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  • Emphysema?

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    Old 03-09-2019, 11:13 PM   #1
    alwyzscrd
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    Emphysema?

    Hi all,
    I recently had a CT with contrast done on my chest to rule out a clot. To my relief there was no clot. BUT, the report did say that I had mild emphysematous changes and bilateral clusters of blebs. ER doc didn't even mention it, gp wasn't too concerned about it. I have an appointment with a pulmonologist in a month. Any help would be appreciated.

     
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    Old 03-10-2019, 04:05 AM   #2
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    Re: Emphysema?

    The pulmonary doctor will run some breathing tests- easy peasy. They are done in the office; with the results, they will be able to tell you more such as whether or not your airways are constricted or how badly your respiratory function is compromised.

    If you smoke, now is the time to quit. If you exercise, now is the time to start working on your cardio...but before you do ANYTHING, have the appointment and let them tell you what is what.

    My hubby went through this years ago, turned out to be a matter of working on his cardio and learning how to help his lungs function better...he was smoking back then and he did quit and a year later his tests improved by more than 50%.

    Good luck. Let us know what happens at the doctors office!
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    Machaon (03-10-2019)
    Old 03-10-2019, 06:58 AM   #3
    JohnR41
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    Re: Emphysema?

    Hi,

    This is why I recently canceled an appointment for a CT scan. After making the appointment, I did some research and found there are lots of doctors that don't recommend this. One report stated two main reasons: 1) the powerful imaging of these scans are almost guaranteed to find one thing or another, other than what you were there for in the first place. And 2) this can lead to more and more testing which may have harmful effects. Radiation, that can damage the DNA of healthy cells, was the main objection. Radiation is cumulative (it adds up).

    But your doctor is going to know much more about you than we do, like your age, weight and medical history. Do you smoke? Did you have any symptoms like difficulty in breathing?

    Remember, doctors never get in trouble for recommending too many tests but they sometimes get in deep trouble for leaving out a test if the patient later has a problem because of it. So you have to know when enough is enough.

    Many years ago I experienced difficulty in swallowing along with irregular heart beats. It was caused by stress, namely heat stress. But I didn't know it until I went to see a doctor. After waiting for a long long time in his waiting room, all of my symptoms disappeared. Why? Air conditioning! So I felt silly trying to tell him about symptoms that no longer existed. I therefore explained to him that my symptoms might have been due to heat stress, and he agreed. When I had symptoms, before I went to his office, they were not as bad as they had been several months earlier. If it had been cancer of my throat, it would have gotten worse over a long period of time, not better. But, to play it safe, he still recommended that I get very expensive moving picture x-rays of my throat. That was to protect himself more than to protect me. Needless to say I didn't go for the x-rays. On my way home from his office I stopped in a store and bought a powerful air conditioner for my house and the troubling symptoms never returned.

     
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    yayagirl (03-10-2019)
    Old 03-10-2019, 08:08 AM   #4
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    Re: Emphysema?

    Just to add my personal experience, I would have been dead or in serious trouble from the effects of undiscovered Hepatitis C from a transfusion, years ago, had I taken every drug or test offered throughout the years. As it was, yes, there also have been some necessary tests and surgeries that I agreed to have done.

    I think we need to discover the side effects of tests and whether there is a better reason than just curiosity or fear. When we can, we then are the judge of that.
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    Old 03-10-2019, 08:44 AM   #5
    alwyzscrd
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    Re: Emphysema?

    Thanks all. It just scares me because I'm 42 and have a family. I did smoke but I quit after I saw the results of the test. It's been two weeks now. Having panic and anxiety disorder doesn't help either.😥

     
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    Old 03-10-2019, 11:28 AM   #6
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    Re: Emphysema?

    Try to relax....the brain can make us crazy with anxiety.... go see the Pulmomnary doctor and take it one step at a time. There is a good chance its nothing more than getting your lungs back in good shape post smoking. But GOOD FOR YOU for quitting! Don't start again!
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    Old 03-12-2019, 07:32 AM   #7
    yayagirl
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    Re: Emphysema?

    Dear alwyzscrd,

    I know that panic and anxiety can feel really scary. However what helped my anxiety and panic was to study what it is. Panic and anxiety are symptoms of what is on our mind. The feelings also can be from not eating right. Panic and anxiety themselves don't feel good, but emotions by themselves have no power over decisions. It is what we tell ourselves about those emotions that affects what we choose to do. We can feel those emotions and choose to do something to diminish or get rid of fear and panic.

    Panic if we see a lion or snake isn't the same as a generalized feeling of fear or panic. We can practice discerning whether we are in immediate danger, or if we are not, we can practice making ourselves relax and think of more pleasant things. It is up to each of us to learn to do that. Sure, some children learn that from their parents. But My mom was a worrier so I learned from her example. It is up to me to change the direction of my own thoughts.

    We do need to discover our unhealthy patterns and change those. If you ask your doctor for ways to help you learn to unwind and relax, perhaps he will give you some guidance to get started. But there are loads of free info on the internet and you can do searches about how to relax. A good start is to be grateful for a basically healthy body. Smile!
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    Old 04-05-2019, 01:59 PM   #8
    alwyzscrd
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    Re: Emphysema?

    Pulmonologist appointment is today. I'm really dreading it. My mind won't stop racing. I have to be there in an hour. It's been a month of emotional distress. I keep imagining the worse. I just want to get it over with. I have barely been able to work all month. Just feeling ill, anxious, depressed. It's enough to drive you crazy. Went to the ER on Saturday for palpitations after waking up. Of course they found nothing but my brain keeps giving me symptoms.

     
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    yayagirl (04-06-2019)
    Old 04-06-2019, 11:47 AM   #9
    yayagirl
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    Re: Emphysema?

    Dear alwyzscrd,

    Consider yourself hugged. I don't know why the 'hugs' don't work.

    You must have already had the appointment...what was the news?
    Lungs can recover from abuse. I think it would help you relax to read up on how to recover from smoking. There is nothing at all to dread.

    I think exercise is key both to healthy respiration and healthy recovery. Exercise also helps anxiety. The typical cause of anxiety is shallow breathing or holding our breath. That has nothing to do with disease. All sorts of people suffer anxiety from shallow breathing.

    Take some deep breaths, hon. It isn't your brain that is causing the symptoms. The brain is just an organ. It is what you are telling yourself.

    You are not dying. You are taking healthy steps to take better care of your body.
    So keep breathing, slow and easy.

    When you feel panicked, stop and cup your hands and deep breathe in and out into your hands a few times. It will slow your heart rate and get you settled down. Hon, that is how to self regulate and not allow yourself to panic.
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    Old 04-06-2019, 02:55 PM   #10
    alwyzscrd
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    Re: Emphysema?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by yayagirl View Post
    Dear alwyzscrd,

    Consider yourself hugged. I don't know why the 'hugs' don't work.

    You must have already had the appointment...what was the news?
    Lungs can recover from abuse. I think it would help you relax to read up on how to recover from smoking. There is nothing at all to dread.

    I think exercise is key both to healthy respiration and healthy recovery. Exercise also helps anxiety. The typical cause of anxiety is shallow breathing or holding our breath. That has nothing to do with disease. All sorts of people suffer anxiety from shallow breathing.

    Take some deep breaths, hon. It isn't your brain that is causing the symptoms. The brain is just an organ. It is what you are telling yourself.

    You are not dying. You are taking healthy steps to take better care of your body.
    So keep breathing, slow and easy.

    When you feel panicked, stop and cup your hands and deep breathe in and out into your hands a few times. It will slow your heart rate and get you settled down. Hon, that is how to self regulate and not allow yourself to panic.
    Hi yayagirl,
    The pulmonologist was not concerned about the finding of mild emphysematous changes or blebs. He said the best thing I did was stopping smoking. He did a spirometry test and it was perfect. He does however want me to come back and do a perfusion test? The one where they put you in a box and test your lung gas exchange, just to be sure. Hugs back and thanks for the support. I will continue to update as things happen. I am going in for a sleep apnea consult in a couple of weeks as well.

     
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