Hi ,I was diagnosed with cold last week I'm a 46yr old female,who stopped smoking 2yrs ago by using an electronic cigarette which I am still using but have every intention of quitting .I started becoming breathless 6months ago but thought it might be because I had put on some weight .Gp sent me for x ray and said nothing had changed since last x ray 3years previous but sent me for spirometry test which resulted in the diagnosis, I was prescribed Aclidinium and Anoro inhalers which have worked great _ no breathlessness at all ,.The Go showed me my test results which I really didn't understand but came away thinking I only had 25% lung function which has sent me into to a meltdown !!!! ,is this possible when I have been carrying on as normal and able to do my full-time job which is physically demanding at times and manage to keep up with the running of a family of 3 boys .Sorry for going on and on I know I should have asked all these questions when with the Go .

25 Replies

  • Sorry I was diagnosed with COPD not a cold .

  • Hi Annette, the mind can be the biggest problem, don't get bogged down by the numbers. it really CAN do your head in and act as the biggest restrictor.


  • Hi, Annette. I had the same shock a few years ago when I was working full time and running a household and was told upon initial diagnosis that my lung function was 22%. You can improve it though. By stopping smoking and increasing exercise I improved mine.

  • Thanks for replying , I don't mean to be nosey but are you still working and able to do the same things .

  • Not now. But I did carry on working for a number of years before I decided to take early retirement on health grounds. We are all so different. Some give up work at an early stage but I know of a few who have continued to work with much lower figures. My advice would be to work as long as you can as it keeps you active in both mind and body. But don't let the numbers scare you. We had a recent post where someone had used exercise to increase her lung capacity to about 83%!

  • I know I'm a nusainse but how long since you were diagnosed if you don't mind me asking .

  • You are not a nuisance and I don't mind you asking. But I am not going to tell you because I don't want you measuring yourself against anyone else. We have people here who have lived with COPD for many years and are still marching on. Get over the shock. Guard against any fumes getting into your lungs (including traffic fumes where possible) and ask about a pulmonary rehab course. Attending one will help you to learn about exercise, which to do and how it helps, and also about COPD itself as there are usually information sessions attached to each fitness session. You have COPD - it doesn't have you and it is not a death sentence. Stay positive. Good luck.

  • Hello Annette, and welcome to the site.

    Best thing is to rid yourself of the electronic cigarette, concentrate on your diet and exercise. If you are running a job, home and three boys I can't really answer the 25% bit but would think that you couldn't do all that comfortably on that score. There is lots of good advice on here and if you use the search facility you will learn a lot about copd and lung functions. There are many here who will happily share advice with you for the price of a question:-)

    p.s. I don't know what mine is but I am 76, work hard in the garden, walk my dog a couple of times a day, stopped smoking about 10 or so years ago after 50 years of 20 a day. I am feeling great most of the time. It's really good news that your inhalers work so well:-)

  • "If you are running a job, home and three boys I can't really answer the 25% bit but would think that you couldn't do all that comfortably on that score."

    If you substitute a girl for one of the boys I did it on 22% without knowing anything was wrong!

  • Thanks for your kind words ,I can't talk to my husband or family members as I don't want them to worry about me .I just need to get over the shock pull my socks up and get on with improving lifestyle with exercise and anything else beneficial .

  • You can talk to us here. That is why the site exists. We can talk to someone who knows exactly where we are coming from because they are there too. We can supply experience, advice and empathy and are receptive to a hearty moan now and again. Welcome.

  • Welcome to the forum. We're all here for each other and there lots of great support here from others who understand. Please reach out if you need to as I can understand you not wanting to worry your family. Im 44 years old and was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension and scleroderma pretty much out of the blue just before last Christmas. I went from being a full time working mum or a 4 year old to being pretty much housebound initially. But life goes on and I for one certainly have a lot of living to do. Take care x

  • Thanks for your kind words .It's a lot to take in with millions of questions rattling around d in my head.

  • I may not be able to help but I totally understand I am back in college 9 subjects 5 days a week and since I was diagnosed with COPD 4 weeks ago I realised how sick I am cause I have plurasy at present And am slowing down a bit I have been out sick 2 days I have had fibromyalgia for 15 yrs and pushed through but the loss of breath is scaring me so I've slowed a little and I am kinder to myself so if all I can pass on is be kind and caring to yourself then it's a lot Love & Kindness XX Celticsandy

  • Thank you so much ,sorry you are unwellI hope you feel better soon xx

  • Hi I would make an appointment with your doctor or nurse and ask them to explain the figures to you. x

  • Thanks I have an appointment with the practice nurse 4th November,I will write down everything I want to ask .I felt I was left in limbo last appointment ,was told sorry you have Copd these are the test results (my eye's only managed to pick up 25% _there were lots of figures on the page ) We will prescribe 2 inhalers and see you in 5 weeks !!

  • You can always ring the BLF nurses for help and advice. They are available on 03000 030 555 during office hours.

  • Welcome Annette, can't really add anything as you have had such terrific replies so just sending good wishes and hope things improve for you.

    Three boys must keep you on your toes. Xxx 😀

  • Hello Annette and welcome from me too.

    I can't add anything to the really good replies you've had either except to say that you're in the right place!

    November 4th seems a long way away to be carrying this sort of worry unresolved. They'll want to see you then to check how the inhalers are helping but couldn't you get an earlier appointment to check on those results?

    One other thing - you do need to share this with your husband. You're trying to protect him but living with a chronic condition is very much a partnership thing and it will be such a relief to have him on your side. He's probably picked up that something's wrong and may even be relieved that it's not something like you having 'a bit on the side'! Try to talk to him.

    Be well. Sue x

  • Hi ,My husband knows I have been diagnosed with Copd ,he is very supportive but don't think he has any information on the subject other than what I chose to tell him ( overtime I may start to find doing things more difficult but meds will help and that this won't happen for years yet !!!!) I now feel I have lied to him and don't want to burst his bubble.

  • Oh no! don't feel that!! You didn't say you'd told him, and of course you don't want to burst his bubble. He can ask questions when he's ready but if you're scared it's nice to know where to go for a gentle hug. x

  • I am 33, got two children and was diagnosed with organising pneumonia last year. It was very difficult - like you (I think) life and focus on the children and work meant that I completely ignored my health and it wasn't until I just about fell down the stairs with one of the children in my arms that I sought to do anything about it and ended up in hospital. I don't know much about copd but what did help me massively in the short term were steroids (lots of them). They have nasty side effects but were fantastic at making me feel normal again at least for a little while. I TOTALLY get that you feel like you can't talk to anyone - I was surrounded by people who cared but had never felt so alone because I didn't want to worry them. Plus I'm not sure random people really understand lung conditions unless it's cancer or emphysema. Please use this site and community as I have - they are a wonderful supportive bunch that always seem to say the right thing to make you feel so so much better. Wishing you all the best. You're not alone xxx

  • Welcome to the site Annette. You are one busy lady! Don't think I could keep up with you. Did the Dr. tell you 25%? Did you see if it was next to the words fev1? I would phone them and see if I could pick up a copy of the results. Sounds like you are doing really well, and the inhalers are working well. How old are your boys?Did they check your oxygen level? Some people can do much more than others with copd. The less you do, the less you'll be able to do. Please keep us posted and feel free to ask all the questions you want. Good luck to you. Ruby🌹

  • As rubyred said the first thing you should do is ask for a copy of your results and if you post them here someone will help you to interpret them, but there is no substitute for your doctor explaining them. The 25% may or may not have been your lung function as there are other numbers, one of which is the small airways, that may have been that low so best to get a copy of the results to be sure you are not worrying over misinformation.

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