My Husband was told he has emphysema & I would appreciate any advice offered

Posted , 10 users are following.

This discussion has been locked due to a period of inactivity. Start a new discussion

My Husband (39yrs old) has been struggling to remove phlegm for over a year. Recently he has been choking at times and often has to pull it from the back of his throat. Its now very thick and sticky and green in colour. After alot of nagging I eventually got him to see a doctor last week. He was sent for a chest x-ray and apparently its come back showing emphysema. He was never a heavy smoker when he did smoke, he's been off them for 10yr now apart from the occasional weekend when he goes out. He was booked in for a lung function test and all is normal - lungs of a 25yr old he was told. Now he is to be referred to a specialist for further investigations. Does this story seem similar to anyone on the forum? I'm going out my mind with worry & felt as thought out GP was holding something back. Does this sound right to you? I really would appreciate any comments/advice left. Don't be scared to say what you really think though.

Thank you

2 likes, 13 replies

Report

13 Replies

  • Posted

    Sorry to tell you, but a lung function test showing his lungs are "those of a 25 year old" doesn't fit with emphysema, in fact that's exactly how my emphysema was diagnosed, not with an x-ray.  

    Personally I think comments like that are meaningless:  with a spirometry lung function test the important thing to know is what percentage of lung function he has.  

    I've never had phlegm like that either but have been told that if I ever do get green phlegm it's an indication of a lung infection and I should get to the GP asap for antibiotics in case it develops into pneumonia.   Was he prescribed antibiotics?

    If you're concerned about the information from the GP - talk to him/her about it!  There's no point in going out of your mind with worry for the lack of asking a couple of questions.   Emphysema isn't an immediate death sentence, by the way:  I was diagnosed more than 3 years ago after smoking for more than 40 years and giving up about 18 months before I was diagnosed:  my lung function percentage is stable at 70% as it was then, thanks to medication, exercise and breathing techniques I learned at rehab and which I practice daily.

    Stay on this forum:  other people will have more and different experiences and information which I hope will be helpful for you and your husband.   I also hope he can get to see the specialist quickly and you will then have more information.   

     

    Report
    • Posted

      Thank you so much for taking the time to share your opinion with me. You have said exactly what I was thinking, nothing adds up. We tried speaking to the Doctor and the nurse about our thoughts and feelings but they weren't for discussing it any further and we were told 'I don't have the answers for you therefore I will make a referral to the respiratory specialist'. Our son has cystic fibrosis and i'm aware of what mucus texture and colour can indicate & I asked the doctor to give him an antibiotic which he was reluctant to do until I told him that he was putting my son at risk of catching whatever bugs are lurking in my husbands lungs. We left with a course of amoxicillan and told to wait for an appt coming through the post from the hospital. Will wait another day or two and see if we hear anything. Thanks for your reply - muchly appreciated x
      Report
    • Posted

      In my experience there's no point in trying to get doctors to listen to your feelings, let alone your thoughts, but they should answer questions.  That was really good thinking on your part to get the antibiotics - I'm impressed!

      All the best with the specialist - keep in touch with the forum so we know who you are getting on

      Report
    • Posted

      I totally agree with Jude - Glad to hear that you got the anti-biotics but don't worry if there's no instant relief because everyone with emphysema reacts differently (important to remember on this site !) - some improve well before the end of the 7 day course, others (like me) a few days after.

      My two-penneth is to get 375mg Carbocisteine capsules ASAP from your doc to thin the phlegm. Norm dose is 2 caps. 3 times a day. (I've been on these for 8 years now .... and am still here to tell the story)

      Report
  • Posted

    I've had phlegm like that ( I hate that word ) you ask fir Carbocistine tablets from your GP to thin the mucus making it easier to shift ,better still ( for me ) I got a flutter devise from GP it's a simple item that looks lie a pipe ,go on you tube there's lots of advise on them ,there's also breathing exersises to help ,I tended to breath from my upper chest rather than deep in my diaphragm  .deep breath in through your nose  hold for 3 secs then slowly out through the mouth ,repeat for 3/4 times then ,,,,deep breath in ,,,hold for 3 secs ,,,and quick & sharp  hough  , from deep down ,repeat as nesasary,there are breathing exersises on you tube called the  Beurko ??? Forgive the spelling ,someone on here will know the right spelling for you ,

    the suggestion of the mucus being green in colour suggests to me a chest infection ,,,,maybe a scan is needed ,,don't be put afraid of asking to see a consultant ,,,,and a further lung function test at the hospital lung function laboratory ,

    please let us know how things go ,take care ,  

    Report
  • Posted

    Hi Foxred,

    Honestly, if his lung function came back all normal and he doesn't have a lung infection, then I'm not sure what's going on either. And it sounds like your Dr doesn't either so it's good he's referring him to a specialist. But, stay calm and pray about it...it may not be real bad...might just be over producing mucous for some reason and he can be treated. You gotta find out first before you worry too much...until then try to be optimistic bc your husband is relatively young and probably has a great chance of overcoming whatever it is. Please keep us posted....ladyjack51

    Report
  • Posted

    Sorry to hear about your husband,I don't know of that problem,but I'm with you anyway,keep us posted.
    Report
  • Posted

    I see that Carbosisteine is better known in some places as Mucodyne and is now also available in syrup form. 

    Hope this helps - please keep us posted,

    Report
    • Posted

      My son gets a dnase which thins the mucous. Husband has a ct scan on wednesday so hoping to get some answers. Ive been doing alot of my own research etc and convinced its more to do with acid reflux spilling over and damaging the lungs. Thankful for each of your replys & will keep you all updated. X
      Report
    • Posted

      What is a dnase, please?   I don't see how acid reflux could be damaging the lungs, although it can certainly give one a sore throat and chest pain bad enough to be mistaken for a heart attack - personal experience!
      Report
  • Posted

    Hi there sorry to here about whats been going on, I know doctors can be quite frustrating at times. I can't imagine what kind of emotional rollecoaster you are going through at the moment.

    Anyways, here are some of my thoughts about your husband right now. You mentioned that your son has cystic fibrosis, is it alright for me to assume your husband and your son are related by blood? Because since CF is an autosomal recessive disorder, both parents would be carriers of either an identical or different CF gene mutation. Although carriers are usually almost always said to be asymptomatic, it has been reported that carriers may present with mild forms of symptoms just like CF (though this is a controversial topic, not everyone agrees with this). Also the thick green sputum that is very difficult to get rid of sounds like a chest infection, and a common one seen with CF is a Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection (which I'm sure you might have experience with).

    Another thing is that <40 years old is quite rare to get COPD. Usually if this is the case there may be a possibility of something called alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency which is another genetic disorder and it causes COPD in younger people who don't really smoke. But i don't know whether the doctors may be looking for it because the lung function is alright.

    Also, you cannot diagnose emphysema with a chest x ray but you can somethings seen it (overinflation of lungs, etc).

    Hopes this helps smile

    Report
  • Posted

    Hi foxred, I too have chronic bronchitus/emphysema, with this condition your lungs produce ecsess mucus, I was prescribed MUCODYNE which thins the mucus and allows it to be coughed up much more easily, hope this is a help to you. 
    Report
  • Posted

    I would have agreed with the chest infection diagnosis except it's been going on for a year? 

    I am a firm believer in questioning GP's and not just accepting their first comment. It's my body, my illness and I want to understand it! 

    Don't be frightened to go back and ask them - demand more detail; I did this with a consultant a few years ago and he apologied explaining that because he understood he sort of assumed everyone did - I get that, he loved his work and just got too wrapped up in it.

    Go back and get the answer .... please

    (then let us know - good luck)

    Report

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion

Report as inappropriate

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up