3 weeks ago I had my diagnosis of COPD from the nurse who runs the COPD clinic at our GP surgery. I was prescribed a Ventolin inhaler (Sambutamol) and today's appointment was a follow up to see how I've got on. All my original discussions with nurse, GP and consultant said my breathlessness was probably not due to smoking as I gave up over 30 years ago (was smoking 20 a day at the end, smoking in total for getting on for 15 years and gave up at the second attempt). I was shocked to be told that my COPD was due to the smoking and couldn't think of any questions to ask the nurse at the time.
Today I went with a list of questions now I've had time for the diagnosis to sink in, found this site and learned more about COPD.
My first question to the nurse was "What do I actually have as I understand COPD is an umbrella term, is it chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or what?".
The nurse showed me the consultant's letter. He just says COPD probably due to smoking. She explained how with asthma the airways are flexible but with COPD are more fixed and don't have the elasticity that you'd still have if you have asthma. Is it normal to just be told you have COPD and no more detail of an exact disease?
I also asked what stage and was told moderate with FEV1 = 1.3 - 62% and FVC = 2.1 - 63%. I'm not sure what these mean, not quite got my head around everything yet. Can someone explain these figures please?
Discussing how I've got on with the Ventolin inhaler the nurse thinks I may be better with Spiriva as I've told her I'm getting soreness and a raw feeling in my throat and chest, plus an occasional heavy feeling like a weight on my chest mainly in the evening, and I now have to see one of the GPs to discuss possibly changing to this, but I couldn't get an appointment earlier than 8th April Following that I then have to wait a further 3 weeks to go back to the nurse who runs the clinic to discuss how I'm getting on and I will also get a pneumonia jab at that time. So by the end of April I may be on Spiriva which may be more suitable for me and it will only have taken 9 months to get this far!