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Another New COPD & Medication Troubles

Hello,

First of all, thank you to all the forum participants for honest questions/answers. As a newly-diagnosed person w/COPD, it is very helpful.

I would appreciate any guidance/suggestions/advice for the questions below: (sorry to be so long-winded, but this saga has been hell so far):

1) After 7 years of constant coughing & going to 8 different doctors (family physicians, ENTs, allergists, etc.) & everyone telling me I had "bad allergies"--a recent chest x-ray, (Aug. 2017) stated that I had early COPD (first they said emphysema; now they say chronic bronchitis).

2) Truth is, I've NEVER smoked in my life--but was around secondhand smoke daily for the first 35 years of my life (I'm 55 now). Each time my oxygen levels are tested, I have scored 97%! (I'm not super athletic, but I walk 5 miles per day, do free weights, etc.)

3) I was tested for the Alpha-1 genetic disorder--but that came back negative.

4) So, in addition to Flonase (sp?) & allergy medications, the doctor prescribed Dulera...I took it twice daily as prescribed. As of yesterday, my acupuncturist (who has been extremely helpful) said that I have developed irregular heart rhythms/heartbeats & recommended seeing a cardiologist ASAP. Have any of you experienced this issue w/Dulera?

5) Do any of you have voice loss? This has been going on w/me for over 7 years, along w/the constant coughing...(I am in front of people teaching, usually 7-8 hours a day, so this has been especially troublesome)

6) So, now, the new pulmonary specialist (truth is, I've only seen the nurse practitioner--seeing the actual doctor is obviously impossible in this city w/not so great medical care!) has recommended a CT scan to rule out tumors, etc.

7) Again, I apologize for being so self-absorbed, but I keep thinking that I may have been diagnosed with COPD & perhaps it could be a lung tumor--or something else. If anyone has any similar experiences w/being misdiagnosed, I would appreciate any guidance.

I appreciate any thoughts on the above....and Happy Thanksgiving!

  1. Hi ttony and welcome. It's always a challenge when a physician provides you with one diagnosis and then, sometime later into your care, changes the diagnosis. It's good to hear you're feeling well and are able to exercise. Being smoke free for two years is an excellent accomplishment - one you can be genuinely proud of, too! There is therapy and care to help manage the mucus - you may want to ask your physician for recommendations in that regard. In view of your concerns pertaining to mucus, I thought you might find it helpful to look over this material on that very subject: https://copd.net/clinical/mucus-with-copd/.
    Wishing you the best,
    Leon (site moderator)

    1. hi never was told i had stage 1 only emphesema now specialist changing his mind says i have asthma kind of ! stopped smoking almost 2 years doing exercize feeling ok just the crazy mucus is bothering me !

      1. Hi newcopdss and thanks for your post. As you may be aware, we cannot provide medical advice or diagnostics over the internet (for your own safety), but your concerns certainly warrant a comment or two. While you may hear back from community members about what they have gone through personally, I thought it might be a good start to address each of your numbered inquiries in a most general way, and provide you with some reference material.

        1. Since you've been told you may have emphysema or chronic bronchitis, I thought this article might provide you with some insight into those categories of COPD: https://copd.net/basics/damaged-lungs/.

        2. It's good to hear that you've been a non-smoker throughout your life. However, there are risk factors associated with COPD that are related to second-hand smoke as well as other causes. You may find the information in this article to be helpful: https://copd.net/basics/causes-risk-factors/.

        3. It's good to hear the genetic cause for COPD has been ruled out for you.

        4. Dulera is one of the many medications that can be prescribed for COPD. This article provides an excellent overview of COPD medications: https://copd.net/treatment/medication-overview/. You will certainly want to discuss your reactions to Dulera with your physician.

        5. Others in our community have expressed issues they've had with their voice - becoming hoarse, losing their voices, and even a change in their voice pitch. They may see your post and chime in with their experiences. If this symptom is persistent or worsens, you may want to bring it to your physician's attention as well.

        6. Although a nurse practitioner is certainly a qualified professional to deal with COPD, you are always able to choose a specialist on your own. I thought you might find it helpful to look over this article on that very subject: https://copd.net/caregiver/finding-the-right-doctor/. As well, there are other professionals who comprise the health care team. This article guides you with information about all of them: https://copd.net/basics/healthcare-team/. Recognizing the limitations (as you stated) of the community in which you live, this may pose a bit of a challenger unless you travel further away to seek care. You know the most about your city and surrounding area and how to find additional professional care.

        7. We hear you about your concerns with a possible misdiagnosis. In seeking out a more experienced and specialized health care team, you may be able to put your fears to rest.

        I realize this is a fairly lengthy response with several references for you to being to review. The more you educate yourself about COPD, the better able you will be to understand it and move forward in a positive direction.
        We appreciate your good wishes over the holiday and look forward to your continued participation in our community.
        All the best,
        Leon (site moderator)

        1. Sorry--I meant to say: "I keep thinking I may have been MISDIAGNOSED with COPD..."

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