I had chest problems from being a child with measles and whooping cough etc, then my mother told me that a doctor had said that I had a smokers cough at the age of four years old
When I started working, I had asthma, which was put down to working in industry, but whether this was made worse because of childhood problems I am not sure
I then started having more and more chest infections, which I confess was confusing and distressing as I had no idea what was going on
In 2000 I was in hospital with Pnuemonia and felt really ill for a while, then things seemed to get better.
Two years later we moved back to the North East to the family home after my memory failed and I was diagnosed with early onset Lewy Body Dementia, because of which I lost my job and home through being told to retire on medical grounds
Then the chest problems reappeared with a vengeance all over again, and I was on antibiotics nearly ever winter etc.
Eventually I was sent to see a chest specialist for assessment and things started to change, as I felt that someone was at long last taking things seriously for once
As well as this we got a new family doctor, who started to take notice of my constant chest infections and went back through all my notes, and found that I was being hit by the same bug every time.
A Radiologist report was sent to my family doctor, said that I had COPD, but after seeing a chest specialist at a different hospital I was told that it was Bronectasis?
I confess that I was very confused, because I did not know which to believe, and as I was not given any information about this at any stage, I felt as if I had been hung out to dry.
I was not aware that COPD was an unbrella name to cover most of these illnesses like Bronchiectasis etc, until I went to see the pulmonary nurse, and she explained it to me
But it seems that as I have Bronchiectasis as my lungs are ruined, the bug is deep seated somewhere, and has become hard to remove.
I understand that I am stick with it for the rest of my life, but just have to make get best of a bad job.
However I think that the problem is that many people like me are diagnosed with an illness, but they are not always given the correct information to support their diagnosis, and this does not help anyone
In some cases someone to talk to would be very helpful, like a nurse trained in dealing with the subject concerned, would go a long way to supporting the patient.
Nor are they told where to go for extra information and support, so you just have to get on with it.
It's all well and good looking on line for information, but that's not as easy as you would expect.
However I like many other people, I was left to find out on my own because for there was no information about chest or lung disease at any hospital I visited
I would have thought it logical to have information like this at a chest clinic, but there was nothing.
This leads to a difficult situation when looking on line at websites because, some of this can be confusing or misleading
So I am hopeful that in the future, hospitals and clinics will have all of the information available for those who are there for a diagnosis.
This will lead to a difficult situation becoming easier to cope with.