A surprising diagnosis

One year ago I moved from the east coast to northern Arizona. Newly retired, I was eager to take advantage of all of the outdoor activities, especially horseback riding and hiking. But I found that I was having trouble breathing and began to cough constantly. I thought it was the altitude. When I saw a doctor he gave me a rescue inhaler and took a chest x-ray; he wanted to rule out “Valley Fever” a sometime infection of the lungs that infects newcomers to the area. He also sent me to a cardiologist for a full work-up. The cardiologist cleared me of any heart issues (thank goodness), and referred me back to a new general practitioner. This new doctor sent me for a CT scan of my lungs, and to my surprise, it showed mild emphysema in both lungs. I thought that because I quit smoking 30 years ago that I would be “safe” from lung disease. Now I’m on meds, feeling better. Even though the diagnosis of COPD was a shock, I’m determined to be as well as I can. This online community is just what I needed for education and encouragement. Thank you all, Mary

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The COPD.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


View Comments (6)