In Denial

I was diagnosed with mild COPD approx two years ago. I am on Spiriva once daily. I am still smoking (bad) around six to eight cigarettes per day but this is down from around 15 a day. I only have breathlessness when I walk too fast but the cough is pretty bad. I rarely cough anything up though and after reading the suffering in these posts I am questioning even more if my doctor was correct. I am 57 and quite overweight but have started a walking programme. Any comments or advice welcome. 😀

28 Replies

Well done with the exercise programme. And cutting down on the cigarettes. All good. Why are you querying the diagnosis? Do you feel that the tests your doctor did were inconclusive? Push for more clarification if you think that an error was made. However, the downside is that you do get breathless on exercise and are coughing. These are both abnormalities.

All the best


I think I am querying it because I don't have a lot of faith in my GP. They just seem to want to get you in and out as quickly as possible. I've just booked another spirometry test to see if it is different to the one three years ago.

Yes. I agree, and one of my bugbears here is that GPs are too quick to diagnose COPD. It is easy, and cheaper for them, as they are supposed to deal with it in GP practice. It costs to refer patients to consultants. Spirometry tests are good at showing an obstructive airways disease. And in the vast majority of cases that obstructive disease will be COPD. My grumpy GP, short-tempered, (but a whizz at the other end of a stethoscope) tried to tell me that I might have COPD. (It didn't take much to demolish his argument. Long story...)

Good luck with the test.

get a lung scan--to know for sure--you can see it with your own eyes

Hi mate, I am 58 stopped smoking Christmas day nearly booked a meeting with St Peter due to pneumonia and septicemia.

I vape now, but would still love a smoke. Giving up is hard I think unless you have done it or tried people would not understand.

Since stopping the cough as gone, I produce little if any mucus. I very rarely get any breathlessness except if I jog. My GP as said my CT scan showed severe damage in some areas but my test said stage 2 moderate.

Before the test and even now I feel so well. I think you know yourself that smoking can only damage you more. A walking programme is good but without giving up the smokes I am afraid you can only go down in health terms. In many ways being mild is the problem don't wait until you get worse. Take action now,

You make some very good points. Thanks.

Hi when I was first dx with COPD in 2006. I only had exacerbations in Feb and October and In between I never had to use my inhaler the blue one. Although I have had a cough for a long time and know I am breathless most of the time. But that is normal for someone with COPD. What stage are you I am clinically stage 2 but my symptoms at the moment are stage 3 when you finally stop smoking that will help to slow down the progression. Also eating healthely and exercising will also help.

You say you get out of breath when you walk to fast try this next time you go out for a long walk which was one part of my training years a go start with a slow then walk a little faster then slow back down after 2 or 3 mins then again after 2 or 3 mins speed back up and do that till you get to wear you want to go .But rest if you got to as it do's not matter how many times you rest as you are not in a races and in joy your walks so slow fast slow fast slow


I am stage 4 COPD emphysema. Although I have a slight cough it's non productive. Mucus production to excess is more inline with COPD chronic bronchitis. There are other lung conditions that may or may not have a productive cough. By all means ask for confirmation with a second spirometer test. But as it seems at the moment you are mild. Whether your breathlessness is a result of a lung condition or being overweight both which can be diagnosed by spirometer, giving up smoking is beneficial to your health, try e-cigs with low nicotine to assist you.

Don't forget you only have mild copd so you wouldn't have many symptoms. Many on here are at the much more severe stage and obviously they have more severe symptoms.

Hi Sandcar. A friend was dx'd with COPD 4yrs ago but has only had mild breathlessness on exercise. He's slim & always kept himself very fit apart from smoking. However in January he suddenly deteriorated with a bad chest infection, & is now on 4hourly nebuliser & stuck in front of a tv all day. Has to sleep propped up on pillows. Be warned and stop smoking.

Hello I am new to this site and have been given Spiriva to try....can I ask you how you get on with them...I am to inhale once a day and that's the part I am scared of ( silly I know)

I find the Spiriva easy to use as long as the capsule is pierced properly by the device. I found it better than the mist type as this always made me cough immediately. Don't feel silly, it is all good.

Please stop smoking ---I have COPD(emphysema) and heart failure (don't forget the heart) I drag around 28 feet of oxygen tubing and have to take tanks with me everywhere--It will not get better and you are risking heart involvement which is terrifying-You will get worse--Did you see your lungs on a cat scan ? --I have black circles all over in lower lobes-Please don't mess around--I was out for a walk when I started getting SOB once in a while--I thought it would get better--I quit smoking but it was to late--No time to lose--Please don't make my journey or anyone elses like me in vain--or you will be on the Lung foundation site like I am now---Learn from us and don't let them cigs lie to you--They want to destroy you and will if you lettem--MmeT

I'm so sorry to hear your situation. It must be awfully difficult. I have not had any scans but my doctor says if this next spirometry shows a deterioration then I will have one. I do want to give up smoking but I stress about everything (panic merchant) and use them as stress relief. Cop out I know. 😐

Hi Sc-Not a cop out--pretty classic --In 2015 my breathing tests were normal--In fact everything was--I quit smoking in 2016--and here I am--I had panic attacks a few times after I quit--Crutches you know plus they have everything in them--stimulant effect,tranquilizer effct--you name it--so it is no wonder they are so dam addictive and we panic quitting-I did a slow and easy wean--took me 6 mos--but painless--Anyway--let me know how your tests go--I wish you luck but think about getting free before its to late--Believe me no one could have told me this would happen to me--Hugs Mmet

Help yourself by stopping smoking. Giving up is essential, please believe me.

Dear Sandcar59. You are young and alive. Please cut back on the cigs.

Get moving on the walking.

Seriously give up the cigs get a vape and have it styled to what cigs you smoke it dosent need to be all sherbet lemon and bubble gum flavour ....good diet walk exercise within your capability...dosent matter whether you smoke 5 or 20 even 1 is bad enough help yourself before you get worse xxxx

Good advice above - just want to say hello and welcome

Stop the cigarettes Please - just switch to an e-cig, vapouriser, whatever you want to call it. Every cig. you light you are dragging tar, carcinogens and irritants into your vulnerable lungs. I (and many of us on here) have been where you are and worse. I tried so many times to quit by every method known, even hypnosis, so I know exactly how hard it is; 7 years ago I got my first e-cig and quit overnight and have never smoked since. The harm from nicotine in the amounts consumed is minuscule - it's the tar in the smoke that does the damage; "We smoke for the nicotine but die from the tar" is the vapers mantra - I wouldn't be here typing this if I hadn't made the switch. Please try.

Are you still vaping dragon mum xx

Yes, I am. I've done a lot of research over the past 7 years and can find no reason to deprive myself of what has been a life-long pleasure - the use of nicotine as a recreational drug. It is about on a par with caffeine as far as amy harm is concerned and one U.S doctor said that he would make it mandatory for over 65s. It has been used in pre-dementia for some time and is believed to help cognitive and memory function; it is being trialled in connection with Parkinson's and other neurological conditions so taking it all round I'm afraid they'll have to prise my e-cig from my cold, dead fingers!

Awww if it's for you do it lol I'm on mine 3months xx


I am suffering extreme emphysema partly caused by smoking,partly asbestos & MDF dust. The damage these have caused is irreversible give up the smoking with immediate effect, hard tho' it may be. You do not want the effects, no energy, unable to walk upstairs or for that matter anywhere without stopping to get breath, unable to carry and it goes on what you can no longer do but now take for granted. Be sensible take advice, it can happen to you.


I smoked for 40 years and switched to an e-cig over night. I told myself it was that or nothing and honestly it never bothered me. I have on separate occasions spoken to both my doctor and nurse and they are both fine with it, so just do it. Remember, each ciggie you have puts you one step nearer the grave and on they way you get to gasp for breath, maybe lose your mobility and are tied to an oxygen tank. Do you really want that for you and your family? Harsh I know but it does happen. Take care x

I am practicaly zero religious but when I felt at death door step, I stop. I started at 16 and stop at age 54 it was a Feb 8th. I am now 70, as of Jan 12th. an I use Spirva and Advair. I was the Marlboro man when I stop I spoke more than 2 packs a day up to 3 and 1/2 packs. Sometimes I found myself having 2 cigarettes let at one time. It is a disgusting habit that smells. I wound up needing heart surgery a year after I stop smoking. To date I have had 71 surgeries and still feel alive with pain issues but always fear what will do me in and when and yet I know smoking was the lead in. Please stop RIGHT NOW.

I was the one who could quit I cheated many time - search for butts and when out at 2AM for a pack cursing my wife to shut up. I finally wanted to stop, I mean really stop This was my trick and it took less than 2 weeks. Oh yes I smoke 3 packs a day of Marlboro, Just love that deal inhale. What a schmuck I was. Well I started at 16 and quit at 54 - I am now 70 - yep I have baggage but I am alive. Now my trick I took these pills that you use for two weeks while smoking for the first week you alternated cigarette and then nicorette gum. Second week you took these purple pills (need a prescription) and then just nicorette gum. When I quit all they had was original flavor)it sucked) an a small dose of orange flavor gum. I just put wades of orange gum in my mouth Third day of a mouthful of gum, I woke up and just felt that I beat this crappy habit. I did and I never have smoke again nor had a desire to light up. Still like to know what I did with my dunhill lighter.

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