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Lung enlargement shock

I was diagnosed with copd about 15 yrs ago, I have since had several chest infections, wheezing attacks and breathlessness, but nothing that hospitalized me. I thought that I was doing well, despite continuing to smoke. I love singing and often go to a karaoke, unless my headaches stop me, I have many morning headaches but did not put them down to copd, even though I had to sleep with the window open come rain or shine.

For the last few yrs I have not felt very fit, I have been breathless, tire easily and just lack of energy, I put this down to aging and the fact that most of my days begin with an awful headache. I have had a lot of rib pain and discomfort in my chest. Again, I put it down to aging. I would often get very dizzy when rushing about or having the dreaded cigarette, but I still did not recognize the signs, however on the 3rd of January this yr, I had the flu. I was left with a chest infection and I felt too weak to brush my hair.

After 2 lots of Amoxicillin and a course of steroids I was sent for a chest x ray, the result came back and I had a shock to learn that both my lungs had enlarged. I am now on long-lasting onbrez inhaler and ventolin when needed, I don’t feel the ventolin gives me much relief, but it does help my peak flo go up a little. I am waiting to be a month clear of infection and then I will have my spirometry, lung function test to determine more about my stage of copd. I do feel very anxious and I have tried so hard to stop smoking, cutting it down quite a lot, but will be seeking support in being successful. I find this site helpful and supportive, so thank you for sharing your stories.

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Comments

  • Tony42863
    9 months ago

    I use to smoke I stopped with nothing You can my doctor told me if I smoke again I just should jumb in the grave I never smoke again one year now

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    9 months ago

    Hi Tony42863 and congratulations on being smoke free for one year – that is a genuine accomplishment. It is one of the best things you could do for yourself with COPD. Keep up the good work! Leon (site moderator)

  • WillDoe
    10 months ago

    Dear Susanmarie
    I was able to quit smoking, for the time being, last March. Just a day shy of three months ago.
    I’m back on antibiotics and steroids for the next 6 days to treat another lung infection.
    I get support whenever I mention that I’ve quit smoking, especially from those who continue to smoke.
    I was able to use the patches and lozenges at the same time. If you choose to try this be aware that it will probably raise your blood pressure. It did mine.
    Something about getting the nicotine by way of smoking… I can’t quite figure that one out.
    (Sorry if this is a bit disjointed, it’s very hot here and I had a bad nights sleep…)

    Still, All the best!
    willdoe

  • Allyson.Ellis moderator
    1 year ago

    Thank you for sharing your story, Susanmarie. I can hear how overwhelming the shocking diagnosis of enlarged lungs was for you. That is a lot to process when you went in for the flu! Quitting smoking is such a hard thing to do. Being anxious about it is an appropriate reaction. I thought this article might resonate with you, as it details some of why it is so hard to quit: https://copd.net/clinical/why-quitting-smoking-is-so-hard/ I’m glad you are finding the site useful and hope the community is helpful to you through this whole process. We are always here to listen and offer support! Best, Allyson (site moderator)

  • Susanmarie author
    1 year ago

    Thank you for your reply, I most certainly will be following the link you have provided. Giving up smoking is now an high priority for me so any help and suggestions are most welcome.

  • carolcole
    1 year ago

    Wow what a way to find out. I sure understand if you have some anxiety about the possibility of have copd. There are so, many people out there once they hear you might have copd tell you it is a death sentence. First just let me tell you at some point everyone is going to die. When and how can have a lot to do with you. You said you are still smoking. I understand. I smoked for 50 of my 70 years of life. It is one of the hardest things I have ever done and in some peoples eyes I am still doing. I don’t smoke cigs. I do vape however. It was the only way I could find to get off of cigs. I tried the patch, gum, pills, support groups, etc. nothing worked for me until I started vaping. There is a trick to vaping I found out. First don’t fool yourself start out with a 24 mg. vape liquid and as soon as you can go to an 18 mg vape then 16 and then12 and so, on till you can get down to a 0 vape. What these numbers are is the amount of nicotine is in the vape liquid. If you try to start out with a low number you will not like the vape and end up smoking cigs again. That is the mistake most people make. Including myself. E-cig are not dangerous for us except the high wattage boxes. Stay away from the high wattage boxes. Only use the 20 to 50 watt pens or boxes they are save. When you get into the higher voltage boxes that put out great big clouds of vape like most vapers like you are playing with danger. The higher voltage changes the chemicals of the vape liquid into a cancer causing chemical. If you are going to do that you might as well keep smoking your cigs. I use flavor vape now with 0 nicotine in it and cbd which helps me with my copd. CBD helps with anxiety and that helps me to breathe easier. CBD is the legal in all states. Unlike marijuana or THC as they call it which is NOT legal. I do hope this helps you to quit smoking and maybe help you to breathe easier as it has helped me. God Bless you.

  • Susanmarie author
    1 year ago

    Thank you for your valuable advice. I do have a vape here at home, I used it for a while last yr, however I did not suceed with it, I have given thought to going back on it, but having been diagnosed with enlarged lungs I was sceptical, not sure if it would cause more damage, I am anxiouse and have cut down on my smoking habbits, I did not have a cigarette for 2 days and I struggled with my breathing, so as a result I decided to cut down slowly to stopping to lessen the impact, however your reply as made me reconsider my thoughts on using the vape and I will be trying it again.
    I do not want to make my lungs bigger and I have been wondering if they will go down insize again, this as been on my mind since my xray result came back but not getting answers from my gp or lung nurse untill I have my lung function test, I have googled endlessly but found nothing to say that they will go down in size again, scary., once again
    Thank you

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    1 year ago

    Hi Susanmarie – thanks so much for sharing your story here with our online community. As you are already aware, quitting smoking is the single most important accomplishment you can achieve in dealing with COPD, so keep at it – you will be all the better once you get past that. There is a lot of controversy surrounding ‘vaping’ and/or e-cigarettes. I thought you might find it helpful to look over this article on that very subject: https://copd.net/clinical/what-are-e-cigarettes/.
    Wishing you the best,
    Leon (site moderator)

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