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I am new here and am having a really hard time recently. Although I had never formerly been diagnosed, I have known that I have COPD for a number of years as a 40+ year heavy smoker. I also have other health issues as well.
I had been trying to work out a plan with my Dr. to quit smoking when I came down with acute bronchitis. Everyone I know has been sick and no matter how much I tried to stay well, it hit me.
When I went to my Dr. office on Feb. 1st, my O2 levels were horrible - they were in the low to mid 80's and even on oxygen, were barely hitting the high 80's to low 90's. I was sent to the emergency room by ambulance. After several breathing treatments, a chest xray and fluids I was diagnosed with the acute bronchitis and sent home on oxygen.
I had a follow-up with my Dr. this week and she stated that she did not think I was ready to return to work. My o2 level was now staying around 93 or 94 but that was on the oxygen. I asked her about returning to work and she said that she did not feel that I was ready and that this was a bad exacerbation which I didn't even know what that meant.
I also have sleep apnea and even with the oxygen my levels are at 82 or 83 when I wake up. They stay right about 91 to 93 throughout the day while on the O2 but if I try to take it off for short periods of time my level drops to 88 or so.
Unfortunately I am still smoking but my Dr. just gave me the patches and the lozenges and told me to pick a date which I have (next few days).
I really want to go back to work but not carrying 2 oxygen tanks and I have to be out of the office at meetings etc. which will be hard for me to do and I don't know if I want to be out in public yet with the oxygen (I also use a walker due to spinal stenosis).
What I know is that prior to this bronchitis, I was not on any oxygen although I don't know what my levels were then. Only that any time I went to the Dr. my levels were about 93 or so. Is it possible that the oxygen use is temporary and due to the exacerbation? It has only been 2 weeks and I am reading that it can take much longer to bounce back.
The other thing I wanted to say is that this site is giving me hope. Other than the day I went to my Dr. I haven't left the house or gotten dressed or done much of anything because I have been afraid to move and have frankly been pretty depressed. So I am just sitting here pretty much all day. I now see how important it is to push myself.
My Dr. is setting up my first appt. with a pulmonologist but wanted me to get through this first. I have another follow-up on the 26th. Any support is so greatly appreciated. Sorry this is so long. :-(
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It is not our intention to serve as a substitute for medical advice and any content posted should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. While we encourage individuals to share their personal experiences with COPD, please consult a physician before making changes to your own COPD management plan.