Hello everybody, nice to meet you all, you seem a very helpful and friendly group, and best of all, given this scary disease, very positive. Am in the middle of ongoing tussle between professionals of whether I have asthma with copd, or just asthma (have had stable asthma for a long time so that is not in dispute) i.e. am very symptomatic, and awaiting further tests. After a bad asthma flare eighteen months ago, which was not treated fast enough, I developed more persistent symptoms of breathlessness, tight chest, cough and phlegm (am a former smoker), and yet spirometry was relatively 'indeterminate' at that time (borderline fev/fvc, BUT reduced dclo). One year later, I remain highly symptomatic (of chronic bronchitis), and much worse after a cold in early September, and much more symptomatic than what I might imagine with [probably] a diagnosis or early/ mild copd/ fixed airway disease (progression of asthma worsening and/ or previous smoking history catching up with me). I see that everybody is very different, and that many here seem to be less symptomatic even with a more severe diagnosis.
Assuming that I am progressing into more clinically definable numbers (which I will know in a few weeks), I am still assuming and hopeful that the numbers this early on will be in mild stage, and yet I am somehow breathless, laboured, sighing, even in repose, and feel my symptoms much worse than to be expected given the numbers to date. And so I am just trying to get my head round that anomaly. And was hoping others here might help me with that. I've read that FEV decline is faster in the early stages, and plateaus out. But that is 'just' a number, is there a similar rate of decline on the symptom front? (i.e. this set of persistent symptoms seems too long and too persistent to be the same or another asthma flare, and is anyway not behaving like asthma, in my view). How were others' symptoms early after diagnosis?
It may seem that I am over-anxiously jumping the gun here (am trying very hard not to), but am simply trying to account for current symptoms, which are very uncomfortable: my breathing feels like hard work much of the time and therefore it is hard to distract myself from it (which I was previously good at doing, being an asthmatic).
oh dear, this is getting long. Sorry!