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New here and a few questions

Hi everyone,
I am new here and first I’d like to introduce myself!
My name is Bianca and I’m 32. I was diagnosed with emphysema and chronic bronchitis about 6 months ago. I’m a wife and mom of 2 and work full time in a grocery store.
I smoke for 20 years (dumb I know) and have a hard time quitting, even with meds.
For me copd was never anything I thought about so I don’t understand it all just yet.
The diagnoses came with a ct for my lymph nodes where they found nodules in my lungs. I was referred to a pulmonologist, did a pft and yesterday a repeated ct for the nodules.
I understand already that prognosis for copd is hard as it bases on many things.
For me, I’m lucky since I have very large airways but otherwise my pulmo said that my lungs look pretty bad. And all over very puffy which he said he had never seen in a person under 50 before.
I think my biggest question I have is more about the scaring of my lungs. I can’t find an answer online and won’t see my pulmo for a couple more weeks. So does anyone know by any change is bilateral pulmonary scaring always equals pulmonary fibrosis?
I am terrified of fibrosis as I read the average life expectancy is only 3-5 years from being diagnosed. I’m only 32 and we were trying to have another child (which of course I placed on hold even though it breaks my heart).
Please anyone insight on the combination of the copd, and scarring? What does the puffy lungs mean?

Thank you so much and sorry for the messy text 🤦🏽‍♀️

  1. Hugs! I know that all of this is new and scary for you. I did the same thing when I was first diagnosed and thought I only had a couple of years. Here I am, 10 years after being diagnosed and I haven't lost any lung function. Of course, we are all different and decline at different rates but just don't believe everything that you read. I can't answer

    1. Hi @Bianca68 welcome.
      You are a busy lady. Then to be diagnosed with lung disease is more of a concern. As Leon mentioned, you should talk with your doctor and have him explain everything. It's good that you will be seeing a lung doctor, pulmonologist.
      Not knowing and having to wait for answers can cause additional additional concern. It is for me anyway. He would be the one to talk with about having another baby too.
      Do know that we are here for you. I remember when I was first diagnosed with asthma. I was tossed between doctors for awhile. It was hard to get answers when I didn't know where to turn, The more online I looked the more frustrated I was. Who was right with what diagnosis. Eventionally, I was diagnosed with COPD and pulmonary hypertension. I didn't understand, that it was better that it took time. It gave me time to put together my list of questions, family history, diagnosis, etc.
      Even time to find a support system. I believe you did that when you found us. We are here for you. We understand some of what you are going though.
      Janet (site moderator/

      1. I'm sorry about the COPD diagnosis! It's difficult at any point in your life, but certainly a shock when you're 32. My suggestion about he pulmonary fibrosis, is to simply ask your doctor if that's what it is. It may or may not be.

        However, if it is, do not believe everything you hear or read about life expectancy. Everyone is different! But, I will echo what said - now is the time to quit smoking. It's the very best thing you could do for yourself and your family at this moment. Just do it! We'll be here to support you and help in any way we can. That will be the one thing that can really make a difference in the progression of this.

        I agree with Leon that it would be great if you could get in sooner to see your pulmonologist. If nothing else, simply to ease your mind and get your questions answered. In preparation for that appointment, start writing down everything you want to ask - it'll be a big help when you're sitting there in front of the doctor. And don't let them rush you. Ask all the questions you need to.

        Once you get on a treatment plan you'll feel much better. Stick to the plan and give it some time to work. Take practical steps for your health:

        1. Eat a balanced, healthy diet
        2. Exercise regularly
        3. Drink plenty of water
        4. Get rest
        5. Quit smoking

        Please take care.
        Lyn (COPD site moderator)

        1. Hi Biyou68, and welcome to our online community. From what you've shared, it seems pretty clear that you have been diagnosed with COPD. As you said, the prognosis can vary considerably from patient to patient and, is dependent on different variables too, depending on the particular patient. This would be something for you to continue speaking with your pulmonologist about moving forward.
          From your post, it is somewhat less clear that you have been diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis. You mentioned the concern you have for bilateral pulmonary scarring - has this actually been diagnosed for you by the physician?
          Since you do have a specialist, the best approach may be to sit down with the doctor and discuss all your concerns at length and in detail. Once you do, you may be in a better position to make plans moving forward. You should have a more complete understanding of the stage COPD you have and if, there is also an element of pulmonary fibrosis. My personal and professional view is that you will be far better off speaking with your doctor than looking for an answer on the internet.
          Give the nature of your concerns, is there any way you can move the appointment with your doctor up to an earlier date?
          I do hope this brief reply has been helpful for you.
          Please do check back and keep us apprised of your progress.
          Wishing you well,
          Leon (site moderator

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