Denial over so what now?

I was diagnosed with COPD 18 months ago. Yep still smoking heavily. I'm about 6-8 pounds overweight (I like it as it makes me look more healthy rather that a bit gaunt). 48 years old, from Leicester and pretty much very happy in general. I have this past few weeks realized that I can no longer pretend this isn't serious. My diet is very good, I very rarely eat anything processed except tomato/brown sauce and perhaps one takeaway a month.

Yes, I have full intentions to give up smoking, I will be honest, I am actually quite scared to give up, I hope some people will at least understand as all I get in real life is abused for being an addict and not giving up. (booked in with DR for some champix).

I'm overwhelmed by the general information thats online and have a few questions that I hope can be answered here.

I am dog tired by 4pm (when I Finnish work) I mean very very tired to the point where I have to go to bed for a couple of hours and sleep. Is this the copd?

When I wake in the mornings I have slight numbness in my feet and they are generally painful for several hours in the mornings, is this part of it?

MY Doctor gave me a brown puffer and a blue puffer, the brown one doesn't seem to do anything, but the blue one is good when I am wheezy.

I work out never less than 3 times a week, but I'm finding it harder and harder to "hit it hard" with the weights, Ive resorted to a light swim. Are my low energy levels part of copd? I love working out and this lack of energy to do it is whats made me realize I need to wake up and smell the coffee.

I use the sauna and steam room at the gym, Ive read conflicting reports of yes its good, no its bad, I would appreciate some guidance.

I look forward to reading any advice and tips.

Kind Regards

Goodie. (my real life nickname).

35 Replies

  • Hiya Goodie - there will be loads of answers for you and you'll find lots of information under various headings - so welcome!

    Just one small thing, I always thought the brown inhaler is for asthma sufferers. If you don't have it then that's why it's not doing anything!! The blue one (salbutamol) is for both and is an immediate reliever.

    Do try and stop the fags! I didn't until nearly too late - now enjoying e-cigs, my one small indulgence lol! If you do decide to try them, don't get the liquid filler types.


  • Inhaled steroids, which is in the brown inhaler, are often prescribed for later stages of copd, as well as for asthma generally. The brown inhaler takes about 3 weeks to build up in your body, so Goodie, hang in there at least that long, then check with your GP if there's still no difference.

  • Do remember to think of the brown one as a preventative and the blue one to relieve symptoms. Don't stop it because you think it isn't doing anything.

  • started using it again and will continue.

  • I've been where you are. I certainly understand the difficulty in letting go of smoking though I discovered that a week on life support was very effective in changing my attitude - I wouldn't recommend it as a stop smoking method though! I found Jason Vale's stop smoking app very helpful and also the nicotine quickmist spray, which gives you an instant 'hit'. But I'm afraid we all either stop, or REALLY feel the pain of not doing so. For years after diagnosis I continued as normal refusing to acknowledge COPD but all it did was hasten the progress of the disease and with the benefit of hindsight I DO wish I'd been a little more sensible! If you can stop smoking, then you are giving yourself the best chance of continuing to enjoy life. Not easy to do but once you've managed it you'll wonder why it was ever in your life, I promise!

  • Goodie, giving up the nasty smelly smoky thing is top priority. I spent years denying that it was really damaging (rolling my own less harmful etc etc) and then suffered a collapsed lung and surgery on the other one later; COPD blah blah blah. Smoking is a terrible addiction but the sense of victory once abandoned and beaten is magnificent. Now I can't stand the smell of others' smoke and can't believe I lived in that cloud. So don't delay, put your energies into finding the best way for you (we're all different) and then do it. It'll be tough but worth it.

  • I am not going to give advice on stopping smoking though I know it is a must do for any chest problems.

    I have COPD and still smoke.

    The tierdness is due to the COPD I have the same thing it's like a car miss firing on 3 cylinders instead of 4 you won't run the same. Hope it all sorts out for you. Rose

  • Hello Rose, I still smoke about five a day and know that is still too much but consider it one of my only pleasures, so it is somewhat of a relief to read your post and know there are some of us who are still carrying on with the weed! Also use an e-cigarette. However, I am 73 years old and have smoked most of my life so you can see the problem I have giving up! Others sound as if just giving up is so easy but it clearly is not. Just wanted you to know that you have made me feel so much better today simply by knowing there are others like me out there! Thanks Rose!!! June

  • Hi June glad I made you feel better I am 69 so I know what your going through. And guess what I aren't even trying it's my only vice as well :)

    My husband used to smoke he gave up about 30 years ago and used to say it's all in the mind I stopped. He died 2 years ago so I haven't got him getting at me now.

    Saying that wish he was here to moan at me about it not that it did any good lol. Rose x

  • Thanks so much Rose. Have felt better all day knowing you are just like me!!!!!!! Keep in touch. June

  • Will do :)

  • Hi June hope your ok went the dentist yesterday for what I thought was 1 or 2 fillings :( shock had 4.

    Came out and tried light a ciggy couldn't even hold it in mouth so sat 2 hours waiting for the mouth defrost. Does this make a start to packing in 2 HOURS lol.

    Take care Rose

  • Giving up smoking should be your first priority,you,ll then find the attitude of your doctors change for the better.It,snot easy for anybody as nicotine is one of the most addictive substances known to us,in the end it comes down to your own will power.Be strong for the sake of your future health.Not being able to breath is terrifying and that,s what stopped me.The brown inhaler is a long acting drug that stops flair ups the blue one an immediate reliever.A good diet and plenty exercise will help stave off the decline.Good luck.D.

  • Im finding it hard to work out properly now, I can barely manage an hour.

  • If it's this brown inhaler, Google didn't find it under COPD treatments.

    "PRESCRIBED FOR: Beclomethasone is used for the control of bronchial asthma in persons requiring continuous treatment. Such patients may include those with frequent asthmatic episodes that require medications to dilate the airways in the lung or those with asthmatic episodes at night."

  • Steroids reduce inflammation and, whether Google knows it or not, O2 Trees is right that a steroid inhaler is often prescribed, in addition to other inhalers, if one has more severe COPD or frequent exacerbations.

  • Yes Toci - absolutely agree about steroid inhalers, just saying that this one isn't usually prescribed for COPD. I only googled it after my first comment because I wanted to check that I wasn't talking nonsense!!

  • Quite true. Whilst diagnosed with asthma for many years I was on Salbutamol and Beclamethasone (Becotide). When I was hospitalised and subsequently diagnosed with COPD, the consultant immediately stopped the Becotide and replaced it with Seretide. Becotide is a preventer prescribed for asthma, not COPD.

  • Thank you so much, warwickstag! I've never had asthma so couldn't speak from personal experience.

  • Hi there yes you have to stop smoking I smoked 50 per day and now off the had a couple of relapses but got there in the end I was told stop the fags or they will stop you your copd you will start feeling better within a couple of weeks of stopping fags if you don't stop you will just keep going down and down so give it your best shot you will get the eventually I used the Nicolette ice white gum did it for me and I still chew it now 7 years later got addicted to it but been told won't do any harm so good luck but try stop the fags sooner rather that later all the best

  • Please go to Leicester NHS Stop Smoking Services who will soon have you off the fags the easy way - Louise Ross and her team actively endorse the e-cigarette and will give you all the info you need. That is your single biggest problem and I think you know that. With e-cigs you simply switch - the quit or die attitude no longer applies. Take the tarry muck out of the equation and you won't look back!

  • Hi Goodie

    If when driving down a motorway I see a fatal car crash it does not stop me driving and so I doubt what ever I say to encourage you to cease smoking will have any affect, but to continue promises that 'car crash' but worse than being fatal it will promise you even more misery than COPD gives you now. I evetually stopped smoking after 50 years and like hirschh cannot stand being around smokers and throughly enjoy the freedom from the addiction but sadly all too late. I am 67 and stopped smoking 10 years ago when I was diagnosed with COPD.PLease do the same.

  • Please, please Goodie you must give up smoking. I have been there and I know how hard it is. Your lungs will get progressivly worse over time and it can be a long time, smoking only makes it worse and will shorten that time.

    I have the same problem with tireness, but you must be pretty fit so its worth checking with your GP

  • Hi just want to say that quitting smoking is very important. However the symptoms you describe about your feet, is something I've never heard before in copd patients. Also, the tiredness, and sleeping 4 hrs. After work is unusual. Copd can make you more tired because we use more energy to breathe, but I think maybe a neurologist might be the type of doctor to see since your symptoms are numbness , pain in your feet, and severe fatigue. Good luck !

  • The blue on is a reliever, the brown one a preventer - it's really important to use the two. You won't feel any immediate benefit from the brown one, it just helps stop you getting iller, rather than making you feel better when your chest is bad

  • Thank you all for your replies, I have been wondering all day at work if anyone would reply, thank you very much. Ive got the number for the stop smoking service near to my home, they open 12pm Monday so I will be calling them to make an appointment. I will also book in to see the asthma nurse and have a chat with her about my inhalers, I think I was a little indifferent due to denial on my visit. Ive also booked the dentist (after a very loooooooong time) as I think I better start taking my health more seriously and nicer teeth will encourage me with the non smoking. Its really good to hear people talking about the same issues I have.

    I also get a very very dry mouth during the night, Ive had my blood sugar levels checked, no problem there, is that part of it? I know I get a nasty mucus (brown) I am thinking thats the fags and copd..... its mainly at night and first thing. Its very thick, texture almost like honey but darker.

    I think Ill set a date to stop, throw everything out the night before, ashtrays etc, kind of make it a "right then, lets do it" day.

    Kind regards, and once again thanks for posting.


  • YAY!! WAYto GO GOODIE!!!!

  • STOP SMOKING NOW! or you will surely suffer later on a few years down the road, I used to be exactly like you and now wish I had stopped much earlier in life or never had started. its a short life a smokers life SO STOP!

  • Hi Snooze

    I quit following copd diagnosis last Oct /Nov. Iam 63 and had smoked for 48 years. Had ignored symptoms of a very bad cough and frequent chest infections for 2/3 years.

    Like most smokers didn't really want to quit but spirometry test showed lower end of moderate ( 55% ).

    The time to stop had definitely come.

    I used champix rather than nicotine replacement as previous quits had involved addiction to nicotine gum.

    (This doesn't happen with everyone ) . Champix worked well for me . You continue to smoke for the first 7-14 days and set a quit date during this period eg day 10. Theory is the desire to smoke diminishes . Champix doesn't suit everyone as there can be side effects . In my case they were minimal. ..... Some mild nausea and a couple of weird dreams. I read Iots of reviews about champix on the Internet and most were favourable.

    I also read the Allen Carr book "Easy way to stop smoking" and found it very helpful.

    I'm not saying quitting was that easy but it was less difficult than I had feared. Within days of quitting the coughing , spluttering and wheezing disappeared. I had always been reasonably fit and the doctor says that this is now helping to compensate for my poor lung function. I can walk 4/5 miles on the flat at a fairly brisk pace , run upstairs a couple of times, do gardening and moderate level exercise classes. Generally I feel fitter and healthier than I have for years.

    8 months on I do miss cigarettes occasionally ....but they had been part of all of my adult life . However I do not miss the deteriorating health which is part and parcel of smoking.

    Cheers Coastal

  • Hi fellow Leicester person! I'm in Wigston!

    I'm new to the site & loving all the really useful information and sound advice & support from everyone!

    I was diagnosed after a really bad chest infection took me to hospital for 2 weeks, 23 months ago-I was really poorly. I promised the consultant I wouldn't smoke again..& despite going through the toughest two years of my life (supporting, and then loss of my husband to pancreatic cancer), I haven't smoked since! It is really difficult and I did use e-cigs for a time..they were a great is still difficult now, but the benefits of stopping far outweigh starting again! Just give it a have nothing to loose..but so much to gain!


    Sue XxX

  • Hi, Im from Rushey Mead ;-)

  • I gave up the 20 + a day with the help of Champix you take them at night between 8-14 days you get the feeling you don't want to smoke it worked for me and I wish you all the best try and get in with a quit clinic for support but remember we are always hear to help welcome to the gang

  • Im gonna do it, I feel different about smoking now.

  • Hi I have been diagnosed with COPD in April. I was a heavy smoker like you. I loved my fags. I always thought that I could not live without them. Once you end up at the Hospital with a cold and feeling breathless and see your self on oxygen is so awful. After the tests x-rays CT scan etc. I was told by doctors that I have mild COPD. I was told by the medical team, that It was up to me to carry on with quality of life by given up smoking or I will end up with oxygen. So I had to make a decision. Do I want to carry on living with oxygen or without oxygen. So I decided to give up smoking. I am still under the stop smoking team with NHS. They are very helpful.. I am trying I still miss fags. When I see someone smoking I wish that I hadn't smoked so much to come to this stage. But I did. I used to feel sorry for self before because I could not smoke when I was sleeping. I was that bad.. I am trying so hard to not smoke again.. I think you should as well.. Life is SWEAT.. And we don't want to live unhealthy life.. It's better to stay healthy and not rely on anyone, I guess. Best of Luck.. Please try like I did.. I am sure u can do it..

  • Its not far off two years now since my last fag. I dont mind admitting I still want one at some point most days, but I have come to understand I will always probably want one, but I will never put one to my lips again I am in charge. My breathing and chest are so much better, Ive not needed inhalers for almost two years.......

    There were some very encouraging posts here, thank you.

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