British Lung Foundation
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Oh no! I wasn't able to have my Spirometry Test Yesterday

Oh no!  I wasn't able to have my Spirometry Test Yesterday

I was told some time ago that I had COPD but didn't hear anything further until my last check up with the surgeon who operated on me for Cancer. During my apointment he (the surgeon) said "I see that you have emphysema". That was the first I had heard of it, and, where the diagnosis came from I have no clue whatsoever.

Over Christmas I had to have the Ambulance Service attend me at home (fabulous people) and I was advised then that I had had an acute asthma attack.

Since that time (Christmas) I have been to see my GP and it was decided that I should have investigations to determine the cause of the COPD and a spirometry test.

My appointment for the spirometry was yesterday and I turned up to see the Nurse at the Surgery.

(I've managed to miss a bit out! Doh! A week or so ago I had problems which I asked about on this forum. I was given antibiotics and something for indigestion/possible ulcer from my GP.)

When I attended yesterday for my test I was told that I would have to be clear of the antibiotics for about four-six weeks before I could take the test. I must admit that the GP who gave me the antibiotics noticed my appointment for the test and said that I may not be able to take it - my fault, I should have phoned first.

Anyway, I feel really disappointed. I can't say that I am going to love being given confirmation that I have emphysema or asthma but I do need to know what it is so that I can deal with it as best I can.

I think not knowing is worse than knowing.


8 Replies

Knowing there is a reason for the way you are feeling is a beginning with many of us we knew things were not as they should be putting slowing down and loss of fitness as age related.

For the next stage getting a diagnosis of Asthma or COPD (umbrella term covering Emphysema) will find the treatment best suited for control and relief of symptoms, I understand this is a frustrating time but getting things right will have its benefits in the future.

Good luck with the tests


Thanks Sitstand

Thank you for your message and your good luck wishes.

I hope that I know quite soon what is causing my breathlessness - I'm quite a patient type of person but being told that I have emphysema, out of the blue, knocked me back quite a bit. Then to be told I had had an acute asthma attack, when I have never ever suffered from asthma before was really scary.

Thanks again for your kind comments Sitstand.




Hi Annec, I was told 7 yrs ago that I had bronchitis after a nasty infection, my GP at the time said I needed to avoid infections as it was just after my heart attack but I wasn't tested & only got diagnosed 2 yrs ago because I told them what I thought it was!!! sometimes they get so wrapped up in dealing with the issue in front of them they miss the whole picture & the whole person :( It wont be long before you have your test & I hope you can try not to worry to much until then, it,s bad for you xxxx karen


Hello Sillywitch

Thank you for your lovely comments.

It must have been awful for you to have to tell your medics what was wrong with you!

In the past I tended to worry when I was told to worry. Even when I was told that I had cancer I didn't worry (I believed that cancer was just like any other illness/disease, in that I would either survive it or I wouldn't).

It didn't occur to me that after my operations (2) for lung cancer I would have serious problems with breathing. I am quite academically clever but I seem to be woefully short of common sense!!!

I cannot blame by medical people; it is down to me because I am quite vague, sometimes. I think that I am one of those people who think that if I don't acknowledge what is happening then it is not happening.

When I have been through the tests, which I need, then I will be happier knowing what is wrong with me.

Best wishes and thank you again.




I too had my first spirometers delayed for the same reason. I had to wait 6 weeks after I finished the ABs. It is important though and it won't be too long until you get a proper diagnosis and can get the correct meds.

Lynne xx


Hi Pepsi...can imagine how disappointed you were at not being able to take the spirometry test, especially having geared yourself up for it. Though it's not easy waiting 'til you can get the test and eventual results it will at least cut out the uncertainty that you're now feeling.

Speaking of which...things are stepping up a pace here : -( Have had two severe asthma attacks in the past, the last one being 3-4 years ago and both resulting in ICU on life support - nearly didn't make the last one. Have been diagnosed with COPD now and although have stayed fairly well have to say that lately it's become a real struggle with my breathing and mobility etc To the point that this coming Monday I'm going to have my regular spirometry and appointment has been made for me to see a respiritory consultant at the local hospital, though this isn't til July -(we must be keeping 'em busy!).

Can't say I'm looking forward to any of this but have instigated it because it's just got a touch too hard to slog on. Don't want the info that's gonna eventually come but then again there might be something that can be done.

I forgot to say that the results of a recent chest x-ray shows that my lungs are over-expanded (esp the left one) and the GP whoi I saw last week (the nice one) is referring me for a CT scan.

Wanted to ask if anyone here has that cos lately I feel a lot of pressure and sometimes pain in my lower lungs, also round my back and spine. And just to make life even more exciting I shall soon be on the move - .watch out for a blog......

All the best with your eventual outcome Pepsi,

Lovelight x


My huband has been lliving with COPD since first being diagnosed in 2007. He was still working up to last Xmas when he was in ICU with a very bad exacerbation. He is 61 and has given up work now, and we are adjusting. When I look back over the last few years I dont know how he has carried on as long as he has. He has to see a cardiologist in May as the consultant is unsure if he may not have had a heart attack at some time in the past, and was unaware of it. We have been waiting since he came home from hospital just before new year to have a pulmonary rehab assessment, which he had a couple of weeks ago. The result of that was that he has to do a walking test with Oxygen as the nurse was concerned, this test would have been this week, but, he started taking his steroids last week so it has to be delayed until the end of May!!! in the mean time, because he has been taking root at home since December, his mobility is just getting worse. The waiting for this test and results from that one, seem to be never ending and so frustraiting, I do feel your dissapointment, I am right there with you, even though its not me suffering this awful condition I am living with it also, and terrified of catching any colds!!


Oh dear - how awful for you. Best wishes and good luck - don't let the bug*ers get you down.


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