Newly dianosed

I have recently been diagnosed with emphysema. I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and to start taking the drug for this I had to have spirometry tests. My FEV1 was 95% but transfer rate was 56% but had a cigarette walking to the hospital (I have since given up the ciggies) I was sent for a scan and the consultant wrote to my doctor saying I had extensive emphysema! I went in to panic mode because my mum died of this last year and since the diagnosis I have done nothing but think and worry about it from morning until night. I walk up a big hill and then 50 steps 4 nights a week and walk a mile in to town and back once a week and have never needed to rest although sometimes to get quite breathless. Since my diagnosis I find that I can feel my thumping heart beat even when resting and I puff when going up the stairs and also have almost a continuous headache - none of these things I was aware of 10 weeks ago. Could my emphysema be declining that quickly or is it likely that I've got myself in to such a pickle that I'm suffering with anxiety.

No ones suggested medication and I'm still active so how come I have extensive COPD? Your help in getting me to put things into some kind of perspective would be so much appreciated. I know there are so many people out there who are much worse off than me

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  • It sounds horrendous. May I suggest that you join the British Lung Foundation patient forum on this Health Unlocked site? It is easy to join other patient communities. The majority of the patients there have been through what you are experiencing. They are a great group of people and are very helpful, supportive and knowledgeable. I cannot help you much as I do not have your condition. But I do know that patients with COPD and/or Emphysema seem to benefit hugely from the pulmonary rehabilitation programmes that are run throughout the UK. Ask your GP to refer you.

    I hope things settle down for you,

    All the best

    K xxxx