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COPD, The E-Cig and Me

Discussion in 'Health, Safety and Vaping' started by LittleLuLu, Dec 31, 2009.

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  1. LittleLuLu

    LittleLuLu Full Member

    Dec 27, 2009
    I am not sure if the e-cig will be a good choice for me but I am going to chronicle my experience for the next person who does a search and can’t find very many people discussing their COPD and whether or not e-cigs is a viable alternative to smoking for someone who waited way too long to quit. If it weren’t for the anonymity, I would never admit I have COPD and still “smoke,” but I just know there are a bunch of you out there.

    My hubby and I heard about the e-cigarette on a conspiracy forum we frequent to be among our own kind. We have both been smoking over 40 years. Hubby is doing okay but I was diagnosed with COPD a decade ago and have been in denial ever since.

    Our 901’s arrived in early November and I had trouble from the start. Every draw I took choked me. But I kept trying and I kept on with the analogs. Then I got really sick about a week into it. I mean really sick. I could NOT breathe. I went to my Dr and he sent me straight away to the ER where I could barely walk in. I was sure I had pneumonia but no. I had no infections, no virus, no fluid built up in my lungs and yet no oxygen exchanging. Finally I had to accept my diagnosis.

    I was in the hospital four days and that was the easy part. When I got out I started sucking nic lozenges and I made it to 6 plus weeks. People kept saying it will get easier and easier, but that was not my experience. It got harder and harder until I was at the point where I cheated and had an analog and when I did that I was in complete despair. If I smoke I am going to die in not so many years. Except for not being able to breath, I just am otherwise too happy in my life to resign myself to such a short one.

    I had to beg my hubby to let me try the e-cig again because we both thought that I must have been allergic to the juice. While rationalizing my need to smoke I recalled another thing that could have triggered the COPD exacerbation that horrible day. A cleaning product for air conditioners was heavily used on a window unit by where I sit all day. I did notice that it really bothered me to smell it but I did not connect it to my inability to breathe a few hours later.

    My first session was amazing. No choking and I was satisfied in a way that a lozenge just can’t cover. I am really, really loving it.

    I am 7 days into it and I am monitoring myself. I think I notice a little decrease in lung function but I just had a Dr appt and I am exchanging air at an acceptable level and better than when I left the hospital. I do notice a phlegm in my throat that I hadn’t had since quitting and a scratchiness and dry mouth that is a little annoying. I don’t think I vape as much as some members do. The battery and one cartridge, refilled as much as it will hold, lasts me all day. I charge at night and fill the cart in the morning.

    So far not bad and I haven’t wanted an analog once. I am ordering VG juice to see if that changes anything for me. I really need this to work. I hope other people with COPD will chime in and give me their experience and advice. :) I know you are out there . . .

  2. ozrick

    ozrick Super Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 16, 2009
    Chicago, IL

    Thank you for being so candid and honest in your post. My mother had COPD so I know what you are going through from seeing what she went through. She eventually quit analogs all together but I know she was sneaking them when she could.

    Please keep us updated on your progress. I'd really be interested to see if this helps your situation!
  3. BigBaddBossyDogg

    BigBaddBossyDogg Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 28, 2009
    I so hope this works for you. I pray this works for you.
  4. ZambucaLu

    ZambucaLu ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Nov 23, 2008
    Central NY, USA
    Hi Littlelulu and welcome to the forum! I think there are some other interesting stories on COPD and vaping if you are interested:

    copd - Google Search

    Good luck with it all! :)

    (Oops, looks like it didn't take...but that was found by going to the bottom of the page where the little google search box is and putting in COPD...not by putting it into a regular google search box.)

  5. imawitch

    imawitch Super Member ECF Veteran

    I was diagnosed with copd about 6 years ago..

    Ive been a 32 year smoker..

    my doc had me try the patch to quit, that didnt work for me..
    then he had me try nicotine gum, which didnt work for me..

    the last option was to try chantix, big mistake, it nearly killed me..

    i tried ecig on dec 2nd of this year..

    the best thing that ever happend to me..

    my pulm doc is excited for me, and u know why?

    ive been able to stop taking symbicort..

    ive been able to stop taking spiriva

    i am avoiding oxygen therapy

    all in this short time since smoking a ecig

    the only thing im using now, is my quick inhaler from time to time..

    i will never recover from the copd, and yes it will worsen over the years..

    however, i can slow the progress by not smoking analog cigs..

    i have a new lease on life and im so happy and grateful for my ecig..

    my lung doc is proud of me, my family is proud of me and i am happy with me..

    ill chant good thoughts that things go good for you..

    eta, i can climb the stairs now with out huffing and puffing and gasping for my breath..

    its a miracle! mo
  6. Raven1

    Raven1 Super Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 24, 2009
    Akron, OH USA
    I was diagnosed with it after taking a lung function test - my doctor insisted on one since I smoke and my father died from COPD as well. The doctor told me ALL smokers have some degree of COPD. Some more than others - it depends how much you smoke and for how long. (Actually, NO ONE has 100% lung function, not even non-smokers. Mine is 50%, most are about 75%.) Stopping smoking can improve lung function, but may or may not improve the damage you have already done to your respiratory system. (I hope mine does.)

    I can't comment on e-cigs yet - have only been using them for about a month and am down to 4 to 5 analogues a day; still trying to reduce those in hopes of cutting them out altogether. Haven't really noticed much in the way of breathing improvement, though I seem to be coughing a bit less; still have some chest pain/shortness of breath though at times. There is some irritation such as you say, from the liquid, i.e. sore throat, phlegm, and I may try VG as well to see if that makes a difference. When I get off analogues completely (cross my fingers!), I then plan to gradually reduce the nicotine level in the liquid in hopes of breaking the addiction to it.

    I don't know if you've had anxiety/depression issues, but that is definitely a contributing factor for myself and many smokers - cigarettes are a "coping" self-medication for us. Anti-depressants have helped me only so much.

    Thank you for sharing your story and I wish you the best in your decision to give the PV a try!
  7. Katmar

    Katmar Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Sep 19, 2009
    Pittsburgh, Pa
    I wish ALL of you the best. I, too, am a long term smoker. Have had miraculous improvements in lung function since vaping only. There is a TON of research on Vitamin D3 and lung function, including asthma, where D3 is improving function, and even halting lung disease. Google D3 and lungs.
  8. LittleLuLu

    LittleLuLu Full Member

    Dec 27, 2009
    ZambucaLu, the link was there for me.

    You are right - there are some good discussions there. I don't know how I mangled my search to miss them, but thank you.

    All-in-all it is not very encouraging, is it? I am going to contact a couple of the posters and see how they are doing now. The threads are slightly dated.

    I may be too far gone for this to work for me, but I am going to try a few things before I give up.

    Thanks BigBadBossyDogg for the hope & prayers. I'll take all that good stuff I can get :)

    Ozrick, I think I detect that your mother has passed away, and I know you miss her. If I am wrong, halelujah. I lost my mother to a different disease a year and a half ago. I am 55 and I used to always wonder when I would feel all grown up. Little did I know that losing my mother would be what took a great deal of the child out of me. No one loves us quite like our mothers do and I miss her so much. The world is just not quite the same without my mama in it.

    I used to cough so hard and so long people would flinch and cringe around me. Most gave up trying to talk any sense into me long ago. I have quit smoking so many times and ways I can't count them. Day four or five was usually the failure day, but I made longer a few times. I don't have all that much willpower. I've always been a "if it feels good, do it" kind of gal. I also don't have that great a personality when I am quitting (understatement). There was a few times, though he didn't say it out loud - I could see it in his eyes, I know my husband was thinking "Smoke a cigarette, already." It really sucks to be him sometimes. I thank God he loves me.

    This was to be the last time, though. I am tired of failing - so tired of it that before I got sick again, I had given up on giving up analogs. Not being able to breath in or out is the scariest thing that ever happened to me. I'm pretty sure I would have died if I hadn't been sitting in the ER. It was the proverbial wake-up call. Never-the-less, here I am almost 8 weeks out from day one, dogpaddling like crazy, trying to find a way to have my cake and eat it too.

    Sigh . . .
  9. Shortstuff116

    Shortstuff116 Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 2, 2009
    Bellingham, MA
    At 54 and 36+ years of smoking I have never been "diagnosed" with COPD but as someone already said, I probably do have it to some degree, so I cannot comment about the condition with any authority or experience but...

    Christmas day last week I got a call informing me that my oldest sister of 65 was in the hospital. She has COPD and has been smoking heavily for her whole life. Long story short, they said she was about as close as you can get from either going directly to the emergency room or going to the morgue. She spent 4 days in the hospital and came home with the patch Monday. I spoke with her yesterday and she assured me she has not had any cigarettes at all and mentioned a few good things she's already noticing about her breathing getting better, not as out of breath climbing stairs, etc.

    She is very much like myself, someone who really enjoyed smoking although she did it too heavily for too long. She has been kinda following my progress of using a PV over the past 55 days (I quit analogs on day one) and is now showing more interest than ever in trying mine and learning what they are all about. I immediately considered buying her a starter kit (Joye 510) and have it mailed to her house, but I want to see how she does with the patch. In a couple of weeks she'll be visiting us (she lives a distance from us) and if by then she did sneak in an analog or two (or more) then I'll be hooking her up with her own PV.

    There's been no clinical studies, no trials, no evidence whatsoever to suggest anything either good or bad about PV's, only what we have all experienced. So it would not be right for me to suggest to her that it would be better for her in any way, except if in fact she cannot stop smoking analogs once again. That's when I'll step in and at least tell her everything I know and give her the alternative of a PV.

    So, for anyone here who has been diagnosed with COPD, I know that I would be very interested to know your personal experience using a PV whether it be good or bad. Actually, where else can anyone go to learn about first-hand experience with PV's than right here on these forums.

    Keep us updated on your experiences!

  10. dleerl

    dleerl Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Dec 31, 2009
    I've been reading the forums for awhile to get prepared for the switch and to help me today as I make the switch. What a change. I do notice that many of the people that post here have these squares at the bottom of their posts that say how long they are smoke free, how much they have saved and how many cigarettes they have avoided. Where do they get those?
  11. LittleLuLu

    LittleLuLu Full Member

    Dec 27, 2009
    Now that's encouraging!

    I am on the same meds plus singulair and to tell you the truth I had gone off them before I had my "attack" because I don't have insurance and it is $600 a month worth of drugs. I am on them now and I don't think I will quit this time until my Dr says I can. Thankfully, the Dr has been giving me some samples to cut down on the expense. I just went to see him yesterday and I was scared to tell him about the e-cig, especially with the little rattle in my upper airway :(

    I had a bad experience with chantix as well. To discribe it as "constant rage" might be mild. It made the cranky old woman I am without smoking look like Mary Poppins.

    I have come back a long ways. In the hospital they didn't want me walking around. When I went to fill my RX's I had to ride a wheelchair in Walmart, I was so exhausted by the time I got to the door. Now I can walk all over Walmart and then Lowe's and then have to quit shopping because I wore dear hubby out.

    I feel better than I have in many years and I am scared to lose it.

    I am so glad you are doing so well. That gives me hope. Really.

    Thanks for the chants and well wishes, too.
  12. JD-Bama

    JD-Bama Full Member

    Dec 29, 2009
    Huntsville, Al
    They have been great!.. I am also an esophageal cancer survivor(4 years) and I feel like such a weight has been lifted from my shoulders!.. The only success I ever had with nicotine replacement therapy was from Nicotrol Inhalers, but they are expensive and don't give you a very big throat hit. These e-cigs area life saver to me...
  13. imawitch

    imawitch Super Member ECF Veteran

    right on the link

    SmokeFree Quitmeter

    SmokeFree Quitmeter
  14. imawitch

    imawitch Super Member ECF Veteran

    yes, the meds are expensive, even with insurance, jmo

    my doc is careful to watch me now that im off most of my medications..hes got a eagle on me eh? i had to beg him to let me try living with out the meds and he caved in lol

    im so happy to hear u have the freedom to walk about the stores, its a wonderful feeling isnt it?

    i no longer use my handicap sticker to park in handicap places, i fancy walking a distance now that i can breath better..

    however, there might be days when i feel the need to park in handicap, but for now, im thrilled to walk with out gasping for air..

    the chantix? same for me, major rage..mean..depressive thoughts, bad dreams, etc..

    im now of the mind to take 1 day at a time..thats my motto..
  15. imawitch

    imawitch Super Member ECF Veteran

    congrats on u being a cancer survivor..

    eta, my dad has bone marrow cancer, last stages now, we take it day by day..

    I converted him to ecigs when i started, and hes luving it!
  16. LittleLuLu

    LittleLuLu Full Member

    Dec 27, 2009
    Well, we can do this journey together :) I sure hope you continue to improve and notice more progress as time goes on. After feeling guilty for over a week, I think I just realized how thankful I can be that I have those 6 wks of lozenges only under my belt. I have a much improved starting point on which to judge the effects of e-cigs. Also, like I said in my first post - when the 901 arrived right before I got ill, every single hit on it choked me. If I wasn't smoke free for awhile I probablly wouldn't be able to tolerate the e-cig.

    So true about the depression and anxiety. My emotions and coping problems would be the main reason for all my failures. When I get so irritable that I can't even stand me, myself, I just give up and smoke - knowing I will immediately have a sense of well-being no patch, or gum, or lozenge ever provided. This time I decided to try and circumvent that problem by asking my Dr for a happy pill. I told him I wanted there to be survivors and people who still like me on the other side of this. He gave them to me, but they didn't actually help my personality at all that I could tell. Since then we joke that the happy pills are for my victims. "I'm so sorry, did I piss you off? Here, have one of these!"

    I can't tell you and everyone else who has responded what a relief it is to read others feeling and thinking and experiencing the same things I have.

  17. crmartin

    crmartin Super Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 1, 2009
    Western NY
    I was diagnosed with COPD 2 years ago. I had been smoking 1 - 1 1/2 packs a day for 38 years, I had quit smoking a month or two prior to the test using Chantix, that lasted for 1 1/2 years although I always had strong cravings. I then became quite depressed and started smoking again because I just didn't care. I had a severe cough prior to quitting which went away after I quit. After I started again, at about 2-3 months the cough returned big time again, I was smoking about 1/2 pack a day. I then tried quitting again with the help of nicotine gum, I cut down to 2 or 3 cigarettes a day and chewed the gum, but the gum always upset my stomach, but I continued. I then saw an add for Smoke51 and gave it a try, I liked them but they were so expensive. I then discovered this forum and ordered a 510 and that literally changed my life. I have been completely analog free now for about 3 1/2 months, the cough has almost completely gone away, I only cough now when I get phlegm in my throat which happens when I vape PG liquid, but am very happy with the pv. I frequently forget to use my maintenance inhaler and am not sure I really need it now. I still get out of breath easily with heavy exersion, but I feel much better and the depression is under control. I still take antidepressants as I have most of my life.

    Hope you have good things happen with your pv, I'm sure you'll feel much better.
  18. LittleLuLu

    LittleLuLu Full Member

    Dec 27, 2009
    Yeah, forgot about those - I tried that when I lived in Canada and they were over the counter. More fail, more doom!!

    So glad you are hanging in and cancer free! This is just me being nosey, but did you go from analog to e-cig or from NRT to e-cig?
  19. Raven1

    Raven1 Super Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 24, 2009
    Akron, OH USA
    Thanks for the vote of confidence LuLu! I hope you'll continue to report on your progress here and that your symptoms improve as well.:)
  20. JD-Bama

    JD-Bama Full Member

    Dec 29, 2009
    Huntsville, Al
    I had an esophagectomy 3 1/2 years ago. Apparently the surgery is very tough on the lungs. I was diagnosed with a 60% function and surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic told me to either quit or "go back home to Alabama" He gave me a month to "get in shape" for surgery
    So I quit using the inhalers..I stayed quit using the inhalers during my chemo and radiaton time, but started back up to analogs when I felt better(Yes it is insane)
    Here lately I feel bad about going to the doctor and telling him I still smoke..Some understand, some don't..I feel I have been given such a gift, I can't waste it..last week I got turned on to e-cigs froma guy selling Smoking Everywhere at the mall..Yes I know now I was ripped, but at least I know about them. I ordered a 510 kit from Cignot and should be getting them today...
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