writing for any insights or any help I can get. I have not been
diagnosed with COPD, but I did recently have a PFT, x ray and CT scan.
To be thorough and give a more complete picture of where I am I'll begin
at the start. In early November I got a chest cold and sinus
infection. I was given antibiotics and mostly got better. I had a
little post nasal drip left over and a very minor "throat clearing"
cough. Because of this I made an appointment at a Sleep, Lung and
Allergy clinic near where I had recently moved. I actually thought when
I called and spoke to the receptionist I was going to be given an
appointment with an allergy doctor but when I showed up realized she was
pulmonologist. I told her I had a minor throat clearing cough and a
small amount of post nasal drip. That I thought maybe I had allergies,
or that my issues might be the very tail end of a bad cold. I told her I
was occasionally short of breath but that it was always related to my severe anxiety issues. That I walked 15 miles a
week and felt very healthy. Dr said she wanted to look into asthma
(pulmonary function test) and also get a chest x ray "just to be safe".
got the chest x ray done and it was clear except there was a "shadow"
on the right lung they wanted to take a look at on a CT scan. The
subsequent CT scan showed nothing of concern on the right lung, however
she saw tree in bud opacities on the left lung. She said the finding was
of no concern and that it was probably a remnant of being ill 6 weeks
ago. She said we would re scan in 2 months to make sure it was gone. No
mention of emphysema or COPD after cat scan and chest x ray. I had a PFT
for the first time on Monday 12/19. I got a call about the results and
she said they were "inconclusive" and that there was some
hyperinflation and mild diffusion problems, but that the results did not
point to a definite issue. I got off the call and was confused but
mostly calm. An hour later my anxiety shot up and I went t opick up a
copy ot the PFT. Big mistake. It read
FV and FEV1/VC are within normal limits. TLC, FRC and RV are increased.
Diffusion is mildly reduced. Resistance is normal; specific conductance
is normal. Inspiratory flows are normal. Methacoline challenge is
indicate hyperinflation, air trapping and mild gas exchange impairment.
Tests do not support a diagnosis of asthma. Hyperinflation and air
trapping suggest underlying obstruction. In the presence or reduced
diffusing capacity this could indicate emphysema. Reduction in diffusing
capacity could also suggest interstitial or pulmonary vascular disease.
Hyperinfaltion and air trapping are in range typically associated with
called the Dr. to figure out why our quick phone call and what I was
reading felt like different worlds and she basically said nothing was
conclusive and again there was no clear answer and that she would repeat
the CT scan in 6 weeks to make sure tree in bud opacities were gone, and also
repeat the PFT then. She seemed incredibly frustrated with my
questions and ended the phone call by saying "I guess it's possible this
could be the very beginning stages of emphysema but I don't think so.
If you want I can prescribe a bronchiodiolator but it wont make much
am 44 years old. I smoked marijuana and cigarettes from 15-31. Quit
from 31-37. Smoked anywhere from 1-4 cigarettes a day from 37-44. I have
not had a cigarette since 12/15. I will never have one again.
I have 4 kids (twins,7yo and boys 11 and 12yo) one of who is severely
disabled that I am caring for at home. I have had a panic and anxiety
disorder since I was 20 years old which has always manifested in feeling
like I can't breath properly or that I am struggling to get a full
breath. My chest also feels heavy and tight (when I am feeling acute
anxiety or having a panic attack). I have worked incredibly hard to
manage, learn about, and rise above my serious anxiety issues through a
lot of hard work. Prior to looking into what I thought were allergies I
was doing good anxiety wise and worked through any flare ups pretty
well. Since receiving PFT results I have not been able to eat well or
sleep sans a few hours. I am fluctuating between full blown panic and
extreme anxiety, both are relentless and extremely uncomfortable.
My husband had to take yesterday and today off of work and I am unable
to stay off the internet goggling all I can about PFT, which is
confusing and scaring me more. I made an another appointment with a
different well respected pulmonologist (my grammie died of emphysema at
88 after a long beautiful life and he was her Dr.) but it's not until
2/6 (I am on a cancellation list also). I fear my anxiety and panic will
kill me before then.
advance I thank anyone who offers advice, expertise, encouragement, or a
quick cyber hug. I have spent hours going through this forum and it
seems like there are some amazing, supportive, inspirational, men and
women helping each other here.
Peace and Light