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Readers Respond: What Type of COPD Complications Have You Experienced?

Responses: 38


Updated May 01, 2014


Lots of people that have pain in their legs and feet have blood clots. I was diagnosed with COPD and PAD [peripheral artery disease] at the same time.
—Guest Blu


Ihave copd and smoked until recently. Wish I had never started smoking. Sometimes I have trouble breathing. Am on combivent and advair. Can't be without them.
—Guest patriceflynn


I was diagnosed 10 years ago after almost dying of pneumonia that two doctors missed in one week. I smoked for 30 years and quit eight years prior to diagnosis. I have learned to live with the limitations even though I don't like them. I go to a Better Breathers Chapter at the local hospital and recommend it to anyone who can find one. I have been through pulmonary rehab twice and it helped a lot the first time, a little less the second time. Be medication compliant and take precautions against picking up an infection. If you notice any changes get to your doctor. If you still smoke, stop, it is simply not worth the consequences.

Feeling sad about smoking

I too are paying the price of smoking for 30 odd years. I have COPD I was diagnosed 2 years ago. I didn't give it up I cut down to 8 a day. I thought "it" wont happen to me. On the 18th July I had the exacerbation from hell, "it" happened. I thought I was going to die or be a burden to my family till I did. My blood pressure was thru the roof the emergency dept admitted me immediately, I knew I was in trouble. I haven't & won't smoke since, better late than never. I recon anyone wanting to quit should have seen me, instant cure to smoking. Being totally dependent to the point of being given a zimmer frame & oxygen to go to the loo. I managed to self talk & will myself to walk on my own, very slowly at first. Still slow & short of breath but independent. Now I am applying for an ACROD (disability) sticker so I can park closer to my work place. I like working, I want to work I love my job. I am sad I smoked but whats done is done I guess I will have to be positive to survive.
—Guest ineedmylungs

Pulmonary Hypertension and CHF

Having COPD has been a battle -- one that I am losing. Having been diagnosed some 5 years or so ago, I didn't understand the seriousness of the road I as on. Now, at 55 it is very hard to keep a positive attitude when I find that it is necessary to depend more and more on others for help in my daily routine. I now have pulmonary hypertension and my blood has thickened [it is difficult] to get things done. Congestive heart failure got added to the mix and so I can hardly walk across the floor and even have to have help to bath because I just can't breathe. Am on so many meds I can't keep them all straight but the ones that help the most are the pain meds that relieve the pain of "air hunger". I am beginning to get terrible pain in my back up where my lung is. It is like massively painful pressure and pain meds don't help. The doc can't figure out that it is because my x-rays are so bad he can't see hardly anything anymore. I guess I am not as immortal as I thought.

Pulmonary Exacerbations

Guys and gals, my first exacerbation was bloody awful!!! I got up in the middle of the night to use the washroom and fell on the floor the minute I stood up! It was as if all strength had been taken from me. I crawled to the washroom thinking that perhaps I had a touch of the flu and returned to bed(crawling) when I was done. Slept on and off the next few hours and was able to stand when I rose around 7am. Thought that maybe I should go to a med-clinic about 10 blocks away so I drove. I backed into a concrete pillar in our underground parkade and continued on my merry way!! At the clinic I side-swiped a parked car and parked my truck at a 45 degree angle to the curb "totally" oblivious to what had transpired making my way to the clinic. I walked into the clinic which was crowded and as I made my way to the reception (I was followed by the police-totally unaware) a nurse grabbed me and immediately took me to a bed!! I had pneumonia(mrsa as well) and was hypoxic ( not enough O2 to my brain).
—Guest denisbp@shaw.ca

Alcohol Is Now a Crutch I Use Daily

This curse progresses & gets harder to deal with reality. I run out of gas walking at home room to room. My blood pressure has issues with little activity. Frustration, a factor with my mental health becomes a challenge. I confess that alcohol has become a crutch I use daily. My doctor asks how effective are my meds ? My answer is "I would have to suspend the meds to know". I feel fairly normal at rest most of the time. However, I understand that will change as this curse progresses. I've gone from a active lifestyle to not able to tolerate much activity at all.
—Guest Ron Branch

Shortness of Breath and Cough

I was diagnosed with emphysema 3 years ago, little support from my doc then by chance referred to consultant who said I should think about a lung transplant because of young age. I am 54 now. I know my condition has worsened even though I try to eat well and walk a little every day. I feel so embarrassed coughing when I am out -- people look at me because I need to stop and hold on to a wall. I feel off color most mornings and can only do an hour of housework then need to rest. No one really understands how I feel.

Pain in my Legs

I've had COPD for approximately 4years. I recently was diagnosed with pneumonia. They put me on antibiotics & prednisone for a week...started steroids felt good for the week I took them, but, as soon as they were gone the next day, I started having pains across the tops of my feet & up both of my calves of my legs? Within a week I could barely walk, sleep, or get in & out of my truck! I have been into the Dr.'s office every other day they seem to have no idea what is wrong or why my legs hurt??? I am 46 years old and was wondering if anyone else has had similar symptoms? It's been 2 weeks! I need help to get this pain out of my legs so i can get a little sleep & can get around again!! Any HELP will be greatly appreciated.
—Guest john

COPD and High BP

I am in need of learning more about what I need to do to make it better for my quality of live... At this time when it's too hot or to cold I can't go outside.. So my life is spent in doors 24-7, I take 5 different inhalers at this time.. What can I do?
—Guest Louis DeToy

COPD & Cardiac Artery Disease

After smoking for 30 + years and enjoying every puff I one day found myself headed for the OR for heart bypass. At the time I was warned that I had "E" starting to rear it's ugly signs and again I should quit....didn't though. I have pnemonia 3 to 4 times a year, all hospitalized. I enjoy SOB and at times it's dang right frightening. Advair, Spirvia, rescue tubes, and about 14 other meds....ask me again if I like smoking? I've developed a dry cough which comes outta nowhere and won't stop for a long period of time....I've passed out twice, once on the interstate....it gets worse. Oxygen has not been assigned yet and I exercise as much as possible to keep it off my list. If you smoke for God's sake QUIT !! Muscle mass is gone, tired all the time, losing weight from lack of wanting to eat, and arms are always covered with bruises or skin tears that bleed and make me want to just call it quits..........that is not the solution. Bob W
—Guest Bob W


[A number of] ER visits over the past year and a half -- latest one resulted in pneumonia diagnosis. Have learned to live with SOB and know when to let others in the family do things while I catch my breath.

Tired All the Time

I am tired all the time and extremely short of breath. I wake at night gasping for breath, fill up with phlegm at night and even out of breath with short walks. Prednisone daily and antibiotics almost monthly.
—Guest wilfred


I had asthma forever, smoked with it. One infection after another. Ended up on a ventilator. Not knowing at the time very much about COPD. Not even caring too much at the time. Things are different now. In better shape. Started with this site then went on to join the blog. Have learned a lot.


I have bronchiectasis and would like to hear from others with the same type of COPD.
—Guest Jo

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