Asthma and COPD

Hi, I have had asthma most if not all of my life (diagnosed when I was 10) I have been in and out of hospitals more than I can count.. eventually getting a nebuliser at home..have had test after test and had meds changed so man many times....nothing seems to work for the better and have noticed a decline in my peak flows.. I used to be about 450 highest peak flow.. and now I can barely get to 300..... I had yet another Spirometry test and now waiting to see the consultant.. I have yet another chest infection... to think for the past few weeks I was actually feeling ok.. and agreed to climb Ben Nevis to raise money for my daughters with this chest infection....the GP said he got a letter from the consultant about my tests and apparently I have COPD as well as severe chronic asthma....have read about COPD... it doesn't look good.. I knew my asthma would never get much better.... but I'm scared for the future... I felt i was doing well taking meds when needed, doing peak flow every day etc.. but nothing seems to it hopeless? or does anyone have anything positive to give me hope?

8 Replies

  • Hi.

    Your story sounds roughly similar to mine; I've had asthma from age 3 & it started to deteriorate badly about 2 or 3 years ago. Like you I was referred to the consultant & a bucketload of tests later I have a rough idea of what I'm dealing with now.

    The first 'diagnosis' I got though right at the beginning was COPD, but bear in mind that it's a generic term not a specific illness so don't get too hooked on it. What you need to find out it what your particular version of it is & thereby getting the right treatment.

    What I've been told is that lifelong asthma (50 years worth in my case, around 30 of which my treatment was very poor) probably caused some scarring & damage to my lungs which in turn opened the door to other problems. However after about 18 months now of treatment I feel something more like my usual self. Not perfect, often coughing but able to do normal things.

    Hopefully your consultant will run the various tests so that you can find out what your particular COPD issue is.

  • I had a spirometry test again!) not long ago..they sent a letter to the GP about it...hence knowing its something to do with COPD... I guess I have to wait til June the 3rd for the consultant to go through it with me.....he had said at the last meeting he didn't think it was asthma.. he didn't say he thought it was asthma AND something who knows??.. I know I have Bronchiectasis they saw that in a MRI I had done a couple of months ago... though its not extensive, so that's something... asthma has a lot to answer for lol

  • It certainly does! When I was referred to the consultant at first she told me she was fairly certain I had bronchiectasis & that all the clinical evidence pointed to that (repeated infections of multiple bugs, etc.). However my CT-scan showed up something a bit different. She always says that I don't have typical bronchiectasis, by which I think she means damage & scarring but not in quite the same ways as typical bronchi.

    In my case the main 'something else' turned out to ABPA, which I think was a result of a combination of the allergy (to aspergillus spores) & the damage in my lungs holding the spores in there.

    The tests I had were really quite thorough & thy kept plugging away at different things so I hope that eventually they work out the right solution for you.

  • Hi I have had asthma for around 30 years but fortunately well controlled. I was diagnosed with copd as well around 6 years ago (I am now 62). Although copd is a chronic progressive condition it doesn't usually progress very quickly if you live a healthy lifestyle. There is a lot you can do to hold it at bay.

    I don't know if you are aware but there is a site under HU called the British Lung Foundation which is brilliant. You will get lots of advice on copd on it or any other lung disease under the sun! . x

  • I have been to pulmonary rehab before and was part of the uk lung foundation.. in fact I was the secretary for a while for our local group... but a few members ruined it and it closed....not sure if I will do it all again as I had an attack while doing one of the exercises.. was quite embarrassing as I was the youngest there lol..everyone else was over 60....I was doing so well too! even went to the gym afterwards for a while, but kept having to not go due to chest infections.. in the end it wasn't worth the money... hey ho!

  • My GP gave me stuff for COPD and it made absolutely no difference to me or my peak flow, so I stopped taking it. It seems to be the diagnosis of the moment, and I shouldn't get too hung up about it if I were you. Similarly, doing PF scores everyday is just depressing. Go by how you feel. If you are fine in yourself, carry on with your usual medication until the consultant tells you anything different. If you feel poorly, go back to the GP and get something else. You don't have to suffer - or worry - unnecessarily.

  • I never really did peak flows much before, but the last time I saw my consultant (only had him for the last 2 months)... he said I was to do them every day.. so I have done...doesn't tell me a whole lot... just that my peak flows are lower than they used to be...I have just done what I always do.. take the meds .. if they don't work or it doesn't get better saw my GP.. if i can't move without wheezing or can't talk go to hospital always worked for me lol...had loads of tests before and never got anything from them except more or changed meds.. which never did anything... so we will see what the consultant says when I show him the peak flows... and what he changes my meds to this time lol

  • You could be me! Story of my life, as it were.

    Best of luck with the consultant. :)

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