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British Lung Foundation
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New to Furom and Confused with Diagnosis

Been looking around this very informative and friendly forum, and hope that someone maybe able to advise.

I had a lung function test on Tuesday and was diagnosed with COPD on Friday, both the test and the diagnosis was undertaken at my GP clinic. As I entered my GP’s consulting room on Friday, there was another GP in the room that I was briefly introduced to. They told me they had the results from my lung function test, and started to talk about problems. I asked if the next stage was a scan so my chest could be examined. I was told that wouldn’t be necessary, as I had COPD, and there would definitely be scaring. The two Drs discussed amongst themselves what type of inhaler would be best for me. I was then told they would try me some medication, to come back in 3-4 weeks to see how I was getting on with the inhaler (Braltus). I was a little shocked, so I just sat there listening to the two Drs talking about me even though I was in the room. I was not given any more information at all; I have no idea how bad it is, what to expect next. It is just me and Dr Google. Does this sound normal?

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Hi

It’s a nuisance when GPs don’t give a definitive answer to a simply question which you have to live with it.

COPD is a umbrella term for chronic bronchitis and emphysema, you can have a element of both. Not usually associated with lung scarring which is a separate lung condition.

Obliviously you can have more than one condition. Which was most likely shown by your lung function test.

I would press them for more answers, so you can be more involved in your treatment, and not regarded as a human guinea pig.

Ask them for information on the test results.

Apart from inhalers there’s diet and exercise to take into consideration.

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Thank you stone-UK.....Scaring has nothing to do CPOD? I don’t understand why nothing was explained to me. I am puzzled how a GP can tell you have COPD and scaring from a lung function test. Is it not helpful to have scan? 🙁

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Hi Stone .... I'm totally confused now. I was diagnosed after years of being virtually ignored by Drs who acknowledged my lungs weren't functioning very well and prescribed me salbutomol and steroids but never referred me on for tests. I put up with things as I didn't know any better . I moved back to Scotland's 12 years ago and it was here a nurse told me I had Copd . My new doc referred me to a consultant who took an obvious dislike to me and within 5 mins looking at paperwork snapped 'You don't have Copd ' then made me follow him down a corridor to look at a comparison map of weight and height etc. According to him I was fat and breathless and that was all. He wouldn't listen to anything I Tried to say and told me to pick up my things and then gestured with both hands ...shooing me out of the room. I was mortified. He said as he was doing it ' I don't want to see you again' . I was so ashamed at being treated like that and embarrassed in front of GP and nurse as I thought they must think I was a hypochondriac so I stayed away for a year. I kept a posted appointment with practice nurse who then got respiratory nurse to home visit. She in turn persuaded new Consultant to give me a scan ( he too had previously refused on basis of report by previous consultant) and then they saw my lungs were badly scarred and have holes in them . He said I have severe emphysema. I'm sorry this is so long ...I just want to explain my experience and get it out of my system lol. Question is if the emphysema under the COPD umbrella, doesn't cause scarring then what caused the holes and extensive scarring on my lungs? I'm confused . Oh I knew the patient who was seen by horrible consultant just before my turn and he was absolutely charming to her and put her in for a scan because she had a cough. She couldn't believe he had refused me. That's why I said he disliked me on sight lol. The outcome of the saga is the new consultant who gave me the scan about 3 years ago has taken me off his list and referred me back to my GP. I've no idea why!! I had been having 6 monthly checkups with his surgery.

I'm so sorry I've gone on too much about my experiences. :))

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I am beginning to become even more concerned. I have two illnesses? COPD and a lung scaring illness?

If anyone can advise further, I would be very grateful

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Hi

The person you need to speak to put your mind at rest is your GP.

I have a element of scarring from asbestos exposure in the 60s, never gave me any concerns.

Unlike the COPD.

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Hi Gweniee. You need a referral to a good lung consultant to find out exactly what you are dealing with. Stone is right. Scarring can be due to any one of several issues. GPs simply doing breathing tests does not show what the condition is, or even if you have copd and whether it is chronic bronchitis or emphysema. Don’t let them carry on treating you like a hobby and don’t ask to be referred- Tell them that they are going to refer you. It is your health not theirs. Good luck.

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Thank you - I will ask for a referral. I don't understand why, between the two GP's, they did not feel it was necessary to refer me to 'someone'!

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Hi Gweniee, Stone is Right as is Littlepom. My GP referred me immediately to a Lung Consultant at my Local Hospital in 2013. Cut it Short, the Best People are The Consultant and most Definitely The Wonderful Respiritory Nurses. GP's are very Good but not for Specialised Conditions, Like COPD. I have never been to my GP for my condition only at the beginning and any Referrals ie: Pulmonary Rehab. Every 3 months I go to My Lung Consultant in Hospital.

Best of Luck and Push Them for a Referral. xxx

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Thank you. I have no idea why the GP left me to my own devices; with no information. It was also assumed that I knew what COPD was!

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was it a lung function test, or, spirometry test.

Not heard of gp having lung function equipment.

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It was a lung function test carried out at the GP surgery by a nurse. It is a large practice, with several 'in house' procedures ....

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Under the NHS you are entitled to a second opinion so push for one. It is quite possible that the second doctor was a post graduate on a placement and all this discussion was a teaching session. Whatever it was I think your GP was very rude not to explain why he had someone with him, and to ask you if you minded. No wonder you are upset. Your doctor should apologise and explain, and send you to a consultant. Good luck xx

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I also assumed that the 'guest' GP was a junior dr, but as the session progressed, the 'guest' GP was obviously more knowledgeable and was advising the GP that was treating me. That made the situation feel even more confusing. If I had not of been so shocked with the situation, I would have asked some serious questions!

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Whichever way round it must have been very difficult for you so I do hope you get that referral. xx

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Gwenniee

Hi Forget Dr Google the info you get from these types of sites usually takes a severe case & reports as "One size fits all" type. these sites are best left alone as they frighten you witless. Rely on your GP or get a private second opinion (They can usually access you medical records on line) . It will cost you but the info you get is usually reliable & accurate. You will then know at what stage you are.

There people on this site that have had the illness for years, you eventually come to terms with it and work around it at usually a slower pace. Eat well & exercise as much as you can but do not overdo it.

IKeith

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First of all, let me say Welcome Aboard and secondly, l just Love your name! That's my name too here in the Good 'ole USA! Now to address your COPD. Inhalers do help when you're short of breath. I always rinse my mouth out after using it because it once gave me thrush. Those inhalers have steroids in them but that does help you breathe better. In my case, when l was diagnosed with COPD, l went and seen a "Pulmonologist"--a lung specialist. I'm no doctor so l can only tell you what l did. That is what l would recommend. I would only see my GP for basic needs. Here in the USA, we see specialist for serious conditions. Not sure where you live? Take care and let us hear from you soon!

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