Scared stiff

Hi, I am 40 years old and recently had a spirometry test for work as part of a health screening thing, its the first time I've had one. I was refered to my GP as my FEV1 was only 79%, and my fev1/fvc was 59%. I have smoked for 25 years although i gave up about 3 months ago ( not because of the result of the test).

I googled my result and everything I could find basically said I have COPD or Asthma.

The nurse at the surgery scrunched here nose up at the spirometry test results and said they mean nothing on their own and that there is a very specific way of blowing into the machine. She listened to my chest and said it was clear, and my oxygen in my blood was 98%. I asked her if she thought I had COPD and she said she didn't think so as I had no symptoms.

She has arranged for me to have another spirometry test with the Asthma doctor ( had asthma as a child) in 6 weeks, it's going to be a long wait and I'm scared as I don't see how the first test would be wrong. Two of the three blows gave very similar readings and the third was no where near the other two.

8 Replies

Welcome Scared stiff,

I'm new here so I'm not the best to advise on the readings, as I haven't been staged yet and I've only been diagnosed very recently, myself.

But what I do know is that anxiety is a a natural response. Speaking here will help. It's helped me to feel less isolated about what is going. I suffer with anxiety, so I know how fear can manifest, and grow out control. But try not worry, easier said than done, I know. I don't if this is any help, but I didn't not want to respond, because I know how difficult it can be.

Please don't be scared roey123. S The nurse has arranged a test in six weeks time, that should reassure you. The Respiratory Nurses know what they are doing. Your chest is clear and oxygen of 98% is good. Fev1 78% is not too bad. If necessary you will be prescribed medication and advised on diet. Definitely no reason to be worried or scared roey123.

There are a large number of things that can affect spirometry tests, from bad technique to when you last ate or even the time of day. The nurse is in many ways correct so please try not to worry but please let us know how you get on.

Thank you for replying, it's all I've thought about all weekend, to the point of listening to virtually every breath. Funny really, I had been paying off chunks of my mortgage so I could finish it earlier, now I may not last that long.

Copd is not a death sentence, As you learn more your anxiety will improve.

sats of 98.not breathless.rejoice,be happy slow down the motgage payments and start training for the next olympics you are going nowhere soon mate.don,t read too much into fev,s as they are just one small indicator in a very complex respitory system.stop worrying mate and good luck

Good point skischool ! If I had sats of 98 and Fev 1 of 78 I would jump up and down for joy :)

Ditto what Billiejean_2 said! It is very disconcerting when you first get a diagnosis, but you are so very fortunate to have caught it so very early. Heck, you are barely out of the "normal" range for your FEV1! Expect another 40-50 years on this planet. As others I'm sure will pipe in, exercise will be your best friend to keep it at bay ... walking, cycling, swimming. Also Google Breathing for COPD - not that you need it now, but it's good to know. Have a brew or glass of wine - you'll be just fine for a long, long time.

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