My name is Phyliss DiLorenzo. I live in Brooklyn; New York and I was diagnosed with COPD four years ago. I had earlier symptoms that I put off to getting older and being out of shape.
I quit smoking 5 months before my diagnosis. I am do glad that I did! What brought me to be diagnosed was pneumonia.
I saw my PCP, who sent me for an X-Ray. It was then I was told I have emphysema and battling a pneumonia infection and was given a rescue inhaler and medication.
Throughout that first year, I was short of breath on a daily basis. I received a nebulizer and another rescue inhaler. All of these were short acting bronchodilators, or SABAS, which gave only temporary relief and didn’t help against exacerbations. I was treated in hospital 5 times, for bronchitis, flu, and exacerbations from other respiratory infections.
After a particularly severe exacerbation, hospitalized for 3 days, most time on a BiPAP machine, my PCP referred me to a pulmonologist. I took a PFT (pulmonary function test) and was given a prescription for a long-acting bronchodilator, or LABA, and an emergency action plan.
After a week or so, my breathing approved immensely.
My PCP admitted that he believed I had a milder COPD or even asthma. I was amazed to find out that my PCP could be wrong about my condition and how to treat it. I now advise everyone to see a pulmonologist.
Now my journey with COPD has set me on the path of 3 goals. 1) To learn everything there is about COPD and its treatment, 2) to help others with education and advocacy, and 3) to finish the NYC Marathon ~ Not running, but speed walking!~ Keep your fingers crossed! I look forward to working with everyone and learning and sharing information!