Hi all -
My 50 year old husband was diagnosed with COPD about 3 weeks ago. I had been begging him to go and see a specialist as I knew something was very wrong. He was wheezing at night, often very short of breath and has been a smoker since the age of 13. He was diagnosed after a CT scan showed emphysema at the top of his right lung. But at that consultation he was just referred to the Royal Free respiratory department. No medication apart from a course of antibiotics and steroids. No breath test, no advice about inhalers, no explanation as to why it has suddenly gotten so much worse.
So now we are waiting for an appointment at the Royal Free and trying hard to figure out why since he has stopped smoking his symptoms have gotten so much worse. I feel he has bronchitis, he has such a bad cough suddenly and sneezing, no temperature though. Antibiotics and steroids have not improved things. I have a bad head cold feel crappy from it - could he be having a bad exacerbation from a virus?
To make matters worse he has diabetes type 1 and the course of steroids has affected his blood sugars. At night now he finds it hard to sleep with the coughing, but its very unproductive, nothing seems to be coming up.
I am sick with worry - my wonderful kind sweet husband is suffering and I am helpless. He is beating himself up over being a smoker - filled with guilt at how this impacts his family, constantly apologising to me. I tell him I know he never meant for this to happen, he had a horrible childhood and it's amazing that he never had a drink or drug problem! The cigarettes were his crutch, helped him survive....
Sorry for the rambling but any advice or pointers would be very welcome.