British Lung Foundation
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I'm new and awaiting GP diagnosis

Hi everyone, Happy New Year.

I'm really struggling here with breathing.

This is my story in a nutshell. 10 weeks ago started with bad cough , was on and off for 4 weeks, it got that bad I went to A&E, was given chest x ray ,nebuliser treatment, 4 day course of Predislone and letter for GP suspecting COPD.

GP requested spirometer tests but 6 weeks after steroids out of my system,so that is booked for 12th Jan 18. In the meantime I have a ventolin inhaler. I am a smoker of 40 yrs but stopped instantly 4 weeks ago (I couldn't physically inhale cigarette smoke - not even e-cig vapor) so I cold turkeyed.

For last 2 weeks I am struggling trying to shift congestion on my chest...it just won't budge....I have not had a peaceful night's sleep and I cough until I vomit . My chest permanently whistles and I feel little or no benefit from the inhaler.

I need a sit down after going upstairs. And I'm back in work tomorrow. I have private medical insurance but the small print states it doesn't cover chronic conditions. :(

My Question : If I am diagnosed with COPD will I get medication to give me any relief ....or is this it for life... I'm a 57 yr old female by the way.

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Hello gwtoxz and welcome to the forum. I am sorry to hear of your struggles. If the mucus is coloured it may be that you have an infection. As you are suffering so much I would suggest you make an appointment to see your doctor before the date you are to be tested. It won't be like this forever. :)

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Hi, thanks for a quick reply.

I can barely get the mucus up to check out the colour, but initially it was clear and frothy/bubbly but last few days a pale yellow. I don't have a sore throat or anything just pain from coughing and wretching . If it is an infection and I take antibiotics, I'll have to wait another 6 weeks after treatment to have the spirometer test, vicious circle . it seems I have to be at my worst when I have the tests. By the way, what is involved in the the tests, I have been told not to use the inhaler for 48 hours before.

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So they give you a small machine and give you a mouthpiece or tube or whatever and you blow as hard as you can. It measures the rate of O2 you can dispel. No discomfort.

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The spirometry test entails blowing into a spirometer, which will give the doctor readings to determine whether or not COPD is present.

Check it out here:

blf.org.uk/support-for-you/...

Having a course of antibiotics may delay the test but clearing up any infection needs to take priority. Try not to worry.

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Hi.... I'm in a similar situation....my spirometry is on the 19th January. Ive had x ray which suggests I have copd. I have coughed since September which has got worse resulting in yellow mucus and chest infection just before Xmas. Still feel tight in chest... coughing... mucus which is hard to cough up and yes a ventolin inhaler I have no idea when to use and seems to do very little.... feeling tired... confused and fed up.... and back in work tomorrow too lol. I'm 46 and feel 96 !... hoping some medication when sorted means I can feel a bit more normal again !

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Hi Lou, it looks like we start this journey together :(

Are you a smoker ? I'm so glad I found this forum, it seems everything we are about to go through has been experienced by others.

I'm scared to book holidays or make any plans , I don't even know how long I will last in work tomorrow!!!

Anyway, so far, I have discovered that I cough less when I'm eating....but can't do that constantly and if I substitute my usual coffee with hot cordial it helps a bit.

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Hi... no I've never smoked.... or worked with toxins.I have always been a bit sensitive to strong smells but that's it.

I cough more just after eating...kinda lost my appetite but that's helped me lose about 7lb..... I could lose another 2 stone tbh. Think I'm scared to eat anything that's not healthy lol. The waiting is awful... my go was also very unhelpful... repeatedly said she didn't know then rd me not to worry and have a nice Xmas whilst handing me antibiotics...inhaler and what felt like a death sentence. Pleased I came on here tho as it has hped reading other people's posts 😊

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There is the relief in knowing these phases most likely pass. Will they return periodically? Can't say. I get these exasperations and had them before I knew what they were, maybe twice a year. Thought they were allergies. I guess they were/are allergies to ciggys. :) So the key is reaching out to your friends here. We know, understand, and will ask for your experiences to help us. You can have a lot of good years. Eat well, do whatever exercises you can, stick with us, kid. May your New Year let this discomfort cease and join us for some good laughs. Be well.

xx

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I'll be sure to tell you when I next have a good laugh....I've certainly not done much of that recently , it's nice to find friends here who can help :)

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To help clear your mucus you need to get some Carbocistine from your GP. This helps thin the mucus and make it easier to cough it up.

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Hi I was given carbocistine last week a day of taking it and I felt sick dizzy and my legs were in lots of pain is this normal on this med

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I've never had any problems with carbocistine but it doesn't seem to suit you. Have you spoken to your GP about it.

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Not yet am waiting for a appt .but I am seeing rep nurse on the 4th. .so will let her know . Happy new yeR

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Hi you say you have private medical insurance but it doesn’t cover chronic condition. As I understand it you do not know what your condition is so you will be entitled to see a specialist and have tests to establish what is wrong. I used mine to see a specialist. If you tell them your having chest problems not that you have COPD (as this hasn’t been confirmed) as at this point I believe you haven’t got a diagnosis. Barbs.

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