First spirometry result

So saw the practice nurse who is lovely. Did the spiro test and results are FEV1 77, FVC 90, FEV1/FVC 92.

Apparently, my chest xray shows clear lungs but written note 'background changes of emphysema' which is the direct quote the receptionist gave me which put the fear of god into me. 2days after this, i called surgery since nobody had got back in touch with me. First gp told me smoking damage and make appointment for breathing tests (for which I have waited a month). As I was having a major breakdown, saw a different gp a week later who explained what emphysema was, told me to stop smoking, get breathing tests, exercise, eat well and gave me amatryptline for back pain which was the reason I presented in the first place!!

Nursie thinks that there may be a minute spot which is why the 'emphysema' tag has been added but is raging that receptionist read out details to me which have caused me so much anguish and that led me to believe that I was about to shuffle off at the tender age of 55. She can't see all of the xray. Thinks it's possible too that i had an infection and pain was/is from that.

So going back to see nursie in 3 months time to redo tests (she doesn't normally do this but because I have been badly let down by the practice she is happy to repeat the tests to reassure me).

In the meantime, got another appointment to try to sort out back pain and discuss fully the xray result, spiro results and back pain.

A huge thanks to all on here who, despite suffering so badly with a variety of illness and difficulties were there to provide support and give me hope at a very difficult time. I salute you all.


20 Replies

  • Hi Maureen I've just read your post and it seems I have the same thing going on. I have pain around my shoulder blade and breathless and plegme in my throat plus gerd disease what a joy!!!! Lung test not great but I was ignoring my meds and was on aloe Vera the whole time, I feel very upset and low not sure we're to go with this in my head x

  • Hi there

    Get back to GP and let them know how you feel (and take someone with you if you can). I was so grateful to have a family member there with me today. I just cried and cried when the nurse said she would follow up how I had been treated. Don't give up. Get back to GP or ask for a housecall if you can;t face going. After the treatment I have had and the way I was made to feel you can bet your life that new assertive Mo will be evident in 2016.

  • Hi mo

    That's what l like to hear


  • Think we all need to tell medical professionals what we want - not ask them ever so nicely and then be grateful for whatever morsel of comfort they deign to deliver.

    Will put soapbox away shortly!!!

  • Hi Maureen

    So happy for you, and to see you a lot calmer.

    Hope you get your back pain sorted out.

    I do hope you will remain a member, and keep in touch

    Velvet xx

  • Definitely will stay in the group. You are an incredible bunch of generous and caring people. Still need to see the GP as to how we proceed with this and doesn't mean that I am completely out of the woods yet but we will see. Mo xxxx

  • Some receptionists take far too much upon themselves. I am glad things are going so well for you now.

  • Thanks Toci. I hope my experience will help others in being just that bit more assertive with their health care providers - something of a misnomer perhaps? After all most of us have worked and paid long and hard for a national health SERVICE!!!!!!

  • It's my first time on here sooo need support feel so tearfull as menopause to I had m.e foe 10 years I've now recovered then this!!!!!! Not great is it oh well. So pleased to see so much support, my partner is lovely but totally ignores that iam ill it's pretty shamefull, thanks again will speak soon as need this site xx

  • Welcome to the group and I'm sure you will find answers to most of your questions here as it seems someone has experienced something similar to what you are going through at one time or another.

  • Can empathise with menopausal symptoms. Another reason to get a gp who will listen, help and monitor your care. I know it's hard but you have to let your gp know how you are feeling. In the last month I have twice cried like a baby in the gp surgery but I don't care about that. If that is what it takes to get proper care I will do it again (and again and......)

  • I agree mo13 but I can't face that place at the moment, however I will have to broaden my shoulders and get it together. Thanks for support x

  • If you have someone who can go with you it's so much easier.

  • While your FEV1 would normally put you into the moderate range it is just barely below the 80% which is the dividing line between mild and moderate and if you do have an infection and or congestion right now your FEV1 might actually be above 80% if you are tested once the infection has cleared up. Generally to be considered COPD they want to see a reduced FEV1 plus an FEV1/FVC ratio below 70% which yours is not, but if the x-ray shows emphysema than there may be other explanations for the FEV1/FVC ratio being above 70%.

  • And after all that, here's your emergency call to stop smoking!! Ignore the "emphysemitic changes" at your peril...



  • Yep - first thing I did - cold turkey (how seasonal)!

  • Excellent!! -- and SO seasonally brave! Please don't fall off that particular waggon, "like wot I did" for so long - and with disastrous results for my lungs!


  • Sorry to hear that. Am now a non-smoker since I never, ever want to go through giving up again. So cold turkey, hot turkey, leftover turkey - I no longer like turkey!!!!!!

  • I too was told I needed a spirometer test to get a diagnosis of copd, by the receptionist. She told me this was good news as I wasn't showing any cancer. To be honest it doesn't feel like good news. Can't have the test until Feb as had a recent chest infect and steroids. I too have been really worried and a little weepy but after reading what everyone has said on here about diet and exercise I have made a plan and started putting this in place. Now I have a plan I feel more confident that I am able to control this whether it is my asthma or COPD. Get a plan, take control, and live your life. Big hugs to you xxx

  • Well done you. I think the support on here is so good. A lot of people have been where we have been emotionally. A plan helps make the future. Good luck. Mo

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