Hi folks, I'm new here and have been reading, reading and reading some more. I'm learning a lot, so thank you all so very much.
I was diagnosed with COPD last September and put on O2 at night. I was going to PR for two months and doing well until I caught a cold for which my doc gave me antibiotics and prednisone. Then the pollen kicked in and family visited. On March 27th We hung out around the fire pit for several hours and by the next morning I could barely breathe. I've been on O2, 24/7 since then on my doc's advice, but on the 6 minute walk test two weeks ago, I only went down to 89, and medicare requires 88 in order to qualify for portable O2.
Yesterday I saw dr. again. O2 sat was 87 at rest, so I'm getting portable bottles for one billing cycle to prove I'm using it then the company can request Medicare for the portable concentrator. Even though my doc made sure to verbalize that due to weakness (I'm 85 lbs. and because of COPD and other issues I'm constantly fatigued.) Medi(doesn't)care is frustrating me with their arbitrary rules.
Is it common for emphysema to progress so rapidly? Last summer I only got short of breath with stairs or exertion like vacuuming. I quit smoking upon diagnosis, but even though I've smoked for many years, I was never a very heavy smoker. Why is it that some people can be in their 80's, still smoke and have no issues while someone like me, only 57 is having such a horrid time of it?
Doc referred me to a cardiologist too because every time I walk...even just to the kitchen for a drink, my heart races up to 140 or so and I have lots of pressure/pain in my chest to go along with the SOB. It eases up after a few minutes when I sit back down again, but the pressure/pain is constant. It only varies in intensity.
Doc wants to send my records to two different places to be evaluated for transplant. I don't believe that I meet the criteria...BMI is too low and I'm only 2 years cancer free and they require 5 years. He said sometimes they make exceptions. I don't think I'd do it anyway. From what I've read, it's VERY expensive...around $800,000. for the first year then the anti-rejection meds are very expensive too. Since I only have Medicare, I can't afford to go through that...especially since it's such a risky surgery and recovery with no guarantees.
Thanks for reading my little novel...and I look forward to hearing from anyone who has ideas or answers.