COPD info please

stickywicket Member Posts: 27,213
edited 31. Jan 2013, 08:51 in Living with Arthritis archive
I appear to be suffering from a surfeit of initials :?

I’m a bit puzzled. I know I have very mild asthma. I have one puff of my brown inhaler morning and night. When I get a cold it might go up to two and I might need to use the blue inhaler which is almost invariably out of date by then :roll:

Recently I’ve had a nasty cold which centred more on my larynx than my chest but our surgery were currently referring for chest x-ray anyone who’d had a cough for more than two weeks so off I went. My cold’s now on the wane but yesterday, when I went to sort out more anti-bios, the doc said, in passing, “You have been told you have COPD, haven’t you?” “Yes” I said and left.

On the way home I thought “B*gg*r. Wrong set of initials.” :roll: No-one had ever told me I had COPD. A couple of years ago my ‘stomach problems’ ( hiatus hernia, inflammation of the oesophagus, past ulcers and erosion of the stomach lining) were re-defined as GORD. That’s what I was thinking of.

It got more confusing when the postman came and delivered a letter, written by the same doc, telling me my chest x-ray was ‘normal’. (Normal? A first :o )

It wouldn’t matter but for the fact that I have to get my travel insurance. Futile to lie as then I might not be covered for something I could need. But, and here’s what I’d like to know:

1. Is it possible to have COPD with only mild symptoms of asthma?
2. Is it likely that, with COPD, a chest x-ray would show ‘normal’?


  • ShulaArcher
    ShulaArcher Member Posts: 174
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi SW

    Sorry to hear of yet one more thing for you. My brother-in-law has COPD and started with a diagnosis of asthma. He had a variety of tests before getting the diagnosis. I'm sorry I can't answer your questions but I think you'll need to spend some quality time with your GP for this.

    All the best, Shula
  • wall1409
    wall1409 Member Posts: 294
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Sticky
    I have been an asthmatic for 32 years and was told quite a few years back it was COPD I only have brief asthma symptoms but if I get a cold it gets nasty had pleurisy twice, I think asthma causes a lot of scarring of the lungs to be honest.

    Wendy xx
  • LignumVitae
    LignumVitae Member Posts: 1,972
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Right Sticky, this is sketchy knowledge, gleened from having to prepare a powerpoint on COPD for one of my bosses for a conference when I worked in a hospital but for what it is worth (which may not be much) here it is...
    COPD is a spectrum illness so can vary in symptoms and severity - sometimes it stays as a minor thing, sometimes it can be bigger - the bigger often being associated with there being emphasema (I can't spell) or industrial inhalation kind of issues.

    I'm not sure on the x-ray - could it be that it meant normal to you? Maybe though it means you are at the good end of the spectrum which karma suggests, with arthritis as well, you deserve to be!!

    As I say, not much use I know but I did spend a long time on that powerpoint and actually found the subject pretty interesting in the end...she was a dragon of a boss, it paid to make the effort.
    LV xx
  • MUM1
    MUM1 Member Posts: 79
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Stickywicket. My OH has copd (chronic obstructive pulmanory disease). If you go to the british lung foundation forum any questions you need answered I am sure someone will be able to. You can also speak to a nurse regarding information on the following number 03000 030 555 and they offer counseling too. X
  • suzygirl
    suzygirl Member Posts: 2,005
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    (((Sticky))) must be a bit of a shock. Could you ask to speak to your 'usual' gp, maybe a phone call to ask for more info. My son has severe asthma, so know about asthma but am not clued up on COPD, other than it is not to be taken lightly.

    Thinking of you and hoping you are going somewhere exotic :D
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,279
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi SW
    Sorry I cant help, but these doctors say things in passing has though its of no concern to you, and then get you worried.
    Hopefully you will get all the info you need , its good that your lungs are clear but like you say very strange...I would ring them up and get it all explained. xx
  • dibdab
    dibdab Member Posts: 1,498
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Sticky,

    Don't know how helpful my experiences will be because COPD is a broad spectrum of diseases. Because the meds for my RA lower my immune system I have had lots of chest infections over the last few years, each infection scar the lungs a little more resulting in Bronchiectasis which is a form of COPD. Initially this didn't show on chest xrays and was diagnosed after the rheumy sent me for a CT scan because of the constant crackles on my lungs-I had assumed it was just my asthma, but the scarring means that pockets of sputum gather in the bronchi and are more prone to getting infected. after diagnosis I was referred to a Respiratory consultant, who I now see every 4 months. I take daily antibiotics to support the immune system and this has been effective for me. Having bronchiectasis also means I can't be prescribed the biologics because of the impact on my immune system so the RA remains active.

    Hope you get a proper diagnosis soon. It's certainly treatable but the sooner the better.

    Take care

    Deb x
  • Numptydumpty
    Numptydumpty Member Posts: 6,417
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Sticky, I think you need to go back to the doctor, and ask him to explain.
    What a bummer!
    I hope everything works out alright.
  • mig
    mig Member Posts: 7,152
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Can't help Sticky but am sending hugs (((()))). Mig
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,213
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you all for taking the time to reply. I have learnt several things from you and, I guess, one relevant thing is that it can be mild and diagnosed as a result of apparently mild asthma. (Though the nasty suspicious side of me is wondering whether or not a diagnosis of ‘mild asthma’ might transform into a diagnosis of ‘COPD’ once one hits 60 or 65 :? )

    I’ve checked out the BLF website and can say with certainty that I’ve never been a heavy smoker, never smoked at all for nearly 40 years and have only ventured down a (‘show’) pit once and that by wheelchair. I wasn’t issued with a pickaxe :lol: and I’d guess emphysema and pneumoconiosis are out of the question. Ditto asbestosis. I don’t even have the requisite symptoms.

    The x-ray can’t be ‘normal for me’ as the only other chest x-rays I’ve ever had done have been pre-op.

    Bless you, Mum1 and Suzygirl, I don’t need counselling and it hasn’t come as a shock :) , only a surprise and annoyance given the need for travel insurance. I’m quite used to bits of me dropping off – or being extracted – and this is merely one more nail in an already well-decorated coffin :lol:

    My docs are all great, Barbara. It’s not her fault that I misunderstood her.

    Dibdab, I hope I don’t have bronchiestasis though it does make sense.

    I think I’ll have to do as several of you have wisely suggested and go back for more info. However, I’ll hold fire for a few days to make sure this last lot of antibios have done their stuff.

    Thanks again, one and all.
  • villier
    villier Member Posts: 4,426
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Awe Sticky, firstly I new you were hiding how bad you have been feeling lately, what are you like :| I do know someone who has CODP that has been a heavy smoker has bad asthma and worked down a mine, so at least you don't have these requisites, i think you are wise to go back and get some more info from the doc, try and speak to s/he as soon as just to get some clarification on the matter............Marie xx
  • hileena111
    hileena111 Member Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Sticky
    I'm sorry....I'm no help at all as far as COPD is concerned
    Just sending you loads of (((((()))))))

  • MUM1
    MUM1 Member Posts: 79
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Sending you big (((HUGS))) sticky wicket.. X
  • dachshund
    dachshund Member Posts: 8,476
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Sticky
    i'm sorry i dont know about that but i hope you will feel better soon.
    take care
    joan xx
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,213
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Bless you all! And thank you! I really don't feel bad :) That's what's so annoying :)