British Lung Foundation
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Dad had lung function test but still non the wiser

Hi all soz I haven't posted for a few weeks took my dad yest for his lyng function test at hospital but they tried 3 attempts but he can't stop coughing when doing so she said it's classed as void they did a test for his oxygen level an said it was a but low. We are now waiting see consultant in January near the end but I don't know what they will say because they said wouldn't or couldn't not sure now confirm copd or what's wrong with dad without lung function we even paid private see a different specialist but they said without that wouldn't diagonose I asked what about the xray an ct scan but they said need the lung function test tge only thing the private Dr did prescribe wad steroids and try some different tablets for 10 days to break the mucous up instead of the carbocistiene sorry not sure how to spell it. I asked the lady yest if we could find out results earlier than end of January because not only would we like to kniw what's wrong with dad and make sure he's on tge right medication but we booked a holiday around 10 weeks ago before dad was taken ill to Malaysia and his insurance runs out this week but we can't renew it without a diagnosis and if he as got copd can he fly because until we can see if we can get insurance mum doesn't know what to do she did say we could do a fit to fly test which costs about 70.00 mum doesn't mind paying but until we know if he as copd is there any point I asked if we could get results sent to gp earlier but they said they don't get sent to gp until consultant reports on them and sge can't see him before January it's just so frustrating I said well how will sge make a diagnosis because she saud before without the lung function test she wouldn't the lady just said well she will probably ask dad questions and look at ct scan again bit I said the only problem with that is dad can't answer most of questions because his alzeihmers getting worse since been taken ill with chest. Don't know if any of you have any ideas what we can do next or if there's anything I can ask gp feel so sorry for dad and mum it's there 50th anniversary next year and they were so looking forward to Malaysia we couldn't go this year because I was to poorly and had to cancel but more than anything just want to know what's wrong with dad I kniw he's 85 but up until around 10 weeks ago he was fine and fit as a fiddle going tge gym 5 times a week and you would have thought when he's been in hospital and tge consultant told me he as copd we just not sure how bad until further test and he had type 2 resperiritory failure you don't expect him to come out then the Dr who has taken over in the community to say I'm not convinced to either and she said I don't if he had infection but they sent report from hospital to Dr's saying copd with a question mark type q resperiritory failure and pneumonia . If anyone can help we would appreciate as we are all so confused.

Thanks and hope you are all ready for xmas.

5 Replies

Hi, Bunker. What a worrying time for you, and an awful time for your Father. I can't really help with your questions, but I'm sure someone will be along soon who can. If your Father has had pneumonia it may take him quite a time to get over the infection. Have you considered cancelling the holiday before the insurance runs out or asking the holiday company if you could change the dates? Hoping things improve really quickly for you both.


Hello Bunker. I am so sorry that you have all of this worry. My impression as someone standing apart from what is going on is that right now a holiday so far away is not going to benefit your Mum and Dad. You all obviously manage his alzhiemers very well but going so far away with an undiagnosed lung condition which is causing him so much distress is another thing. If he gets worse whilst he is away, doctors in Malaysia will not have a base from which to treat him. Also, I doubt if any insurance company would pay out because his condition came on before he travelled and he has been having investigations.

The important thing is to get your Dad diagnosed properly so that he can be given the right treatment and a management plan to make life easier for all of you.

Quite frankly, simply telling you that he has type 2 respiratory failure and question mark COPD and question mark pneumonia is as useless as the doctors sitting there reading you a fairy story.It is a very rough and ready, unspecific diagnosis without any positive treatment solution. Not Good Enough!

If they think he has pneumonia they should be giving him treatment for it and if they think that he has COPD they should be treating and managing it and they are not. So unfortunately it is bang the table and get stubborn time. You need to find a good consultant and insist that your Dad is seen by them and that he gets treatment and back up. For this you need a big NHS centre. If they can't do the respiratory tests because of his coughing I would have thought that it is not beyond the wit of man, let alone doctors, that the cough needs treating so that he will be able to do the tests eventually. Many conditions can be diagnosed with a ct scan by a good consultant, who uses the respiratory tests to establish the extent of the damage, not the name of the condition.

It must be truly exhausting for you all but I'm afraid that as with the experience of many on this site, despite our exhaustion we have to keep at the doctors until we get the proper diagnosis and treatment that we need.

Good luck. I am thinking about you.


Wonderful reply,still standing😊

Bunker,sorry I can't add to this,being in a different country(OZ)

The only thing I can add,Is please keep in mind that its very expensive to be hospitalised in Malaysia,if Insurance didn't cover it.

I wish you the best of luck,& do hope you get things sorted soon,for your own peace of mind. xx

1 like

Hello Bunker,

What a stressful time you and your family are going through.

I wholeheartedly agree with what has already been said, very good advice.

The only thing I can add is, when the consultant wants to ask questions of your father, someone who knows him well, possibly wife or yourself, should also be there to fill in the bits he has 'forgotten' It's also important to have someone there to question the consultant, and watch out for the 'bull***t' COPD? after a scan? Absolutely Awfull.

Good luck and Best Wishes



Stillstanding hit it on the head. The way he has been treated is not helping at all. I have RLD and PH plus some other problems. I have been advised that I should not fly. However they did state that they could do a "fit to fly test" Then they explained that if anything went wrong and I needed to get home I may not be able to fly back? As for insurance with pre-existing conditions make sure that you have that fully covered, but with there being ongoing investigations it may be hard to even get a quote? In my case it has made it uneconomic for me to leave the country and extremely unwise to do it without insurance even by boat or train.

I hope you get it sorted out.


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