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COPD Secondary to Cigarette Smoking
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COPD Secondary to Cigarette Smoking

I've just received a letter from the hospital stating that my lung function tests showed significant damage to the lungs, most probably SECONDARY to cigarette smoking.

They have therefore decided to ask the Radiology Dept to do a CT scan, to assess the lungs in more detail.
I now have to wait to be given an appointment for the scan.

My question is this: I thought that with COPD, cigarette smoking was the PRIMARY cause. Why in my case would it be secondary? What would be the primary cause of the significant damage? (a lung xray was normal 12 months ago; recent xray showed damage "consistant" with COPD)

I am female, underweight, aged 54.

My breathing problems started after a virus of some sort last December. I was given the diagnosis of COPD (emphysema) after my initial spirometry, Xray and function tests a couple of months ago, and they have been doing further tests ever since.

I have got no chance of giving up smoking while this is taking so long - I'm just too anxious!
Help please . . .

Thank you

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Hi there my name is amy, I am a COPD sufferer I am in my final stages of the disease.  When you get to this stage do you get these pains in your lungs like i do??
I get pains from above my breast to the bottom of it, I was told that this is my lungs shutting down, do you get the same problems? I understand that this may be difficult for you to answer but this disease affects alot of people and I need to get the info I need to help me also.  I am 43 years old and was diagnosed in September 2008 by this time I was in moderate as I was told I had chronic asthma, I suffer terriblly with this disease and I cant offer much information, I can only offer tyou friendship at this time of your need as I cannot offer you anything else.
If you want to tallk I will always be there to help you with your questions, my email is ***@****,uk Ill help you the best way I can
Hi Amy,
Are you saying you went from moderate to final stages in just 12 months???????
Let me reach for a fag . . .

I have no other symptoms other than shortness of breath on exertion. No pains; only the occasional normal sort of cough (though when I had the flu bug in December I was coughing 24 hrs a day) and that's it.

Though I have to say this week, I feel very, very tired, but that is not necessarily anything to do with the COPD.

I will now have to wait until I've had the CT scan, I suppose, to find out what stage I'm at, and what the primary cause is likely to have been.

I can cope with it all, IF I know whats going on. These tests have been going on for months as it is. My stress levels are through the roof. This is all on top of losing my mum last year, when you think things can't get any worse . . .

Thank you for your support, though I think I should be giving it to you by the sound of it. I'm so sorry things are so bad so soon. I'm so sorry for all of us on here. I'm under no illusion - my grandfather had emphysema. Saying that I have to be positive as well.

I can't see your email, it's been blocked. I'll make you a "friend".

Thanks again amywoo.
I too was diagnosed with moderate emphesema last year after getting a chest cold, it turned into bronchitis. I was sent for an x ray to rule out pneumonia and it came back that emphysema ws noted on the x ray.  I went for a second opinion to a pulmonologist who looked at the xray and did a spirometry test, which revealed moderate.  I had absolutely no symptoms whatsoever.  I was told that if I did not quit smoking, I would be on oxygen in ten years, I am 57. Since being diagnosed, I find myself very very tired and can sleep anytime of the day. I have no cough but do notice a heavy feeling sometimes in my chest, but no pain!  I was also told that if I quit smoking, it would stop the progression of the disease and it would fall back to what they call normal progression (everyones lungs progress with age), smoking accelerates it. Have you ever had asthma? or any condition that would enhance you getting this which would make smoking secondary? My anxiety comes from knowing I must quit smoking asap and not having the willpower to do it because of other things going on in my life.
Hi Teko.
Your history sounds the same as mine! I have not had asthma or anything else that might predispose me to this diagnosis. Saying that, up 'til about 12 or 15 years ago, I worked for over 20 years in a busy casino where all the customers chain smoked (as well as the staff!)

I spoke to the British Lung Foundation today, who explained to me that wording in the letter from the hospital is their "speak" for "caused by" smoking, and that it does not mean "secondary" per se.

I don't know whether to be relieved or not!

Speaking to the foundation made me want to cry for the first time since all this started, but I bit my lip, and ignored it, but somewhere inside there is a well of emotion that wants to come out, but can't.
I'm fighting back the tears even now typing this to you.

Again, the imperativeness of stopping smoking came up.
I know it, I'm a reasonably intelligent woman, but like you the anxiety is there from everywhere at the moment, and you reach out for a fag . . .

The more you know you HAVE to quit, and I mean HAVE to quit, somehow, with everything else, it becomes impossible.
I'm going for some Champix next Wednesday, but . . .

Sorry, if this is sounding a bit negative, but for the first time, that's exactly how I'm feeling. You're getting it, I'm afraid. Sorry teko.

Thanks for listening, keep in touch . . .
I am gearing up to quit, gotta get the mindset again. I have heard so many bad things about chantix, let me know what your experience is ok? I have this serious urgency to do so yet lack the ability to follow thru!
Took the first one this morning! So far, so good!

My manager took these a year ago, and only lasted two days. He couldn't handle feeling "out of control" as he put it. He felt pyschotic with them, even after such a short time. Another friend experienced terrible nausea, and became so dehydrated after 6 weeks, her doctor took her off them, but she had had the kick start she needed to remain nicotine free!

Nausea, according to my doctor, is the side effect most people wil have, if any.
We shall see . . .

The panic I am feeling in having to stop, is now becoming overwhelming! I am back smoking a pack a day, after having got it down to half a pack! My carbon monoxide levels yesterday were 25, after getting it down to 4!!! Not to mention my breathing being problematic at work!

If I can crack this, then there is no reason why you can't! I will update you every few days with any side effects I might get. It might be the way to go for you, too.
Let me know how that is working for ya k?  I am on the hunt for hard candy and getting myself in quit mode, but the more I even think about it the more anxious I get! Raw Fear! is more like it! lol
Raw fear is my middle name!
Tell me about it! I know EXACTLY what you mean!
You have my sympathy, empathy and support!

I have to say one thing though, teko . . .
Years ago, one of my old managers read Allen Carr's Easyway to Give Up Smoking. He smoked 60+ a day. He stopped just like that! He then bored everyone stupid, going on, and on, and on, about this book. He bought copies for people. I declined.
He raved about it.
I yawned . . .

Lo and behold, my present manager has lent me a copy. I have had 2 days off work, wallowing in self-pity, and have been reading it.

I am surprised at the truth in it. The "Fear" is what he talks about, and tries to dismiss the excuses and myths that we all use (himself include)

Whether it will be enough to make you or I stop, remains to be seen. A lot of it, you know anyway, but you ignore it.

Anyway, while I am on the early days of Champix, I thought it wouldn't hurt to have a read, as a sort of back-up!

If you fancy it, I'll send you a copy . . .
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