I am 45 years old and have not been officially diagnosed with COPD but I have a very strong suspicion that I do have it. I first started experiencing SOB about 5 years ago while I was taking my daily jog. Since then, the SOB has gotten progressively worse and it is now to the point where I can barely get through a shower or walk into the next room without running out of breath. I have chest pain and have been to the hospital multiple times thinking I was having a heart attack but my heart is still apparently very strong and healthy. I'm just absolutely miserable. I've always had depression issues but it is getting worse as I feel like I have no life because I'm exhausted all the time and can not be as active as I once was. I have yet to set up an appointment with my family doctor to address these issues and get a referral to a pulmonologist. I'm terrified of the official diagnosis though, so I have been putting it off. What can I expect at an initial appointment with a pulmonologist? Any suggestions for how to ease my symptoms in the meantime? I have not stopped smoking yet (smoked since I was 14) for a few reasons but mainly I think I am in denial over the possibility of having COPD or worse, cancer. If anyone has any advice for me in this phase I would greatly appreciate it. But don't tell me to stop smoking because I already know I need to do it. I am very scared and anxious.