For a more updated version of this post please see WHEN ONE DOOR CLOSES – Could a better one open?

My first appointment with the specialists at Leeds is on the 23rd December. Before that could actually happen I had to fulfil a few requirements with my own specialist Dr Graham to see if I was a suitable candidate to be put forward for the various treatments that are available out there. Considering the cost of the valve treatment which is £15,000+ on our strained health service you have to be deemed ideal.

The requirements  –

  1. You have to have stopped smoking for a good length of time (See My Stopping Smoking Saga)
  2. You have to have an up to date Scan showing that most of the damage is in the upper part of your lungs (see The Scan), this is not always the case for all treatments though.
  3. You have to have an up to date full lung function test, which shows the same as the above through lots of technical breathing tests, (see The Lung Function Test)

Once these three requirements have been satisfied there are a few methods available to help improve your quality of life –

  1. Zephyr Valves
  2. Coils
  3. Surgery
  4. Other possible new treatments, (see New Treatments for COPD)

My one fear is that I arrive for my appointment and they say for some reason I cannot have it done. I will be so upset, but I must be positive! I have spent my life being worried about everything and I put this down to one phrase my Dad drilled into me. Throughout my life one of my Dad’simages (11) favourite sayings was ‘don’t count your chickens until they hatch’, he used to say that it stopped you from being disappointed when things didn’t work out as you wanted them to. But I now have learnt that this pessimistic attitude can also breed a very negative way of thinking, which has not been very good for me in the long run. Sometimes, it can stop you from fighting for what you want, basically I feel it can take the fire out of your personality!

I am also worried about how it will be done, because I am aware that you have this process carried out whilst you are awake, (except for the surgery option of course). I had enough trouble having my cataracts done while I was awake without panicking, without having someone stuff something down my airways whilst I am wide awake!

I keep going through various scenarios of the process and non of them turn out well for me, I am such a coward! Just getting a crumb down the wrong way causes me a load of grief and it always has since I was a child. Well, never mind, I will just have to grin and bare it and remember how much better I will be afterwards. It can’t be as bad as having a filling done without anesthetic can it? I stood that a few years ago and giving birth? That was never easy for me and lasted for hours! I will just have to think of that, well in fact, I am going to do the reverse and not think of that part of the process at all until I have to.

So, on Wednesday I will have to make a list of things that I want to ask these Doctors or Consultants hope that this appointment goes well.


The day before the appointment I went on Google Earth to familiarise myself of its location in Leeds and I am glad I did, it is a massive hospital. I did a few print outs and went through what I wanted to ask the specialist surgeon when I saw him. And said all my prayers for help that it would be a good outcome…..  For more on this see MY APPOINTMENTS AT JIMMY’S