Since I was diagnosed with COPD in July this year, I have been asking my Nurse and GP to be referred to Consultant. Several times I asked them and they kept saying that they only refer when they can no longer manage disease. I had spirometry in July with the Nurse at GP's and it came up 73%. Inhalers they gave me did no good and had 4 different ones - Qvar, Symbicort, Seretide. I was nervous going to see Consultant last week as had a heavy cold. It was at Southampton General Hospital which is a large teaching Hospital and seen top Consultant in Pulmonary Department. Firstly I spent 2 hours doing spirometry test in booth, only had pc with nurse before at GP's. Did 6 minute walk, loads of puffing and came up as 84% even with a cold. The guy explained that when you have spirometry at GP's it is always lower. Probably due to hospital having all the proper equipment. Had scan and chest x ray. I had 3 previous chest x rays which came back negative,. Finally saw Consultant and he was great. So patient and explained everything to me. He brought up readings on PC and said in his opinion I did not have COPD. He said... ' I dont go just by the 84% but the other readings on the test too ' and he says if he was shown this, then he would say................. person does not have COPD. Chris and my son where with me and we all sank into chair with relief. At very least.................... if I have COPD....................... it is very very mild. He is going along the route that I was diagnosed and been hyperventilating. Referring me to breathing Nurse and sleep apnea test. We came home and my son said................ at least you are in Hospital system now Mum. I have follow up with Consultant in March 2014. Have I been hyperventilating all this time? There was a lot of stress this year with illness with partner etc.
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