I could use some good thoughts right now. I was recently tested for Alpha One Antitrypsin deficiency and my results came back today - turns out I do have it. People without the deficiency have an easier time fending off toxins in their lungs...people with a severe deficiency almost always develop emphysema.
The next step is to determine to what extent I have it. Doc said my level was close to being that of a normal person's, but that's still not much comfort. My grandfather and uncle both died from this. I've been smoking (not anymore!) for a long time - I'm worried the damage could already be done. I'm only 25. I know nothing at the moment of what things are going to be like...but I do definitely feel stupid and like I completely cheated myself out of a longer life.
My health is generally good...I was tested at the urging of my mother. I have been having a little trouble breathing lately (which I've struggled with off and on because of anxiety and stress), but that's mostly it. Doc even said (at the beginning) she was certain it was stress and that she'd test me if I wanted, but she didn't think it was necessary.
I feel silly posting this here, but I've been such a wreck today. I don't know where else to go to. Anytime I go on the internet, I just want to look up this disease and then I get more scared. This, on top of quitting smoking cold-turkey without much warning, sucks.
Has anyone dealt with this before or know someone who had/has it?
Thanks for listening. You guys are the greatest.
I don't have it, or know anyone who does. However, I do have another chronic respiratory condition, as well as a fairly rare "collagen disorder", so I know what it's like to feel a strong need to find out more your condition and to think about it a lot, especially early on, when the diagnosis isn't complete.
Just remember that medical science has advanced a lot, and continues to do so. Knowing that you have this risk factor now, while you have a chance to reduce other risk factors (smoking, environmental toxins) will give you a very good likelihood of a full, healthy life.
Thanks so much...that does make me feel better.