British Lung Foundation

feeling confused right now

Hi my name is Chris and i am 40 years old, I used to smoke a lot, but vape now.

I had asthma as a child but it was so mild i never used an inhaler.

i have had a sob for quite a while when doing anything physical and mucus on the chest.

i had a bad chest infection/asthma and was taken to hospital as i was not breathing good after 5 days i was sent to my doctors with a letter to give him. the hospital said i had acute respiratory failure - severe. and although i feel a lot better now, I am still not perfect. but what confuses me most is my stats. my stats on moving around is higher then when im sat resting. and my stats are all over the place. at rest im between 83 and 93 mostly 88-90 though with a resting heart rate of 104. and when im moving around 95 to 96. with a heart rate of 140... isn't this supposed to be the other way around. lower stats on moving ???

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Think might be guts squashing lungs AS that might explain why things are relativly normal when walking.

Guess you will have that sleep apnea stuff.

Have you tried lying on side.

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Good morning Chris, it is only confusing until you look at the physiology of it.

Your breathing is not, normally, consciously controlled. When at rest your body is burning much less oxygen than when moving around, you brain detects all of this , subconsciously. When you are sleeping you will be breathing a lot slower and shallower.

When you are moving around, your muscles consume a lot more oxygen so your subconscious increases your breathing rate to get more oxygen and also a little extra. This little extra is there for a sudden spurt of energy, developed by evolution. Imagine the human animal, in the wild, being chased by a predator, a sudden burst of energy would be needed to change direction, or leap up into tree to escape. You don't need to think, consciously, about breathing faster, it is all automatic.

Nothing unusual in your readings, they almost mirror my readings. Nothing to be anxious about at all, it is just that you did not even know about or monitor breathing before you got ill. If you are still concerned then ask your GP or consultant the question for piece of mind.

Your body is a very complicated biological machine and most of the time it operates automatically without you noticing what is going on inside, but now you have been ill you have become more aware of your breathing.

So breathe easy, anxiety will do you no favours, it can make your breathing worse or even make you ill.

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This is my experience. Heart rate in 40-50s with sats low 90s when still. Big increase in heart rate 100 to 160s on activity with sats at 98+

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thank you so much for taking the time to write to me.

you said our stats are the same. can i ask about your condition is it asthma, copd . are you on oxygen etc. this is like a new world to me and its very daunting reading at times. i have noticed that my stats are up and down so much. it droped to 84 earlier and then after 5 mins sat at 88 for 15 mins. then back to 90-92 i can sit here and watch it changing every 5 mins. im not feeling that my breathing is that bad tbh but i know im going down a bit because i can feel it.... my concentration has been getting bad for a while and i even spoke with my doc about dementure as my mom has it. but having read and learned i now know it could be lack of oxygen clouding my head.

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I have severe COPD, not on oxygen. I have however learned to override instinctive breathing and trained myself to breathe a lot more efficiently, enough that I have been able to keep working full-time for the last 18 months, since my lung function took such a massive dive due to a nasty infection that lasted for 3 months. The important thing to remember is, that your sats can go up and down like a yo-yo, do not get obsessive with checking your sats all the time, it is how you feel that matters.

Checking your sats constantly can also introduce anxiety, which WILL make breathing harder. Best just to check the same time of day just the once. Me? I only check once a week, or if I think I am coming down with an infection along with checking my temperature and blood pressure to determine whether to start my emergency pack (antibiotics and steroids) along with any change to the colour to my sputum.

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i decided when i got home from hospital i would keep a notebook and check morning afternoon and night and keep a not of this. i have hospital in a months time and thought the more information i can pass along the better. if im going to be this way im going to learn all i can and keep a diary to see how i progress. i check peakflow im mostly around 340-370 heart and spo2. but ofc you are correct i need to be careful its not taking over my life and checking all the time.

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My obs at rest pulse 65 stats 97 ...On exercise heart rate can be moderated pending which exercise I'm doing and stats never below 95 % we are so different in our conditions ...i would read 2greys post as I couldn't have put it better myself well worded that man xx

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thank you to everyone for your time in replying to my comments. ..

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You have had some wonderful advice - I would like to congratulate you on the single biggest favour you have ever done yourself, packing in the ciggies. Well done!

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Time to get a cracking book me thinks to take your mind off it. Best wishes irene

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