Has this happened to You?

Has this happened to You?

Some years ago, approx' eight, I went for a chest x-ray at Leeds General Infirmary, and was asked if I did any type of sports as my x-ray showed I had distended lungs; I reckon what gave my reply away was the the little smirk on my face which proclaimed - "Are you joking!" Any type of sports activity is out as far as I'm concerned, as I just don't have the breath in me.

Anyhow, long story short. Ever since that first x-ray and a follow-up trip to see my GP about the results, I was informed that I had chronic bronchitis. Many more chest x-rays followed as the years passed by. A month ago I was sent to the L.G.I. for another x-ray by the new doctor at the surgery as I was constantly coughing and bringing up bucket-loads of sputum 24/7. After the previous chest x-rays, I thought I knew what the outcome would be regarding my chronic bronchitis - it was probably worse with age, that's all. Well you'd think the same, right?

Nope. My self-diagnosis was completely wrong. My new doctor informed me that the latest x-ray showed distended lungs, and that I was suffering from severe C.O.P.D. caused by emphysema. I kid you not, I gave the new doctor a strange, querying look, not believing what he'd just told me. I asked the new doctor what had happened to my chronic bronchitis that had plagued me for so many years? He flatly explained that I didn't, and never had, chronic bronchitis, I have emphysema and always have had this condition. Crikey, you could've knocked me off my seat with a feather as the reality of it all sank home! All those years of explaining to various people that I had chronic bronchitis - and all those forms I've had to fill in weren't telling the true story of my illness. And what you've just read is only the beginning of the story, because now I've got to explain to the DWP why I told them at my Work Capability Assessment that I had chronic bronchitis! Wish me luck with my appeal, won't you ...

Note: Thank you for leaving your kind comments and I'll answer each one asap.

14 Replies

  • wow you need a change of luck huh. Wishing you good luck with the appeal I just filed mine might even be done for Xmas.

  • Thanks for your comment, much appreciated! I've been informed that my appeal might take between 8 and 12 months to get heard - which I find hard to believe. Mind you, it did take 3-months for the DWP to inform me that I hadn't got the 15 points needed to continue my claim for Incapacity Benefit. I wonder why it took them so long to decide my fate? Could the reason be I scored 15 points in May 2006 at my first Work Assessment Test? Hummm....

    Have a great day.

  • A big good luck from me xxx

  • Thank you for your support, much appreciated! Best regards.

  • Hi There

    I'm sorry to read of the problems you have had. In the past doctors have had different terminology to describe COPD.

    I would suggest speaking to your new doctor about the plans they have to manage your condition. Do you need a respiratory specialist referral, would you benefit from pulmonary rehabilitation and do you need to have a spirometry test.

    In regard to the appeal i would strongly advise getting a letter from your doctor detailing the results of your chest x ray and how this condition affects you. Also a detailed diary is always good - day to day information aout how you condition impacts your life - physically, emotionally, socially and practically.

    If you give us a call we can send you our factsheet on the appeals process.

    Let us know how you get on.

    Best Wishes


  • Thank you for your very helpful comment, highly appreciated! I will keep a daily diary of how my condition affects me from now on, interlaced with how my other couple of ailments affect my daily life too; I've had Cervical Spondylosis for some years which is literally a pain in the neck [please excuse the pun], and also have a touch of Osteoarthritis. These combined ailments make daily life a bit of chore, never knowing which one is going to 'play up' for the worse in any given 24 hours, which it appears the Work Capability Assessment doctors at Atos either don't care about or don't fully appreciate. At my first Work Capability Assessment in 2006, I accumulated 15 points - but my second assessment produced zero points. When I received the DWP notice that I'd failed to gain the 15 points needed, all I could do was announce "It's a miracle! I'm cured!" I've since stopped laughing.

    Righto, once again thank you for your wise words, I'm grateful. Have a great day.


    Tom [tomscribe]

  • Oh my goodness what a palava for you. I send lots of good wishes to a fellow loiner. X

  • Thanks for your good wishes, appreciated! Have a great, and pain-free, day!

  • i have only recently been diagnosed . I was told I had hyper-inflated lungs. Im still very confused about what I have. Im told its copd. I have been off sick for some years with HepC(I now have the all clear) and i have 2 prolapsed discs. I have also just recieved from DWP that my case is under review. I dont have lots of flem but I have trouble breathing and doing any physical activity beyond walking slowly is impossible. I just wanted to wish you all the best with your app.

  • Hi soothsayer,

    First, thanks for your comment, highly appreciated! Now as for hyper-inflated lungs, well I've not heard of this before, but if it's C.O.P.D. you can be assured that your respiratory system is affected. Severe C.O.P.D. is when you have difficulty with your breathing and when you cough up flem constantly [as in my case] and walking short distances leaves you breathless and wheezing, and having to stop regularly. I walk slowly-paced, and stop frequently to catch my breath and although this does help a little, there's nothing like sitting down during the frequent stops; though this is not always possible as you'll already know.

    I'll wish you all the success in the world with your DWP review, but remember, it's not your illness that they take into account, it's your ability to do manual chores and if you can manage to climb two steps [who can't?] or lift an empty cardboard box [who can't again?] then you're fit enough to work. Or rather, that's their theory....

    No-one but yourself knows how you feel on any given day [or night] and my advice is to explain to the DWP [by letter] that no two days are ever the same; as happens to me personally. One thing to remember also is this: the Atos doctors have been told to fail an exact amount of claimants at the assessment phase, though they deny any claims of this practice - yet it's true. So fight on and proclaim your right to be ill and try to ignore the fact that the coalition government is making you [and all of us] pay for their, and the bankers past mistakes. Wishing you well.

  • this has happened to me.about 6 years ago i was haveing breathing problems and my last doctors told me i had the same as my husband c o p d ,he died with it 8 and a half years ago.i moved house 2 years ago so now have a new doctor.up till auguest this year i had worked in a shop done the garden and been realy active.except for my bad leg..since auguest when i had a pannick attack.i havent been able to do anything realy.my new doctor sent me to see a c o p d nurse,who i saw this thursday.plus a consultant she showed me my exrays etc and now says i have emphycsema and i said i thouught it was c o p d and she said they are all in the same catergree.and has now changed 2 of my inhalers .so at least she had a good talk to me etc..

  • they are now monitoring me more as well.

  • Hi evo1510.

    Glad to read you've got the right diagnosis as it can be very confusing. After a few years you'll probably end up with a collection of different inhalers, as in my case, I've got a cupboard full of them which were not suitable. I use only 3-types per day now. The Spirometry Tests I go for always get me down afterwards because my lung capacity keeps on decreasing year after year. But still, it's better to know the facts. Anyhow, wishing you all the best.

  • Thanks for coments..x.

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