Worried sick: I went to my GP 10 days... - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation
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Worried sick


I went to my GP 10 days ago with bronchitis, she prescribed a hefty dose of anti - biotics, which has cleared it. However, when sounding my chest she noticed something wrong. As I suffer with depression and have done for years she printed me out 6 pages about copd and told me to take it home and digest. I did so and on the strength of that am on day 9 as a non smoker. The panic and worry I am now suffering from are unbearable. I don't know how long I am going to live for and spend a lot of time in tears. I am alone, frightened, scared and lost and don't know who to turn to. Oh yes, I am 61 and can still run up and down two flights of stairs. Some support and kind words would be most appreciated. One very frightened lady.

38 Replies

I am a carer, but if you can run up and down stairs your condition , if it is copd, can not be very serious yet, time to hold it back, stopping smoking is the best thing to start, eating healthily and keeping fit. Best thing is keep coming to this site and you will learn all you need to know, from people who have lung diseases themselves, how they cope day to day and you'll know then that you are not alone, you are among friends. xx

lizziec1 in reply to amagran

Thank you so much am grateful have been advised by the British Lung Foundation not to have spirometry test until two months after this latest bout of bronchitis. Am going to have the flu and pneumococcal jabs next week. xxx

Found early it can be a near normal life indeed fortune has smiled on you given your age and fitness capacity the cloud has a silver lining when you know what you face.

lizziec1 in reply to antz

I think thats the problem I don't know what I face. Really grateful for your reply Antz and hope you are well

Right now you are going through shock of being told you have a treatable but not curable condition. Give yourself time to adjust, then accept, then to adapt. It does happen, it just takes time. Use the likes of others experiencing the same to find out ways of managing that will suit you. I personally find it a wee bit heartless printing out a load of information and just handing it to you to read, would have been much better to have put you in touch with the likes of BLF to counsel you through this, but what matters is that you have found this site, use it as part of adjustment of having this condition and don't be afraid to ask or yell if you need to.

Believe you me you won't be needing the services of a funeral director just yet, with the right treatment and support there are plenty more joyous years to be experienced.

When I started to suffer very severe asthma in my late teens, I had one not so kind GP tell me that I must consider how my life had changed, and perhaps prepare for a early death. I was devastated, I told my parents, who then went through the process of discussing my funeral plans. I was just 19, I am 41 now, married, studying and always learning new things. Okay I have had to make a few adjustments along the way, but the thing is I am still here enjoying life.

So then girlie, if there is something you always wanted to do, just do it, then come back and tell us about the fun time you have had.

Hugs to you from Daxiemad and Lottie Dog

hello lizzie, I got told in July that I had copd, this was after a nastly virus put me in hospital, I too was terrified, searching the web, convinced I was at end stage, however, here's an interesting thing, I had been feeling depressed for about 2 years, had a lot going on and thought depression was due to that, first thing in the morning was the worst, winter the worst etc, but since taking the inhalers, my depression has lifted some what, I'm not falling asleep during the day, and sleeping much better at night, I am short of breath at times, and cant walk fast up hill, I know exercising is good to build muscle, and the breathing excercises are very good, however I keep forgetting to do them, and am now determined to get cracking. It's early stages for you lizzie, the panic will subside a bit, and then you'll be able to take control of copd, rather than have copd control you, (I read that on this site). Just on the side, friend of mine has an aunt who is 83years old, had copd for years and asthma, she's recovering from an operation, there is hope, you take very good care of you lizzie and keep coming on this sight for help and support xxx meadow


Aww bless ya!

Try not to worry hunny, Lots of lovely people on here with lots of great helpful advice :-)

I can't get up 1 flight of stairs without coughing and spluttering and unable to get my breath at 40 :-)

Keep your chin up

Ali xxxx

Hello Lizzie. Don't panic.

I was diagnosed in May after I had given up smoking. I am classed as moderate COPD. You will know what you are when they can do your spirometry test. They cannot do it yet because of the antibiotics as it won't give a true reading. I have a daily inhaler which makes a huge difference to me. When they can see where you are, they will prescribe the best thing for you.

First and formost, it is not a death sentence. Having stopped the cigarettes, this is something that you can live with. My GP is adament that as long as I don't smoke again, keep fit with aerobic exercise and stay a healthy weight with a good diet, it will not get any worse.

Please ring the BLF helpline and ask for a copy of their information pack, it is really good. Avoid websites (particularly foreign one's) which do not give accurate information.

If you can run up 2 flights of stairs, that's good (I can do one) and keep doing it, your lungs will like the exercise. Keep in touch on here and use the site to ask any questions.

Lynne x

By the way, I am 58

Hi Lizzie, all good advice from fellow members, I too was told and given sheets of paper from the internet, but my doc did not give me any explanations about copd. That was about 12 years ago, yes I do have difficulty with stairs but am still here and at 75 thats not bad. Exercising and diet as well as giving up the weed are some of the most important things to us along with pacing ourselves in all things. By the way I was told I had severe copd which at the time I had never heard of. Hope this helps in some way. xx Regards Arn.

I have severe COPD I cope well, I also have depression and anxiety and have just been put on ADs, I am not alone can't imagine how I would cope if I was, so I feel for you. Get all the help you can with medication, you must be finding life very difficult having stopped smoking, that little bit of comfort. It will get better believe me, it did for me, and I wish I could run up two flights of stairs !

Take care


There's no need to worry too much. Some people over 60 with no COPD can't run up one flight of stairs let alone two. With the right medicines you'll be ok. Giving up smoking was the best thing to do. At least it wont get any worse except through normal aging. Keep running up those stairs as exercise is the best medicine for COPD.

Hi Lizzie,

I was diagnosed in June with moderate copd (in hospital after a bad chest infection) and my gp just gave me a ream of paper that frightened the living daylights out of me. Since then I have been on this site (and been in contact with and am now a member of the british lung foundation) and have found an immense amount of support.

I too was frightened regarding life expectancy etc. I am 60 but now have decided to live every day as it comes and make the very most of life that I can. Some of the internet sites can be very frightening regarding their statistics etc. but the blf site is much more realistic and favours support and friendship rather than frightening people. Good luck for the future.

Regards Blue1

Good morning all of you lovely people who have given me encouragement and kind words from the heart, I cant begin to tell you how grateful I am. One of my main concerns is telling my two beautiful sons aged 28 and 30. One lives in London and the other here in Cardiff. They are the only family I have and we work together as a team to cope with the tough times I have had to face in life. I feel so guilty putting this burden upon them. Once again thanks to you all.


Don't be frightened - My husband has severe COPD - he couldn't run up the stairs ten years ago never mind now (he is 65) but he is still working, still getting on with life! The best advise is to ask your Doctor as much as possible - ring the helpline if you want specific information. There are usually local Breath Easy groups that offer really good support. So life doesn't need to end, you may have to go a bit slower than you did but there again you may just carry on for ages! Ask advise about having the flu jab that may be a good deterrent in the winter months. Well done with the stopping smoking - absolutely fantastic. Good luck. TAD xx

I would say as far as copd is concerned, if you can run up two flights of stairs, you have very many years left. On that basis the chances of something else getting your first must be very high. I have severe copd and use oxygen to go up the stairs now. If I go up without I am so breathless I can feel at times as though I am going to pass out. Keep off the fags and you should be fine. Take up some hobbies and mix with others to ease the loneliness. Maybe even join Breathe Easy. There is a lovely breathe easy group in Cardiff. We are having a meet from all the groups at the Cardiff branch in November so never know, may see you there:-) Most of all don't worry. Although copd is not curable. And is progressive. It is a very slow progressive illness. I have had it since 1987,

Congratulations on stopping that horrible addiction, well done!

Just see them for what they are "fags, gaspers, coffin nails" literally taking your breath (and cash) away; now try and get others to stop especially in your presence and home. You’ve made the right choice, never doubt it.

Again congratulations


lizziec1 in reply to Davybaby

Thank you I can happily say I shall never smoke another cigarette ever.

All very good advice,I think this site is great,at first I used to just come on and read various questions and comments that was and still is a great help,I`ve found that GP`s are not very good when it comes to COPD your better off talking to BLF or a resparity(not sure on spelling !!!)nurse and continue to use this site which is great.

Congratulations on giving up the cigarettes,I gave up,never thought I could ever have done it,but I did and think if I can then anyone can.

Stay positive.I

Lizzie Hi, you have come on here and had some wonderful replies. You are an inspiration already to all of us - two flights of stairs -phew! Good you are adamant with the cigarettes keep going. The only thing to watch out for is anxiety which seems to go hand in hand with copd, if indeed that's what you have. When you're telling your boys now you will be able to be calmer after having read all your replies and it never goes wrong either for them to see that we all have to slow down at some point in our lives.

Jo_BLFHelplineBritish Lung Foundation

Hi Lizzie

It is very normal and understandable to feel worried and anxious following a diagnosis of any condition. The spirometry (after 8 weeks) should be able to give you more information and confirm whether you have or haven't got COPD.

Having a chest infection, bronchitis etc will take it out of you for a while, so even after finishing the antibiotics it can take some time to feel fully better.

Being able to run up and downstair is a very good sign, it this is COPD it may suggest the very early stages where treatment (if needed) can be given and generally may not cause you any problems.

Well done for stopping smoking as well, not a easy thing to do especially if you are feeling down and anxious, smoking is often used as an emotional support and as we know is very addictive.

Please give us a call if you would like to talk further.

Best Wishes


Thanks Jo for all your wise words really appreciate it. Would be good to talk sometime x

You will get lots of great advice and support on here so keep coming back for more. My hubby Pete has copd and other breathing probs and is doing well.He has had sarcoidosis for 21 years but there is always hope and you are doing well and sound very fit to me. Pete is 61 too by the way so good luck to you and hear from you soon. xxxxx

lizziec1 in reply to sassy59

Thank you sassy hugs to both of you, I shall keep coming back here and am going to the Breathe Easy group in Cardiff.


Hi lizziec1, I am graeme and my introduction is on page 3 help to all. I would be grateful if you would read it. I myself have COPD in my left lung and alond with bronchelits and my right lung I keep on getting pnumonia. I am on oxygen 16 hours a day and take my nebuliser 4 times a day. I just joined the group 3 days ago and it is brilliant with lots of love and laughs and of course excellent advice. I am not far from you and I go to the Breath Easy Group in my village and we do have some great fun. Recenlty we went to a hace meal with the Faulty Towers Experience in Cardiff and that was really good fun and the end of the month we are going to Portcawl to have a meal and see Jim Davidson after, oxygen bottles as well. Between this forum and your Breath Easy Group you will be well looked after. Keep smiling and make sure that you have a good laugh at least once a day.

Hi lizziec1. Oh for the days I could walk up two flights of stairs, let alone run!! I'm 59 (just) and was diagnosed with COPD quite a long time ago. I am on oxygen 16 hours a day and at the moment use 3 different inhalers - don't have a nebuliser as in my neck of the woods they don't think they are worth it (!). I have 4 grown-up children and 5 granddaughters. My kids know what's involved because my Mum had the same illness, and they grew up with that ( Mum died at the age of 84 - I'm going to attempt to equal that, lol!). In my case, it was more difficult telling them when I had ovarian cancer, but then again, they were a lot younger at the time. I gave up smoking (eventually!) nearly 4 years ago after 40 years of the fags: I'd tried several times before but never succeeded but I know that if I hadn't given up when I did, I would probably be in a far worse position than I am. So, Lizziec1 - keep on keeping on with not smoking!!

Hugs, Jude xx

hi lizzie i have copd also and depression and i found out through a mri scan i also have a tumour on my spinal cord and an hernia with coughing from my copd i felt lost and alone but reading some things on here and knowing im not on my own im feeling abit better and just carry on the best i can but i suggest to you have a word with your doctor maybe he will help you see somebody to talk to about your fears i hope this as helped you by the way im 58

lizziec1 in reply to mickyboy

Am really sorry to hear of your demise, I think you are very brave and honest sharing your problems with me. Its hard sometimes when you are alone, people are nt made to be isolated, particularly when they have health problems. Its re-assuring to know there are some lovely people on this site.

Thank you

Hello all Ive read everyone of your coments on here tonight and I coudnt possibly add anymore all I know that this group, you lot are the best, I mlove you all listen to all your friends and youll be fine love xxI had to tell my son of 26yrs old and he couldnt have helped me more, and still does. hes a star xx

sassy59 in reply to squirell

It must be great to have your son there for you squirell. You take care now. xxxx

such nice people lots of good advice idont think you have copd 2 flights of staires thats brilliant,i cant manage 10 steps on the flat,dont worry,your doing good

hello my friend,no need to panic,i have copd and live on my own,last winter was hard for me but if you can run up 2 flights of stairs and you had started the process of giving up smoking you should have many years yet.This condition can be managed there are many things that you can have to help you but i think one of best things is to keep a sense of humour and do what you want to do, as for supermaket shopping go to asda,phone them before and arrange for someone to push your trolley while you go round with him in a cart and show them what you want,they will take you through the check out and even put youf shopping in the boot.

lizziec1 in reply to lazydaisy59

bless you - I am able to shop etc etc. Wish we all lived closer to each other, wouldn't that be good

lazydaisy59 in reply to lizziec1

what area do you live in?

CF24 off the newport road at the Royal Oak and just up Beresford Road

i live at cotgrave,we could meet in the middle if youlike ,have you got transport?

where is cotgrave? never heard of it ha ha

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