just being diagnosed copd

Where to begin, 49 years of age, hospitalised with chest pains over the weekend, thinking it was the old ticker on its way out. Never had a healthy lifestyle so just seemed natural. Turns out its COPD, all i knew about this disease was that it killed my mother and now I am overly worried. Apart from the 2 inhalers and steroids I was given there was no other advice apart from "stop smoking", Ive had half of a cigarette in 48 and have no intention of touching them again, I did however purchase a vape which I have barely touched either, but it does take off the edge.

I suppose I am here just after advice from people who have lived with this for many years, can i continue with my somewhat physical job, can i have a few pints with the lads or am i doomed to sit in the armchair watching soaps forever.

30 Replies

Hi Keith and welcome to HU. It must have been a shock to be diagnosed with COPD especially as you lost your mum to this terrible disease.

I care for my husband who has sarcoidosis and COPD but life is good on the whole. We do normal everyday things and Pete stays as well as possible.

You can enjoy life, don’t despair but do get all the medical help you can. Soaps, what Soaps? Xxxx

Thankyou for your reply sassy59, this is where things get tricky for me, my only everyday thing is going to work, I have no social life and live alone, I have actually surprised myself by joining this community but I am determined to live life normally. I dont actually watch the soaps as I got shut of the old gogglebox years ago, i did used to enjoy corrie back in the day lol

Firstly Keith,

It affects everyone differently and one thing that helps with coping is attitude:

Which brings me to a second point, COPD is not something you die of, rather you die with it.....

Joining a forum like this can be a great help.

So welcome, take your time and read through what goes on here, don`t worry and stress about what you can`t do, concentrate on what you can do.

I wish you well.

Thankyou Ruach, that is exactly why i joined here after reading all the positive things everyone was saying in the posts. I think eating healthy will be more difficult than stopping smoking for me lol.

LOL, I agree trying to eat healthy is definitely harder for me than what quitting smoking was..

Hi keith9876. I have had COPD a long time and do the armchair but definitely not the soaps! ;) The pint will depend on medication (some antibiotics say no) but I think most people on here have an alcoholic drink at times. If you are looking for advice mine is to stay a long way away from the cigarettes and any cigarette smoke. Make sure you have a no-smoking household and that friends and family know not to light up in your presence. Also avoid traffic fumes, etc. and anything else which may compromise your lungs (you will learn as you go on. Many find that aerosols and strong smelling things like paint, bleach, perfume, etc. don't help).

The second most important thing is keeping up a good level of exercise - use it or lose it.

Add in a good healthy diet and take your medications sensibly and although the disease cannot be cured as yet it can be slowed right down, especially if you are at a mild or moderate stage. Pester your doctor for a referral to see a consultant and to pulmonary rehabilitation classes (exercise and education) and you will have started on the right path.

Welcome to the forum. :)

I very rarely leave the house when its not for work, thats my main worry, will i be able to still work. So keeping away from smoke will be pretty easy, ive had one or two urges for one tonight but everytime i remember how i ended up in hospital and that urge soon goes. Can anyone tell me how many inhalers they go through a month, as I think I will have to sign up for the cheap prescription service.

The number of inhalers per month varies hugely, from none to 5 or more. One thing you will quickly learn is that we are all so different. :)

There is a quit forum if you feel that the extra support may help. Some on here are also on there. healthunlocked.com/quitsupport

There are members on here in work, again it varies enormously. Try joining a fitness class or gym. It will help with fitness and also guard against isolation.

A ver warm welcome to you Keith :-)


thankyou :)

I have asked to be referred to a stop smoking clinic and if i remember rightly (as it is still a bit of a blur) agreed to be visited by the local copd group, which i hope will give me some good pointers for such things as the gym like you suggest. I think isolation is going to be a massive worry for me as much as ive enjoyed it in the past I believe its going to bite me on the behind now. Its not that im unsociable, i just got used to my own company after splitting with my last partner many moons ago. But its never too late and im determined to change my habits.

Good for you. :)

Good luck with your quitting smoking. I found the patch very helpful when I quit. At the gym I walk for 15 minutes, then do light weight resistance training, then another 15 minutes on the treadmill. I recommend you do but not overdo. If you make it a religion to get at least some exercise most days, you will eventually feel better, and your immune system will improve as well.

Welcome pal 🙂

Hi Keith, I have a condition which is different to COPD so usually leave the advice on that to the lovely folk who are experienced in it. However, I don’t think that anybody has suggested that your doc gets you on to a Pulmonary Rehabilitation course. Those who do it find it really helpful and I am sure that it would help you too and give you confidence going forward.

I see that Mrs Mummy did suggest pulmonary rehab.

Hi there welcome to the forum, well done for trying to quit keep it up. I am sure if you stop the cigarettes you will still be able to meet your freinds ect for sometime to come. Heavy work does not harm but may make you out of breath and tired. Maybe you might want to consider lighter employment in future, jobs are not easy to change or come by so you may need to consider a course of some sort to retrain to give you more options. Sorry to hear of your mums death from this dreaded disease, but every person is different so you may be able to use the more modern approach to keep yourself more active and waylay deterrioraition, take each day as it comesand enjoy to the full.Hope to speak again soon Best wishes.

Keith, the key is to keep as active as possible, treat infections early, Eat as healthily as u can , no reason why u can’t still enjoy a pint with your mates , you might find yourself slow down a bit but everybody does with age. Definitely stop smoking and the vaping if u can. Best of luck.

Thanks to everyone that has taken the time to read or respond to my post, so much positivity on this site, its like a breath of fresh air (pun intended) from the rest of the internet.

Im on my second day home from the hospital and to be honest im struggling, I am more aware of my breathing than I ever have been and Im sure thats my problem, thinking about it too much. Does anybody have any relaxation techniques that work for them that I might try?

Started my 7 day course of steroids today and my first puffs of my twice daily inhaler when i awoke this morning, never having had inhalers before it was an interesting sensation afterwards as the air seemed so much fresher hitting the back of my throat, that could also be down to no actual cigarettes being had.

is it ok to ramble like this here? :)

This rambling is fine. :) Try YouTube for relaxation videos.

Hello Keith. Yes you can carry on working, yes you can still go for a pint with your mates, in fact you can do anything you want to do, this disease is not a death sentence, and you don't have to become a hermit. Take the medication you have been subscribed, eat as healthy a diet as you feel comfortable with, and avoid stress. Ask your doctor to refer you for Pulmonary Rehab, that is one of the best things you can do because they will show you exercises you can do and give you all the information you need, they will also answer any questions you may have, also everyone there knows what you are going through.

You ask about relaxation techniques, the best one I have found is 'Pursed Lip Breathing' Sit comfortably, relax your shoulders and arms, put your hands, palms upwards in your lap, and breathing from your diaphragm (belly breathing) breath in slowly through you nose to the count of three, then breath out slowly as if you are blowing out a candle to the count of 6, it is very important to breath out for longer than you breath in, if you do this for 5 to 10 minutes you will find it very relaxing, it is also very helpful if you are sob or anxious.

It is very, very important to keep moving, please don't think you have to sit in a chair and watch soaps for the rest of your life, carry on as normal. If you have got any worries, questions or you just want to have a moan or vent your feelings, then this is the place to do it, there will always be someone to help you, support you and answer your questions.

So welcome Keith, we are here for you. Take care and breath easy xx

Hi Keith there are loads of relaxation tapes on the internet and particularly on u tube. They are especially good at bedtime, just put in your headphones and drift off! :-) I have used a vape since I was diagnosed with COPD and haven't had one fag so if you are tempted to smoke try a puff on a vape instead. Hope things go well in your life. x

No more moping, tomorrow i start my life from scratch, planned a little walk, just around the corner, dont want to push it as ive been laid up since thursday last week. Then ive my doctors this thursday where i will ask about all the things you lovely people have suggested. That one is a little train journey and about 200 yard walk, looking forward to that one. Once i get everything straight in my head i will feel a lot happier with things. Thankyou once again to everyone, you are all more of a help than i could of imagined :)

welcome aboard

A few small steps can lead to a thousand miles, Keith. I was walking about 2500 steps per day when I was diagnosed with COPD in Feb 2015. I went on a Pulmonary Rehab course, and found out how to improve my breathing. Then I got a fitness bracelet (present one Fitbit Charge 2) and slowly built up the amount of steps I do each day until now I usually do 10,000+. I also run a singing for lung health group. I've never felt fitter for years. No time for soaps - much too much else to do.

All the best. Look on your COPD diagnosis as a wake-up call for some action.

Never got out for my walk, not likely too either, decided to put a few bits in the washer, exhausted is an under statement. How can it go from 3 weeks ago running around a busy warehouse, to not being able to put a few socks in the washer. I keep telling myself its because my body is still in shock from the initial incident that got me hospitalised and i wont be like this in a few days, im not convincing myself though. Managed to scrounge a lift for my doctors appointment tomorrow, hopefully get the information i never got at the hospital.

Ive been looking at the Pulmonary Rehab course and i really like the look of it, i really want to get back to work, even if its only light duties for a while, i know im not going to be top performer but im very proficient at all the paperwork, so maybe a nice sit down job for a while lol

Truth is if you keep off the smokes and be as active as you can your lungs should not get any worse and deteriorate at the same rate as anyone without COPD. I’m 60 and have moderate COPD and it’s made me go back to work 2 days per week

Mainly to keep active and feel “normal” again after the shock and initial feeling sorry for myself (doom and gloom period). Good luck with the quitting👍

Hi Keith and a welcome from the States. You are already well on the way to a better life as attitude is of paramount importance and you have the positive outlook needed. You have great suggestions here. I would add the following: 1) rinse and brush after each inhaler use, and 2) absolutely get into a pulmonary rehab class asap. It will be of tremendous benefit. Best Wishes, judg69

I've just eaten some rather tasty chicken nuggets and to say they helped my disposition a lot would be an understatement. I must admit to eating not being a major thought factor in the last few days but as full as I am after only 5 nuggets my breathing is so much better as is my attitude, which was all doom and gloom. Havnt touched a ciggy since Monday and that was one or two puffs, then I gave away the pack. I've spent days on here reading random posts from years back and I still can't get over everyone's positivity, it really is infectious.

Hi there! I was diagnosed in March of this year. Took a really bad chest infection which knocked me for six and breathing was difficult for me. Went to the doctors and she said she wanted me to go for a spirometry test, I did think why does she want me to go for this cause I didn’t think anything of it. Turns out was COPD, my sister has COPD and she’s 75, she doesn’t suffer bad from it at all and she’s still smoking!

So when the doc gave me the results she gave me a inhaler and told me just to get my regular flu jabs every year. Overall she was happy with how my lungs were. I’ve stopped smoking and feeling better for it. I’m 67 now and I know I’ve got many many years ahead still and to be quite honest, I still don’t feel my age. My doctor assured (Who is a qualified pulmonologist) me that because it’s very early stage that stopping smoking now would be great and ultimately my lungs will deteriorate at the same speed as a non smoker. So I’m not worried and I feel fine :)

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