Help with trying to control my emotions after being told I have emphysema

Hi ive just had letter after many tests saying I have emphysema. I have quite a few medical issues one being anxiety and depression also rheumatoid arthritis. I never go out alone . I live in a bubble. (My home) receiving letter today has put me on a real downer. Just need some advise how to deal with things

14 Replies

  • Try to keep positive. I also am very much a stay at home person. I enjoy my garden and love my Siamese cat . Use this site to make friends who will support you as much as possible.🙋

  • Welcome marie1966 you are among friends on here so please be assured of help, advice and kindness.

    It is always a shock to get a letter stating you have lung problems but you can lead a good life and enjoy yourself so far as you can.

    Stay in touch and take care. Xxxx

  • A lot will really depend on your diagnosis. Were you told what stage you are at? If this has been diagnosed early you will only need to make a few adjustments such as protecting yourself from cigarette smoke and taking regular exercise whereas a diagnosis of late stage emphysema can mean bigger changes such as needing supplemental oxygen. It also depends on you. Some people give in and sit around waiting to die - sorry but it is true. Others do all they can to maximise their life chances. If you smoke, stop immediately and stay away from smoky atmospheres. Eat healthily and take up regular exercise. Get a flu and pneumonia jab. Take your doctors advice and you can improve your readings. I hope, once the shock wears off, you see that the diagnosis is not a death sentence, it is warning that you can act on. I wish you luck.

  • Thank you for replying to me. . I dont know what stage im at yet as ive got to be referred to respiratory consultant. It wasn't my g.p sending me for test's it was my rheumatology consultant. Because im on methotrexate injections weekly he thought it was that causing my shortness of breathe. Exercise I find hard because in constant pain. A ten minute walk to see my dad took me an hour. I know I have got to pick myself up but think its a shock I had the results in a letter and appointment to see another consultant.

  • That letter must have been frightening! At the point of diagnosis I had never heard of COPD (which is what I was told I had) and that made it scarier still - the unknown. And Googling brings up so many scary papers! Some true and written for medics so they sound bad to us and some way off. This is the site to learn from the people who live with it day by day - all at different stages from very mild through to very severe. Once you see your consultant ask for your FEV1% as that is used to classify stages and is useful to know so that you can monitor your progress. It can fluctuate a bit, especially when unwell, but is a good yardstick to see whether you can improve the readings - most can as you will learn. Good luck.

  • You are the same today as you were yesterday. Do what the others have said make any lifestyle changes that will help you, and then just carry on as before. It isn't a death sentence.

  • Hello Marie1966, welcome to the site :). It can be scary being told you have a lung condition and if you're already prone to anxiety and depression, perhaps you could make an appt with gp surgery and see if you can get some extra support to see you through the initial stages of coming to terms with it. From my own experience, it gets less scary once you know what you're dealing with and what you can do to help yourself live a better life. Keep in touch and let us know how you get on x

  • Thank you for welcoming me. I will try see my gp. So hard to get to see one now a days unless you want to wait weeks. I dont know if my g p knows as it was my rheumatology consultant who arranged all tests because thought it was a reaction to methotrexate injections I have every week but it wasn't. X

  • Hi marie1966 and welcome to the forum.

    You've had some great replies so I won't try to add to them.

    Most people are knocked for six by the diagnosis but, you'll soon calm down once you realise people live years and years with copd xx

  • Hi Marie1966, and welcome to the site. I try to focus on what I can do, rather than what I used to be able to do and can't any more. I've got the biggest topographical post card collection of anyone I know.....

  • welcome Marie1966

    I cannot add more than has already been said, except they are a great bunch on here and we do have some laughs at some of the antic's. I myself am still trying to come to terms with it all but this forum will help you a lot.

    Take care.Jean xx

  • Some great advice above Marie - welcome to the group.

  • Greetings!

    First, don't consult Dr. Google. You'll go from an initial diagnosis to dead in three clicks! Second -- walk. Exercise is the only "treatment" for emphysema. Everything else is palliative. Third -- your diagnosis is NOT a death sentence. You can do all sorts of things to make life easier and certainly worth the living.

    I take the happy pills for depression (something which seems to come with respiratory problems anyway) and they help. I'm sure that you have been advised to try to get out - even if only to a BreathEasy group... Company is good for your health!!

    You will feel lousy after this diagnosis but we all live with emphysema or other respiratory conditions. You will get over the kick in the guts but maybe getting out of your bubble would help??



  • Welcome from me to Marie,

    I can't possibly add any more to the brilliant response you have already got on here, except to say please try to get out if only in the garden. Everything looms large if you can't. Is there no relative or friend who would take that first step with you?


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