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Lung & Respiratory Disorders / COPD Message Board

Lung & Respiratory Disorders / COPD Board Index

Please Help Me!
Nov 29, 2010
Hello, I am 20 years old, male, and I have been a smoker for about 5 years now. As far back as i can remember I have always been a cougher, but the more I smoked the more I coughed.. I did quit about 4 months ago, because I was sick of coughing up big lumps of phlegm in the mornings, and I was also starting to get a pain in the bottom right of my rib cage. After about 2 months I still had a pretty hard cough, but I was not really coughing up any phlegm anymore, just mainly a bit of a groggy throat I always have to make a little grunt to clear.

Recently though I have been getting very worried about my health, the pain I mentioned did not go away but in fact got worse, over the months it seems to have spread upward, I get pains mainly in the side of my chest under my arm pit, under my arm pit, around my nipple, and down the inside of my arm. Sometimes I have pains in my shoulder and down the right of my back. Sometimes it feels like there is swelling under my arm pit, but currently it feels fine.

I have always been on inhalers for asthma, I recently have had to use the blue one (Ventolin) many times a day because I can feel my right lung is tight and wheezy. Some days there is no pain, some days I can feel it but not that bad, and some days it hurts quite a lot and I need to apply Ibuprofen gel to numb the pain.

Every day I get more and more scared about these problems, they do not seem to be going away, and the more I read about the signs of lung cancer the more terrified I am. The only thing that has kept me positive is that I have never once coughed up any blood, it doesn't seem to effect my strength (I am not the fittest of people but I run at the gym as I am trying to loose weight), and I haven't lost my appetite at all.

I went to the doctors a few weeks ago and explained what I have just written above, the doctor had a feel around the areas where I have pains, and listened to my chest as I breathed. She seemed convinced enough that there was no point even having an x-ray, and that I only have an inflamed muscle around my lung due to the constant aggressive coughing, and that in time it will sort itself out.

I would be so grateful if someone could help me out with this as it just doesn't seem the problem, why would I get pains under my arm pit and down my arm if it was only an inflamed muscle in my chest? how come the pain isn't triggered when I am coughing, but only some days it hurts and some days it doesn't?

I am very terrified of having a chest x-ray, I have even had several nightmares about it, I just keep thinking to myself that I am only 20 and I have only smoked for 5 years, I know people that have smoked twice as long as I have lived, so surely it can't be?

I would be very grateful if I could get some support!

Kind Regards Graham

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