Advice please Possible copd or asthma

Posted , 9 users are following.

This discussion has been locked due to a period of inactivity. Start a new discussion

Hello I wonder if someone could give me some advice.

My husband ws taken to hospital just over a week ago due to severe breathing problems, coughing and wheeze.  We have both had some sort of virus the 2 weeks before.  My husband is an exsmoker teens until age 62.  He gave up 7 years ago and it now nearly 70.  He was on a nebuliser ventolin and steroids.  He was discharged last Wednesday with 2 more days of predisilone to complete the course, ventolin as and when and symbicort inhaler 1 puff twice a day.  His peak flow was only 150 to 200 in the hospital and has been slowly increasing over the last week days. Best one was 380.  He is still  coughing a lot but his breathing is much better,  I am not sure if this is because he has finished the steroids course but today his peal flow is around 200 to 230.  Also he does seem to have difficulty using the peak flow tube.  I myself have has asthma for around 13 years mild and controlled with 2 puffs symbicort twice a day plus very ventolin infequently only really when I have a cold.  He is due to hav e lung function tests in 2 days at the hospital followed by various blood tests for allergies and other things.  The consultant had said that after all these tests they will be able to tell whether it is copd or asthma allergy etc,although they did say it is unsual for asthma to start at 69.  I am worried about the drop in the peak flow.  I wanted to call the hospital for advice but he said no he was alright apart from coughing and the low peak flow.  I am concerned that over night he will have trouble breathing again.  I have always been told to increase my pulmicort if I have breathing difficulties and well as using my ventolin.  I wonder if he should do this or do you think it is just a blip.  Any thoughts and advice appreciated.  He keeps telling me not to fuss

1 like, 69 replies

Report

69 Replies

Next
  • Posted

    Hi Libralady,

    I'm a nurse in training but I just wanted to give a little advice, even if it's just a little. smile  My mom is also going thru trying to find out if she has copd/emphysema. Anyway...

    I'm so glad to hear your hubby quit smoking, but sadly if he's been smoking since his teens till age 62 (almost close to my mom; she also quit too) but it's most likely that he's stuck with some lung function problem.  His breathing is probably a little better due to the steroids but it can only do so much for so long.  Not everyone, but some people eventually create a tolerance to the meds they take, especially steroids like prednisone.  I have asthma and my peak flow meter usually shows around 350 in the morning, but after taking my Qvar inhaler, it goes to about 400, which is what my pulmonologist wants me to be at.  What does your hubby's doctor want his peak flow meter to show at its highest? My pulmonologist showed me that if my peak flow goes below the recommended that she wants me to, as in the "RED" part of the peak flow meter, to call 911 or get to an ER as soon as I can.  If he is seeing a pulmonologist, I suggest calling them and telling them about his breathing and what his peak flow meter is showing and if she should schedule a doc appt or go to the ER.

    Report
    • Posted

      Hello Thanks for your reply.  My husband wears hearing aids and does not always hear everything that is said.  I was only allowed there at visiting times.  He tells me they wanted his peak flow to be up towards 400  but they did not say about what to do if the peak flow readings fell, just to come back if he was worried about his breathing.  The lung functions tests are on Thursday.  He will see the consultant in 6/8 weeks times appointment not through as yet.  He has just taken him evening symbicort personally I take them just before bed.  He keeps saying he can't use the peak flow meter.  My readings are similar to yours 350 morning 400/50 after inhaler.  Actually I don't use my peak flow only usually when I have a cold as my breathing is ok.  I wanted to phone just for advice but he says he is ok.
      Report
  • Posted

    I am sorry to hear of your worries and problems, but if I could just give you some words of encouragagement...........?

    1. By going to hospital your husband is now "on the radar" and you MUST take advantage of this.  Ask to see the consultant and enquire if they have a pulmonary specialist nurse.  They can be very helpful.

    2. Request that your husband (and you?) are enrolled on a Pulmonary Rehab course immediattly.  There you will meet people with similair problems (and worries) that you have and it is a VERY supportive environment.

    You have contributerd to NHS all your working life, take advantage of what they offer and INSIST on help and support.

    Good luck and take care.

    Michael

    Report
    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply.  As I mentioned his lung functions tests are on Thursday.  He says he is ok and does not want me to ring the hospital.

      I will ask about the pulmonary rehab course/specialist nurse.  The hospital discharged him with inhalers and asking him to keep a record of all peak flow readings.  He said they wanted him nearer to 400 but they discharged him with lower readings around 300 I think.  As I said they will not make a diagnosis until he sees the consultant again in around 6 weeks, awaiting an appointment.  His readings today were 220 and 200 he still keeps saying he cannot use the peak flow meter

      properly.  I wonder if it is because he can't take a deep enough breath.

      Report
    • Posted

      Hi ,there ,I to am an x smoker with asthma ,bronchietis,emphasyma cold ,my peak flow average is 300 ,never more than 350 ,having said that I have been at the help the aged exersice class for an hour today followed by O2 exersise at the gym where I did 1 Klm on the treadmill ,and 3 Klm on the bike ,so I don't think that's too bad for aged70 in January ,,,,I have to say ,I would DEFINATELY recommend the pulmary rehab course ,over the years after infections I have done the course many times.ask your go for a referral ,can I suggest that regarding the breathing in the nose hold for count of 3 exhale through pursed lips slowly ,I  hope Thursday comes quick for you and you get the answers you need ,,,,,but if ever in doubt as to wether to ring 999 I would always ring better sAfe  than sorry  and the paramedics will only take your hubby to hospital if they think it nessasary ,,,,I wish you both well ,take are ,
      Report
    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply and well done for all the exercise you are doing.

      Sorry but not quite sure what you mean about the breathing.  When you say breathing in through the nose hold for count of 3 then exhale through pursed lips are you referring to difficulty with breathing or when doing a peak flow.  Sorry to sound a bit stupid.  Long day and not feeling that good myself have arthritis so have over done it runnng up and down the hospital during the last week.

      Report
    • Posted

      Just breathing ,people like us with asthma etc tend to do shallow breathing ,,,like just from your chest ,,,,put your hands on your tummy ,,,,,breathe in through the nose hold for 3 the exhale through pursed lips slowly ,,,,if you go on to you tube and type in breathing exersises it will show ,,,they teach it at pulmary rehab ,,,,,,AND NO NOT WHEN DOING THE PEAK FLOW ,HAHA,

      has he got a productive cough ,,,,with lots of mucus ? And if it's green /brown in colour it could be a chest infection ,,,,,if in doubt ,,,GP ,,,,OR A&E ,take care. ,

      Report
    • Posted

      Thank you I thought you could not mean when doing a peak flow.  Felt stupid after I typed that.  I myself suffer from anxiety so I do know something about deep breathing which I do find helpful.  His cough does produce some mucus but not all the time and the mucus is white so no infection.  They confirmed that in the hospital but said he was very wheezy.  He seems ok at the moment he's watching a film on tv.

      All the best to you.

      Report
    • Posted

      Deep breathing for anxiety isn't appropriate for COPD, because it utilises the chest and that wastes precious energy.   One of the most important things to learn in managing COPD is breathing from the waist, plus other exercises to build up breathing strength
      Report
    • Posted

      Thanks I did not realise that.  I assume he will be told about breathing from the waist and exercises when he sees the consultant.
      Report
    • Posted

      Probably not, this is a technique learned at pulumonary rehab.  If you have asthma have you not been to rehab yourself?   My pulmonary specialist mentioned rehab briefly when I was on my way out the door after my initial diagnosis, but I had to find it myself locally and it's invaluable
      Report
    • Posted

      Hello No I was never told about pulmonary rehab or even knew there was such a thing until this episode with my husband when I started to google Copd.  I don't know if it varies from area to area.  We afre in Greater London so maybe that's why although when I saw a CBT councillor for my anxiety I hardly had to wait at all and I was able to attend a workshop and also see someone one to one at my gp surgery.  I have heard of many who have to wait months or go private so they have got that right.I was diagnosed with asthma in January 2002 following a bad cold in the December.  I have never had to be hospitalised so have been lucky.
      Report
    • Posted

      No idea what's around in London as I'm in Victoria, Australia, but other UK people on this forum have found pulmonary rehab so it must be around in yr country.    I do  know from this forum that in the US it's outraeously expensive, but that's their health system for you.

      Here it was $5 a session but I had that waived because I couldn't work as I had been able to and couldn't manage the fee on a pension.  I don't know if it would help with asthma but I can't see why not

      Report
  • Posted

    It sounds fairly likely he has COPD from smoking:  it can show up years after smokers quit, as I know personally.

    If you fear his night breathing is dangerously difficult, I'd be calling an ambulance even if he does think you're fussing:  better to be fussed over than dead from lack of breath, if it's that bad.    You'd know yourself that sitting up and/or walking around at night is sometimes the only thing that works, plus the medication of course.

    You'll know much more after the lung function test.   I reckon it's probably emphysema related COPD, which means ventolin won't work as it does for asthma  - that's usually part of the test.

    All the best to both of you ......

     

    Report
    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply.  His breathing is not too bad nothing like it was when he went into hospital was just worried about the drop in the peak flows today and what might happen in the night.  Will keep an eye on him and will ring 999 if necessary.
      Report
    • Posted

      Forgot to say if it is emphysema related copd how will they treat that if ventolin does work like it does for asthma
      Report
    • Posted

      When you do your peak flow ,,,,do it 3 times ,,,with a rest inbetween ,,,,see what the numbers are then ,,,,always do it after using your ventalin inhaler 
      Report
    • Posted

      There are other inhalers which work well on the lungs themselves:  ventolin works on the bronchial tubes which you would know are the problem in asthma.

      Spirometry (lung function) tests should be done without ventolin and then with:  if the result is better with ventolin the patient has asthma, perhaps with emphysema as well:  if there's no difference h/she doesn't have asthma.

      Check out the medical information down the right hand side of this forum: it's a great site for that as well as for reader's comments.

      Report
    • Posted

      Isn't she the one with asthma and therefore ventolin?   It's her partner who's so far undiagnosed who's having breathing issues at night and waiting for a spirometry test soon
      Report
    • Posted

      Hello again Yes both of us know to do it 3 times with a rest in between but I thought you were supposed to do it before ventolin.  
      Report
    • Posted

      Before and after because obviously ventolin will improve the result, that's what it's for, and mask the true state of affairs
      Report
    • Posted

      Depends ,,,,  when I'm not feeling great ,,,,i do it once ,, take ventalin rest then do it again couple of minutes later again ,,check the differences ,,

      if I'm just doing it just to see what it is (not ill ) I do it before ventalin ,if you take a reading before and after ,,,it will help to show if the ventalin us doing it's job ,

      Report
    • Posted

      Thank you I will suggest to him he tries that to see what the difference is.

      Because my asthma is well controlled as I said I only use my peak flow when I have a cold and feel tight chested really just to see what it is and whether I need to increase my preventative or use ventolin.  Thanks for all your advice.

      Report
    • Posted

      Can't help myself.  Let's not "fight" ladies - we are all in this fight

      together and we all have some tidbits of info to contribute!

      Report

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion

Report as inappropriate

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up