Dear everybody - I am here to offload - forgive the (possible) long post.
I was diagnosed, a year ago, with moderate copd. I have coped well - not having much in the way of exacerbations and able to go about my usual daily routine, with only occasional SOB. It has, however, been a difficult year. Firstly, by an unlucky fluke, last June, I caught my husband's cold and this developed into SOB and a lowering of my oxygen sats - a day before we were due to fly to Greece! Medication (antibiotics) given to me by my GP, seemed to exacerbate the SOB, rather than make it better! Anyway, we had to cancel our holiday. My GP then rather bullied me into 'giving up smoking', by putting on my records that I was not to travel for a year after giving up. Thus I cannot get travel insurance for subsequent holidays. Then my father contracted pneumonia and died in hospital. But even through all of this, I have kept reasonably well, apart from a slight flare-up a few weeks ago, after a trip to a wedding (everybody seemed to come away from that with either a cold or throat infection!) I was more SOB and was coughing up loads of (white) phlegm, so I took ABs as a precaution and am fine now. Or so I thought.
I went for my yearly check last Tuesday, confident that my condition had not deteriorated - in fact, I hoped it might have improved slightly, as I felt well, was exercising regularly, without distress, my O2 sats were reading 96-97 and I had cut back on my smoking (I was taking it slowly due to my underlying anxiety and because I am prone to depression). BUT, according to the spyrometry test (which I really struggle with - cannot blow out with my mouth open), I have dropped around 10%, to 42% FEV1 and am now classed as 'severe'. I was devastated. The nurse did not seem overly concerned - said it was 'just numbers' and she went more on the fact that I had not suffered much by way of exacerbations, my oxygen levels were good - and that my exercise capacity was good. She said that she thought the drop was partly due to my having not given up smoking and partly because it was only 2 weeks since I had stopped antibiotics. She told me to just continue as I was doing - with lots of exercise and trying to stop the smoking.
I have been in complete turmoil ever since. I am so anxious and I cannot sleep. Despite that I feel no worse than I have done for years, I see a terrifying downward spiral and imminent death! I am in such a state and terribly depressed. What's more, I am panicking to give up smoking - and hating myself for my failure to do so. I have bought several ecigs and I am struggling to get on with any of them - and, because of the high anxiety, I am possibly smoking more rather than less! I just don't know what to do, or what to think. My poor husband is distressed seeing me this way and I feel bad putting him through all this.
Any advise on how to cope with these feelings would be most gratefully received.