    sincerely

    V

    PS Stitch you can call me Visitor smile

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