Am new here and just been diagnosed with COPD,

Was diagnosed at the Respiratory Clinic at the local hospital on 19th December and saw my GP yesterday - he confirmed what the hospital had said and that was it!!!!

Do I just get on with life now - I'm a bit scared because I live on my own and have no family, and, live in an area where the only people i know are the young couple who live next door.

Any help/advice would be great. Thanks Rozie

25 Replies

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  • Hi Rozie, you don't say what level of COPD you have (and possibly don't know) but it makes a big difference to any advice you may be given. If you have a mild COPD you should stop smoking now. That is all that is needed really. If it is moderate then also stop smoking and ensure that you take regular exercise, have a good diet, etc. If you are at a more severe stage you will need to attend at a pulmonary rehab group to learn how to manage your condition better and keep yourself going as long as possible. My advice would be to go back to your GP and ask some questions. Good luck.

  • Thank you auntymary for answering so quickly. The consultant at the hospital said I had moderate COPD and also did an Alpha (????) blood test because my mum had emphysema before she died of lung cancer. I have signed up for the smoking cessation clinic (17th Jan) so hopefully I can give up - I will certainly try. As for exercise, I do walk as much as I can (I have no car)- but I get so puffed out getting dressed, making the bed, climbing the stairs etc., that i would rather just stay in.

  • Hi Rozierose why not try to give up before the 17th Jan, the earlier the better, the quicker you do it the better you will be. I know it's not easy I smoked for many years and you have to be determined.

    Excercise is very important, getting out of breathe will not hurt you I know it is scary, just rest for a while and then start again.

    If you go out in the cold make sure you have a scarf over you mouth and try to breathe the cold air in through you nose.

    If you have a local Breathe Easy group go along, most of the people there will have a lung condition you will be able to get loads of advice.

    polly xx

  • Hi go onto the the BLF website and put in Breathe Easy groups and you can see which group is closest to you.

    polly xx

  • Hi Polly, thank you for taking the time to talk. I am sitting right now with 2 cigarettes left in my packet and am in 2 minds about whether to go to the corner shop for more or to stop when i have finished them...lol. Logically, I know I have to stop but I have been smoking for 47 years and just the thought of not having a cigarette makes me panic - how stupid is that. It really is the only vice I have, and because I live on my own I feel it is my 'treat' for not going out (partying...lol...or drinking). Sorry if I sound defeatist but I'm a bit down at the moment - and feeling sorry for myself.

  • I understand where you are coming from hubby and I both smoked over 40years and we were smoking about 60 a day between us. I tried many times to give up then I had to go and see a consultant, he was lovely but as I was leaving he said "I want you to give up smoking before I see you again, it is the best thing you will ever do to help yourself"

    and I did and never looked back.

    That 'treat' is not helping you in fact it is making you worse, just give it a try, no one says you must do it now, most of us take several attempts, then there are those who can do it straight away and would never have believed it.

    Just remember we are here to support you in whatever you decide.

    Kepp in touch.

    polly xx

  • Thanks Polly. Just having someone to talk to makes all the difference - I don't feel so alone now.

  • You will never be alone now you have joined this community.

    polly xx

  • Hi Rozierose, one good step you have made is to join this community, you will find answers to questions and just knowing you are not alone in this will be of comfort to you. But, as the others have said, a diagnosis of "moderate" is manageable if you give up smoking right now. If you carry on,you will just get worse and worse until you will find yourself housebound, like myself. Please don't be like me and kid yourself that it will take years for you to reach the severe stage, it will arrive before you know it. Just give up one cigarette at a time and if just you fail just keep trying. My mantra was "cigarettes pretend to be your best friend, but they're your worst enemy". Even though I gave up three years ago my lungs are still deteriorating, even though its progress has slowed down. If you give up now you could have years of useful life ahead of you. Best wishes. Libby x

  • Hiya Rozierose,try not to worry about your copd dx, I know giving up smoking maybe the last thing you want to do, but it is the only thing proven to slow the progression of copd, if you stop now your symptoms of breathless etc should improve a little, whereas if you continue to smoke it will progress and become much worse.

    I know it must be a shock to you but if you quit and start exercising like other posters have advised you should be ok

    You should also call the BLF nurses and have a chat with them they can help a great deal.

    Kind regards

    Warren

  • Hi Rozierose agree with all thats been said already. I am moderate to severe, well so far as I know anyway and my most recent concern is not wanting to go out as people will notice I'm breathless and have slowed down greatly in the last year so there might be an upside in not really knowing anyone around you. Posting on here and reading the blogs from all of us who are at different stages will help you a lot and you;ll get lots of understanding and friendship. Happy New Year!

  • All good advice Rozie, I know how scary it can be living on your own but it is up to us to look after ourselves to the best of our ability. Its a good idea to find your nearest Breathe Easy group, I did and made many friends in the same boat as myself, In fact three of us are planning a holiday for this year (somewhere flat) As for the smoking, like Pollyjj I smoked for many years and I am entering my second year of being smoke free. Try not to be afraid love, life goes on albeit differently but it can and is as good as before. Take care. xx

  • Hi Rozie. I did a really long reply earlier but it disappeared as I sent it.

    I can only echo what everyone has said.

    1. Don't panic. You can live well with moderate COPD. I do.

    2. It's scary, but you must quit smoking. Once it's done, you will be amazed. I finally did it it with Champix. It's very important to do this.

    3. Exercise. Being out of breath is scary but it is great for your lungs when done in a controlled way. I go to the gym and have an allotment. I can do half an hour on the treadmill and can be puffing like a steam train. I don't care.

    4. Get a healthy diet and a healthy BMI. This will protect you from infections as much as you can.

    5. Stay positive.

    6. Chat on here, you will learn loads.

    7. Contact the BLF, they are fantastic. Ask for their starter pack, talk to them on the hotline. Their support is amazing.

    That's it really. Simples!

    Seriously, talk on here. You can do this, many of us have xx

    Lynne xx

  • The best advice is to give up smoking now.

    I do know what you mean about being scared, I had no idea how it would effect my day to day living having moderate copd and it took me a while to get helpful information from the GP and Nursing staff.

    They really didn't seem to understand when they diagnosed me the effect it had.

    I find the way that I've stopped mine from getting much worse, after stopping smoking of course, was to exercise as much as possible, and eat healthily.

    Contrary to my initial fears, I'm now very positive about life in general.

  • With lack of medication prescribed from GP it would make strong case for mild COPD with as told from other members a good condition with no smoking. Call helpline 03000 030 555 on 2nd January.

  • Hi Rozierose welcome. Have nothing to add to whats been said just wanted to say hi.

    Bev x

  • I too am on my own, I was diagnosed 5 - 6 years ago, all my inhalers seem to be working not too bad, which is good, but always a worry when we live alone.

    Lizzie Doll

  • I'm surprised that you haven't been proscribed any inhalers. I am now moderate/severe stage and have 3 different inhalers and they do help.

    One is a long acting inhaler, one is a shorter acting one taken twice a day, and one that I have to take everywhere in case I need a boost.

    Talk to your COPD nurse at the suregery, or failing that ask to see the doctor and discuss it with them.

    If you look at the BLF and NHS choices websites you will see the various inhalers available and they explainmost of what you need to know about COPD.

    Finally DO GIVE UP SMOKING NOW.

    I hope this is of some help.

  • Welcome to the club, Rozierose.

    All I can do is reiterate what everyone else has said about stopping smoking -- but I can add that if you do have the Alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency (which is quite rare), then it is absolutely necessary for you to stop smoking. The "Alpha-1 thingy" is an enzyme which protects your lungs from damage; if you don't have it, then every cigarette is doing your more damage than you can possibly imagine.

    You can live with COPD -- everyone here does that. You won't live if you keep on smoking...

    Happy new year!

    Catnip

  • STOP SMOKING NOW, I stopped 12 months ago and its the best thing I ever did, never thought I would succeed but I did it with Champix.

    Do it now, it will make a hge difference.

    Good Luck

  • STOP STOP STOP.SMOKEING.....and excercise i did and do.and feel better than i did ...thanks to my new doctor who changed my inhalors etc. and thanks to the people on here and at my local breath easy group....all the best...STOP STOP STOP.XX

  • Hi to everyone and sorry I haven't replied before now but my internet went on the blink. I thank each and everyone of you for your words of help and encouragement, even you booker4...lol - i don't mind the shouting but I do object to you saying about my breathing not being bad- when you don't know how my breathing is - but heh, no hard feelings, I do understand what you are saying to me.. I have been given, and am taking 3 inhalers - Seretide 250, Spiriva 18mcg, and Ventolin 200 Accuhaler - and have beenon them for about 10 days now- and have noticed that I can cough a lot better now and, bring up more gunge....lol.

  • Hi Rozierose

    It would seem that the inhalers are working!!

    The GUNGE is sitting with your lungs you really do not need it, the more you smoke the more you are likely to create.

    No one will tell you that giving up smoking is easy, but you have to give yourself a better quality of life, that is what it is about.

    Come on you can do it!! You do not say if you live in a town or village, do you have a Day Centre that you can attend? (our local one is for folk aged 50+) Contact CAB or Google for clubs in your area that you can attend. You need to get out and meet folk.

    Take care now

  • Hello Breathlesslady and thank you for your kind words. I know I have to give up smoking and am trying - yesterday I bought a packet of patches instead of cigarettes - hoping they will help until my appointment with the smoking cessation nurse - I am climbing the wall wanting a ciggy but have not given in so far. A short version about my circumstances - until May of last year I had lived in Egypt for 6 years teaching English - I came back because it was not the place to be if you are western - and especially being a woman. I had met 2 sisters - both married to Egyptians - who lived in UK and they invited me to stay with them if I ever wanted to come back - which I did - but did not know that there would be a price to pay - the price being that I married one of their husbands friends or relatives so that he could come to the UK - I refused and was 'kicked out' Because I had been out of the country longer than 13 weeks and had not been back in the country the required 3 months - no-one could help me - including CAB! I found a small decently priced bedsit to rent on the edge of a small town -and there you have it, my later life in a nutshell. I have found on the BLF website there is a Breathe Easy club in the town which meets the 3rd Thursday of each month and will definitely visit this month. Well, enough of my problems - I hope that you, and all of the people who have breathing problems are having a good day today.

    rozie

  • Hi Rosie

    Welcome, and well done for reaching out, the forum can be a wealth of information, advice and support. If you would like to chat in confidence the BLF helpline does have a counselling service - not as scary as it may seem honestly ;-) Feel free to give me a call for an informal and confidential chat. The call can be a one off or if required a series of sessions tel: 03000 030 555. You may prefer to email in which case please do so and I shall return to you via that medium. I can offer emotional support and also various information and techniques on dealing with panic, anxiety and low mood so please don't suffer in silence or alone. We are here to help.

    Take care

    Heych

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