Diagnosied with Emphysema today and very scared

Hi everyone, I've been a smoker for 20 years and I have been diagnosied with Emphysema today and I'am very scared and anxious. My doctor just said try and stop smoking so I haven't had lots of information about it. I have to take an appointement with a specialist who I guess will tell me more. What makes it harder is I have no one to speak too, that's why I'am here. I'am not sure what kind of food I should be eating most to try and control it. I plan to stop smoking asap, it is hard though because as with many smokers the cigarette is the thing we turn to at times of stress. I'am so scared and lonely. Thank you for reading.

59 Replies

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  • Hi

    Welcome to the forum, yes you main priority is to Stop smoking, take all the help and advice you need even e-cigs not my favourite. but if it helps in your smoking cessation.

    Exercise and sensible diet always help, ask can you be referred to pulmonary rehablitation which is two hours twice weekly for six weeks.

    One hour exercise tailored to suit you. Plus one hour education which includes diet correct techniques for taking medication.

    Once you had your consultation come back with any questions, there many members with different stages and personal experience which will help you.

  • thank you stone.

  • Thank you Hanne

  • Welcome to the forum KD, yes it is rather scary to be given a diagnosis without any information. Hopefully when you see a lung consultant you will be told more.

    The most important thing you MUST do is STOP smoking. There's lots of help out there & even a quit forum on here. I know it's not easy but it's the one thing that will benefit you the most.

    Eat healthily, no special diet, just plenty of fruit & veg. Exercise is good, as is a positive outlook.

    Were you not prescribed any meds for your condition, eg preventer & reliever inhalers?

    Come back & chat to us & we will give you as much advice as we can. In the meantime try not to worry 💐

  • thank you so much, will try and come back here when i'll be able to see a specialist.

  • Hello KD, nice to meet you and welcome. You have found us now so you are not alone. It is always scary when you are given a name for your lung condition, especially when you are not given much information, and even more so if you try and Google it.

    There are lots of members who also have emphysema who will be happy to answer your questions and hopefully offer you some reassurance. As you know, you do need to stop smoking by whichever way you can. Patches, pills or even ecigs...there is also a Quit forum on Health Unlocked...accept any help!

    There are lots of people who have had emphysema for many years and are still able to enjoy life...just a bit slower!

    All the best

    Tee x

  • Thank you Tee.

  • Hi KD12, i think everyone is the same when they are first diagnosed...it's scary. But in time you learn that you can control this disease. As has already been pointed out to you you must STOP smoking because smoking is the cause of your problem and the sooner you quit the sooner you slow the progression. I had smoked for 47 years before i was diagnosed, tried to quit many times and failed. Once i was diagnosed i decided enough...within 5 days i had quit and never smoked since. I now HATE the smell of cigarettes. Initially i used chewing gum but after a while found my hands were restless so tried ecigs...they work.

    Again as someone has pointed out...exercise. You need to strengthen your lungs, blowing up balloons, swimming even just walking...30-60 minutes a day.

    Cut out all processed food, no sugar, no salt. Lots of fruit and veg.

    Flu vaccine. Avoid people who are sick, especially with a cold or flu. You don't want to get sick.

    A year ago i could not walk a hundred yards without being breathless, now i regularly cycle 7-10kms, swim, walk the beach for 45 minutes.

    I now have more energy than 10 years ago.

    I also take cannabis oil, but that is another story. Search on here for my previous posts on this subject.

  • Thanks Swerv :)

  • Thank you for all your replies, very kind of you all and very informative.

  • Welcome to the group, KD12. Keep coming back, and you won't feel quite so alone.

  • Many thanks Ergendel !

  • I've had COPD for 10 years and understand how you feel. The best things I did was to give up smoking with the help of Champix, and arrange to see the respiratory nurse at my GP surgery. She is very knowledgeable and has more time to talk and explain things than the GPS.

    There are many things that will help you but the most important one is to give up smoking

    Hope you feel less anxious about it all

  • Thank you liynnekay, Iam trying to reduce the smoking andhopefully give up asap.

  • I found it took time to accept my condition COPD but when you realise how much help and guidance is out there together with a forum such as this, it really does begin to calm the anxiety and stress down. However, giving up smoking at the same time as being told you have Emphysema is hard but achievable with support so grab it all. Lots of love and luck to you.

  • Thank you vere, it('s very hard to stop smoking when you relied on it for so long to deal with life stresses. I think I never wanted to smoke as much as know due to the high anxiety the diagnosis provoked in me but I will try my best to quit.

  • Totally understand, one day at a time eh?

  • Welcome KD. I was diagnosed with emphysema when I was 45 I had smoked for over 30 years. When I was diagnosed I didn't even know what emphysema was. I am now 69 and still have a good quality of life. There are some great answers here and we will all support you. Keep in touch, ask any questions you have and take care Barbs x

  • Thanks barbs, you have no idea khow those words are comforting and make me feel less alone.

  • Hi you are definitely not alone we are all here to support you Barbs x

  • Ty barbs ;)

  • Hi I like you recently been diagnosed with emphysema. I also joined this site because The people on this site seem so friendly and uplifting. I agree stay off google.

  • Thanks emd3, hopefully we'll get to talk again here. good night ;)

  • Hang in there . It will get easier to deal with! I promise.

  • Thank you punkyb, very kind.

  • I am 74 and doing well with severe copd. Keeping active is essential. I don't seem able to get a rehab course, so went on Youtube and found exercises there. I do them twice a day. Hubby laughs at me, but I know I can now do more and for longer before needing a rest. And I gave up smoking. Nothing really to be scared of - but I do remember how alarmed I felt when first diagnosed!

  • Thank you

  • Hi I was diagnosed at 39 I smoked and suffered from severe asthma so I suppose it was only a matter of time but I was in denial. It is frightening don't read stuff on internet like I did I thought I wouldn't be here in a few years time, you need to quit smoking and keep as active as possible even if ur struggling to breathe keep going just a steady walk it opens your airways and you will feel much better xx

  • Thanks Tracy, usually I'am good at not checking medical stuff on the net as I know it tends to scare you and then you think you have all the symptoms of terribles diseases. I just had to check a little on emphysema as I didn't know this disease at all and did'nt really get any info from my doctor when she told me about the diagnosis. I think I will concentrate on staying in this forum as I don't want to fall down the rabbit hole of internet speculations;

    Thank you and take care

  • Again thanks to you all for your replies and kind words, this means the world to me today. I feel a bit better than last nigt which was my 1st night knowing the diagnosis and I couldn't sleep thinoing about it. I've been doing meditation for a year prior to the diagnosis, it does keep me a bit calmer and I would encourage everyone to try meditation if possible as it helps tremendously with the panick attacks. I phoned the hospital today to try and get to see a specialist, I was only refered to a Pneumologist, I hope he'll be knowledgable about COPD and reassure me a little, my appointement is on June 23rd so I'll try to keep you posted on what went on in case it can help someone here. I must stress that I live in France and english is my 2nd language, but I mainly use the web in english exclusively since I lived in the UK and Ireland.

    I hope I will be able to get as much info on 23rd march as at present my doctor didn't tell me what stage it's in or anything related to the emphysema, just said to try and stop smoking.

    I've started to reduce the amount of cigarette I smoke daily, I stopped smoking joints as I believe they were the main culprit. I used this drug for the last 5 years to numb the psychological pain I was feeling at the time and I'am sure all these contributed greatly to this diagnosis. It is hard to stop cigarettes though as this is the only "crutch' I ever had at times of stress and now the product I was turning to to calm me down turns out to be the one that's making me sick, I'am sure lots of smokers will understand this dilemma.

    Sorry for the long post, just had to get this out of my chest (or lungs haha)

    I wish you all the best of health in thse circumstances and hope to contribute from time to time on the suject.

  • Hi and welcome ,I'm sorry but the first thing the consultant will say is ,,,,stop smoking as the next one will kill you ,,,,, ,that's what I was told back in 1992 after being a smoker for 30 + years I stopped that very day ,,,,and never wanted to or had another one ,,,, I used to keep a bottle of ice water by me and sip that when I fancied one ,,,and I bought fruit gums and kept them in the fridge as they were harder and lasted longer, I'm lucky as I enjoy fruit ,vegetables,and salad ,but ,, you will put on a little weight as you substitute food for cigarettes,,,,but once you've conquered the no smoking you'll soon lose the weight ,,,,,trust me ,,,,the best thing you can do for ,,

    ,,yourself ,your health ,and the rest of your life,

    Best wishes,

  • Hi Nanny, thanks for the tips. I'am not worried about the weight as Iam skinny and rarely put on weight, the irony being that I always wanted to be fatter but to no avail. At least putting on weight can be a motivation for me. I stopped smoking for abour 4 months a few years ago and chewing sweets is what has done it for me then, I did'nt stop eating sweets for 2 weeks but at least it helped a lot with the cravings.

    All the best Nanny ;)

  • Good luck ,,,,but don't stop smoking for 4 months

    STOP. SMOKING. FOREVER

  • Believe me, if you don't stop smoking now, you will be even more scared, lonely and stressed. Too much and too long to explain, but take my word, please......This is from someone who has been there, done that and is.

    The cannabis is good for emphysema but not by smoking. You can make it into an oil and eat it or make into a suppository. A suppository makes better use of the medicine in the cannabis.

  • Thank you winded, stopping is definetely the way to go, just hope I can do it asap. Thanks for the added motivation ;)

  • Very hard to do but if I knew just how damn miserable I would be from NOT quitting sooner, I would have quit sooner!

    I used Chantix and it STILL took me 3 months to get off them. The Chantix does not kick in right away like it use to. Probably because of the bad side effects it use to have...I think the company changed the dosage. It use to kick in within a few days.

    Good luck and pray you quit soon.

  • I have mixed feelings about Champix but Iam still glad they helped you stop. I asked my doctor about it but It's just some of the side effects seems to be scary. Did it all go ok with your treatment or were the side effects debiliating ?

  • I took Chantix before and it wasnt too bad. Then PFIZER got complaints. And, like I said, they must have changed the dosage ? and maybe the formula because it is not the same. It is better to take but takes longer for results.

  • ok good to know they changed the formula as there seemed to be quite the side effects at the time. I'll ask the tobacologist Iam seeing on the 23rd about it. Thanks for getting back.

  • I do not know if they changed the formula. I am guessing because I took it years ago and it works differently now.

  • I had no side effects at all when on Champix (6 years ago) and found it really helpful in minimising the cravings

  • Thanks Lynne, glad it went well for you. I just wonder if its okay for people with depression to take this, I may be wrong but I thnk I read it didn't go down well with depressed people but maybe that was with the old formula that Winded talks about above.

  • Regarding the cannabis oil winded, do you think any type of hash will do ? It's just thatwhere Iam most of the cannabis sold is cut with other stuff (paraffine, Henna, etc..;) in order for them to make more money, do you think it would be safe to use the oil from this type of hash or do you have to get something totally natural ? it's just I wouldn't know where to find a good quality oil and I am not even sure If I can make oil myself out of the street quality hash ?

  • I would think you need good buds from Indica strain. I wouldn't use anything that is not pure cannabis. The higher the THC the better. And, you cannot trust others to make the oil. It is a simple process if you are a level-headed person. Here is a link to make the oil.

    Hope that helps.

  • Thanks for the vid ! I wouldnt know where to find pure cannabis though, do you grow your own ?

  • It is legal for medical use here and I am allowed to grow 12 plants at a time but I have not had the money to do that as yet. The seeds are very expensive. But I will soon I hope.

    We have dispensaries that I can purchase the cannabis buds from.

  • Oh ok, it's good that it's legal where you are, saves you having to deal with dodgy people and dodgy stuff. It's not yet legal in France. Are seeds always that expensive ? I was under the impression you can get seeds for little money, unless you need a specific strain ?

  • I didn't know the seeds were that expensive. It's like $12 on up for each seed! Of course, certain types do costs more.

  • ok yes not that cheap then. Always had the impression that it was hard to grow in your own, like you need lighting on them 24/7 etc...

    You intend to take it for general health purposes or to target a specific conditon you have ?

  • Yes of course you need artificial light if growing indoors.

    I am taking it for COPD but I have another disease so 2 for 1!

  • Haha I like the 2 for 1, made me laugh...

  • There's information on a Facebook group which I've investigated. It seems that Full Extract CO (FECA) is the best to go for

  • Thanks lynne

  • Ok so I was lucky to find a lung doctor available this afternoon instead of waiting until 23rd june. I was placed in a glass cubicle and asked to blow several times in this machine. It turns out that my percentage when I blow is 96% which he said wasn't bad. I'am still anxious but it was good to talk to that doctor, he said that even he has a bit of emphysema and that it's not a death sentence, I hope he didn't say that to make me feel better as beforhand I was telling him that Iam an anxious person by nature and that I was having debiliating depression episode for the last 4 years. It still incredibly hard to stop even after that diagnosis, I suppose everyone's life is different and some manage better than others but I must say that the depression, social anxiety and isolation I live with for years makes it that much harder to stop. Cigarette was my only "friend" for the last few years so stopping cold turkey is incredibly hard on me but stopping is still my goal.

    I will never forget the friendliness and the kind words of you all here, it's so good that complete strangers can help and comfort each other like that.

  • I too had felt depressed and isolated for 4 - 5 years.... Don't know why really as I know plenty of nice people who care about me... But this is depression...and it affects your health in every way. I received a letter this week telling me I have emphysema. It is scary, and thankyou to everyone on this site for making it less so.

    I decided to bite the bullet and try on-line dating at Christmas, and am so glad I did. There are a lot of lovely people out there, and I have found my match! Unfortunate timing health wise, and I haven't yet broken the bad news of my diagnosis to him, but just knowing he is there feels like a rod of support X. Good luck with everything.

  • Iam happy you have that special someone now, that helps a lot, even if you dont tell him it's just good to have someone to love and be loved. Hopefully that will happen for me too someday. I wasn't into meditation and new age stuff before but meditation has done a lot to help me cope with anxiety and depression. There's really no need to be a professional or a tree-hugger to do it. It's free and helped me a lot more than the medication (Prozac, xanax, etc...) even if Iam not against medication.

    All the best Floppyb

  • Nothing to add to all of the good information above KD12 but would like to say Welcome to our lovely group.

  • Thank you Dedalus, I really appreciate your kind words

  • Hi KD12! I was browsing the website because I was also told I have emphysema a couple of days ago, and I'm also a bit anxious and looking for information. As I know nothing about it I have no words of wisdom about the condition - however, I managed to give up smoking over 30 years ago and I promise it's possible, and if you already quit for a few months in the past it's a good sign, shows you can do it! :)

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