Sorry for the long post! Not really possible to explain in a few sentences.
Anyone ever been misdiagnosed with COPD? I think I may have been and would be very interested to hear anyone else's story if they were either wrongly diagnosed or told the wrong stage.
I have had a chest infection since March, had antibiotics and steroids which 90% cleared it but it's back. Because I was wheezing the docs wanted to do a breathing test when I was better, the appointment for breathing test was 3 days ago, I attended even though I felt awful incase I needed more meds. I told the nurse how I felt and she insisted on carrying out the spirometer test anyway. I questioned it as I knew you are supposed to be feeling 'well' when you do a spiro. Anyway she did the test, told me I have moderate COPD and sent me away with no support/information or advice (and a ventolin inhaler)
I was shocked to say the least, I am a smoker but have never had any symptoms before March this year when the doc told me I had a chest infection. I was very upset and made myself worse googling everything! The next day I called the docs again and got an appointment, the doctor prescribed antibiotics and steroids again (she said poorly controlled COPD or chest infection?) I feel 90% better again after 2 days on meds, I have a handheld spirometer at home, the day I was tested by the nurse I was blowing 200, now I'm blowing 400 (at my first docs app he said he'd expect me to blow 450 if I was healthy and 'normal'). Surely if I had moderate COPD this wouldn't be possible?
It might sound like I'm in denial, maybe I am. I could kind of understand a bit of lung damage, I actually thought I might have asthma as Iv'e started wheezing if I drink wine which I also mentioned at the docs. I felt like the nurse wasn't listening to me, she shot me down telling me this was her area of expertese and was very keen to tell me I had copd. I know if I did the test again now I would do better, and I'm not quite 100% yet. It's a possibility of course that she's right but if I do have it I'm sure it must be very mild as I'm usually symptom free. The nurse said she'd see me again in 3 months to check how I'm getting on with my inhaler, I asked if she'd repeat the spiro and she said no! Not for another year, so I have this hanging over me for 12 months.
Is it unreasonable to insist on another test when I feel better? Also when diagnosed with COPD don't they usually consider other factors not just the result of a spiro test?
Any input would be aprieciated, Iv'e been going mad with worry the last few days, maybe I'm wishful thinking but it's just come out of nowhere! Thanks in advance for any help and advice.
Thanks to you all who read my post and replied. There have been some changes to my health since I posted this. I was feeling very bad again so back to the doctor who gave me more antibiotics and steroids. I seemed to improve for a while (I think its the steroids that help) but have been waking up wheezing and breathless quite regulary. Also had awful acid reflux recently which has worsened after each course of antibiotics. I was researching how to control acid reflux last week and discovered that it can actually trigger asthma, basically acid reflux at night can irritate the nerves in the esophagus causing the airways to tighten, also acid can actually be inhaled into the lungs again causing severe wheezing and breathlessness.
When I read this it was like a light switch being flipped on! Everything about my symptoms suggest that I have asthma, triggered by acid reflux/GERD.
On Friday I had a curry and two glasses of wine and within an hour I couldn't breathe. It was really severe and very scary but kind of confirmed to me about the reflux theory. The food and wine really irritated my stomach/esophagus and i reacted instantly.
The antibiotics have been making the reflux 10 times worse, which has made my breathing worse, which has lead to more antibiotics and so on. It's a vicious cycle which I can hopefully now break.
I have been to see my own doctor today who agrees with this theory and has put me on high dose omeprazole to stop stomach acid production which should mean nighttime wheezing etc should stop hopefully within a few days. He has referred me to a specialist so I think they will do some more tests to confirm.
It seems I could have been right about my diagnosis being wrong, although that's not certain yet. Unfortunatley it seems now I could have GERD, asthma and COPD! I still hope I haven't got COPD although GERD itself can be a very serious lifelong disease.