Patient Comments: Emphysema - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with emphysema.

Comment from: tschmer, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 01

In December 2013, I had anaphylaxis and it closed my airway. I was without pulse and oxygen for 12 to 14 minutes. My husband performed CPR and first responders intubated me. I was recently blindsided because I was told I have emphysema yet I never smoked. I have had asthma for years and lived in volcanic haze in Hawaii 20+ years, 3 years eating in smoke filled casinos in Vegas. So, I can truly tell you second hand smoke is just as damaging for you as first hand smoke is.

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Comment from: modestomoody, Male (Caregiver) Published: January 29

My grandmother in law is 65 years old, and has been diagnosed with emphysema, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), along with many other ailments. She's on oxygen and for the past few years she has made over a dozen trips to the hospital each year with stays from two days to two months. She currently takes Norco for pain, I wonder if taking these type of pain pills and possibly over a long period create more infections in her lungs than without taking them.

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Comment from: hopelessly COPD, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 20

I was diagnosed with COPD & emphysema in May of this year. I have been smoke free for 14 months. I quit because my first granddaughter was going to be born! I didn't want to smell like an ashtray when I held her! Since then I have been having trouble breathing, gained twenty pounds since quitting smoking I am exercising and not losing any weight, seeing a dietician and being told to quit eating practically! I have been depressed and feeling like nothing is working! There's got to be a way to make me feel like my chest isn't so tight feeling like something is stuck in my chest.

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Comment from: Mary, 45-54 Male (Caregiver) Published: October 08

My husband was diagnosed several years ago with emphysema. He was able to quit smoking and we stayed on top of any illness. He has been hospitalized with pneumonia every year. His breathing has been getting worse but oxygen levels stay in the 97 to 98 range except when he's in hospital. For a year now he has been passing out. It is only for 1 to 3 minutes and was only when he would start coughing. The doctor has changed his medications around but now he passes out when breathing a bit hard. Also his feet swell up and are numb all the time. He uses a cane now.

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Comment from: snapperlou, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: September 02

I've had emphysema for four years. I am taking Spiriva and Advair. I started with oxygen at night, now all day long. Nothing seems to help. The minute I start to walk around the breathing gets bad. Even the oxygen doesn't seem to help.

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Comment from: Pamela, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 08

I am 32 and I was diagnosed with mild emphysema at 31. I had blebs in my lungs when I found out. I have 4 small children two of them are disabled and I am depressed. I smoked for 17 years. I've been tested for the hereditary test alpha 1 and it was negative.

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Comment from: outdoor-joe, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: November 01

I am a 50 year old male who has just been diagnosed with COPD emphysema. Both of my grandfathers had this disease and only survived 5 to 6 years after being diagnosed. At one point I was smoking 3 packs a day and now I have been able to cut it down to around a half a pack, a little more or less depending on what I am doing.

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Comment from: 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: September 02

I had a quadruple bypass 3 years ago. To make a long story short my cardiologist told me that I had the early signs of emphysema and that my heart was also slightly enlarged. I continued to smoke, but found myself increasingly fatigued. Simple things like walking down the street were very difficult. I have finally stopped smoking with help from the patch. I have not had a smoke for 14 days now and immediately felt the benefits of not smoking. It's not easy but I am determined to succeed. I want to feel good, and alive and energetic besides, I have a 10 month old grandson and I want to watch him grow up.

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Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Emphysema - Symptoms Question: What were the symptoms of your emphysema?
Emphysema - Causes and Risks Question: If known, what was the cause of your emphysema?
Emphysema - Diagnosis Question: What kinds of tests and exams did you have that led to a diagnosis of emphysema?
Emphysema - Treatment Question: Please describe the treatments, therapies, and medications you've received for emphysema.
Emphysema - Smoking Question: Are/were you a smoker prior to your emphysema diagnosis? If you've stopped, what worked for you?
Emphysema - Rehabilitation Question: Please share suggestions and tips for exercising and rehabilitating to control your emphysema.

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