Moderate COPD

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Hi, I have been here before.  I am feeling very down because I have gone from mild to moderate on a chest xray and my energy level has decreased.  Breathing not too bad at all but lungs are heavy and I have not done anything too strenuous.  I have a few questions:

Can you stay at moderate for a while if yiu have good ling function?  My FEV1 is still normal.   Not sure yet about the rest.   

With the exercise and medication (I take Advair) can you stay at this level for a while? 

Right before the chest xray and new symptoms, I felt fine and had arranged a blind date.  Now my self-esteem has gone way down and I am very nervous about telling someone (not right away if things seem good, but soon).   I am ready to cancel.  I am looking for some general encouragement regardless of canceling the date.

I am only 57.   I am afraid I only have a few years. Am so discouraged.  Any words of wisdom would be a godsend.   Thank you!

 

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    Additionally - is coloring your hair at a salon really bad?   I do not want to give that up!

    My cxr was done when I thought I had bronchitis ( had it once before) at an urgent care center. They cannot see it on xray but did see the damage. My lungs are quite inflated and  doc says he thinks moderate.   Have not gone to Pulmo, do not like her much.

     

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  • Posted

    Hi Maryterese. The prognosis with COPD is always unpredictable. It certainly does not follow a linier path downways from mild to moderate to severe and thinking that you only have a few years to live is silly.

    COPD can hold at mild/moderate indefinately as long as the breathing envirenment remains good  -- fresh air and no smoking. If that is the case then further deterioration nees not be expected.

    As for the chest x-ray it is important to remember that they are only shadows. If the radiologist thinks that the appearance suggests some deterioration then that is no more than an opinion, an interpretation. It is not definative. How you feel is a far better indicator of how your lungs are doing and you do not feel too bad. So I would say be positive, take each day as you find it and go out on that blind date(!)

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    • Posted

      Thanks, Andrew.  Perhaps you are right about the shadows.  I hope that my COPD will remain stable for a while.   Very ambivalent about the date but will go!
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  • Posted

    Dear MT

    I was diagnosed with COPD in 2008. My meds at that time were advair and ventolin. I carried on for 6 years and then last year I got pneumonia. I couldn't believe how fast I went downhill. I am 74 and do very little except look after myself. I don't cook or clean but pay for all my needs. Luckily I can afford to do that. You are still young and I wouldn't give up. As we get older we slow down but with COPD we do lose our energy. Keep doing whatever you enjoy. Beware of crowds and germs A chest infection can change everything. It has taken me a year to regain my energy. Lack of sleep can really bring you down. Go on the date and have fun. You ain't dead yet!!!!!!

    Mary Ann Tame

    New Westminster BC

    Canada. 

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    • Posted

      Thank you to my neighbor in Canada.  I am sorry that you went downhill after pneumonia.  I understand that that does happen.  Luckily you can afford help, but I am sure you wish you did not need it at all.  This is such a scary disease.  I had bronchitis once and that slowed me down.  I am taking care of myself but understand about the germs.  

      Take care, I guess I will go since I ain't dead yet.

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  • Posted

    Hi marieterese my mum has had COPD for about fifteen years she's now 84 and struggling a bit with her breathing and mobility, but she's been fine up to last year when she was hospitalised for three months with a lung infections as with any illness you have good times and some not so good but on the whole my mum managed really well for many years but unfortunately her age has caught up with her but up till then she got on with her life as you must do yes go on that date and have a brilliant time there's no need to disclose anything about this illness just enjoy your life and don't spend time worrying you sound a lovely person just enjoy life as much as you can and don't let this get the better of you

    good luck 

    kind regards sue

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    • Posted

      Sue,

      i am am sorry to hear that your mum has been suffering.  Sounds like she had a good long time of feeling well.  I need to get on with my life but I get very down and scared.  I have only told one close friend (am recently divorced but I was fine then).  Thanks for the support.  Your mum sounds like a strong person nonetheless.

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  • Posted

    MaryTerese:

    I was diagnosed in January 2014 with COPD, at the age of 71; however, I was mis-diagnosed at the age of 70 with Asthma.  Truthfully, I had been having symptoms for about 7 years.  When I was FINALLY properly diagnosed, I had reached Stage 2.  I am on Spiriva, Advair and do oxygen during the night.  I have a LOT of energy, walk 3 miles a day and am NOT going to let COPD "get me".  I just think positive every day, enjoy my family and grandkids. I find that walking does give me more energy and if I cannot walk (because I'm too busy doing other things), I do notice that I am more tired.   It is SO true....we have COPD....COPD does NOT.

     have us.  Just enjoy your life and think positive.  Bless you MaryTerese - enjoy life!!!

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    • Posted

      Sandy,

      Thank you for your thoughts. I actually had a doc hide my ct results from me re:COPD and that has been hard to cope with since I could have been treated earlier.  That is incredibly difficult to accept.   I finally wrote him a letter.  Not much else I can do but I know he must be anxious about it.  

      I need to to keep busier and stop worrying.  You give me inspiration to be busier and enjoy rather than dwell.  Bless you also.

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    • Posted

      Yes, Maryterese, I can understand your frustration with the dr. that hid your COPD results - I felt the same way about the doctor two years ago that simply said "oh, I think you have asthma....we probably should do an x-ray"....end of story, he did not go any further with it.  By the time I was properly diagnosed, I was 2 years in to it and COULD have been properly treating it 2 years ago.  Needless to say, I changed doctors!!  Oh well....I'm with terrific GP and Pulmo doctors now!!  smile
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  • Posted

    Hi I am a bit confused.  You say your fev1 is normal.  How can it be normal when you are diagnosed with moderate copd?  Do you mean it has not changed even though you are now moderate not mild?  I am moderate and my last fev1 reading last December was 66.7.  It was above 70 before when I was classed as mild.  

    Once a year I have my annual COPD check and my progression is checked via a peak and flow meter.  I did have a chest x-ray a few months ago though which just showed copd but not the fev1.  

    As far as I am aware there are several things which causes this disease to progress.

    1)  Age

    2)  smoking

    3)  exerbations

    4)  Not eating well

    5)  lack of exercise

    You can't change age or to some extent exabertions but you can change the rest so concentrate on the things you can change and you should slow down the progression of the disease.  You need to  ensure you have a rescue pack (steroids and ab's) so at the first sign of problems start taking them.  Try and stay away from people with colds (though that is not always easy) and avoid touching your mouth, nose or eyes until you can wash your hands.  

    Good luck with it.

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    • Posted

      Hyper at,

      i think fev1 has changed going from mild to moderate.  Moderate was told to me by urgent care dr.  My Pulmo is not very helpful, am working on getting a new one.  I have had bronchitis so I know exacerbations are bad.  I put the antibacterial gel on and wash my hands a lot.  

      Thanks-

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    • Posted

      Well if you were mild before I wouldn't worry too much about now being moderate.  You are probably at the very top end like me so it doesn't mean very much really.  If you have dropped a lot then it is cause to worry.  But until you know by how much percentage you have dropped try not to get to stressed by it.  Glad you keep your hands clean - best way to stop germs.  x
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    • Posted

      Yes, I hope so.  I won't know for a little while yet.  Do you or others here travel?  I have not ventured far recently for other reasons, but aside from a strenuous trip, do you go?
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  • Posted

    Thank you all so much for your kind responses.  They are very helpful.  I would like to get back to you individually soon.
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