I have brochi: and mild emph: I've ha... - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation

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I have brochi: and mild emph: I've had my share of chest infections and all the other symptoms, but what has happened to me two or three


times has left me a bit worried. At this moment I have no infection, yesterday I was coughing my normal cough and I was feeling quite breathless throughout the day. However, I was out with a friend having a steady walk around the shops, we were enjoying ourselves, we had a nice lunch and were just relaxing. The problem was I kept forgetting words I wanted to say, it was horrible. The other thing was, I became so tired I was in bed by tea time. It has happened before a couple of times. I'm wandering if anybody else has had the same problem.

19 Replies

I had a moment on Sunday when I was talking on a subject with my daughter-in-law when I couldn`t remember the name of the person we were talking about! This happens occasionally but I`m 70 yrs old so I just put it down to old age memory loss.

I try to nap after lunch, only five minutes or so and it helps to put off fatigue. With COPD your lungs have to work that bit harder and consequently your are bound to feel fatigued at times.

Thanks for that saul. I often feel tired, but it was the forgetting things that has shaken me. It wasn't just names, it was also words within sentences, I'd be chatting away and suddenly stopped because I'd completely lost and was stumbling over what I'd meant to say but had forgotten.

Hi must carry on. I am fairly new to this having just being diagnosed with copd a couple of months ago, although I have had asthma for around 10 years. What you are describing is exactly what happens to me now. Its only once in a blue moon that I can get out and I cannot walk far. However, when I get home I fall asleep for hours. I happened to be at physio yesterday for the first time regarding copd. He gave me exercises to do while just sitting and relaxing an also exercises to do while just pottering around the house for example. These are breathing exercises and if you have not been to a physio I would recommend that you go to one. As I say, I haven't even started yet because I was so exhausted when I came home that I lay down and fell asleep until 10 minutes ago when my cat woke me up.! My heating was on all night as was the telly! The physio explained to me that because our airways are inflamed and narrowed then we are gulping to get air and it is not getting to our lungs properly. I am not explaining this very well. I would say go to physio and also a pulmonary rehabilitation clinic which I will be going to. No doubt some of the others on here who have a lot of experience (unfortunately for them) will explain things better than me. You are not alone in this and there is help available. Best wishes and I hope you keep better. Try not to worry too much as this makes things worse. xx

huggs in reply to huggs

HI, its me again! Stumbling over your words etc can happen when you are over tired. If this keeps happening or you do not think it was this then it might be best to talk to your doctor about it.

Anitao1967 in reply to huggs

Hi Huggs, I am new on here. I was diagnosed "officially" with copd 2 years ago (aged 44 at the time). Before this it was all put down to untreated asthma when I was young (apparently), according to the lung function tests I had done many years ago at hospital on large machines (not like the little spirometry meter used these days). Plus I was told of the damage smoking was doing. I stupidly carried on smoking until I gave up last year. My question to you is regarding the physio and pulmonary rehabilitation clinic. Are these free on NHS via the doctor? My doctor hasn't even suggested I see someone and the nurse who does the tests reckons I am doing well. I had a lung function test last week and my lung age is now 76 (I am currently 46). I lost my mum and dad to lung disease and my sister (age 56) has been on permanent oxygen for the last 4.5 years.. I know she was seeing consultants at the hospital long before she was on permanent oxygen. I am doing everything I can to delay my progression. Gave up smoking last year and this year gave up the electronic cigarettes, I exercise & eat healthily but still this week was very hard to breath because of the air pollution around where I live. Thank goodness it has died down today. I really think I need to see some experts on the matter. Any advice would be very much appreciated. I don't want to involve my sister as she is on morphine and can barely speak most days and now lives a distance from me.

Last summer, long before I was diagnosed with UIP, I went to the Doc because my memory had become 'odd'. I kept coming across what I called 'holes' in my memory. Just like you, it could happen at any time when talking, and also when I was doing things.

It felt different from normal age related forgetfulness.

She sent me to have my memory tested. The result was that I had better than average memory for my age (68 then). But I still knew this was different.

I feel now that the year/s I spent running around not knowing my sats were plummeting has probably meant a bit of very specific brain damage. I was given an oximeter in January, just after I had run for a train!

I'm now on pulse oxygen which I use for anything requiring physical energy. And I don't run anywhere!!! :D

I'm satisfied with my explanation, and now I call said organ my 'Gruyere Brain' :D

Interesting post, and one I can relate to. A friend recently posted this on another site:


"Our findings highlight the importance of COPD as a risk factor for mild cognitive impairment and may provide a substrate for early intervention to prevent or delay the onset and progression of mild cognitive impairment," Mielke's group concluded.

Prior studies have linked COPD, particularly severe cases, to poor performance on attention, memory, and executive function tests.

Chronic lack of oxygen and excess carbon dioxide may damage the brain over time, and systemic inflammation and vascular problems also linked to COPD could play a role as well, Mielke and colleagues suggested.

The exact happened to me on many occasions to the point that i couldn't remember things like getting to bed, my gp got worried when he heard what was happening and ran some tests telling me not to worry that he would find out what was going on. My meds have been increased and he is keeping a closer eye on my health i.e. heart and poss diabetes as well as c.o.p.d and emphysema.


That is very interesting. I never thought of a link between memory and lung disease before. It has happened to me too mustcarryon. I find the best is to make a joke of it but it is worrying. When I was working full time I found between my copd and depression I was often so tired I would go to bed at teatime and sleep round the clock. This would happen a couple of times a week. I found I couldn't remember things at work as well which got me into trouble. Maybe in future you need to go a bit slower and have more sit downs if you are feeling tired.

I must say i can relate to this i had just put it down as one offs but actually reading all above its not . I frequently "forget" what im talking about mid sentence something ive noticed much more recently. Should i be saying something i dont want to be coming over as needy but im only just 50 so bit concerned it will get worse ....brain fog . Thanks for highlighting xx

This is happening to me more often these days, maybe when breathless not enough oxy is getting to the brain? I am glad (not glad you're suffering but glad I'm not the only one!) to see others are suffering with this the same as me, I got a bit upset with myself the other night, in a split second I forgot what I was talking about to my son mid sentence and later I was looking around the room mentally naming everything, tv, chair, table, cat, plant, etc., lol! Trying to prove to myself it was the lack of oxy and not the onset of Alzheimers! It is a bit worrying. xxxx

Hidden in reply to libby7827

I too am the same and forget words mid sentence .i am 72, feel embarrassed sometimes with strangers though my family help me out when talking to them, never suspected it could be linked to copd comforting to know its not just me . Joyce

I do get a bit confused and sort of a sleepy feeling comes on but at moment I do feel more so. I am waiting for Friday to have a pic-line fitted for my IVtreatment.My chest feels worst this time.Do hope you feel better soon. Monica. x

It is worrying. I can only suggest you make an appointment with your GP even if its only to have it on record. Just in case its something else.

I find myself astonished at times at the information I do remember and think "phew, I'm not prematurely senile after all"!

I get the recurrent larangeal nerve playing up makes me ratty

I'm 53 years young and for the last 3 years I have forgot where I was going my husbands name the list is endless { can't remember lol} just put it down to getting old but I have got a lot worse since I had all them infections last year and since my lung capacity has dropped.


May have been the high pollution at the moment. .see BBC news. X

mustcarryon in reply to Hidden

Hi juliekay

I don't think so, I've had breathlessness for a long time, the forgetfulness has only happened a few times and that has been over time. xx

peege in reply to mustcarryon

Hi Mustcarryon, have you talked to your doctor yet? Or even your practice nurse, they are often more tuned in. Let us know how you get on won't you xxx

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