Hello everyone! Nice to meet you. I am new here, and I haven't been diagnosed yet. I am waiting to see the pulmonologist and had to wait 6 week (ugh) for an appointment. I am not looking for medical advice but I am curious if anyone has had a similar experience.
I am 54 years old. Former smoker who quit 11 years ago. 12 pack year history. No history of respiratory problems except the yearly cold that I get, working with the public in a hand's on capacity. No chronic cough, nothing. I was very active until a hip injury, menopause and depression. I have gained 50 pounds over the last 10 years. I am very sedentary.
This past June, I got a dilly of a flu. The cough was weird: dry and loud, and almost like I was yelling at the end of the cough. I got better and then relapsed a bit. Did a Z-pack and felt 80% but still had a dry tickle of a cough at times. I went to an allergist and she did basic spirometry that showed severe obstruction (FEV/FVC = 57%) and FEV1 = 44%. She put me on an inhaled steroid and albuterol in a nebulizer. I have a handheld spirometer/ peak flow meter and it shows that I have a response to the bronchodialator some what.
I remembered 3 years ago that my former PCP had done a breathing test because I complained of breathing harder when I walked up a hill (dragging a suitcase). She mentioned at the time that I might have a "touch" of COPD or asthma. She gave me a chest x-ray which was normal. She never said anything more about it and I forgot it.
Now, this new spirometry when I was coming off the weird flu I had. It through me through a loop, no pun intended. It sparked major anxiety. I don't cough, but have a tickle in my throat all the time. Mucus in the throat. All of my symptoms are in my throat, really. It seems like they have gotten worse since I have been using the inhalers in July. As a matter of fact, I ended up in the ER last week after using Symbicort. I had a reaction to it, and a huge panic attack. On the upside, the chest x-ray and CT scan were clear :)
Has anyone had a similar scenario? My current PCP and allergist do not think I have severe COPD, despite what the spirometry shows. They both think (independently) that my airways are jacked up from the infection and are still healing, and that I have asthma or very reactive airways.
I think I do have COPD. I smoked for 25 years, albeit never more than 10 cigarettes a day. I was very physically active for those 25 years and zero symptoms of anything. Climbing hills are hard for me now. Part of it is the 50 pounds of extra fat, I am sure, and part is...? COPD? Asthma?
Time will tell I guess when I go for the appointment with a pulmonologist at a university teaching hospital.
Thanks for reading! Feedback is welcome!