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Myself, I did not realise the risks to health when I had my first ever smoke at 11, the only risk then was a tanned backside. It was a common thing for 11/12 year olds at school to be seen at lunchtime outside the heads offfice awaiting a slippering for smoking. Nobody ever said they caused lung problems etc.

Although I had my first smoke at 11, I didnt get hooked untill I was around 15/16. The years went by and I started getting asthma, but copd never crossed my mind, I had never heard of it, untill March 2009, two weeks after my 42nd Birthday.

I did have a spirometry test in December 2005, I was told the numbers were down a bit and that was it, I put i down to asthma. No mention from the hospital about copd, which I must of had then.

So another 4 years past by and still smoking. Then a routine asthma checkup took place in March and thats when I heard the word COPD.

I wasn't told anything about it. I came home with a leaflet and that was that. Started to search it out on google and have become a nervous wreck, who's having to pop happy pills to get through the day (prescribed ones)

I still feel its a death sentence, I'm depressed all the time and I have no interest in anything that I used to do. I still dont think that with the lung function that I have that I can get to 50. (I'm 42)

My Dr tells me he is sure I will make it into my 70s without a problem and that mine is very mild. My mind says though I am 2% off moderate.

It's not that I do not believe him, he is the best dr that anyone could wish for, he's always seen me when I have needed to see him, anytime I have wanted to see him I see him the same day,

The problem is I have brain washed myself by googling copd. It's three months and I still think about it every moment I am awake.

Thing is, I don't realy get out of breath. A little bit at times, a puff of ventolin sorts it. It's the thought that copd is progressive and that its possible that over the next few years I will start to gag for my breath.

This scares the S*** out of me.

On the whole I feel so healthy, but mentaly I am wrecked at the moment.

Had a few bouts of big time tears today. I have moments when I feel as fit as a fiddle. Then my mind says copd and I go to pieces.

I'm awaiting to see a specialist, so I just hope he can put my mind at rest.

As for my spirometry though, that first one in march 51% before ventolin and 61% after, then a month later 52% & 66% then I asked for one more at 2 months, I'de been excercising and also was well off the smokes so I expected it to be higher, but it came out as 52% and 62%.

My Dr says I have a asthma eliment in mine, so I am hoping that thats a good sign.

There are so many of you guys who are so positive, just wish I could be the same. But my head keeps telling me it will not be long untill it feels like I am breathing through a straw, or that I have right sided heart failure starting or that I have to much carbon monoxide staying in me. The list is endless.

There are stories of people who have had copd for 20 - 30 years. So I am trying to get it into my head that it's not always a bad ending.

Just wish I could find someone who was diagnosed at my age, with a simular lung fumction whos say in there late 60s to see how they are doing. But when I try and find that info, all it tells me is dead in ten years.

Look forward to replys

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Paul

    I know how you feel. I have buried my head in the sand over the past 3 years thinking oh I will get better. Dream on. I find I am also thinking non stop about our condition whenever I am researching the subject online. I think your best bet at the moment is not to sit on the internet too long and what I am finding easier is involving myself in mild exercise as in a bicycle run or like and I really feel that I have achieved something in the day. I am currently struggling without the ciggies for 4 months but I am damned if I am going back to smoking as I am not wheezing or coughing nearly as much. Will speak to you later as I am now going to play grass bowls in a league game.

    Take care

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  • Posted

    Hi Paul

    Sounds very much to me that you really should listen to your friendly doctor.

    COPD is an alarming illness and yes it is probably the 2nd biggest killer in the UK.

    The fact is you are young and quite healthy by all accounts and you have a future ahead of you if you will only get this death wish out of your head.

    Paul you have been smoking regulary for nigh on 27 yrs do not expect your stats to jump up straight away just because you have stopped puffing the weed,it takes time.

    Also it maybe worth mentioning when I have my LFT they tend to differ slightly sometimes up sometimes down depending on the time of year and the weather conditions.It may sound silly but its true.All in all over the last 5 yrs I have leveled off to 20%.

    The same goes for daily excercise Sunday I was walking along the seafront and I even had lunch at one of the small restuarants tried a few walks up the steep paths barely made it but it felt great.

    Yesterday I just made it out of the house into my car to see my gp, and today looks like I will be staying in again, storms are brewing clouds are grey and its so humid,bad day for anyone with COPD, or Alpha1 which I was blessed with.

    I was diagnosed some 10yrs ago very outgoing person that I was I was determined that I could fight it but last year I changed my work place and it got the better of me so I had to take early retirement.

    Anyways mate change your thinking and be more posative in your approach to life.

    Its no good thinking seeing any specialist will help if you yourself can't get your mind around this illness.

    Stay lucky.

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  • Posted

    Hi Dave

    I do hope your well.

    I just do not know where to turn anymore, Mondays ct scans results I got back realy fast. The same day, today (wednesday) a call from the hospital, it may not be emphsema (that was dx offcially on Monday.)

    There is lung damage across both of my lungs and it maybe multiple tumours, they are re examing the CT scan, but its going to be over a month before I find out if its the Big E or the Big C.

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  • Posted

    Hiya Paul,

    OK the results don't sound to promising at the moment,but guy you have to start thinking posative don't carry on down that road were you are always wondering what if? am I ?.

    Look on the bright side you are still here and you can still fight it.

    Keep up the excercising walks and possible sit ups and best of all weights for your upper body muscles just a couple of 2kgs and whilst your sitting about on the computer or watching the box just do some excercises with them.Keep your chest muscles as strong as you can.I do and I am far worse off than yourself believe me.

    We all go through the what if situation.

    A lot of alphas I know thought of it as a death sentence in the begining myself included.

    But you have so much going for you,your age is a blessing and the fact that you are still mobile means if you set targets you can still reach them.

    Don't worry about the tests for the moment deal with that when it comes along,it maybe just scaring,my lungs are full of dark areas I now know its emphysema from the protien def and its commonly known that my kidneys,liver,pancreas,could follow but the last thing I want to do is sit here asking myself what if.I did all that when I was diagnosed with A1AD.

    I,m happy with the emphysema thankyou. :lol: :lol:

    Better the devil you know.

    My family have accepted it now and I have as well which was the main stumbling block for me last year.As for infections and the drugs well I like to think I have all that under control.

    I carry 2 courses of antibiotics in my cupboard and 2 course of steriods, plus quite a large amount of other drugs that over the years I have found to be helpful at certain times .

    I like to say I am self medicating I very raely go to my GP unless I really need his advice, hardly ever for infections.

    Mainly because surgery waiting rooms are not the most healthiest of places and for a alpha with very low immune system it tends to be a no no if you get my drift.

    As for LFT well I see my consultant once a year I know there is nothing he can do for me.

    We have been down the road of tx's/valve stents/prolastin.

    Results were as follows, I am too healthy for a tx although I am only 20% the reason I am not on o2,rather silly I know but I will only use it if it is my last resort,which at present is going against me.

    The valve stents according to Brompton my emphysema is to dense there are no good spots to put the valves in,I was kinda hoping for that one.

    Put me back abit I can tell yer.

    When I was diagnosed 10 yrs ago the infection was in the top of my lungs I would have been perfect for the operation but now there are no good spots.

    OK I thought prolatin maybe my way out,nope according to Brompton again if it ever gets the go ahead from NICE in the UK it will only be for people with emphysema that have over 30% left,grrrrrrrr.

    So I can sit here feeling sorry for myself or move my ass and carry on.

    I admit I have dark days/weeks sometimes but you have to bounce back.

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  • Posted

    Hi Paul,

    Sorry would like to put a possible correction to my previous post.

    Prolastin on hindsight may possibly be only used on people with protien def copd related illness,not on copds with smoking problems.

    Not really a 100% certain on that one so don't go building yer hopes up.

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