I know that in the modern terminology everyone has COPD but this can be unhelpful when so many conditions are classed as one. My husband has just emphysema and when his oxygen needs are increasing and he is poorly I find it frustrating that someone with a stethoscope will say "don't worry his chest is clear" and we end up in resus again. He is coming home today with some community back up so hopefully things will be easier if he is poorly but any suggestions? Thanks

17 Replies

  • I share your frustration. I have emphysema and have absolutely no bronchitis or asthma. As I am not constantly coughing I am frequently treated as being 'well' by my GPs. I put this down to being lumped into the COPD camp. It is lazy medicine.

  • Yes Brishe, it's very frustrating because outwardly we look well when we have emphysema. I have it but am classed as having COPD. I don't cough, wheeze or have any phlegm but I do have sob.

    Does your husband have an emergency pack of abs & steroids in the house that he can take when he needs them? If not, it would be a good idea to ask his GP about it.

    Hope he feels better now he's home! 🌻

  • Yes, we do have a pack. Before the last admission he was advised not to start antibiotics by visiting docs but I had started before this one

  • I agree. I don't have COPD but am interested and just read about the difference between emphysema and chronic bronchitis here lunginstitute.com/blog/diff... I know some doctors simply refuse to tell patients which form they have, which is as Toci says pure laziness

  • Tempted to print that off to show to docs and nurses! Thanks

  • Mine refuse to tell me even though I have asked many times. I just think they don't know (or care). x

  • Great article nadimah. For the first time I really understand the difference between emphysema and chronic bronchitis. I think I am primarily CB because of my severe cough.

    I love your name.... where does it come from? x

  • Hi coughalot. It sounds like you're right there. I don't know much about it but the article suggests that. My name means friend in Arabic. N

  • Helpful link nadimah. It is very unhelpful for patients not to be told exactly what their condition is. They are not very forthcoming on one hand but on the other they expect you to give an accurate history on consultation. We bronchs still get ticked off when some docs are adament we have copd, so can understand your frustration.


  • Totally agree Brishe1, I have severe emphasema and copd, copd top of my lungs, emphasema at the bottom and always get told " ur chest sounds clear " oh well that's ok then I must alright then. My gp surgery always make me feel like a hypercondriact, my ADAPT clinic don't, but rarely get to see them. Most of the time I take my steroids and abs when I know I'm not well with either phlegm or wheezing and only go or phone for replacements. Xx Sonia xx

  • Thanks

  • Pete was told only recently that his chest was clear but here he is this past week or so wheezing and coughing, bringing up clear sputum and very sob. I think the back pain doesn't help his condition (sarcoidosis and Bronch copd) and he has taken it upon himself to change from Azith ab's to Doxy just because his body gets too used to one so a change could help.

    I wish everyone who is not so great at the moment a very speedy recovery and better breathing. xxxx

  • i know exactly what you mean,, much the same as me now, "stabilize" then home.

    Why don't they try something ?, why don't they explain the truth in detail. i don't give up, why should they .!!

    My last stay in hospital i just came home with more unanswered questions, and believe me i asked many.

    if i feel poorly i'm now told "just" press my pendant alarm.?

    Anyway glad you are getting some community help .

    I have in fact been receiving help from what we call here in the lothians a re-enablement team, this help, and assessment, is apart from my normal carer, which are experienced carers, keeping a check on me i,e a hospital within my house ? [their words not mine ] but appreciated nevertheless. its is due to end soon. [thank goodness , back to my normal carer that i know and trust ]

    I live alone, and feel that frustration myself. , i can only say i hope you get something similar, whether it helps or not, i'm not quite sure. it may help in your position, but i'm afraid to say my own carer knows more about lung problems than this "team"

    , she can spot a problem right away. and knows exactly what to do.

    [one carer, called a team ? ]

    i hope you manage to get some answers And some help

    best wishes


  • Thanks, we are to get more contacts to get medical help so hope it works

  • i do hope you manage to get this, and hope things get better,for both of you,

    kindest thoughts jimmy

  • as you may have read I was at addenbrooks yesterday im not on oxygen I don't get much phlem , hardly ever cough just short of breath , if breathing get worse normally start rescue steroids and see gp in case its an infection often he cant tell but start me on antibiotics , now addenbrooks said because I don't get much phlem to start antibiotics straight away to be on the safe side

  • Thanks to all. I think you are right, start things and not worry about about being over zealous as he can become so poorly so quickly.

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