I saw my doctor, who referred me to a pulmonologist. His office set the appointment and I got in this last Monday. She had most of his records and I picked up my chest X-ray; asked how I ended up there and when we were done talking I found out I don't have COPD after all. I have pulmonary fibrosis.
There are two kinds of this; one is caused by an auto-immune system attacking the lungs and can be treated. Mine is the other kind...it's possible to slow the decline, but not halt or reverse it. I go in for a high-resolution CT scan on Friday (happy 36th anniversary) and as soon as they can schedule it a pulmonary function test; then I see her again between Christmas and New Year's. After that, when she knows more she said she may try to refer me for a 2nd opinion if we can get my insurance to cover it.
Over the last 3 weeks I used up all my vacation from work and last Thursday they let me go as I can't do my job anymore. The pulmonologist more or less said that I probably aggravated this immensely by trying to get through work as short of breath as I was. Then numbers I've seen in forums and messageboards are very heartening to begin with...
Today I finished the application for disability. In the meantime, the holidays go on and we've been trying to get shopping done and "stay in the spirit". The tree is up but the only thing on it so far is the USB cable that I've been using to print stuff as I file things. Kind of appropriate for the e-shopping I've been doing!
I'll post more as I know more-may life be kind to each of you!