British Lung Foundation
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COPD and work ? finding it hard to cope

Hi Everyone..I have had COPD for 4years and find docs etc not at all helpfull. i have never been given any info at all from them just antibiotics and steroids and sent home. I work as a taxi driver and find cold early mornings and people with strong perfume etc very hard to cope with and end up with chest infections. my doc suggets a change of job...some days its hard to reach the top of the stairs, it scares me to even think what other job i can do. any suggestions as to what is expected from people with COPD ?

12 Replies

That's a tough one, your Dr knows nothing about the job market at the moment. I don't know what other skills you have and I think that if you leave your job you won't be entitled to JSA. I feel for you and wish you look. It's tough times ahead for a lot of us.


When I was learning to drive at the grand old age of 53 my driving instructor always had the window open as she said driving in an enclosed car with others made her more vulnerable to germs. When you pick up passengers you never know what they may pass on to you. It may be draughty but better than picking up a chest infection


Hi tiesto

Having a lung condition and trying to cope with a difficult job can be hard never mind trying to look for another one!

Will you give us a call on the helpline? 03000 030 555 - we can offer advice and information on your lung condition as well as advice around working and welfare benefits.

There may well be options you can look at.

Best Wishes



Thankyou Jo..had trouble singing into site again. I shall do that any advice is gratefully recieved..I joined a breathe easy group in my area recently and i was astonished to find there is help out there. I had never heard of pulmonary rehabilitaion or that exercise was encouraged or even knew about BLF until i was given information from the group. Actually i would not have known about the support group if i hadn't asked the nurse who was doing my spiro test ( which i found out later should not have been done until 6 weeks after a course of steriods) I was only a week out of hospital.!! I have lost faith in the medical world but then i am an ex smoker.


Hello and welcome to our fantastic group tiesto :) While you are here you will learn all sorts of things, and not just about COPD ;)

Stick with us kiddo ........ and you'll go from strength to strength :)


I used to smoke but I'm not an ex smoker. I am now a non smoker ! :)


i was diagonised copd moderate in jan2013.i nearly collapsed.i paid for sum of my med records as i new something ad bin wrong with me nearly 1yr.i got what i paid stupid arrogant gp.had disregarded my xray of june2012 as no action stated copd.what sort of a gp is he said have you ceased smoking.yes 3 month now.oh u will be fine.needless to say he got a quiet mouthful.i have changed my gp now


hi caroll i to was diagonised with copd in jan 2013 went for a flu jab nov 2012 and was told i did not have to pay because i have copd..and i told the nurse this is the first i have heard

it was because i had a breathing test 2 years ago for asthma and was told i was clear so if they new i had this copd (which i had never heard of) why was it not explained to me then.

because surely then it may have been mild instead of moderate that it is now and with some knowlege i could have then looked after myself more making my lungs stronger for a bit longer


thnk u music for ur reply nice 1.i had xray june 2012 what did my gp do. wrote no action needed.and it showed copd.god.i rung receptionist .xray fine gp not want see u.xmas 2012 i went down bad with chronic bronchitus.a new locum came ot an ordered a ct scan.i paid 10pnd for my med files and thats when i saw xray of 2012 june.saw gp i told him what i thought of his slap dash atitude.if ad known in june 2012 id have taken care of myself more.and i had never heard of copd.ive had no help of gp.only a feeble sorry.and nurse what did spimetry test just giv me a booklet on copd.and said read that.and c u nx yr. r inhaler and a seritide.really the treatment and attitude beggars i ad known in june i would have ceased smoking full stop.i stopped smoking at xmas full stop.


Hi Tiesto

I think all of us are thankful to have found this site. Unless you have a DR with a respiratory interest,they are not clued up at all, and seem to write us off. I learned everything I could from here, from other peoples experiences etc. and wrote things down, asked questions, demanded answers. You have to fight every step of the way, or you will be just fobbed off. You are in the right place here, keep a pen and paper handy :) Also the breathe easy will help enormously. Give the helpline a ring, you will be glad you did.

best wishes



I always feel that the doctors and consultants know all about it, so assume I do as well, if I ask the right question they give a straight answer, if I don't word the question exactly as they expect I get fobbed off without an answer, it's a very frustrating world we all live in.

Listening and reading other peoples experiences helps a lot, at least you know you are not on your own, close family are great, but they would have to suffer with what we have to really know what it feels like.

The words DONT PANIC are not always helpful.

I gave up work in a garage because of the effects of fumes etc. The job centre could never offer me a suitable position; at the time I think they just wrote me off, I managed to get on some computer courses which have proved very useful, so ask about retraining, you might find something you enjoy. Good Luck


Hi Tiesto

You do not say how old you are. I agree with moneal that it would be best if you could retrain for an inside job.

My husband worked outside until he was 68. He is now 73 and was diagnosed with COPD about 4 years ago. But the trouble is you do not really know what is going inside you.

Our doctor is not very helpful in effect he says 'keep taking the tablets'. This site has helped by making me realise that we are not the only ones.

I think that I will take the advice of other people and ring the BLF helpline and hope you do too.

Good luck with whatever you do and keep on posting on this site.



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