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British Lung Foundation
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Going to the doctors: to do, or not to do!


What do you think I should do?

Back in Jan I had a annual review, spirometry etc, results were not good, large drop in lung function. It was suggested I go back for a retest, I have not got round to doing so. I feel fine, well no worse than 12 months ago (had a v nasty sore throat and irritating cough ages ago but no chest infection)

Ive been left a message from practise nurse to make an appointment for a follow up spiro.

To be honest I cant see the point, I feel ok, inhalers are working etc and as my mum used to say

'weighing a pig doesn't make it heavier'

I hate going to the docs, makes be feel more unwell not less as reminds me I am ill and just how ill

Your thought appreciated


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22 Replies

I have not been diagnose for a year yet so this has not arisen for me. However I am in the middle of filling in various forms that keep asking for up to date information and for that reason I would suggest that attending your check up is a good idea.

It is your choice Izzy but I would go as it was suggested you go back for a retest and you have had a reminder.

I go for lung checks annually and see my doc 3 monthly for blood checks because of drugs I am taking for another condition. When my lungs were really bad I was seeing the consultant every 3 months.

Look after yourself, let the medical profession do their job, I would.

I know I must


Izzy xx

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You should definitely go for your review. Although emphysema progresses very slowly (if you're not smoking) - I had it about 12/13 years before it started to affect my quality of life to any extent - and your body therefore adapts to accommodate it to some extent - so although you may not feel you are any worse it's a possibility that it has worsened. It's best that you find out for sure so your meds can be adjusted, on the other hand you may find out you've not worsened and that will be great news for you. Libby

Thanks Libby

I know you are right (sad face)

Izzy xx

Thanks guys,

I know you are right ... wish you weren't

I just feel mostly OK (SOB sometimes but no big deal) and a poor result at the docs will make me feel depressed and anxious, which I don't feel at the moment.

However .... will do the adult thing, face it and get on


Izzy xxx

Good girl. You know it makes sense. Much more so than running away from it. Make that appointment tomorrow.

Bobby xxx

Bobby, thanks

Yes I will, honest

Just being a bit pathetic

I need to remember that a Spiro result does not tell me how to feel

It's just a set of numbers

Izzy xx ... now off to walk the springers .... and not feeling SOB now or later!!

So thanks again

You should go, the chat with them is helpful if nothing else. My retest is at the end of the month.

Lynne xx

Thanks Lynn

Its getting pretty obvious I should go.... falling into the 'do as you are told Izzy' mode and quite right

Thanks for taking the time to reply

Izzy xx

Izzy I strongly recommend you have regular check ups.Take care Genexxx

I know you are right, as is the message here for me

Thanks Gene for telling me! .... I needed to ask the question as have gone a bit ostrich head in sand about the whole thing, and needed to hear the sensible answers!

Thanks again


He he. Head in the sand brings back memories. Two years ago my legs were swollen more than they usually are. Nag nag nag goes wifey.and eventually I went to see the GP. An hour later I was in a hospital bed with cellulitis and septicaemia. I was there five weeks. Thank the heavens for nagging wifeys.

Bobby xxx

Your wife definitely saved your life xxxx

Was the cellulitis area red and hot? My Mum has had that sometimes in one leg ever since we were on holiday in Egypt one year and something horrible bit her. She now keeps a supply of meds at home in case it starts up again, and wears protective socks.


Yes it was red and hot. My legs are usually swollen up anyway but the doc has told me to check every morning. Red and hot, call him straight away. I have learned my lesson and yes, my wife certainly saved my life. I am very resistant to antibiotics, they eventually went though seven different ones in hospital. I was there five weeks. They ran out of veins in the end and I had a thing inserted in my neck to put a direct feed in.

Love from Bobby xxxx

I would also recommend that you return for a follow up spiro, if you have not already done so you could ask for a referral for pulmonary rehabilitation, this can improve your fitness & ability to manage your condition.

Best wishes

Jo :-)

The last time I was reviewed by the Respiratory nurse I took a copy of the spirometary I had done at the doctors she had a look at it and said it is really of no use because the results are + or - 10%, but I will still go next time because they always check on my meds and make sure i am using the inhalers properly.

Go along, you have nothing to loose.

polly xx

I am a great fan of "if it aint broke, don't mend it" but in this case burying your head in the sand is not a good idea. Be brave and go. xx

I am going for a review next Tuesday and am quite looking forward to it as because thanks to this site I now know more about COPD and can ask appropriate questions.


Well this is difficult - my husband hates going for them AND last time we almost needed an ambulance, his lung function has dropped so much! Having said that is he any worse? No - he walks a bit slower but is still enjoying a full life. I can the argument for both points of view but if another test will worry you more and actually MAKE you feel worse ie if your results are still bad then will you be questioning your own abilities.

This is a very personal choice and only you know the answer. I tend to agree with your Mum (I love that saying I hope I remember it - it has really made me giggle). The bottom line is you have COPD, just as my husband has BUT you are OK.

Lots of love, luck and may you feel well for a long time to come.

TAD xx

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I hate going to the doctor's and didn't go for about a decade, then over the last few years I have had to go to various specialists pretty regularly.

There are some lovely and very good doctors out there amongst the arrogant up their own @rse ones. Choose carefully and it's worth visiting them.

I also found that once I got past about 40, I was taken far more seriously. But it could also be that I finally found the right doctors for me. I have had terrible and wonderful experiences with the medical profession over the years.

Do you like and trust your doc? If not, find a different one. If you are asking whether you should go or not, maybe they are not the right one(s) for you. It is a highly personal relationship and it does matter if you click or not.

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Good, I'm very glad you're going :-) P

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