Diagnosed in 2012 with emphysema by mistake.
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About 4 years ago I was having pain when I tried breathing deep so I figured it was probably the usual pneumonia and pleurisy. The doctor came back saying that I didn’t have pneumonia but to be sure he was going to do a chest CT. The CT came back with 3 pulmonary embolisms in my left lung and also there he did see the pneumonia too.

By then there was a team of doctors around my bed giving me too much information way too fast. One of the doctors said, “You need to quit smoking now because I already see a little damage.” I didn’t question and the next day they sent me home on Lovenox and Coumadin.

I followed up with a hematologist who told me my clots were dissolving. Then went on to see a pulmonary specialist. She asked me what I was doing for my emphysema! I said, “I don’t have emphysema.” She showed me on the CT they did in the hospital but I was never told. (Thinking back, that must have been what the “damage” was that one of the doctors saw but never mentioned it at the time, all talk was on my P.E.s.).

So now here we are 5 years later and I am still smoking although only 3 per day. I hate that I still smoke. I started on the patch. Now I am at stage 1 still, but sometimes if I lay down too long, I need my rescue inhaler immediately, then after about 5 minutes, I’m ok. But those little flare ups are scary.

I’m currently taking Anoro, Ventolin. No oxygen or nebulizer. Fortunately not yet anyway. The next time I see my primary care doctor, I want to be able to tell him, I quit smoking. That’s 3 months.

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