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does this seem like how COPD started for any of you? is there hope for me?

Hello. I'm a 32 years old male. I never smoked, apart from maybe a couple ciggarettes in total throughout my entire life. I never worked alongside fumes, irritants etc. Since last year I've had reoccurring trouble breathing that would come and go. I always thought it's anxiety, as I'm a quite anxious person. Things have gotten a lot worse by the end of last year and the shortness of breath has gotten much more difficult to deal with, to the point I'd feel lightheaded. Did not notice it getting worse with exercise, really. It'd last most of the day regardless of what I'm doing. Also, I've always had problems with mucus stuck in my throat which I would just swallow constantly. It has become much worse as well; it didn't always cause shortness of breath for me. It was more of a chronic mucus, with no accompanying symptoms, with occasional shortness of breath lasting days and then going away on its own. I finally went to the doctor when the symptoms have gotten unbearable. I had spirometry and it came out unfavourable, with patterns supporting COPD diagnosis based on my own research: FEV1 75%wn, FVCEX 100%, FEV1%FVCEX 64,49
and after Salbutamol: FEV1 79%, FVCEX 98%, FEV1%FVCEX 68,49.
Doctor prescribed me some asthma medication, sent me home and told me to get a chest xray and get back to her in 2 weeks. After taking asthma medication I feel only some improvement of the symptoms, with occasional bad moments inbetween of the medication. Since I felt like I can't wait 2 more weeks for another visit, I went to the ER. they checked the chest xray, which came out normal, saturation is normal. did some blood tests and sent me home and I'll be admitted to a hospital on monday for further testing. I do not have any cough. I have some chest pain at times in the upper side of my chest. Does this sound like a course the disease usually takes? I know this isn't a place to get diagnosed, I'd just like to know and understand how my life turned upside down so quickly, as I'm already considering suicide as an option, because those symptoms are so unbearable to handle and no one is able to help me. Has any of you felt powerless like this? how did it all develop over time? I'd appreciate any comment. As of now my doctor suspects asthma, but I don't seem to get much improvement from the treatment and waiting till monday feels like a nightmare.


  1. Just checking in Patryk to see how you are. Any updates? I hope you're doing ok. Please let us know.
    Lyn (COPD site moderator)

    1. Thanks for understanding. I just wanted to clarify it's not yet clear that I have COPD. The results seem to point in that direction, but I haven't been diagnosed just yet.
      Have you guys managed to control your symptoms enough to have satisfactory everyday life?

      1. You can absolutely live a satisfactory life! We have so many inspiring stories of people here on the site that live full, meaningful lives with COPD. One such is Michele. I suggest you listen to her story and suggestions as she's a great example of someone that has learned to live well even after a COPD diagnosis at a young age as well. Here's the link:

        Lyn (COPD site moderator)

    2. I'd like to echo everything that my colleague Lyn said and add that I greatly admire your courage in sharing so openly. You are certainly not alone in this struggle, and yes, many people have felt powerless at times. That said, we are here to support you the best we can. I'm going to follow up with a personal message to you. Take care and we'll talk soon. - John M. ( Team)

      1. Hi Patryk - It sounds like you're really in need of some answers...which is completely understandable. First, let me say, I'm confident you'll find those answers if you're patient and persistent. It can take time to determine an underlying problem, so you must be patient.
        In the meantime, you've done the right thing by seeing a doctor. If that doesn't work out or you'd like another opinion, I would recommend starting to look right away and making an appointment.
        Keep track of all your symptoms and all the things that make it better or worse. Write everything down so you can give a good account of it to your doctor. You'd be surprised the things you forget.
        And most important, please talk to someone about your feelings of suicide. You need to unburden to someone that can help. Please seek some professional help for that. I certainly can understand that you're feeling discouraged. But, you're doing all the right things by seeking help and trying to feel better.
        Please let me know how you continue to do.
        Lyn (COPD site moderator)

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