Does it get easier??

I'm struggling with my new diagnosis of very early stage of emphysema, I know I should try not to worry but I keep crying. I've never smoked I exercise eat healthy and don't drink alcohol. I'm 46 with a young family to care for. Will I get use to it and stop crying ? I'm thinking of asking for anti-depressant pills which I've never had before , I can't sleep my eyes are swollen I feel scared.

13 Replies

  • Hi, I do sympathise....if you are in the UK you can ring the BLF helpline today ....then you will be able to speak to a someone who can offer advice and listen to your worries. Take care

  • Please do not be scared there is nothing to be frightened about, if you continue to look after yourself you will live as long a life as anyone. Take care xx

  • Morning happiness,

    I've got severe emphasema and I'm only 42, I have a genetic disorder Alpha 1 antitrypsin defiency ZZ, but like U, I cried , I still do, not so much now just on bad days 😢 joining this site was the best thing I did, the support, the jokes listening to others stories always helps put things in prospective.

    I'm on anti depressants but not just for this illness, but if u think they might help for a while talk to ur gp. All I can say is don't let it take over ur life. We cry at the thought of losing our life to the disease , but then it's winning anyway by not grasping everyday and enjoying the life we do have. we all have bad days of course we do , but love the good days. U have mild emphasema, eat well exercise, take ur meds , and U can still live a long an happy life, just don't let it consume U. we're all here anytime if we can help 😃 take care xx sonia xx

  • Good Morning, I know how scared you must be - my husband was diagnosed when he was a little older than you although he had been struggling for a couple of years and, believe it or not, had been using my inhalers for asthma because he was so scared of going to the Doctor. THE GOOD NEWS is that he is will here and has a great quality of life. (My youngest daughter was only 2 when he was properly diagnosed and she is now 14).

    The first thing I would suggest is to ring the BLF helpline - You can call the helpline on 03000 030 555 Lines are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. I am sure that the nurses will be able to help reassure you.

    There are lots of things you can do to keep yourself as well as possible. The most important, in my opinion, is to keep as fit as possible. Now that sounds contradictory when you are struggling to breath but honestly you need to keep active. Ask your doctor about a pulmonary rehab course - two hours twice a week - one hour of monitored exercise and one hour of information. It really helped my husband. And the other thing that I have found to be important is to be proactive about your health - if you dont feel as well as you have or are more breathless - go back to your gp. I have found that I have had to be the one asking about medications etc. and the pulmonary rehab etc.

    Please don't be scared - my husband continues on and is still working full time. He just paces himself now. With a young family you have lots of lovely things to look forward to. Take good care of yourself, lots of love TAD xxx

  • Hello happiness

    Above all you should put

    Emphasema in the search .

    There is currently a Graham Boothe who has great things to say about using vit A and D.

    He swears its a cure because he has seen is wife recover from her

    death bed to be bettet now 20 months latet. Some 100 people follow his advice .That you are early stage is another advantage.

    Even without this cure folk go on

    for 20 years. Cry no more and check it out.

  • Thank you every body for your replies, Tadaw thanks for your story that's inspiring and I will give BLF a ring.. hopeup I've seen Graham boothes comment and I'm going to be buying my vits too... thanks every one I'm going to try and lift myself up out of this awful sinking feeling xxx

  • Hi Happiness123,

    I also have been diagnosed with copd and have never smoked in my life, so the diagnosis was a great shock to me at the time, and I was really scared as well. However, I learned a lot from friends on this forum and came to realise that it is not a death sentence at all, and you sound far fitter than me. The help I received from the BLF helpline was also invaluable, and gave me tips on what to ask the doctors and what to expect. If you want they can also send you out information, or it is available for downloading.

    Being able to exercise regularly is so important in keeping your lungs from getting worse and can actually improve your condition. If you hadn't kept so fit, you might have been at a worse stage than you are, so keep running if you can. There are a number of people on here with moderate and severe copd, who continue to work and lead a normal life, go on holidays, outings and generally just continue as usual while taking care to look after themselves at the same time. Getting the flu vaccine, and keeping infection free is important too. Using Vicks First Defence spray at the first sign of sniffles helps stop a cold developing and as you have a young family, no doubt they will be catching all sorts of viruses, but Vicks First Defence really helps.

    Honestly and truly you will find you are able to live your life as normal, although you may get the odd setback from time to time, but that happens in everyday life anyway.

    You will be fine happiness, just keep an eye on any infections and continue to keep fit, eat well and enjoy each day!

    Take care,

    hugs from Huggs xxx :)

    ps You didn't mention any inhalers, but if you are short of breath then you maybe want to go over treatment with the doctor or consultant. I was prescribed Spiriva which made a huge difference to my coughing and shortness of breath. Also, if you are coughing up a lot of mucous then something like Mucodyne can help with that as it loosens and thins the mucous so making it easier to cough up any gunge.

    Good luck, and if you haven't already done so, then contact the BLF helpline. Mild copd is not a death sentence Happiness, not at all, and keeping positive helps, as well as humour. I have learned more on here than from any doctor so keep posting and someone will always be around to help.

  • Thank you Huggs it does calm me down when I read such positive replys. It's all new to me as I really don't have a cough or mucus, occasionally i'll cough but nothing. I run 3 mile a day and go to the gym. I only found out I've the start of emphysema because I had a pnuemo throax 6 months ago had a chest drain to take the air out and that was that I thought i was fixed. My CT results came through the post last Friday saying I've tiny amounts of emphysema and nothing to worry about. I've not been given no advice, no meds, no follow up appointment nothing. I feel like I'm left on my own to deal with and scared of how quick will this develop. I'm going to follow the advice of vicks first defence as I keep reading other posts with this advice .

    Thanks Julie

  • Hi Julie,

    You are welcome and it is only natural to be really scared with the diagnosis out of the blue like that, as you automatically think of the worst case scenario. The fact that you haven't been given any meds suggests you are very mild indeed, but if it continues to worry you, speak to your doctor to discuss it, but otherwise just keep doing what you are normally doing, exercising and eating healthily. If you are thinking of taking extra vitamin A and D I would check with your doctor first though, just to make sure it is suitable for you.

    Emphysema doesn't worsen quickly, although you might be more prone to chest infections, but that is only a "might". lol You are keeping so fit and active, that it will stand you in good stead, and I say again, is no means a death sentence. Not at all.

    Take care,

    hugs from Huggs xxx :)

  • Hello Happiness! 😃 I'm so pleased you have found us here, I hope we can help with our experience of lung issues, just post any questions or worries you have😃

    Please don't believe everything you read on the internet because it just isn't all true!

    You are asking 'Does it get easier?' Well Yes it can! as with most things it's about choice, are you going to choose to make the best of every day and what you have or choose to be floored by a man you barely know in a white coat?

    It is all positive things in your are a non smoker, like to stay fit , eat healthy , have a wonderful family , all good!!! all reasons for a wonderful life and a name like Happiness....your mind is a powerful tool , with it you can choose to believe in your own abilities to stay well and happy and I hope you find you don't need antidepressants AND you live a long and happy life! hugs from huff xxxx

  • Aww, Thanks huff, I feel better already reading this and yes your right your mind is a powerful tool and I'm going to try my best to carry on being happy..

    love happiness :) xx

  • Hi, I'm sorry to hear you're so worried, it's only natural.

    The best advice I can offer is to keep your immune system fighting fit in order to fight any bugs that come your way. It's almost inevitable with children 8 their friends but give yourself a head start. Most of us are a bit OCD with avoiding touching handles etc in public, washing our hands loads, using hand gel. Anything to avoid catching a cold which will usually go down to airways.

    You can't argue with a ct scan, it's the best way to get a diagnosis.

    I would be asking for a test re the A1 deficiency mentioned above, it's only a finger prick test. It's more unusual to get COPD if you've never smoked. Perhaps you've been brought up by heavy smokers? Perhaps worked in an unhealthy environment. It's certainly not fair. I don't have Copd, ashma but we are much more vulnerable to chest infections.

    Lots of breathing exercises clips on YouTube plus explanations of lung problems.

    Wishing you all the best. Keep doing what you're doing. P

  • You will get lots of help and support on this site, and that will help you feel confident about the future.

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