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Hi, just new here just needing a little support at the moment, i have copd......

gizmondo profile image

Had to phone my GPs this morning because my oxygen levels have been low for a few days. It wasn't my normal GP and all he went on was about the fact that i still smoke, he never asked what my levels were like, he never asked me to go to the surgery to have my chest listened too and it was only when i asked should i start taking the steroids in my rescue kit he said something about them. in the end he told me to take them for 3days and if no better in 5days to ring up again, he ended the conversation with another lecture on smoking. I have tried very hard to stop but still have a few each day, which is much better than how i used to be. I came off the phone crying and upset. Anybody else had this kind of experience with their GP?

46 Replies
Damon1864 profile image
Damon1864Volunteer

You did get a rough time off the GP, they don't seem to understand how hard it is for a lot of people to give up smoking. I hope the steroids work, but please get plenty of rest and take things steady. I hope you feel better soon, please let us know how you are. Have a good night and take care 😊 Bernadette and Jack 🐕 xxxxxx

gizmondo profile image
gizmondo in reply to Damon1864

Thank you for you reply

Hi and welcome. I have had a similar attitude after I gave up smoking from some doctors. To some extent I could understand it when having been diagnosed with lung disease blamed on smoking but it isn't at all helpful.

Do persevere with trying to quit if that's what you want to do. There is also a forum to support people trying to stop which might be helpful to you. It's called Quit Support.

Do contact your surgery again if things don't improve though. 3 days prednisolone isn't much if you have a flare up.

Keep in touch. Lots of support here and no criticism. Best wishes.

gizmondo profile image
gizmondo in reply to CDPO16

Thanks for the reply

Welcome gizmondo. I’m carer for my husband Pete and he struggled to give up smoking. Everybody’s different. I wish you well on quitting smoking and we’re here to offer advice and support as needed. Xxx

gizmondo profile image
gizmondo in reply to sassy59

thanks for the reply

I was lucky my gp understood how hard it is, as do many on this site. You have done well to cut down so stay posative you can stop and will it just takes some of us longer than others it is a very strong addiction. Getting upset about it is more likely to have you reaching for a smoke than stopping it. Do take your rescue pack if you notice any sighn of infection add antibiotics. But if you are not feeling any better in 3 days phone dr back, it will take another 2 days to be seen you can always cancelnif you suddenly recover 😉 i hope you are feeling better soon. But if you realy start to struggle 999 is the number

gizmondo profile image
gizmondo in reply to corriena

thanks for the reply

Welcome 🤗 I totally understand how you feel. It is very hard to stop smoking special when you have to stop smoking. And you are right when you have cut down the use of it. Try do do it slow don't stress yourself it makes it worse. I never was a heavy smoker when working I had maybe 6 a day. Special after I have eaten, before I stopped I was down to 2 a day and I have started to keep my hands busy and started knitting....later I played video Games that's when I stopped, it helped me to forget about it. Of course I had then sometimes a smoke but never bought any but that's was working for me.

Take your time and take it easy I hope that the steorids will do the job to help you to get better 🤗 everyone here will support you.... because we all in the same boot ⛵

Maybe try to speak to different GP next time, there are always some to have a better understanding.

Best wishes 🌺🌺🌺

gizmondo profile image
gizmondo in reply to MELNEL

Thanks for the reply

A little tip. COPD is not terminal its progressive. You can control how fast or how slow it progresses. I was diagnosed in 2010 with Severe COPD. I was told if I didnt give up smoking I would most probably have 1 to 3yrs left . I know no one can really diagnose this accurately but it makes you think. I decided I wanted to live and see my Granddaughter grow up, she was 2 at the time. I promised her I would never touch another cigarette as I wanted to spend as much time as possible with her making memories. Here I am 12yrs later,my Granddaughter is almost 14yrs , best decision I ever made. I didnt use patches etc just willpower, looking at my Granddaughter 's face made it easy. I even improved my lung function at the time. I am a very Positive Lady and concentrate on what I can do not what I cant. I take everything in its stride. Never rushing and remembering to breathe correctly which can increase your oxygen level I am very fortunate to have the support of a fantastic Respiratory team and Consultant. I never speak to my GP as he really knows nothing. I am still Severe COPD but have learnt to accept this as there are many far worse off than myself. I am grateful for every single day and count my blessings. Good luck and keep trying to give up smoking it will slow down the progression of your condition. Keep safe xxSheila 💕👍

gizmondo profile image
gizmondo in reply to garshe

Thanks for the reply

When I finally managed to give up smoking, I cut back like you at first, so that I learned to say no to myself. I looked at my favourite times to smoke, like with a mug of coffee after the evening meal, and planned ways to change my behaviour then, like getting up and doing the washing up instead, and drinking tea instead of coffee. I replaced the hand to mouth action of cigarettes by eating sunflower seeds singly, with a bag in my jacket pocket whenever I went out. I read articles about the damage smoking does and looked at photos of lungs blackened with cigarette smoke, to reinforce the importance of giving up. And when I didn't go out to something to keep myself busy in the evenings, I took up sewing, and sewed three 9 foot long curtains by hand, plus a cloth handbag and a waistcoat. My first day as a non-smoker was 1st August 1985, and I haven't looked back.

gizmondo profile image
gizmondo in reply to Ergendl

Thanks for the reply

Welcome. This is a lovely site and you will find lots of friends, including me, who will listen and reassure . You’ve done well cutting down smoking, it is very difficult. I attempted 3 times in 2013 and succeeded. You will get there. Take care, stay safe.

Steroids will help you. Do phone doctors or a respiratory nurse if you don’t improve.

gizmondo profile image
gizmondo in reply to Collie4

Thanks for the reply

After a number of failed attempts to pack up smoking, I finally managed it after a very bad cold or flu, when if I tried to smoke my pipe, I couldn't breath. I tried another smoke after a week, and the same thing, couldn't breath, so finally cracked it. It was either nicotine or oxygen; no contest really. That was 35 years ago when I was 45, but I'm afraid the damage was done. Getting lung disease is as much about your genes as smoking. If your family had lung disease then you are likely to as well. As I had stopped some time younger than other family members, I have survived many more years than they did. Also, medication that helps has come through in the last few years, helping me to stay on my perch.I think the doctor who was hard with you was just trying to shock you into stopping smoking.

Just be strong and kick the habit.

gizmondo profile image
gizmondo in reply to Lutontown

Thanks for the reply

Lutontown profile image
Lutontown in reply to gizmondo

When I started smoking it was cool to be a smoker. Just look at the films made in the '50s and '60s, all the stars were lighting up one fag after the other. A lot of them died quite young, presumably from lung issues. It wasn't until 1964 that the government actually came out and said that smoking can cause lung cancer. I'm not sure that they mentioned any other lung disease; I'll look it up. Of course by that time I had been smoking for 3 years and well hooked. My dad and most of my siblings smoked, and I remember sitting on his lap having a story read to me, him with a fag in the corner of his mouth and that acrid smoke coming over me and making me cough. When I started work in a drawing office, I hadn't started yet, but most people in the office smoked, so I was working in a fog from the time I was 16. So, I was subjected to secondary smoke from when I was born, and 25 years of direct smoking.

There used to be a programme in the '50s on BBC TV called "Your Life in Their Hands". This showed surgeons doing operations, and there was a surgeon who was already had recognized what smoking did to your lungs, and I remember him showing the insides of a smoker's lungs. Horrible.

And of course we were subjected to a terrible polluted atmosphere, as we all had coal fires, the trains were steam powered by coal, motor vehicles has no exhaust emission equipment.

Didn't stand much chance really, did we?

Welcome to the forum. I think your doctor was using the wrong approach. You needed encouragement, not a lecture. Doctors don't seem to learn about doctor/ patient relationships. Teachers (my old job) wouldn't last 5 minutes if we took the same attitude. You'll find lots of friendly, well informed folk on this site, so please stay with us. My dear late father had emphysema and never managed to give up smoking entirely. His efforts to give up were rather sad or comical, depending how you looked at it, including stopping inhaling, so he was blowing smoke over everyone else. If that stingy ration of 3 days of steroids does not work, you need to go back. Prepare to be firm if you see the same doc. Tell him the progress you have already made. Tell him you need help while you are kicking the habit. Good luck.

gizmondo profile image
gizmondo in reply to Alberta56

Thanks for the reply

Hi Gizmondo,

I had a similar experience to you. I waited for over an hour to see the lung consultant, who then told me he could do nothing for me and was referring me back to the GP.

What he said was not true, but probably is now. There was no interest in other pollutants or other factors that had affected my lungs. It was and attitude of 'you smoke, I'm not interested'. What I was told, by some other people with lung problems, was not to tell the Dr/Consultant etc. that I smoke. However, I cannot do that, as it seems pointless and I don't like to waste people's time.

There are been some really good comments made from others, so I wish you the best of luck and hope you get better.

gizmondo profile image
gizmondo in reply to anng18

Thanks for the reply

Hope steroids help.In truth,the gp is right.its his duty to tell you.his attitude perhaps wasnt.theres a lot of help available if yr struggling to stop on yr own.xxx

gizmondo profile image
gizmondo in reply to Patk1

Thanks for the reply

First of all welcome to this funny, friendly and informative forum. The doctor's attitude beggers belief! There are many ex smokers on here who understand only too well how bloomin' difficult it is to break an addiction. Please don't let this 🤬 doctor detract from the fact that you are doing an amazing job in giving up smoking.

gizmondo profile image
gizmondo in reply to Karenanne61

Thanks for the reply

Some GPs have a very strange way of going about things! Over the years, I have encountered some really lovely ones, including my current one, but also some who have seemed quite mean.

I get over it by telling myself that they are only human. Everyone can have a bad day and even the best doctor can misjudge a situation or get a diagnosis wrong.

Try not to be upset by this experience. Look forward and ask yourself how you would like to be in another few years time and whether or not you can do anything to help yourself achieve that aim.

I'm not a smoker but I do love my food - especially all the naughty things! Now, my husband has been diagnosed as diabetic and I am on the borderline. We are trying to modify our eating habits slowly so that instead of doing it all at once, we edge forward little by little in the hope of going to our next appointments and seeing improvement. And of course, some days are easier than others. And, yes, the chocolates are still in the cupboard and I'm damned if I'll give them away!

It's not really up to anyone to condemn you or blame you for smoking, or for them to nag you to give it up. I think it's for you to look ahead, as I said at the beginning, and ask yourself if giving it up or cutting it down further would help you to stay healthier than if you carry on as you are. Until you get the images in your own mind of a future with smoking v a future without smoking it will be very hard to stop.

Well done, by the way, for having cut down as much as you have! It shows you have the will power. How about you try having one less each week? Just a thought.

Try and forget the horrible GP now and focus on having the best future you can manage.

All the best,

xx Moy

gizmondo profile image
gizmondo in reply to MoyB

Thanks for the reply

Hello gizmondo, what a wonderful name. That experience with the GP has clearly been upsetting. I have never smoked but was, as a child , around a lot of passive smoke. In my professional life I supported many people to stop smoking and for some it took several starts before they could claim to have stopped In other words your attempts are commendable in the process of stopping. The doctor in question has no power over you but it still is unfortunate not to feel support so I am sorry about that.

Meanwhile I hope that the steroids are feeling like the right course of action for you and don’t hesitate to contact again if not.

Take care. Grave

Thanks for the reply

Grace not Grave. An unfortunate typo!

I've never smoked but both my parents and my ex husband did and I too sat in a fog of smoke everywhere. My mam gave up after she retired, stopped dead because she couldn't afford it. I used to waft my hands about trying to keep the smoke from my face and she used to complain once she stopped she said she understood why I had done it! I don't know how hard it is to stop smoking but I know that nicotine is addictive so try to get help to beat it, there's loads out thereI know how hard it is to lose weight and I don't think that's addictive! Your doctor was very unkind and should have been more supportive, maybe he'd had a bad day. Good luck and keep your pecker up. Xx

Thanks for the reply

Hi Sorry to hear of your traumatic GP phone appointment. I had a similar experience, subjected to 18 minute rant by the GP, not only was the info in the rant incorrect it did not in anyway to what my appointment was about! The rant left me in a state of collapse! ( more like road rage) Took some while to recover & total recovery took 4 days. They cannot possibly realise what they are doing!Stay safe.

CDPO16 profile image
CDPO16 in reply to on-my-trike

That is appalling. You would have been well within the right to lodge a complaint.

gizmondo profile image
gizmondo in reply to on-my-trike

Thanks for the reply

gizmondo profile image
gizmondo in reply to gizmondo

Thanks for the reply

Hi. Sorry to hear you're upset as a result of the Drs visit. If you want to stop smoking I thought I'd mention my husband (a roll up man) found using essential oils a big help. Used the bath and on bed linen it helped relax him during his craving moments. Apparently these moments are often but short lived, so the craving isn't constant. Hope it's worth a try. Good luck.

Thanks for the reply

I know lots of people who never smoked and still get lung problems, I get that smoking is a big cause but getting a lecture doesnt help, my hubby stopped last year after 60 years he was having lung cancer surgery, but even now they still ask if he smokes , not having your normal gp doesnt help xxxxx

gizmondo profile image
gizmondo in reply to Canabeans

Thanks for the reply

The Gp should be offering you help to stop smoking, negative opinions don’t work.I’m sorry to say though that if you have any kind of lung condition you really should not smoke.

gizmondo profile image
gizmondo in reply to Darceydoo

Thanks for the reply

Hello gizmondo and welcome to the forum.

If you feel you would benefit from a chat with one of our nurses about the management of your COPD , you are very welcome to call us at the helpline on 03000 030 555.

blf.org.uk/what-we-do

Take care

Debs

Thanks will do

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