Moderate (stage 2) COPD

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Hi, I'm sure this may have been asked before in many different ways.  I am a 45 male former smoker.  I've had a spirometry test and the lab test results state that they've detected COPD.  I'm in generally good shape could lose 15 pounds to get to my ideal weight but only struggle with breath at higher intensity exercise.  I have a referral to a respirologist, however; have not been given any treatments or prognosis.  I guess I'm trying to get a sense of what I'm in for.  I'm hoping I could hear other peoples experiences who were diagnosed in their 40's.  Where you started in your diagnosis, medical and natural treatments and lifestyle changes that worked or didn't.  What does the disease feel like?  Were you able to continue working, playing with your kids?  How fast does this disease progress?  I know everyone is different, so I guess I'm just hoping to hear some positive stories for hope and if it's not so good, I want to hear that as well to help me prepare for what's to come.  

Thanks to all in advance for responding, 

~Marcus. 

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Marcus,

    Sorry to here about your diagnosis. Even I am new to this. Can you please tell me how many ciggs/packs  you used to smoke and when did you finally quite ? How long you smoked for 

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    • Posted

      Hi abhi, I smoked off and on for 20 years, on average 5 a day some days none some days a pack.  I quit finally about 5 years ago.
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    • Posted

      A lot of things are going on in medical world Marcus. I read about first official clinical trial for some other form of lung disease which I dont remember related to lung stem cells is going to start soon with few patients. But it wont be long when we will have treatments of these diseases soon. Hang tight, stay right and you will live a long life. 
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    • Posted

      Hi abhi, I read some stuff regarding stem cells and Pulmonary Fibrosis, although from what I've read there may be a common pathology between the two diseases.  It's hard to tell what is real.  I hope you're right that there are new treatments that we can all benefit from.  Thanks for your words of positivism.

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  • Posted

    Hi Marcus,

    ?My brother in law was diagnosed about 10 years ago, he is 61 now and stopped smoking 4 years ago.  His breathing is pretty bad now and when he is walking he needs to stop after about 20 steps to catch his breath.  He is on all sorts of medication and inhalers.  The best thing he has been told is to exercise which he finds very difficult so therefore cant lose weight.  I think if he had kept fit when first diagnosed I don't think he would be this bad now.  He has just been issued with a blue badge so that tells you he cant walk very far.

    Good luck and my advice even though I am not an expert is to exercise.

    Sue x

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    • Posted

      Thank you suzanne, believe it or not 10 years is a positive for me.  Thank you for the encouragement to continue to exercise.  Do you know what sort of exercise and intensity is recommended.  Appreciate your support.
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  • Posted

    The first thng you have to do .. is STOP WORRYING.  A COPD diagnosis is NOT a death sentence. It's a slow progressive condition that can be 'managed' very well if you do all the right things.

    You've already stopped smoking and that's great. Next, you have to exercise .. and exercise and exercise. Walking at a nice brisk pace is the best, I think, but any regular aerobic exercise will improve your lung function massively.

    Take your meds, religiously .. if one doesn't agree with you, tell your doctor who will prescribe another. If you get breathless a 'puffer' should help, but not everyone needs one. There are some interesting new findings on the benefits of taking Vitamin D3 (It has to be '3' apparently) if you have COPD .. I started taking it about 9 months ago, and it helped me a lot. But everyone's different so speak to your doctor first.

    Look after yourself. Eat good food, and get plenty of sleep .. don't lay awake worrying. Just DON'T.

    Have your flu jab. DON'T FORGET. And during flu season .. and just generally during cold weather when colds and flu are more prevalent .. try and avoid crowds, and people who you know have colds or bronchitis. I know it can be difficult when you have to work and mix with people .. but do your best, and try and wash your hands as often as you can during the day.

    At the first sign of a cold (which may spread to the chest and affect your lungs) I always use something called 'First Defence' .. a nasal spray which blasts the cold virus before it gets in the system. It may work, or it may not .. but I haven't had a so much as a sniffle in 5 years.

    Keep checking this site.. it is the BEST source of info on the condition .. because it's peopled by those who have it and who know what you're going through. I don't think I'd have got through the first couple of years of my diagnosis (I was absolutely certain I was going to die!) if it weren't for this site.

    I'm sure others here will have their own tips and contributions to offer, but I'll leave you with something my consultant said to me once: 'If you look after yourself, take your meds .. eat well and exercise often, there's a every chance you'll live a long and happy life. And yes, you might die WITH COPD .. but you won't die OF it'.

    Good luck Marcus.

     

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    • Posted

      Hi josephine, your words are extremely encouraging to me.  Thank you, I am more emotional than usual these days so you words really hit home with me.  The Viatamin D3 and First Defence tips are great!  I am going to have a hard time with the work situation, I work in a highly dense part of a large city, it's hard to avoid smokers, construction dust, traffic fumes and dust.  Having gone through this site I am finding it very helpful and the people here, like you, compassionate, and that's making me feel better.  Let's assume your consultant is right for both of us.  : )

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  • Posted

    Hi Marcus! I as well have COPD. I am stage 2. My respirologist put me on two inhalers. One for rescue it case I need it but I seldom use it. The other is daily once a day. I was feeling short of breath but not know. I was encouraged to join a copd excercise group. It's the best thing I could have done. They run on every 3 months then start up again for new members but most have gone for years. I was evaluated last week and my breathing has improved greatly but keep in mind it's something we need to continue. They also have classes with professionals speak on different subjects related to copd. I still work and take my dog for walks. You can from what I have been told go years at stage 2. It's up to us to work with it and not against it. Hope this helps. 

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    • Posted

      Yes ellen your post has helped me.  I'm happy to hear that you're able to run.  That's something I enjoy doing as well.  Over the last year I just haven't been able to run as fast as I used to, or play soccer with my girls.  I had just chalked that up to being out of shape.  I will look into exercise or support groups in my area.  You've been very helpful.  Thank you, 

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  • Posted

    Hi Marcus, I was diagnosed with moderate emphysema cope, in my 50s, I am now 72 and have 3rd stage and on oxygen the past year. I gave up smoking, and walked, miles, went on a healthy diet, kept working to 63 then back surgery, so more walking, retired took up art at tafe then went on to get a degree. So approx 15 to 18 years before it really did go downhill. Work at it, live your life well eg exercise, diet, puffers, also flu injections etc. my biggest problem was getting lung infections all the time, if you can avoid them you will have many years to look forward to. All the very best

    Deslea

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    • Posted

      Hi Deslea, thank you for taking the time to respond.  Your story is inspirational and encouraging.  Right now I would be happy 15-18 good years, or more.  Have you found that treatment has advanced over the years, or have the medications stayed the same?  My biggest risk I feel is staying well with two young children and working in a densely populated city core.  I'm building up my immunity through diet, exercise, supplements and a flu shot.  Thank you again for sharing your story with me, wishing you all the best.

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  • Posted

    ello again, just to let you know that yes, there have been some further developments in medication, the best help I found was referral to cops rehab, finding out why my body reacted as it did and how to work with what I have. Personally, I feel you will be great, you are doing all the right things to help your self, your children will give you the fighting spirit, now, you have time, to plan,to work toward living in a less populated area that has clean air. I moved four years ago from a large country town in Australia to now living in a virtual rainforest beside a river, how good is that. You can plan to do anything you wish. Go for it. Kindest thoughts. Deslea
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  • Posted

    Marcus, you've been very lucky. They found it early .. you're still young and strong and without all the other debilitating stuff  that come with age. Be mindful, and be sensible, and follow the rules. Most importantly, be positive. But put copd in a box, pop it on a shelf in the back of your brain somewhere, and get on with your life. It might remind you that its still there occasionally, but all things considered, you should have many many productive years left.

    Don't worry.

    Jo

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