Will I always be short of breath?

Hi Everybody,

I’m new here and I’m glad this site is here. My issue is my breathing. I stopped smoking March 20, 2017 after smoking for almost 50 years. My doctor said I have emphysema. I asked if I needed to be on oxygen and she said no. I am very depressed because I cannot breathe. Everything I do leaves me out of breath and I hate it. I have tried 7 or 8 different inhalers and they do nothing for me. I blame myself for smoking and I suffer dearly for it.

If I had one wish, it would be to have never picked up that stinking cigarette.

I am 64, divorced, no children. I have one friend and I am grateful for her, as she tries to help me when she can. Please pray for me. Thanks.

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Comments

View Comments (13)
  • judith
    1 year ago

    There’s a possibility that the longer you experience shortness of breath, the harder your heart works to carry the oxygen where it’s needed, and the more problems you’ll have down the road. I would suggest referral to a pulmonologist; they can run you through the necessary tests to find out where you are in the disease. One of the tests they run will be an overnight test to see your oxygen level, and your pulmonologist may order at least supplemental oxygen. Don’t waste another day with shortness of breath, it’s agonizing. If your doctor won’t refer you to one, call your insurance co., some will state you don’t need a referral to make your own appointment with a pulmonologist. Good luck

  • Ponyboy
    1 year ago

    Hi Neen, thanks so much for posting this. I have often asked myself the same question. I am on oyxgen, and at first it felt really odd and I was really depressed about it. Over time, I have become grateful to have it, since it does help with the shortness of breath, but different things work for everyone, and something else might work for you.

    I’m about to start a smoking cessation class, plus pulmonary rehab and counseling to get even more support for being a non-smoker. I don’t mind telling you that when I read about what’s involved in pulmonary rehab I felt scared and nervous and like “Oh my gosh, am I even going to be ABLE to do those things??” But I am going to try it anyway. At this point I’m ready to do just about anything to quit and stay quit.

    Sending you lots of prayers and good thoughts, especially prayers that you will find a way to stop being short of breath and some help with the depression!

  • 2 years ago

    I have a post on Face Book on the Copd.net page. I would like for you to find a group that will exercise together. I say a group because doing it alone makes it difficult. Once you have people you meet up with and workout together, things get better. Your depression will improve, you will look forward to going to your place to work out because of the others that will be there to encourage you. You can do this. You may start out slow, but I tell you, I have been in our adult wellness center for a little over three years now and it has really made a difference. I enjoy others company when they come in to work out. My doctor told me about 3 months ago that my lungs were 23% better than they were a year ago and he said that is uncommon, that I should be proud of myself. Of course I am. I told him I have great faith in God and I workout 5 days a week. You Can Do It…. Please go and soon you will notice the difference. Maybe God encourage you daily…

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi Guz and thanks so much for sharing your experiences with the community here on our website. It’s so gratifying to hear personally how helpful you find doing exercise is for your COPD condition. I’m hopeful others will read your post here and derive a benefit from taking your suggestions. I’ll keep my eye open for the post you placed on our COPD Facebook page as well.
    All the best,
    Leon (site moderator)

  • Jnaphys
    2 years ago

    Neen Make an appointment with a pulminologist and they will test you, Make sure you take your inhalers with you. They will probably do some tests. Don’t worry we will be here to help you thru. I started out with 02 at night now I am 24/7

  • CoolmomX2
    2 years ago

    Hi Neen, I’m new to the group and this is the first time I’ve commented. I did because you expressed EXACTLY what I feel in your FIRST PARAGRAPH. The difference is that I am soon to be 67 and am married. My husband has lung cancer, caught early, underwent radiation and it is currently inactive. However, he is not out of the woods. He is also a disabled veteran with worsening dementia. Dealing with my husband as his Caregiver AND my COPD is overwhelming. Further, the guilt is terrible because WE BOTH STILL SMOKE. We have cut back and I also am on my 2nd week of Chantix to quit, which I am determined to do. I commend you for quitting after 50 years.I literally tried to quit for 20 years and then gave up.If you can, I can, right? I hope so. Hugs. We can feel better!!!!!

  • Neen author
    2 years ago

    Hi Coolmomx2….Thank you for responding to my comment. I’m so sorry about your husband and your health issue also. Yes COPD is overwhelming and to have other problems is truly difficult. My breathing became so horrible I had to quit. I just want to be able to breathe just a little bit so I can take care of myself and not depend on others.
    Keep trying to quit, you can do it. I will keep you and your husband my prayers.

  • pufnone
    2 years ago

    How did you quit smoking after so long? I am trying but it is so hard! I am 57 and have been smoking since I was 11. I don’t even remember what it’s like to not smoke. You sound like me with the breathing issues. EVERYTHING makes me out of breath. It is so frustrating. Then the coughing starts….!!! Like you I tell people that I wish I could go back and show my younger self what has become of me from smoking. So I would never start. I just had a CT scan done, waiting for results. Going for the PFT next week. This SUCKS! Last year at this time I was hiking in the woods with my dogs and doing many activities with no problem at all. COPD out of the blue! Hang in there and we can chat if you want.

  • Neen author
    2 years ago

    Hi Pufnone….Thank you for responding to my comment. You ask how did I quit after smoking for so long…….I had the worse breathing episode where I thought I was dying.
    It was then, I decided I had, had enough. Every time I thought about a cigarette, I thought about that breathing episode and I did not want to ever smoke again. It was horrible and terrifying at the same time. It’s crazy but I truly don’t cough much at all. When I smoked, I would have these coughing attacks, that would lasts for months. Dr told me I had bronchitis or upper respiratory infection. He never took xray but did tell me to stop smoking. Being a fool, I didn’t listen. Keep trying to quit.

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi Neen and thanks for posting and sharing your experiences here in our online community. First, let me say a big CONGRATS on your quitting smoking. That is the single most important thing you can do for yourself and your COPD. It certainly can be challenging AND frustrating to have tried 7-8 inhalers with no noticeable improvement. You may want to look for a reputable specialist (pulmonologist) for a complete medical assessment and plan. Many in our community have found an improvement in their condition and relief of their symptoms with the right physician to orchestrate your care. I thought this article might give you some ideas in that regard:https://copd.net/caregiver/finding-the-right-doctor/.
    It’s good to hear that you do have a support system with your one friend – you’re fortunate to have her.
    Please do check back with us and let us know how you’re doing. If there is anything we can assist you with, please let me or any other moderator)team member know.
    All the best,
    Leon (site moderator)

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi (again) Neen – sorry for the delay in answering your (to me) on August 31. It’s gratifying to hear that you are cognizant of what you need to do. Once you get yourself set, go and see the doctor of your choice and find out what can be done to your treatment/medication plan to make you feel more comfortable. The procedure you’re referring to is not yet approved everywhere (especially in this country). But there are therapies that can be titrated to your particular situation which should improve your condition.
    Again, please check back with us and let us know how you are doing.
    Warm regards,
    Leon (site moderator)

  • Neen author
    2 years ago

    Hi Leon, I was told to make an appointment with a pulmonologist but I was too afraid.
    I’m afraid he would tell me I need to be on 02 and I don’t think I would be able to accept that. My doctor told me about some kind of procedure where they can poke holes in your air sacs to help your breathing. Immediately I thought, guinea pig on elderly people with emphysema no thank you. A medical student told me years ago, that doctors hate treating people that smoke. I have never forgotten that. I know I need to get over that fear and just do it.

  • charli
    2 years ago

    I too quit smoking after 40 years. It wasn’t easy but after ending up in the hospital with bronchitis and being diagnosed with COPD, I quit cigarettes and used the Blu ecigarette. At the time they were thought to be better, at least less problematic than tobacco. Then the bad news about them, popcorn lungs, etc. started to show up and I felt even more guilt. I also blamed myself for my condition and felt like such a failure. I prayed all the time for God to help me quit. Finally one day I did. But I still carried the guilt. Then one day I read that only 20% of smokers have COPD (so why not the other 80%? Another factor?). I don’t even know if that’s legit but I do know it gave me the ability to forgive myself. I still hate that I smoked but I no longer feel so ashamed. One other thing, when the inhalers didn’t help me my pulmonologist put me on liquid meds in a nebulizer and that helped a lot. Good luck and God bless you. You can quit, never say never and forgive yourself, love yourself, and seek out a doctor that will work to help you.

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