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Diagnosed COPD, but could it be something else?

Hello, i have just recently left the hospital here in town and i was diagnosed with COPD.  I initially ended up in the hospital because of a shortness of breath.  I could not take a breath in.  Anyway, i ended up on life support and diagnosed with COPD.  

My challenge comes from the fact that a year ago i was diagnosed with nodules on my vocal cords and at the time just before the hospital visit I was extremelly swollen up in the neck area and i could barely talk.  My quesstion is, Could this have been my nodules on my vocal chords swelled so much that it cut off my breathing?

I am a smoker and have shortness of breath as well so it could be both.  

When i left the hospital my oxygen level was just fine so they didn't send me home with any.  This is another reason that i question the COPD diagnosis.

Anyone else out there with any suggestions about how i could stop this from ever happening again orther than the obvious of quitting smoking.?

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