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British Lung Foundation
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I strongly suspect I am in the process of losing the plot

I strongly suspect I am in the process of losing the plot. Why? you may ask, well, it is all to do with getting conflicting stories with every medic I speak to.

So, to set the stage, I am 60 years and 4 weeks old, I am overweight, I am an ex smoker of 21 months, I have mental health issues, but I love writing because it focuses me and unfuddles my brain.

I went to Leeds General Infirmary a couple of weeks ago, had blood tests, oxygen in blood test, ECG, and an Xray, she listened to my chest, and nothing unusual. Just had letter with appointment to go to a different Leeds hospital for the dreaded spirometry test.... I hate that test so much. I had a telephone appointment with my GP yesterday, and she looked at what had gone on at the hospital, she confirmed everything looked good, bet she isn't saying that after the spirometry. I asked her about A CT scan, and she said, based on these results they wouldn't do a CT, because if there was anything terrible it would have shown in the test I have already had. Now, I have been led to believe normal Xrays don't show up everything, so what to do is the burning question. I have taken to stalking people of my age, who are as fat as me, to see if they are having trouble breathing. I went to see Mama Mia yesterday and was delighted when Julie Walters character, who was in her 50s was out of breath after walking up a few steps. But even though they haven't found anything yet, why do I get breathes walking up a flight of steps and feel like I have a dozen copies of war and peace sat on my chest, and why do I get so much pain between my shoulder blades, why do I hurt so much?

I think my GP is putting it down to old lungs (her words), weight, being an ex smoker and the ludicrous amount of anxiety I live with.

Roll on the spirometry test in 3 weeks time.

Love to all, do something wonderful this weekend, get pleasure in the tiniest things xxx

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Tansycat, Normally CT scans are not routinely performed until such time as x rays and spirometry are inconclusive in diagnosing whatever breathing problems you may have.i would suggest that you await the results of your spirometry testing and then discuss things further with your Gp and or subsequent consultant if it is deemed necessary to refer you,it may be that your anxiety is actually making your breathing worse at the moment.good luck with your spirometry testing as you are going down the correct route for proper diagnosis........take care and enjoy life as there does not seem to be to much to worry about lung wise at the moment after your recent tests.

best wishes Ski's and Scruffy cat x

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Thanks skischool, that is exactly what I wanted to hear. Today I have not needed to be anywhere and I have been gardening, but no pain, I was working on a raised bed so I didn't get breathless. I had a massive breakdown four years ago and I am unable to go out to work I have had years of therapy, anti depressants etc.. However, I do need to leave the house because my 85 year old father lives an hours drive away, he has had 5 strokes. We take his shopping and do his washing. He is a very difficult man, always has been for as long as I can remember. My mother in law is 95 and has Alzheimers, she is in a home 20 minutes from us, she doesn't know who we are, and sleeps through 99% of our visit, but I know she is somewhere in there, I have taught myself to believe she is still there. My anxiety levels are through the roof most times and the devil that is depression follows me around, always. And maybe it is just that, my brain making my body think there is something.

It's a funny old world isn't it.

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You have a lot on your plate Tansycat so it is not difficult to understand your anxiety.i too have been through the treadmill and lost my wife fairly recently,but head down my love,enjoy the love and support of those around you and you will sail through this hopefully minor episode and come out with flying colours.you are a talented and imaginative lady.just remember that.

best wishes Ski's and Scruffs x

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So sorry to hear about your wife, it must be one of the worst experiences to lose someone so close, close your eyes often and remember the fabulous times, the fabulous moments, your little routines. smile when you think about her, and be sad when you need to be. I hope Sunday is wonderful for you x

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Hi Tansycat1.. wow is it bad that I feel relieved after reading your post? .. I am 51 overweight and an ex smoker of 5 years .. i have severe copd ..I also have mental health issues, living with my own thoughts sometimes is very difficult .. for months now I have had the shoulder pain to .. then down into my right lung up and under my arm pit traveling down my arm.. chest x ray was clear.. my chest is constantly tight even after 3 different antibiotics and a month of steroids! My doctor says “your obese”.. right so if I loose 5 stone my pains will subside and I’ll be happy?., I think not!.. can’t wait to go see my doctor at the end of the month .. xx

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Candyred, we are twins, but I am 9 years older than you... lets do something outrageous and rebel!

So sorry to hear of all your troubles. Doctors can be very harsh, Doctors can too be very fat! Poor you with the steroids, I put so much weight on with them, but I a very sudden auto immune disease and my GP said they probably saved my life. And any medication you may be on for your mental health, you can guarantee one of the side effects will be weight gain.

I can still fit into a Rayanair seat, but I have just started a low fat diet, that is the type that usually works for me. I used to have an eating disorder when I was in my late 20s, so I know the nutritional value of most foods, but for me I have to have the right mindset.

Lets keep in touch x

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Definitely Tansycat1!..

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Hi Tanseycat, I think I may lose the plot if I stared at the image you put up too long as well ;) :)

I am wandering you do not as yet have a diagnosis? Or do you already have a diagnosis ?

You talk as if you have completed several spirometry tests is that right?

If so any previous spirometry tests along with any other tests you may have had would be indicative of what may or may not be going on. Perhaps at this time the doctors are still investigating, so in the meantime you would have to wait to see what the end result is of all those tests.

For sure being over weight can cause someone to get out of breath more quickly, just walking a few paces on flat or up steps. In addition it puts extra strain on the heart as well as the joints.

Likewise shortness of breath is experienced by people who experience anxiety or panic attacks.

Normal xrays will show a shadow on the lung for instance if for example you had a lung infection or something else going on.

Hoping all your results reveal things are not as bad as you feared.

Best wishes Bkin

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Hi Bkin, the picture is rather fabulous I think, I took the photo in December, it was outside a house in Phuket on the edge of a rain forest, I adore her!

I had my 1st spirometry test about two years ago, and just managed to "pass" I thought my eyes were going to spontaneously combust. My most recent one was earlier this year and the reading was so bad the nurse thought her equipment was faulty, but, alas it was I that was faulty, however, when my GP saw the result she said it wasn't too bad, hey-ho, all will become apparent when I have my third test in three weeks time.

Have a great weekend!

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Hello Tansycat

First let me say how pleased I am about your writing. And I am glad that you find it helpful. What do you write? Please let me see some. Perhaps you could private message me about it.

However I am sorry you are dreading the Spirometry test. Is it only Spirometry that you are having? If that were the case then you should be able to have at your GP practice. If you are having a full Pulmonary Function Test (PFT) then that would be done at the hospital. It sounds as though you are going to where I have mine done. In my case it is always followed by a 6 Minute Walk. Has that been booked for you as well? What is it that you dread? If you feel there is something wrong then answers and diagnoses are surely helpful? I asked for the print out of the numbers and was given it. Subsequently, to be quite sure, I asked my consultant to tell the physiologists to give me a print out. And so it is now in the notes. They do always weigh the patient before hand but I ask them not to tell what it is. However it’s on the print out anyway so difficult to avoid.

All the best

Kate x

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Hi Kate, Do you go to the Leeds hospitals, are you a Leeds girl? I really do want to know what is my problem. My writing is so varied and nothing official.Before my break down I was writing content for a children's book on marine conservation, I know have enough content to fill about 3 books. I write for my self and to myself, it levels me. I write in other forums, review travel and holidays in Trip Adviser,

I am currently writing a long, long list of my memories and experiences. I am doing it on a spreadsheet so I can categorize it, make it easier for whoever reads it in the future. I also think it will be a conversation starter for visitors if or when I become weakened by age or illness. Colin and I have between us 5 grown up children, 4 of them have spouses, and they have given me ten rather fabulous grandchildren. I am writing for them really, so they can perhaps enjoy reading about their rather unconventional and eccentric grandma.

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If you'd like to get some of your writing published, take a look at Lulu.com. There are no upfront fees and it's a non-exclusive print on demand publisher. Others I know have also used Amazon createspace, but I'm wary because of copyright issues.

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Hi there. You've had excellent advice I see from our members.... the one thing I know is that my anxiety / stress issues,make me sit with terrible posture and so after weeks and months, that is the cause of my pain at the back of my neck and between my shoulders. A good massage or manipulation by a trained physio would do wonders eh?

Try and relax and enjoy the rest of the weekend.

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Hi, I am going to Thailand in 15 weeks, will get a Thai massage there, I will feel they are trying to kill me, but after it is so wonderful!

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Trip to Thailand you say,where you'll get a massage.....not that I'm at all jealous, but who is the lucky one?

Have a lovely time.

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Hi Squirrel, we go for a month and come back 4 days before Christmas, last year it was Phuket, this year Hua Hin. I know I am very lucky, I am making lots of exquisite memories. My earlier life wasn't so great, but my life now is rather magical, despite all the health issues. Have a great day xxx

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G

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Hello Tansycat1 .

I read your reply to Skis and I see you are under an immense amount of pressure caring for your loved ones. I too cared for my in-laws for years after my mother-in-law was diagnosed with dementia. Anxiety is an awful thing and it definitely makes every little thing seem huge, daunting and frightening. Anxiety then invites depression to the party and they have a wonderful time at our expense. And naturally, this makes breathing much harder , especially when our lungs are already compromised.

Having extra weight does have an impact on our breathing too. I am on steroids and am in a constant battle to keep the weight down to an acceptable level. Not easy. 😟

Do not fear the spirometry test. Loathe it, certainly and give it hell when you blow into it!! 😡 I think the picture you posted is of a Hindu god. I am not sure which one.

Have a lovely weekend.

Cas xx 🙋🐕🐾

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Hi Caspiana, thanks for your message, you are absolutely spot on with all you say, poor you with the steroids, they are beasts. Latest drugs added to my ever increasing list are blood pressure tablets and statins... all these drugs and I have never even smoked a joint!

Have a great Sunday. x

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Hi,

If you feel likeyou have a heavy weight on your chest when climbing the stairs it might not be your COPD but your heart, so get it checked out quickly.

Best wishes

x

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Hi jlc,Thanks for contacting me, I have been thinking that too. I had a mobile heart monitor strapped to my body for 24 hours about 3 months ago and I had an ECG a few days ago, both were ok, but GP has put me on blood pressure tablets and statins. I have a blood pressure thingie at home so I monitor that regularly.

Have a great day x

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Hi ask your doctor or google breathing exercises you will be amazed that with strees or anxiety people use there upper chest more to breathe and this causes the diaphragm muscle to sort of knot up this causes numb fingers tingling shoulder pain lots of symptoms i had to see a physio over breathless and i was pretty shocked at what not using my stomach to breath has a big impact on other parts of are bodies i had a camera through my nose this is how they seen the diaphragm all tensed hope this might help a little hugs and hope things work out for you soon 🤗

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Oh, thanks so much for that, I will ask Mr Google this afternoon. How did you find the camera up your nose? I had that a couple of months ago and I have never experienced anything like it. It was at an Ear nose and throat clinic and it was awful, Ihave had cameras up my bum twice, and those were far more interesting - you get to see what is going on on a screen, I was in the room with 3 medics, and all we did the whole time was laugh, I think I almost became hysterical!! x

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Hi it was awful i started gagging i dont thing they were too impressed it doesnt hurt i didnt think but as soon as it went down oh dear haha they even gave me a sick bowl lucky i didn't use it i hope i dont have one of those i would be scared of escaping wind if you get me or worselol i suffer with IBS X

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I was told the same thing lose weight you'll feel better lost 100 pounds.. But still out of breath you need to lose more another twenty more I lost .. You need to lose weight have 60 left to go .. In the mean time I kept pushing it.. Got a CT Scan exray dosn't not show everything.. They found out I had lots of lumps and scaring biggest 5mm lumps and I had ground glass.. Small air way disease... Three more CT scans later my lumps didn't grow... So it is inflammatory.. Found out I have COPD.. I kept saying something was wrong.. If your a ex smoking push for it... They blamed my weight on everything.. My hip was hurting lose weight for over ten years .. found out I have scoliosis my hip was out by a 1 inch..... But I pushed for it a MD only has 15 with you to figure out things... I would wait until your breathing test.. That tells a lot if it comes back as COPD push for a ct Scan....

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Hi, how is your day going, well I hope. I have what they refer to as chicken pox scars on my lungs, plus damage from pneumonia. When I was 17 I had peritonitis that nearly killed me, that resulted in many of my internal organs being stuck together. I had a hysorectomy in 3 stages when I was 17, 23, and 25 so there is an awful lot of scar tissue in there, a few years ago I had my gall bladder removed, it was just as key hole surgery was taking of but the doctor said afterwards it had taken 2 hours because it was stuck to my liver. I am wondering if that has anything to do with all that is going on. OMG well done on losing all the weight you are one very focused lady. Have a great Sunday xxx

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I see a osteso path she said from my gall bladder being removed scar tissue was pulling on my other organ... She worked on the scares I have.. I had mine out in my twenties back then you had a huge scar was in for one week.. But a Osteo path works on your body different... She works on my lungs scoliosis feet everything,, She told me she has some one with COPD and his breathing test got a bit better... She works on mine ... But you do get abused a lot from Dr's I went in to see about my head shaking a bit and hand .. He first asked me why I was over weight... On the radio the other day a Dr was talking about the abuse that goes on with patients that are over weight .... Its rough but I went on a Low Carb diet and doing good on the diet.... The weird part about Dr's they put you on drugs that make you hungry like predisone then ask why your over weight.. I just go to out patients most of the time when I have problems don't get abused..... But keep fighting for what you need ... Thats awful about the scar tissue ...

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Me too. My doctor who is no longer my doctor THANKFULLY, told me my asthma is due to my eating disorder. I’ve has asthma since I was a baby. And, as I said to him, what eating disorder? He said, you’re bullemic (sorry I can’t spell that) I said I am not. (I know people with eating disorders often don’t acknowledge they have an eating disorder, and apologies to Tansycat1 and anyone that had/has an eating disorder as I don’t really know what I’m talking about) He said, I think you get up in the night and eat and then make yourself sick. I said I do not. He said, I think you do and I think you’re a liar. Was it just easier for him to invent something on which to blame my respiratory problems so that he didn’t need to deal with it. My dad had the same doctor. My dad described his symptoms to him. The doctor said he was stressed about the rugby (!!!) and should drink sage tea. Two days later my dad was having a quadruple heart bypass in the hospital. I’m sure it must be extremely difficult to be a doctor and correctly diagnose things, but sometimes I think they’d rather put the blame on the patient and not deal with the situation. Sorry I’m totally rambling and ranting, I guess I needed to vent!

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That doctor needs to be struck off if he speaks to people like that.

I have a similar story. When my father was in his early thirties the GP told him he had flu and should stay in bed until it cleared. It got much worse and Mum called the doctor again, this doctor was a locum, he examined him and called an ambulance straight away, it was found dad had stomach cancer and they removed 2 thirds of it, he was cut in half diagonally and the hospital doctor told mum he had 5 years to live. Anyway dad is still alive, aged 85, and until 5 years when he started to have strokes he was amazingly fit and healthy.

Fast forward about 10 years and the same GP told me my incredibly heavy and long (34 days) period was "part of being a woman" mum had taken me to the doctors about 6 times. Things got much worse and he reluctantly sent me to hospital telling me I would be home in 3 days. I had peritonitis , I was kept in an induced coma for 5 days, I nearly died they removed one Fallopian tube, and the ovary from the opposite side, plus other bits and pieces. I was 17 years old. By the age of 25 I had had 2 further ops and had had a full hysterectomy.

In those days we didn't complain, but my God, I would complain today if I could.

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That’s just awful 😞 I’m just glad your dad’s still around. And you too!

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On the cbc radio a Dr was talking to people that are being abused by Dr's .People phoning in was unreal... After losing a hundred pounds my so called nurse who thought she was a Dr told me it wasn't brain science what you take in and what you don't.... Since then lost more still being abused... But it is unreal.. I have a Dr from another country a women and she treats me great ... .. They give you drugs like asthma medication that a throat dr told me gives you acid reflux then the gases go up into your lungs and can give you lung infections.but it wasn't the asthma clinc that told me that it was the throat Dr..... They write out drugs for you that make you gain weight... I feel a Dr should take predisone for a week 50 mg then weigh him... I just shake my head I go to out patients they don't have time to abuse just write out the drug I need...

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Qi gon has changed my life. Also i went for craniosacral therapy. Crippling health anxiety gone gone gone. Live each day to the full. Consultant told me to cop on...i could get run over by a bus. Harse but gave me the reality check i needed and havent looked back. Exercise exercise and sleep. Lush Sleepy cream and herbal valerian tablets. Food is medicine. Enjoy Thailand, sunsets, love and write write writ xxxc

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I did tried that years ago Qi gon interesting .. and vlaerian tablets are great.. How long in Thailand would love to go there your so lucky...

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We go for a month, 20th November to 20 December. I can't stand the craziness of the run up to Christmas in the UK, my anxiety goes through the roof, so we remove ourselves for a month. Last year we went to the island of Phuket, but even the locals admit it has become over commercialized. We are going to Hua Hin this time, it is on the mainland and about 2 hours drive south from Bangkok, we are out in the countryside and on flat land, as we like to walk quite a lot when we are away. Airports are a tad madness, but Valium and deep deep deep concentration get me through, I always have a window seat so all my fatness can be squelched into that space. It will take us 24 hours to get there, but with each moment I can feel the escapism starting to heal me. I cant take Valium into Thailand, it is illegal there, but I am on other anti stress things for while I am away and the journey home.

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I do understand needing to get away last year I wanted to just go and relax some where...

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I realised all doctors were saying anxiety but my anxious head became paranoid and thought they were all lying. They were spot on...since anxiety gone i have my life back. Im not saying they are all right and as in any area of life there are varying degrees of expertise and skill. But anxiety is epidemic amongst all age groups. I am a psychotherapist in practice for 20 years and Im afraid Dr Google has made us all very health heightened. Xx

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Yes you can get uptight about things and start worrying to much.. My husband has that problem worry about me.. He is more up tight than I"am about being sick... I had to talk to him told him he was going to make himself sick.. He started having chess pains one day when he couldn't get a hold of me... I told him he could die before me and he needed to realax about this.. But it can cause problems for you....

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I do have stage 2 copd, lifelong asthma and my bones are fusing together but i am taking each day as it comes now. Anxiety has us crippled.

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Hi Paula, how absolutely horrible for you. I always find it weird that some people sail through life while others seem to collect conditions and illnesses like others collect stamps. I can't even begin to imagine how you have coped with all that has been thrown at you, and then of course the devil that is anxiety pokes cruel fun at us in so many horrific ways. Sending you a big mummy cuddle, do something fabulous with your day, eat chocolate! xxx

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Your bones are fusing never heard of that .. What causes that... Sorry I have never heard that before...

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Hi Tansycat....I too suffer from anxiety and some depression. I absolutely hate those spirometry tests!!! You aren't alone in feeling overwhelmed. Take a few minutes at a time for yourself. I take small walks and do that several times a day when I can. I feel if I get dressed, do my hair and makeup when I wake up...I feel better for the day. Yes I get winded too. Walking helps to make lungs stronger so we can do more. Now I need to follow my own advice. Good luck to you. There are many days I feel like you described.

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Hi Marie, I think it is time to get my fit bit back on, while the weather has been good we have been re designing the garden as it was quite high maintenance, for when we are older and can't manage the heavy clay soil. This has been pretty tough going but where we used to have flower beds we now have lawn, I cant believe it has germinated so well in the heat. I digress (as usual). That has been a good way of exercising for me. Going for a walk is ok, but due to my anxiety I only walk where there are very few people, and hopefully none that I know and have to speak to, I am not good at speaking to people since my breakdown. We will be going back to the gym as soon as the schools go back, I don't have to speak to anyone there and quite often we have the place to ourselves.

Hope your day is filled with gorgeousness xxx

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I hope you do well. The Spirometry tests are so hard. I try and relax as much as possible and think of something that will give me strength while doing the test. I practice breathing techniques before going. You have my thoughts and prayers.

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