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COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

No Medical Insurance, Need Help Please!!



Recently went to hospital for shortness of breath and constant sweating, rapid heartbeat. Said I have emphysema and polycythemia and released me with referals to county clinic. Have no income, havent worked in 4 years cause get fired for being sick all the time. I live in Florida and cant find out how I can get treatment asap. Didnt even tell me what stage emphysema or what polycythemia is...all I know is I am so sick and cant breathe. I quit smoking with the patch 1 month ago. I am scared of the upcoming summer cause I have to walk wherever I need to go and get so out of breath and sweat till I feel like I`m going to pass out. The hospitals just give me some air and sent me on my way...any help you could provide to me would be so appreciated. I`m 54 y/o female. Thanking you in advance.


Thank you for visiting NetWellness. On this site, we try to answer general questions about COPD and other conditions, but cannot diagnose or recommend treatment. You have some very specific questions about your worsening symptoms that can only be answered by a physician who can become familiar with your breathing history, physical exam, and test results. This type of evaluation, planning, and care is difficult to accomplish in an emergency room visit here or there. Further testing may be needed to fully evaluate your symptoms and plan the best treatment.

Regardless, though, you have already addressed one of the main factors that can contribute to breathing problems--tobacco use. You certainly should be proud of your efforts to quit! Additionally, it is generally healthy to maintain physical activity, as you have with your walking, though it can be more difficult when you have trouble with your breathing. You would want to make certain with your physician that it is physically safe to be active and to determine if, with your walking, you need anything such as additional oxygen or to limit your effort in any way.

I would urge you to seek assistance to determine if you may be eligible for any programs that could help you with your medical expenses. We are attaching a link below to help you begin to explore these options.

Best wishes.

Related Resources:

Free or Low Cost Health Coverage (Foundation for Health Coverage Education)

For more information:

Go to the COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Amy L Pope-Harman, MD Amy L Pope-Harman, MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University