Just Diagnosed Emphysema

Posted by jeanette52 @jeanette52, Oct 19, 2018

Hello…I am a 66 year old female just diagnosed with "predominant upper lobe emphysema" yesterday via CT chest scan (done on 10/17/2018). I was having a year follow-up scan for a perifissural lung nodule (which hasn't changed in 2 years so no more follow-ups). On the last scan there was no mention of emphysema. Right now (and when I had the scan on 10/17/2018) I have an allergic flare-up. Nasal passages completely closed, throat hurts and congestion in right upper lung. This started about 2 months ago when I sneezed all night and then my nose started pouring. Then it totally closed up.Lung congestion apeared about a day later. I only had a cough for the first couple of days then it went away. The nasal and lung congestion are still present. Phlegm in upper throat as well. Since there is no cough I have to hack up the phlegm from my lung. I have made my self pretty sore doing this.The sinus issues are almost overwhelming. I went to my primary care physician on 9/28/2018 and my temp was fine at 97/9, O2 saturation at 99%. Blood pressure 121/70. She listened to my lungs and said she didn't hear anything. I just had blood work done right before that visit that showed my eosinophil % at 6.1. She said that was a little high and to take regular Zyrtec because I had allergies to something. I cannot take decongestants because I have paroxymal AFib. It has done me no good. I cannot get air through my nostrils. The AFib makes it hard to take anything to clear this up. The only thing that seems to help a little is store brand Mucinex. Could these issues have caused it to look like I have emphysema? I am so scared. I am a super anxious person diagnosed the Generalized Anxiety Disorder so you can imagine what seeing this on the test results has done to me!! I will admit that I still smoke…a few a day. I feel so guilty and horrible that I may have hurt myself like this. But my daughter died a year ago (10/21/201) and trying to quit would have been so hard. I am still in horrendous grief and sadness at her loss.

According to the scan it looks as if I have no other lung issues. Could this illness (allergy) have caused some kind of misreading? Maybe asthma?
I would like to not here that I have never had a smoker's cough. Smoked a lot of years, though.

Thanks so much for reading my story and whatever insight you can give.

Jeanette52

@jeanette52

This is a follow up question to my last post "Just Diagnosed Emphysema". I had a CT scan of chest on 9/11/2017 and there was no mention of emphysema. The follow up scan (checking a nodule) was done 10/17/2018 and the emphysema was discovered. In the "Impressions" section it was listed #3 under "nodule unchanged" and "no acute chest process identified". The word Emphysema was all that was there. No recommendations were given, no staging, nothing. Just emphysema. This is worrisome because I don't know where I stand with this. Does anyone know why nothing else was stated? The findings section didn't say any either. I have a call into my PCP and will probably hear from her tomorrow. My anxiety is through the roof. Thanks for any input.

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Hi @jeanette52, I moved your post to your discussion "Just Diagnosed Emphysema" so the members you have Connected with already would see your update and your question.

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@jeanette52 Hi Jeanette. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your daughter. I have a daughter, and I cannot imagine the grief if I were to lose her. I am sending you a cyber-hug right now. I am sure that getting the emphysema diagnosis was a tough thing to hear. My mother had emphysema pretty bad. When the time is right, I hope you will stop smoking altogether. Emphysema is a progressive disease and smoking will accelerate the process. I have SVT and am on heart meds for it. I take Coriceden once in awhile for congestion; it is supposed to be heart friendly. I also use 'Breathe Easy' tea by Traditional Medicines. It helps with congestion and opens airways. It also relieves that tight feeling in the chest. I buy it at Kroger's grocery in the natural food isle. I hope you can get your lungs under control. Try to avoid infections and treat them if you get infection. I am not sure if emphazyma can be misdiagnosed. Did your dr go over the scans with you and explain why he thinks it is emphazyma?

Liked by wba3721

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@windwalker

@jeanette52 Hi Jeanette. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your daughter. I have a daughter, and I cannot imagine the grief if I were to lose her. I am sending you a cyber-hug right now. I am sure that getting the emphysema diagnosis was a tough thing to hear. My mother had emphysema pretty bad. When the time is right, I hope you will stop smoking altogether. Emphysema is a progressive disease and smoking will accelerate the process. I have SVT and am on heart meds for it. I take Coriceden once in awhile for congestion; it is supposed to be heart friendly. I also use 'Breathe Easy' tea by Traditional Medicines. It helps with congestion and opens airways. It also relieves that tight feeling in the chest. I buy it at Kroger's grocery in the natural food isle. I hope you can get your lungs under control. Try to avoid infections and treat them if you get infection. I am not sure if emphazyma can be misdiagnosed. Did your dr go over the scans with you and explain why he thinks it is emphazyma?

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Thanks for responding. Have a call into PCP. Again, thanks.

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@jeanette52

Thanks for responding. Have a call into PCP. Again, thanks.

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@jeanette52 Hi Jeanette. I would be curious to hear what your doctors tell you. Would you please keep me posted on that? I see that your dr wanted you on Zyrtec, what about trying Singulair (prescription only)? That helped me a great deal.

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In my opinion, it depends on the radiologist reading the scan. I have stage IV lung cancer and have had scans taken every 3 months for the last 4 1/2 years. I have read emphysema a few times on mine and then not for another year. I developed allergies when I moved to Northern Florida in a wooded area. I use Simply Saline by Arm & Hammer to open up my sinus's. As for staging, it sounds like there is nothing to stage! There are nodules are over our bodies and many times they are nothing. Hope this relieves a bit of your anxiety. Keep walking and moving!

Liked by girlbybay

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I will. This helps a lot. Much thanks. Wishing you well.

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@windwalker

@jeanette52 Hi Jeanette. I would be curious to hear what your doctors tell you. Would you please keep me posted on that? I see that your dr wanted you on Zyrtec, what about trying Singulair (prescription only)? That helped me a great deal.

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singular has helped me a lot and also xyzal when i go to bed. I get up breathing easier and able to hack up any mucus easily

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@irenec

singular has helped me a lot and also xyzal when i go to bed. I get up breathing easier and able to hack up any mucus easily

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@irenec, you mention the medications montelukast (Singulair) and levocetirizine (Xyzal). I thought you might appreciate this Q&A from Mayo Clinic News Network.

– Asthma and COPD May Require Multiple Treatments https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/asthma-and-copd-may-require-multiple-treatments/

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@jeanette52

I feel very sad that no one but a moderator responded to my post. I guess I will try somewhere else. Thanks again, Colleen.

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Hello Jeanette. I have just become a mentor and have felt many of the things that you have. I do have mild emphysema, COPD and PTSD from lung cancer. I also am not a stranger to anxiety. I don't know anyone who has been told that they have cancer and not been anxious, for a long time. I can't imagine how you are coping with the loss of your daughter. I can't imagine the grief and anxiety on top of your health problems. Now that a year has gone by, however, it's time to take care of yourself. This doesn't mean forgetting your daughter or not being upset. It means that your health may be at risk now, according to your symptoms. I recommend a stop smoking group. I smoked for 35 years and quit the week before my first lung cancer. That was 21 years ago and I haven't smoked since. Yes it was very tough, and I told myself that if I wanted to live I had to stop. That actually became my mantra. I'm sure that you can find a group near you or a hotline. Did you know that sometimes the contrast for CT scans can cause an allergic reaction? I will try to answer your posts in a more timely manner and I'm sorry that any of us caused you more sorrow.

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Hi, I can relate to your feelings of sadness and feeling guilty about smoking. I also have anxiety like you along with depression and PTSD. I do have small cell lung cancer also.When I was first diagnosed I knew I could beat the cancer, now I am feeling trepidatious. It is the emphesyma that scares me. Please be very assertive when dealing with medical personnel. I have learned to be, but fortunately I go to Mayo for my cancer and have the BEST team there. I absolutely love them. Do you go to a pulmonologist? I think that would be a good start. I look at credentials, opinions, to fine the best I can. And when you consider quitting smoking. Know that it is hard. ANddddd it is doable. I was physically and mentally addicted. I took it minute by minute, till it was hour by hour, then on and on. Now it is 16 years. Yes, I still would like a cigarette. But, for a million reasons, I will never do that. I am so, so sorry about your daughter. I cannot imagine your unbearable pain. You are so brave to even say the words. I admire your fortitude. Know that there is a lot that can be done for emphesyma. I do use inhalers and have gone to PT for it. Try to get into an exercise program. It was help with the anxiety and breathing. Will be thinking of you.

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@olgamarie

Hi, I can relate to your feelings of sadness and feeling guilty about smoking. I also have anxiety like you along with depression and PTSD. I do have small cell lung cancer also.When I was first diagnosed I knew I could beat the cancer, now I am feeling trepidatious. It is the emphesyma that scares me. Please be very assertive when dealing with medical personnel. I have learned to be, but fortunately I go to Mayo for my cancer and have the BEST team there. I absolutely love them. Do you go to a pulmonologist? I think that would be a good start. I look at credentials, opinions, to fine the best I can. And when you consider quitting smoking. Know that it is hard. ANddddd it is doable. I was physically and mentally addicted. I took it minute by minute, till it was hour by hour, then on and on. Now it is 16 years. Yes, I still would like a cigarette. But, for a million reasons, I will never do that. I am so, so sorry about your daughter. I cannot imagine your unbearable pain. You are so brave to even say the words. I admire your fortitude. Know that there is a lot that can be done for emphesyma. I do use inhalers and have gone to PT for it. Try to get into an exercise program. It was help with the anxiety and breathing. Will be thinking of you.

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Hi I have had emphysema for 24 years. I am 77 now. Lost my husband of 57 years in 2016. I live alone now with 3 fur babies. I still do all the things that need to be done around the house accept for snow shoveling or grass cutting. I feel most of us smokers will get copd eventually as we get older because of smoking and all the dirty air we came in contact with over the years. Coal dust, asbestos, gas fumes. Emphysema is slow progression. Try not to get anxious or stressed because it makes things feel worse. Find a Pulmonary Doctor and he will help you figure it out. Carol

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@carolannz

Hi I have had emphysema for 24 years. I am 77 now. Lost my husband of 57 years in 2016. I live alone now with 3 fur babies. I still do all the things that need to be done around the house accept for snow shoveling or grass cutting. I feel most of us smokers will get copd eventually as we get older because of smoking and all the dirty air we came in contact with over the years. Coal dust, asbestos, gas fumes. Emphysema is slow progression. Try not to get anxious or stressed because it makes things feel worse. Find a Pulmonary Doctor and he will help you figure it out. Carol

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Welcome to connect @carolannz. I'd like to bring olgamarie into this discussion. Emphysema is caused by damage to your lung sacs, and is progressive. As long as you continue to smoke Carol your emphysema will continue to progress very quickly. When I was diagnosed with NSCLC it took me about a month to quit smoking after 35 years of inhaling one of the strongest cigarettes available.
Here are some links that Carol might be interested in.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/emphysema/symptoms-causes/syc-20355555
For small cell lung cancer olgamarie have you met anyone in the small cell lung cancer group? @lady1lake and @margot please welcome @olgamarie Olgamarie when is your next CT scan?

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Is this a scam at $450.00 for 15 days???

Mayo Clinic Connect
Reply by @nomfundozulu on Mon, Jul 15
I was diagnosed of Emphysema (COPD) in 2017 and I have tried all possible means to get cured, i even visited pulmonologist but all to no avail, until i saw a post in a health forum about a herbal doctor from Africa who prepare herbal medicine to cure all kind of diseases including Emphysema, at first i doubted if it was real but decided to give it a try, when i contacted this herbal doctor via his email he sent me the Emphysema herbal medicine through courier service, when i received this herbal medicine, he gave me step by instructions on how to apply it, when i applied it as instructed i was totally cured of this deadly disease within 12-14 days of usage, if you are suffering of this diseases you can as well

NOTE FROM THE COMMUNITY DIRECTOR
The above message was deleted from the Connect forum. Further investigation has revealed that this is a hoax. Be careful when reading about claims of a cure on the Internet. Be diligent. Do your research. Ask questions as you have done here. Thank you.

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Yes it is….just think if it were true ever major medical center in the US would be offering it. Or maybe Big Pharma has it buried so they can sell us inhalers at .$500 each usually requiring 2 + per month and has no interest in a cure. How can we find out how many have tried this and been cured. My gut tells me its not but given state of medicine and 100's of billions at stake you never know what they are capable of.

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