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Quick question — PFT test

I was reading up on PFT tests and they say it is used for determining lung diseases. Clearly it does not have to be used for that purpose, right? I am sorta freaking out here.  My appt is tomorrow and I am assuming I will hear bad news. On top of that…I am in the beginning of a sinus infection. Never had these in my life until a few months ago. Is that a bad sign? What the heck is going on with me!! I cannot stand this anymore. I am literally getting tired of feeling this way. Run Dow  and no energy. I am young!!! I feel like a 60 year old. No offense to those who are 60..but it is just so bad. I am so depressed.  I was running with my bub and being all excitable when bub scored a goal and I was out of BREATH!!! Just by jumping and saying goal goal goalllllllll. What the eff. )':

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  • Kathy P

    Hugs – I hope the appointment goes well tommorow and the doc can figure out what is going on!

    Pulmonary function tests are a snapshot of what is going on in your lungs. It's only one piece of the puzzle. 

  • Emelina

    For now, I would just try to calm your mind, rest, hydrate well and be ready for your appointment tomorrow. Facing the unknown is scary, especially when you feel unwell. There could be a very simple explanation for this … bronchitis + asthma, or something else. This test will provide clues. Lung function test will give your doctor a good look at how well you inhale, exhale, exchange oxygen and how well your upper and lower airways work. “Lung disease” is a big bucket of problems ranging from asthma, interstitial lung disease, emphysema to worst case scenarios cancer (which seems very unlikely). Like the above responder said, this is just 1 test to try to figure out what is going on. Hold on, answers are coming and hopefully you will be feeling better very soon and able to keep up with bub and not feel like you are turning 60!

    i wouldn’t sweat the sinus infection. I have lots of friends/family who get them and they are very healthy. 

  • sharkbyt3

    Hi All,

    Thanks for your replies. It went eh, how can I say probably not good the other day. The dr. did not go over my results and will not until next month. So I am just going to have to wait. However, I did talk to the tech and she said I may have to do another test that could last up to 90 minutes long. I forgot the name of it. 

    My FEV1 level was 68% and that was the highest after multiple rounds and breathing treatments.  It is supposed to be above 80% so I am thinking I have COPD. How does a healthy person get COPD? I am so sadden by this. 

  • Shea

    Hi Sharkbyt3, I am sorry you are going through all this– and waiting is the hardest part!!!! Im bummed you didnt get your results or much info at the appointment. And it is good that your FEV test came back reflecting that you are in fact not breathing well and so at least you know this is real and that you are not feeling well for a reason. Knowing that reason and treating it will be next. It might not be COPD–  It could be lots of things– lots of things can make your breathing bad, and the first step is doing just what you are doing– specialists and tests. Have you done an allergy testing yet (my case is alllllll about the allergy). 

    There are always things you can do while you wait– like journalling when you are doing best and worst as far as times of day and what triggers might be around (sounds like exercise-induced is one of them). I am only 33 and also feel older than my parents because of some activities   so I feel ya– it is not a goid feeling!!!!… But I try to focus on what I CAN do as much as possible and that really helps me– because there are lots of fun activities I can do right now in my current state that are fun…. And they are different than what they used to be, but thats ok for now. 

  • sharkbyt3

    I did have an allergy test and everything came back negative so I am allergic to nothing. It was the IgE test that has dog, cat, weeds, etc. included on the the test. It may not be COPD but it is definitely something. All I am thinking about is my bub. I want to be there for him and having something moderate is not good. Do you know of anything else? I hate waiting. This is going to stink.

  • Deborah Bartlett
    sharkbyt3 posted:

    Hi All,

    Thanks for your replies. It went eh, how can I say probably not good the other day. The dr. did not go over my results and will not until next month. So I am just going to have to wait. However, I did talk to the tech and she said I may have to do another test that could last up to 90 minutes long. I forgot the name of it. 

    My FEV1 level was 68% and that was the highest after multiple rounds and breathing treatments.  It is supposed to be above 80% so I am thinking I have COPD. How does a healthy person get COPD? I am so sadden by this. 

    You can have COPD. I have it plus I have asthma. Alot of factors can be involved. Things you were exposed to when you were younger. Cleaning products, workplace environment, where you lived, exposure to 2nd and third hand smoke.. Some people never know the reason. I hope you don't have COPD. I am a CT state captain for the COPD Foundation. 

  • Shea

    I have had false negatives in the IgE tests before for environmentals– and I knew I was allergic to some of the things they tested for that showed negative– so they did a skin prick test and I DID have lots of allergies. I read later that skin prick tests are more accurate, and that things can shiw up negative on IgE because they only have like one of the specific allergens on the item whereas there can be different parts that cause reactions which the skin prick test will pick up. The skin prick test was easy and fast too.

  • sharkbyt3

    Hi thanks for your reply. I have siblings and none of them have my issues. We were never around smoke before. If we were it was just passing by if people were smoking outside businesses, etc. I always use natural cleaning products and I make my own. I use natural soap and other products so I know it cannot be cleaning related. I am seriously thinking it was the 3d printer. We did not use it much so I am not sure if that matters or not but it was in our office. I am so heartbroken about this. 

    I wake up every day and my throat needs to be cleared. It has to be cleared throughout the day. Does that sound like COPD? would COPD show up on a chest xray?

  • Deborah Bartlett

    When you wake up, are you expelling mucus? A preliminary chest Xray would show signs of bronchitis and emphysema. If they thought they saw either of those, they would suggest that you see a pulmonologist. After that, you may be asked to have a CT scan. You would more than likely be asked to do a spirometry test, which tells about your lung capacity. It helps doctors decide if you have asthma, COPD, or both. You may even need allergy testing. It is a step by step process. 

    COPD causes shortness of breath. Are you experiencing that? 

  • sharkbyt3

    I am expelling mucus. My nose and my cough are mostly yellow and thick..like stretchy if that makes sense. I had an xray done and my lungs and heart look normal according to my dr. I did the pft test and I was not given the results but I did see my score was 68 for Fev1. 

    Shortness of breath when? I get that from time to time. Not sitting but moving around..walking up the stairs.

    Also I have been having off/on sore throats lately.

  • Deborah Bartlett

    Well, I think a doctor needs to investigate a bit more to find out what is going on. Have you checked your oxygen on a pulse oximeter? If you have had a spirometry test, then that should give a good clue as to what is going on. With COPD, there is shortness of breath climbing stairs. Also, upon waking up and getting out of bed. Also, lifting things and carrying laundry and groceries up the stairs. There is a mucus issue. It must be expelled. It kind of blocks your airway. You could have allergy issues. A pulmonologist should be able to figure this out. If you have COPD, you need to be on a maintenance medication program. You also need a rescue inhaler. If mucus is colored…yellow or green, you could have an infection. You should tell this to your doctor in case you need an antibiotic .With COPD, that can mean the start of an exacerbation. It should be taken care of before it gets worse .

  • sharkbyt3

    Thanks for the reply. I hope to God that this is not COPD. I live a healthy life!! I should not be given this hand. What do you mean by exacerbation? My oxygen is always above 98 is that good? Sometimes it gets to 100. I think I read it is bad if it gets to 100, right? My mucus has been yellow for quite some time. Is that typical for CODP people? How long does it take for CODP to get worse? I am so confused and I have to wait a month to see the pulmonologist since he is on vacation the next 2 weeks. Not a good time for me to be me. ): I have young ones to take care of and now I am thinking about my life is cut short.

    When I breathe I can hear myself wheeze.

  • Deborah Bartlett

    An exacerbation is a flare up. The lungs become inflamed. It causes shortness of breath and tightness of the chest. It can turn into something worse. It can be accompanied by an infection. Weather can cause this. You are usually put on a Prednisone taper. 

    Oxygen level of 98 or above is excellent!! 

    Colored mucus can mean infection. People with COPD can get that, but so can anyone else. 

    Wheezing can be caused by COPD, asthma, allergies…. 

    Every person with COPD progresses differently. The worse thing you can do is panic. Stay calm. When you find out exactly what the problem is, then you will deal with it. I have had COPD for over 5 years. I am still in stage one. I manage my illness the best I can. I have a positive outlook. I follow my medication program as directed. 

    If you can expel your mucus, that is beneficial. I know it can be difficult, but try not to worry. Let's wait and see what the pulmonologist says. We'll go from there! Enjoy your life and concentrate on all the good things you have. Believe me…it helps! I am here if you need me. 

  • sharkbyt3

    I called and got scheduled with a different dr next week because of a cancellation so that is good. I had a miscarriage last month and now I feel like this could have been a cause? My heart rate was in the 150s and my chest was tight. I was not taking medicine for my heart though since I was pregnant. I did see that rapid heartbeat could be a sign of COPD as well so here I am freaking out. I would like another baby and now I am thinking it is probably not possible. Depressed.

  • Deborah Bartlett

    I think you will feel better after seeing a doctor. Find out exactly what is going on. You may not have COPD. ☺ Only a doctor will know what is really going on. 

  • Emelina

    Don’t lose hope. You’ve been through 2 tough events, your miscarriage and struggling with the prospect of a new lung disease diagnosis. I know plenty of people with copd who have had children. Whatever diagnosis the pulmonologist gives you, it’s important to remember you haven’t even started definitive therapy yet so you will be feeling better soon! 

    One suggestion when you go to the pulm doctor, take a friend and ask if you can tape record the conversation. With all of the emotions and worry of that doctors visit, being able to relisten could be great. 

    Remember there is much more to lung function testing than just fev1. There is also fvc, fev1/fvc, expiratory and inspiratory loops and dlco. All of this together + your symptoms will make the diagnosis of copd, asthma, emphysema, restrictive lung disease, obstructive lung disease, alpha 1 anti trypsin, ild, etc, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, etc. Keep looking forward to your pulm appointment and writing down questions. You got this. Just a bump ok? Not a terminal diagnosis, not guaranteed infertility. It will be ok.

  • Melissa G

    That sounds like a really tough appt! Did the dr say why he wouldn't go over your test results? 

    You are going through a lot! Sending you lots of hugs! 

  • sharkbyt3

    Hi all,

    The pulmonologist said my levels were moderate but then changed it to mild for the FEV1 levels. He said the other levels were normal but could not give me an answer when I asked if I had Copd. He believes it is just asthma but did said I have mild obstruction. Since my allergy test came back normal I do not have allergies. He gave me medication and I will have to do the PFT test next month. 

    Not sure how I feel about the appointment today.

  • sharkbyt3

    He gave me prednisone and something else. I think an antibiotic. I forget the name but will see when I pick it up. Is prednisone serious? I also so my cardio today and he said I should not take it since it is a steroid. My cardio does not think I have COPD. He is more understating than my plumonglosist.

    I have to take the prednisone for 10 days

     

  • Melissa G

    It is so frustrating when dr's don't agree. Can your cardio call your pulmo and they talk over a plan for you?

  • sharkbyt3

    I been having yellow cough ups and with my nose so that is the reason for the prednisone. The plumo said it will get me back to normal but it has been that way for awhile. I am so depressed about this you have no idea. Thoughts are circling my head thinking the worse and it is just not good. I just want to be back to myself again. 

    Should they talk and see?  The cardio said he should have put me on an inhaler instead but I have a steroid inhaler so idk. Cardio also recommended a plumo in his office. 

  • Melissa G

    Getting a second opinion never hurts. But if the cardio is worried about you being put on steroids, I would suggest them talking to each other. 

  • Deborah Bartlett

    Possibly, the antibiotic is Azithromycin…aka Z Pack. Which inhaler were you given? This is beginning to sound like a maze! 😲

    Please try your very best to have a positive attitude. Without that, a breathing disease will surely seem worse!  😁

  • sharkbyt3

    Tell me about it. I am disliking life for me right now because of this *mystery* condition. )': the other medicine is doxycycline.

  • LK

    Sharkbyt3,  I was just on the anitbiotic doxycyline for seven days.  For me, it was prescribed for a sinus infection  (yellow gunk)  .  

    The pred is for inflammation not a bacterial infection.   

  • Emelina

    Do you have a primary care doctor in addition to your cardiologist and pulmonologist? I know this is going to sound crazy, but I would be very pleased to be given a diagnosis of asthma compared to the others like interstitial lung disease, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, cancer and the other irreversible progressive pulmonary diseases!! 

    Its important to remember this is how you feel at the start of your diagnosis. You are just starting treatment and are not controlled yet. This doesn’t mean this is how you will feel forever. You will be able to run and chase and cheer after bubs.

    i have worked with a bunch of cardiologists and I have seen tons of their patients on prednisone. You just have to watch and keep track of blood pressure and weight more carefully

    does your pulmonologist have an educator that could walk you through your diagnosis, the medications and the tests?

    or if you like, get a second opinion. Or get copies of your records and take them to your primary doctor for him/her to review. Any family medicine or internal medicine doctor in the US should be able to explain and interpret the PFTs. The different diseases all have classic patterns that are fairly easy to tell apart FEV1, fvc, % bronchodilator response, dlco.

    as a friend recent told me, you got this. Chin up. One foot at a time. Take notes, ask questions, re-ask questions and try to educate yourself on the different medicines and what they do.