Posted , 7 users are following.
I'm writing for any insights or any help I can get. I have not been diagnosed with COPD, but I did recently have a PFT, x ray and CT scan.
To be thorough and give a more complete picture of where I am I'll begin at the start. In early November I got a chest cold and sinus infection. I was given antibiotics and mostly got better. I had a little post nasal drip left over and a very minor "throat clearing" cough. Because of this I made an appointment at a Sleep, Lung and Allergy clinic near where I had recently moved. I actually thought when I called and spoke to the receptionist I was going to be given an appointment with an allergy doctor but when I showed up realized she was pulmonologist. I told her I had a minor throat clearing cough and a small amount of post nasal drip. That I thought maybe I had allergies, or that my issues might be the very tail end of a bad cold. I told her I was occasionally short of breath but that it was almost always ( I believed ) related to my severe anxiety issues. That I walked 15 miles a week and felt very healthy. Dr said she wanted to look into asthma (pulmonary function test) and also get a chest x ray "just to be safe".
I got the chest x ray done and it was clear except there was a "shadow" on the right lung they wanted to take a look at on a CT scan. The subsequent CT scan showed nothing of concern on the right lung, however she saw tree in bud opacities on the left lung. She said the finding was of no concern and that it was probably a remnant of being ill 6 weeks ago. She said we would re scan in 2 months to make sure it was gone. No mention of emphysema or COPD after cat scan and chest x ray. I had a PFT for the first time on Monday 12/19. I got a call about the results and she said they were "inconclusive" and that there was some hyperinflation and mild diffusion problems, but that the results did not point to a definite issue. I got off the call and was confused but mostly calm. An hour later my anxiety shot up and I went t opick up a copy ot the PFT. Big mistake. It read
FEV1, FV and FEV1/VC are within normal limits. TLC, FRC and RV are increased. Diffusion is mildly reduced. Resistance is normal; specific conductance is normal. Inspiratory flows are normal. Methacoline challenge is negative.
Tests indicate hyperinflation, air trapping and mild gas exchange impairment. Tests do not support a diagnosis of asthma. Hyperinflation and air trapping suggest underlying obstruction. In the presence or reduced diffusing capacity this could indicate emphysema. Reduction in diffusing capacity could also suggest interstitial or pulmonary vascular disease. Hyperinfaltion and air trapping are in range typically associated with dyspnea.
I called the Dr. to figure out why our quick phone call and what I was reading felt like different worlds and she basically said nothing was conclusive and again there was no clear answer and that she would repeat the CT scan in 6 weeks to make sure tree in bud opacities were gone and repeat the PFT then also. She seemed incredibly frustrated with my questions and ended the phone call by saying "I guess it's possible this could be the very beginning stages of emphysema but I don't think so. If you want I can prescribe a bronchiodiolator but it wont make much difference."
I am 44 years old. I smoked marijuana and cigarettes from 15-31. Quit from 31-37. Smoked anywhere from 1-4 cigarettes a day from 37-44. I have not had a cigarette since 12/15. I will never have one again.
I have 4 kids (twins,7yo and boys 11 and 12yo) one of who is severely disabled that I am caring for at home. I have had a panic and anxiety disorder since I was 20 years old which has always manifested in feeling like I can't breath properly or that I am struggling to get a full breath. My chest also feels heavy and tight (when I am feeling acute anxiety or having a panic attack). I have worked incredibly hard to manage, learn about, and rise above my serious anxiety issues through a lot of hard work. Prior to looking into what I thought were allergies I was doing good anxiety wise and worked through any flare ups pretty well. Since receiving PFT results I have not been able to eat well or sleep sans a few hours. I am fluctuating between full blown panic and extreme anxiety, both are relentless and extremely uncomfortable.
My husband had to take yesterday and today off of work and I am unable to stay off the internet goggling all I can about PFT, which is confusing and scaring me more. I made an another appointment with a different well respected pulmonologist (my grammie died of emphysema at 88 after a long beautiful life and he was her Dr.) but it's not until 2/6 (I am on a cancellation list also). I fear my anxiety and panic will kill me before then.
In advance I thank anyone who offers advice, expertise encouragement, or a quick cyber hug. I am thankful for any help.
Peace and Light
0 likes, 15 replies