Hello can anyone help?: Hi everyone I... - British Lung Foun...

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Hello can anyone help?


Hi everyone

I havent been on here for a while (too busy at work) but I wonder if anyone can help.

I was in hospital in August for the first time and needed nebulisers steroids and antibiotics for a chest infection. I was told on discharge That I probably have COPD. I had suspected this since May as my breathing was shocking at times but I just plodded on until I couldnt anymore. You know how it is I didnt want to be a bother and I didnt even know who my doctor was.

I was sent home with 3 inhalers which I take and they certaINLY HELP. I had lung function tests done in November but registrar I seen at the hospital did not have results when I seen him but did say COPD was what we were dealing with. I told him just to send me a letter with results as I did not want to trouble him again with another appointment. The letter confirmed that I have mild COPD. I am 46 years old and what worries me is being diagnosed at such a young age with COPD. I know people who have it diagnosed not until their 70s or 80s and I know it might seem a strange question but does this mean I will die younger than these people, that is never get to 70s or 80s? Bit morbid I know and Im sorry about that but just at the back of my mind.

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19 Replies

As long as you don't smoke and keep reasonably fit it shouldn't make a lot of difference. There are people on here who have had it for years and I'm sure they'll tell you the same. Getting it diagnosed at the mild stage is a great help. I'm 62. I was diagnosed nearly two years ago as very severe. I still work and get around ok but have to rest quite a bit in between doing stuff. Apart from that I carry on regardless.

thanks for you answer puffthe magic dragon-good tohear your still working and getting about

Being diagnosed younger, and getting the medication, should be a good thing really. You know you have a lung problem so will take better care of yourself. Too many put it off until they have a really bad cough or can't breathe very well. That's probably why it seems that the average age for diagnosis is so late in life.

With that in mind, you should look forward to a happy and long retirement ! Yes, we've all had those sort of thoughts at some point, but once you know what you need to do to deal with the issue you go ahead and do it. Those who put it off often do more damage to their system before they start mending their ways.

If you really want to be morbid about it - we're all going to die eventually, that's a fact! AND, you were the one who described yourself as being 46 years old :P

in reply to Gordon57

Thanks Gordon for your positive answer

Im starting to get my head around it slowly but surely

I was diagnosed with COPD in 1998 at age 42. I am now 56 and still manage to get out etc. The best thing to do is stop smoking (if you smoke), exercise, take your medications and try to keep as fit as you can. Being told you have COPD doesn't mean life has to end, it just has to change. Good luck.

in reply to grannybell

thank you grannybell

I havent smoked for 6and a half months and im trying to do more exercise -pleased to hear there is hope to keep on doing the things I need to keep doing

Hi alice, I am 47 have had asthma since very young and was told last year I have COPD. I too wondered if this meant a shorter life span but now think that all I can do is keep up with the exercise, keep to a healthy life style and enjoy everything to it's fullest. I keep up with my medications after learning the hard way, ie, letting a chest infection get worse as I didn't want to be a bother to my GP. I ended up in hospital.

GPs are there for a reason...your health. So do go to see them and take every opportunity to improve things.

By following advise given and looking after your self, there's no reason why you shouldn't reach your 70s+

Onwards and upwards hun. XX

in reply to Bastet

thank you Bastet

I feel better knowing that I may live a long life- I am really struggling about accessing GP time especially as I am well as long as I take my inhalers - I might book an over 40 health check just to maybe get a foot in the door

Hi Alice, I've mentioned on a blogg somewhere else that a friend of mine was with her mum over the weekend for her 83rd birthday, and this woman has had copd for years and years. Just make the life style changes needed, as everyone should as they begin to get older, wth or without copd, its not a death sentance xxx

in reply to medow

thank you medow for that feeling more positive about things now xxx


Hi Alice,I became a severe asthmatic,in my 40s(never had a cold even prior!) by the time I was in my 50s,developed copd,had some ups and downs, but am now nearing 70(I'm 68!!) and still do most things myself, albeit a little slower.

Take your meds,and importantly,exercise,if you need to lose weight, do so,as that can hinder your breathing greatly,if overweight.

Good luck with it all,

Wendells xx

in reply to Hidden

Thank you Wendells good to hear your still able to do most things yourself. I am trying to do more execise now- I did none before as I need to shift some of this stone and a half that I have put on since I stopped smoking lol xx

I think that the thoughts you are having are pretty normal for someone that's been recently diagnosed with a chronic illness. There's loads of great advice above and if you follow it (plus any direct medical advice) you'll keep well and the morbid thoughts move to the back of your mind. It just takes time to adjust to the new reality.

By the way, you shouldn't feel guilty about seeing a consultant - it's their job to look after those of us with lung conditions. Even if you just see him once a year for a review it can help you manage the condition and stay healthy.

Take care!


in reply to Fusion8d

thank you Beth

your quite right It just takes time to adjust-my thoughts are slowly brightening up and I will keep trying to stay more positive

take good care too

At the Pulmonary Rehabilitation course I was brave enough to ask the question everyone was thinking when we had "The Future" talk. "Does having COPD necessarily mean we have a shorter life span?" The physio thought for a while before answering (scary reaction in itself!) then said that if we look after ourselves, diet, exercise etc. following the excellent advice we got at the PR course, we should have a normal life span, but that we are more likely to catch infections, which can finish you off. I can tell you it made me re-think my lifestyle, I try to walk every day, or just do a lot of housework, eat sensibly, and generally look after myself, without pampering at all! We can all live a long and happy life if we just follow the simple rules.

in reply to Sylvsmum

thank you Sylsmum

I think you were very brave to ask the question and Im pleased you answered my question too as it is making me feel much more positive about things thank you xx

thats what i thought, i was diagnosed two years ago....at the age of 37! x

in reply to ellc

Hi Lynnx hope you have seen the answers above as they have certainly made me feel better about tings x

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