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I was told that I have COPD back in August. Dr put me on Spiriva, told to start Rehab. I was already put on albuterol a couple of years earlier. He also told me that I should think about quitting smoking. He didn't make it seem like it was really serious. He prescribed Chantix, which I've been taking. But I didn't completely quit. I thought I could smoke a little and it would be ok.
Then in February I ended up in the hospital with an exacerbation. I guess I was pretty sick. They added Advair to my prescriptions. I also was on a steroid and antibiotic, but I'm off them now. I couldn't smoke, so I decided to take advantage of the fact to quit completely. It's been 38 days since my last cigarette.
I had follow up appointments with my doctor and my new pulmonologist. This is when I learned that I am Stage 3 with only 35% lung function. This was the numbers before my hospital stay. The pulmonologist told me not to worry about the numbers, but I can't get it out of my mind. I feel ok for the most part, but I get very winded when do physical things. I purchased an oximeter, so I know how low my numbers go when I exert myself. It goes down into the low 70s a lot.
I had to start over in rehab after the hospital stay. I can't walk very far without gasping for air. Even with oxygen, I have to rest a lot when I'm doing housework. I felt better when I left the hospital than I do now.
I have no clue what to expect, or when to see a doctor or when I should go right to the hospital again. I'm scared and anxious a lot. I keep all this bottled up inside because I don't want to worry my husband or sons. Maybe I'm over reacting. Should I really ignore the numbers? I'm trying to learn as much as I can, but it makes me so depressed and anxious.
Please help me figure out what I need to be doing. Point me in the right direction. Am I over reacting?
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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.