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First of all, thank you to all the forum participants for honest questions/answers. As a newly-diagnosed person w/COPD, it is very helpful.
I would appreciate any guidance/suggestions/advice for the questions below: (sorry to be so long-winded, but this saga has been hell so far):
1) After 7 years of constant coughing & going to 8 different doctors (family physicians, ENTs, allergists, etc.) & everyone telling me I had “bad allergies” & "severe post-nasal drip"–a recent chest x-ray, (Aug. 2017) stated that I had early COPD (first they said emphysema; now they say chronic bronchitis).
2) Truth is, I’ve NEVER smoked in my life–but was around secondhand smoke daily for the first 35 years of my life (I’m 55 now). Each time my oxygen levels are tested, I have scored 97%. (I’m not super athletic, but I walk 5 miles per day, do free weights, etc.)
3) I was tested for the Alpha-1 genetic disorder–but that came back negative.
4) So, in addition to Flonase (sp?) & allergy medications, the nurse practitioner in the pulmonary office prescribed Dulera…I took it twice daily as prescribed. Earlier this week, my acupuncturist (who has been extremely helpful) said that I have developed irregular heart rhythms/heartbeats & recommended seeing a cardiologist ASAP. Have any of you experienced this issue w/Dulera? **I have stopped taking it--and never found that it was helpful when i took it for 2 solid months).
5) Also, do any of you have voice loss? This has been going on w/me for over 7 years, along w/the constant coughing…(I am in front of people teaching, usually 7-8 hours a day, so this has been especially troublesome)
6) So, now, the new pulmonary specialist (truth is, I’ve only seen the nurse practitioner–seeing the actual doctor is obviously impossible in this city w/not so great medical care!) has recommended a CT scan to rule out tumors, etc.
7) Again, I apologize for being so self-absorbed, but I keep thinking that I may have been misdiagnosed with COPD & perhaps it could be a lung tumor–or something else. If anyone has any similar experiences w/being misdiagnosed, I would appreciate any guidance.
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