COPD and Pneumonia

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I'd just like some feedback from others that have said they have been hospitalized with pneumonia.  I am 73, was diagnosed 2 years ago with Stage 2 COPD.  I am on Spiriva once a day, Advair twice a day and oxygen 2.5L during the night.  I feel great, walk 2 miles a day, have not had to use a rescue inhaler,  and have not had an exacerbation for over a year.  My question is:  I have the flu shot every October and had the first pneumonia shot when I was 65.  This past October, I had the Prevnar 13 pneumonia shot.  Have those of you that get pneumonia had the pneumonia innoculations? 

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Sany I'm afrain the neither the fluvax or pneumovax will completely eliminate eith flu or pneumonia, but rather lessen its impact. Personally, I have a flu short every year and a pneumovax five yearly
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  • Posted

    Yes, I've never bothered before but my gp and practice nurse strongly recommended I have both vaccinations.  I;ve had pneumonia twice since diagnosis and was hospitalised once, an experience I hope to avoid for as long as possible - yuk, the food was disgustingly unhealthy, broken shower so I had to stay sweaty for days until I got home ........  The second time I got to the new gp very quickly and he started me on antibiotics with a follow up examination 7 days later and I was able to stay out of hospital.

    I realise, as I'm sure you do too, that the vaccinations don't protect us against every strain of flu or pneumonia, but with COPD I reckon we need to tip the odds in our favour as much as possible.   

    I'm amazed at the combination fo walking 2 k a day (wish I could!) and oxygen at night, which I've never needed.  Isn't it interesting what a varied and variable condition COPD seems to be?

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  • Posted

    I was diagnosed with Emphysema in 2007 and have since had 3 exacerbations, the middle one ( 2012) was due to pneumonia and was an exceptionally close call. Not recommended (for one's self or loved ones).

    Naturally I asked the quack why I had contracted this when I had had a jab against it not very long before. His response was peppered with long latin-sounding words but the jist seems to have been that the jabs don't protect against all types of pneumonia, and my type was one of those not covered. Nice to find this out afterwards (not to mention also that the sputum sample I gave in for analysis showed that I did have pneumonia but that they did nothing at all about it ! )

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  • Posted

    Emmgee and Jude.....I'm so sorry that you've had a tough time with pneumonia (and all others that have had pneumonia).  Like I said, I had the first pneumo vax at age 65 and the instant the prevnar 13 came out, my pulmonary doctor called and told me to go have that one.  I just pray that with both of them, I am twice protected.  I do realize there are no guarantees when it comes to meds and vaccinations.  Another thing I do to hopefully stay germ free is to carry little bottles of Purell anti-bacterial with me ALWAYS - in my purse, in my car, etc.  Even when my husband and I go to a restaurant, I whip out my little bottle and disinfect my hands (you never know what illness someone has that has previously handled the menu!).
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  • Posted

    Jude.......so sorry about your pneumonia bouts, also,

    and the horrible stay at the hospital.  Yes, I feel very blessed, especially at age 73 that I am so active.  I truly feel that because when I was first diagnosed, my GP immediately put me on oxy at night, THAT has helped me tremendously with stabilization.  I haven't been to my pulmonary doctor since December 2014 and they told me to come back in December 2015, unless I have an exacerbation.  I've only had one, so far, and that was in April 2014.  When I did have that exacerbation, I thought it was simply a "cold" and went to my GP (I was very new to COPD at the time).  My GP put me on prednisone and azithromyacin for that.  I was quite surprised when I went to my pulmonary doctor for routine check-up that he said "no it was not a cold, it was a flare-up and would have treated it in the same manner".  A little note of real sadness and compassion.........my pulmonary specialist, who has helped SO many people had a very bad cough that he couldn't control.  He went for testing and it was discovered that he had lung cancer.  What an irony.......he was a lung specialist and was diagnosed with lung cancer.  So sad.....

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    • Posted

      I'm assuming oxygen is only supplied if bklood  tests show your breathing problems are creating low oxygen levels in your blood.  They constantly tested everyone's at the rehab group I went to and my oxygen levels were fine.

      The first time I had pneumonia I had no symptoms whatsoever except severe chest pains similar to the heart attack I'd had the year before and that's why I called an ambulance.  I was amazed to be told at the hospital that I had pneumonia:  my gp said later it's called "walking pneumonia" and she'd had it herself once.   I was a bit tireder than usual, that was all.

      The next time I managed to stay out of hospital with antibiotics and I do my best to stay away from people with colds or flu.  Fortunately I don't have to be in crowded places like public transport where germs could be flying around from anyone.   I'm also much more careful about handwashing and taking my own mug to community centres where I've been noticing for years that mugs & cups usually only get briefly rinsed, not washed properly.   

      I've always been so healthy I never worried about germs, but I do now

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  • Posted

    Yes, Jude, I'm sure that is why my GP immediately put me on oxy at night.  My first symptoms that something was surely wrong were:  shortness of breath, and dizziness, PLUS we had an oxymeter that we had brought home when my mother-in-law went into nursing home.  My husband brought in the oxymeter and my blood oxygen was 72.  When we called the GP they told us to get in immediately.  The first thing they did was an EKG and my blood oxy was still in the 70's.  It will still dip to the high 80's occasionally; however, I find that if I do pursed lip breathing, it will bring it up to mid 90's.

     

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    • Posted

      May sound a silly question, but what time of an evening do you normally eat ? Each of my exacerbations & hospitalisations has been around midnight to 1 am, a couple of hours after finishing a good meal  (main meal of the day) so I've developed this pet theory that, when blood oxygen is limited - as when one has a chest infection - the brain prioritises its use and shuts down less important functions in order to keep the digestion going as it's a vital for survival. This would explain why, when severely out of breath, there can be involuntary passing of wind or wee.

      If the meal has been particularly heavy and difficult to digest, a vicious circle of plummeting blood oxygen level can commence with inevitable result ... unless one is given oxygen.. 

      It took a great fight but eventually, after 3 or 4 'dos', I was given home oxygen and this, combined with limiting the amount of carbohydrates I eat, seems to have kept me out of hospital ....well, so far. Reaction to my theory from the medical profession has been 'Hmm. Keep taking the tablets'.

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  • Posted

    Interesting information, emgee, regarding the time of evening meal.  We generally eat around 6 to 7 PM.  I usually get up in the AM about 6:30, and go, go, go all day.  I do get tired about 9:00PM and that's when we go to bed.  However, if we are not involved in activities during the day, sometimes we will take about an hour nap.   Overall, I am doing quite well fighting this disease.  I guess I am pretty fortunate that I have not had an exacerbation since April 2014.  I really do feel, however, that using the oxy overnight is a GREAT benefit.
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