Viewer Comments: Emphysema - Describe Your Experience

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The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Emphysema:

Emphysema - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with emphysema.

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Comment from: Patti, 65-74 (Patient) Published: April 13

I was diagnosed with stage 1 emphysema in 2010. Not sure how long I had it before being diagnosed. I am now in stage 2, and losing my breath quite easily even when doing housework, and I have to walk my dogs slowly. I sometimes have chest pains and tightening like I'm wearing my bra too tight, when I don't even have one on. I was doing fine while exercising and riding my bike, but have stopped doing both. I keep saying I'm going to start again, but sometimes wonder what the use is. I don't understand why they haven't done more studies on emphysema, plenty of people die from it. I guess I'm afraid of the death, as I've heard it isn't pretty. But I try not to think about it. I did this to myself by smoking for nearly 40 years, but I did quit the very day I was diagnosed, with the help of e-cigarettes. Don't start smoking, young people and if you have, stop!

Comment from: Doris, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 06

I am 72 years young, and I started smoking when I was 13; I know that was crazy. But I did it anyway, both my mother and sister died of emphysema, I watched them gasp for air but that did not stop me and I smoked for 60 years. I take 2 inhalers, I can hardly to anything; oh, let me take that back, I can't do anything. I just about walk to living room from my bedroom and I cannot breathe, I am on 2 1/2 liters of oxygen, but it really doesn't help. I can take a shower without help, find that I can't breathe; so many things one can do, but life just stops, and you only have one thing left and that is trying to breathe. Please, if you smoke, quit! I thought I would never get COPD or emphysema but you can and you will. Please quit today.

Comment from: Billy, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: June 26

After having a persistent cough for over a year, I was diagnosed with COPD in March this year. In that time my emphysema has got worse to the point where not only do I have trouble sleeping at night, I also struggle to get air into my lungs. At best, I can get about 1.5 to 2 hours sleep before I have to get up. When I do get up my routine is that I have to sit on the edge of my bed for about 20 minutes, I then literally stagger into the sitting room and open a window to try and get some air. All the heating is turned off at night and there is ventilation, but even with that nights are a misery.

Comment from: Im so scared, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 24

I read all these stories and my heart goes out to all of you. I have emphysema on 98 percent of my lungs and the 1 section that was clear has a pulmonary embolism, blood clot, blocking the air to my heart. I am on Advair, Ventolin, the nebulizer and oxygen. I also take warfarin for blood clot and hopefully preventing any more. I am on a good diet and walk and ride a bike, but coughing is just getting worse. I watch my husband so scared that he may lose me at any time, I am hurting so bad. All I can say now is If anyone is going to decide to smoke, please don`t.

Comment from: Timmy, Male (Caregiver) Published: March 04

I watched my mom get weaker every day. This emphysema knocks one down to nothing. There were many 911 calls with heart attacks and other issues. Lung cancer finally developed, I never realized that these two could go together. She could not walk to the toilet by herself. I had to force her to stop smoking as she was a vehement smoker, even with COPD. I had to threaten my mother with a nursing home. She passed from pneumonia. Her life was awful. If you smoke, please stop, please don't start. This is a long and terrible way to die.

Comment from: Lou, 35-44 Male (Caregiver) Published: April 07

I am the partner and caregiver of a severe emphysema patient. My father also passed away at the age of 60, three years ago. My partner and I found out a year ago he has this horrible disease and in a year it has got a lot worse. He is 40 years old and too young to die from this disease. He still smokes as he says the damage is done now, doctor says it will reduce the damage if he gives up. But even I don't believe that, it's hard can't plan anything as we have to see how he feels in the morning of the day. This disease has taken away my dad and now my partner of 17 years.

Comment from: james, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: February 09

I never had any problems while I smoked. After smoking for over 20 years, I quit cold turkey. A month after I quit I started experiencing shortness of breath. In the 3 months I had to wait to get to the VA (Veterans' Affairs) hospital, I have been hospitalized 6 times and transported by ambulance twice. My diagnosis: asthma and early stages of emphysema. Now I am on 2 inhalers and received a breathing treatment machine from the VA. I have good days and bad days. I am so scared. I am still working full time. I have a beautiful family.

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Emphysema:

Emphysema - Treatment

What was the treatment for your emphysema?

Emphysema - Symptoms

What were the symptoms of your emphysema?

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