British Lung Foundation

Help for newbie

Hello I am new to this site and have been told I have copd by my GP after spirometry tests.I also have asthma. I am 65yrs young and not ready to throw in the towel yet. I aim to grow old disgracefully ! I take preventative inhalers daily and emergency meds when needed. I try not to worry to much and keep myself fairly fit, although I get breathless now on exertion, and have a permanent cough. Am I entitled to pulmonary rehab and any lung/breathing devices on the NHS ?. All I ever get when I go to my GP is inhalers. Also can I take anything to help clear the phlegm out of my lungs. How can I tell what is causing this, I don't know if I have emphysema or not. I would be grateful for any help......I hate this rubbish weather, roll on the summer, or perhaps my GP could write me up for a month in the Caribbean on the NHS !! Pigs might fly.

14 Replies


Welcome to the site I have only been on here for a few days myself but have really benefitted from talking to people on here.

You can always ask to be referred to a respiratory specialist who will then probably also refer you to a respiratory physio. In fact once you ask your Doc to refer you to a specialist they may wake up and refer you for the physio as my Doc did back in December. However, I was referred for physio and still haven't heard anything even though I have chased this up twice. I did try to get a local private physio - who also works for the NHS to take me on but he doesn't specialise in Respiratory Physio so I am still waiting. Still, the sooner you get on the waiting list the sooner you will see someone. You may very well be entitled to other devices on the NHS but here in Wales we have to get those through recommendation from the physio - so, I have bought myself a flutter device to help move mucous and it really works. However, I do not have COPD but Bronchiectasis and asthma so I don't know if this is of use to you though I am sure there will be someone here who can tell you. I do find that in the last week since I have started using the flutter device I do not "crackle and whistle" so much - even when I lie down.

Take care of yourself

Sian xxxx


Hi Velvet and welcome, you seem yay to be doing all the right things, hope you don't smoke! You can get carbocisteine to reduce phlegm a lot of us take it, Also Pulmonary Rehab should be available to you, ask your GP. You will get lots of help advice and humour here so stick around! Take care xx


Welcome. I half fill a large milk bottle with water and use a long straw (2 joined together) and blow into it to make bubbles....then I huff....this helps bring the stuff up.....worth a try. Learned about that at the Rehab clinic, which you should ask to be referred' such a huge help. Good luck.

1 like

Hi Velvet55, you are entitled to pulmonary rehab, which I am sure would benefit you. Your Doctor or Consultant has to refer you, or some times if you go into hospital for your chest you get referred to bring you back to health. Waiting lists are long in some areas unless it is urgent. Several devices are available through the NHS usually via your GP or a asthma nurse. The GP once again should sort the phlegm issue but lots of people on here have their own remedies, so you may get some more replies about that later. Glad you want to grow old disgracefully I am in that club too :) Take care.


Hi Katieoxo60, what a club we could form !! Here are a few of my suggestion for the rules and regulations.

1. All members must be over 60 with the mind of a 19yr old.

2. All members must embarrass the grandchildren weekly

3. All members must embarrass their children weekly.

I manage the above two without even trying ( great fun )

4. All members must learn the latest 'kids slang' This really makes them cringe.

5. All members must make every effort to spend and enjoy the Kids Inheritance.

These are just a few, so any suggestions would be welcome. xx


See from your reply you already know some of the rules, my daughter says we never change. Don't forget you have to dress outrageous at least once a week too. Have you watch the Off their rockers programme? Bye for now speak again soon.


Hello katieoxo love the programme, never to old to have fun.velvet x


Hi velvet55

Welcome to the forum, I only joined myself a couple of days ago, and the response has been overwhelming. I have had lung problems for years, and even after being on life support last October I have never been offered pulmonary rehab, don't even know what it is!! I have an apt with my chest specialist on the 9th June so I will be asking him about it.

Now about your club!! I have 6 grandchildren ranging from 7mths to 14 yrs. If I am feeling miserable I only have to visit and I am soon cheered up. BUT I am only 57 so please lower the age group rule{:-)}

other than that I can mange the rest.

Keep writing I'm really enjoying reading peoples posts.



Hello grannyjan what a wonderful group this . It is so nice to hear from fellow victims of the dreaded COPD.

I do not want to be accused of ageism so have decided to abolish the minimum age limit for the embarrassing grandparents club, please feel free to join in.

Apart from mayhem and chaos the 10 month old twins ( boy and girl ) I have two other grandchildren...10 going on 16 miss sulk a lot, and 7year old master cheek a lot, who informed me yesterday that I am old because I have " crinkles " on my face !! Never a dull day when you are blessed with grandchildren. Velvet x


Hi velvet

It's my 3yr old GS that is the sulky one, just like his dad used to be! I call him sulky Joe (his name is Kile), and tell him he's not allowed to sulk in my house :-)

Him and his 5 yr old sister have ran me ragged round the garden today after school, while my son was cutting the grass, but everyone has gone now, so peace reigns once more.

Take care



Hi Velvet

Just saw your new post. I said to myself, I never even welcomed you. I see you have copd and use inhalers. Do you know your fev1 and your stage of copd?

You sound ready to take on the world!

Thats great.😀 what a wonderful outlook

you have. Glad to meet you Velvet. Look forward to getting to know you 😀

Rubyxx 😊 😊


Hello Rubyred777 I remember the GP muttering a vast array of numbers after my tests, and one of them was 53. I think it referred to me, but it may have been his score for the game I am convinced he was playing on his PC during my consultation, it must have been good as he never looked up from his monitor once !! He has been my GP for a while now but I think I would struggle to recognise him if he passed me in the street.

Afraid taking on the world is a bit beyond me now, but I will give it my best shot.

I have an incurable illness, so what to do about it. I can spiral into despair or make the most of what I have left.

I aim to enjoy every day no matter how hard this may be.

I aim to take enjoyment from all the wonderful things in my life.

I aim to leave my loved ones with a smile on their face whenever they think of me.

I aim to laugh and smile to the end, stuff COPD it can take my life away but it will never rob me of my sense of humour. xx

1 like

Well worth a look at the best and cheapest way to get mucus up. Push the GP for the PR it could be a great help to you. They are very busy so there can be a wait.

Be Well


" Hello !! and a big warm welcome to you.....You will learn so much from our little family in here....Keep your self so safe....Megan."


You may also like...