Hospitalized for exacerbation

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Hi,

Once again I am taking my experience and sharing it here because this is where I get the best answers from fellow/members.

I was hospitalized last night for an acute exacerbation because my symptoms have continued to worsen. I am more sob and my lungs seem to ache, and I am slowed down. I can get around fine but it is slower and I have to rest. They did not see anything on X-ray but gave me iv antibiotics and prednisone. Still taking the prednisone. I do not feel any better but at least I know I did what I thought was best. I know I do not have an infection but also that I was cared for when I was scared. My pulse ox is between 95-97, all other vitals fine.

I just flew back from taking care of my parents for 5 weeks. I keep thinking of Jude who said you can't push yourself. I felt great before I left, no symptoms. Then after the plane I felt worse......this time too. Dr does not comment on the flying. I think a combo of that and pushing. But when I pushed, I did rest a lot. I have turned the corner to some new and scary place. My lungs seem sore and I just don't have the strength I had.

I have not exercised per se because I was busy enough. Now that I am home (alone) I am concerned about anything that will make me feel more energy. Does the exercise help? Is it essential?

Thanks so much. I am going to ask about pulmonary rehab soon. If they won't cover it I just have to do what I can.

I

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  • Posted

    First of all, why were you given antibiotics if no infection was present?  That sort of over-prescribing is what's caused the proliferation of antibiotic-resisttant conditions worldwide.

    Yes, exercise WILL help with energy levels, I can vouch for that, and I believe it IS essential to manage the condition:  not running a marathon or climbing mountains, but at the very least walking every day plus stretching exercises and ideally, the specific breathing exercises and techniques you would learn in rehab.

    Are you in the US?  Some US contributors to this form have said that rehab is expensive, sometmes too expensive to afford, which seems ridiculous to me because it can lead to you managing the condition for longer than otherwise and cut down on hospitalisations.   Maybe "they" don't want you to live longer???

    At the very least, check out the Related Information column to the right of these pages and take a look at Pulmonary Rehabilitation, and also elsewhere in the net for specific exercises.

    I'm going to try & describe the simplest one - bear with me, wd be much easier to demonstrate!    Take a deep breath in and then out to empty your lungs as much as possible, take another deep one and breath out through the mouth iwith pursed lips in a puffing motion as hard as you can and as long as you can until your lungs empty, like a kid imitating a steam train.   I can do 40 of those now, twice a day, and if I don't do it for a couple of days I really notice the difference, ditto if I don't do my walking or other exercises.

    My lung function % hasn't deteriorated from 70% since I was diagnosed 3 years ago:  hang in there and stop pushing yourself, it really doesn't help.   I don't know about flying because I don't do it, but other contributors will know more than I do

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    • Posted

      Jude, that is all very helpful. I agree about the antibiotics. I thought o had an infection when they gave them to me. I assumed. Bad idea. !!!

      I also agree about the pulmonary rehab. It is very expensive. Perhaps they don't want you to get better. A terrible thought, for sure.

      Thanks so much for the breathing exercises. That is very helpful. Also the exercise tips.

      I will find out my pfts in a couple of weeks. By portable anyway. Only test once a year!

      Thanks again!

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  • Posted

    Jude, just wanted to thank you again!  the breathing exercise helps and all the advce is appreciated.  You are in my thoughts.
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    • Posted

      Thank you!  My day started off badly (anniversary of when I was raped 5 years ago);  I made it better with a lot of effort and then some f****wits made it worse again .....

      You just improved my evening!  All the best to you too

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    • Posted

      Thanks, today is a new day and I'm fairly OK, putting lots of energy into organising a benefit concert for the refugees trying to reach safety in Europe.  Australia's "generous": government takes less than 20,000 a year ....out of more than 90 million in the world.  
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    • Posted

      Wow, good for you!  What a great cause.   Well, as you may remember I visisted Australia and loved it, so I will just take your word for it.   I cant say the US is going to do a whole lot yet.
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  • Posted

    How are you feeling now?  When I was in the Hosp., they gave me a spirometer, did you get one?  Walking is definitely the best thing to do.  Not so much inclines, just flat surfaces.  I also found cardiac exercise pool classes work great.  It is also covered by most insurances.  I hope you are feeling better.
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    • Posted

      Thank you, MarJ.  I feel much better today but the last two days were very rough, no energy at all and sob.  I am trying to adjust.  They did not give me a spirometer. I do go to pulmo in a week.

      The pool classes sound great!   I will check that out.  There are days now that I dont feel i can manage much, and it is very hard to adjust.  It just came on like gangbusters.   Today I had energy and did a lot, but also rested.  The fatigue is brutal - had to turn down a work project the other day when I was very fatigued.  Now I wish I had not???

      I wonder if they cover home heath services when you get to the point that you cannot do house chores.  I am ahead of myself here, but I felt that way two days ago.  I am so grateful and happy whne i have a good day now.  My best to you!  Stay in touch.

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    • Posted

      The fatigue is totally normal with COPD and it does take some getting used to.   The trick is to just STOP AND REST but also to keep up the regular exercise and breathing techniques.

      I don't see why you couldn't qualify for help at home now, then  you could save your energy on more interesting things than housework.   I find the dust and grot gets out of control if I'm going through one of my tired phases and then that aggravates my lungs and I get even tireder.

      You will get used to managing it, it's early days yet, hang in there and monitor yourself so you don't get too tired.  I've learnt not to commit to anything that could be tiring without warning people I might not make it if I'm having a bad day:  most people are understanding but they can forget bc it's not their health condition.   A fancy walking stick is a good reminder, both to you to slow down adn to others that you're not always 100%.  In fact I"ve found I can even dance longer if I have a stick to lean on and I do the 70's  hippy style of not moving my feet much.  I can't dance all  night as I used to but sometimes I can get close to it:  my friends are used to me stopping for a rest, doing some breathing exercises in the corner and then resuming dancing.

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    • Posted

      The fatigue is overwhelming at times, it feels like I skipped a few stages all at once. But today is a pretty good day. Good for you that you are dancing the night away! I cannot imagine that right now.

      I won't qualify for any services (like cleaning) unless I am home bound. But you are right about saving my energy for more enjoyable pursuits. I find if I have a good day that I want to get as much done in the house as possible. But I do rest.

      You have been enormously helpful. 😊

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    • Posted

      So you'd have to be so ill you can't get out of the house????  That seems very harsh.

      I should've added that I didn't have these energy levels when I was first diagnosed and I reckon the improvement came about from a combination of a few things:  rehab, cortisone inhaler and the fact that I stopped taking statins for so-called "high" cholesterol.   I'll bet a fair proportion of us are in the age group that is prescribed these routinely & they can drastically affect energy levels to the point of almost total inertia.

      I'm really glad if I've helped!  

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    • Posted

      Jude, I could not even have a visiting nurse come by unless I was home bound by this condition. It is horrifying.

      I don't take statins. Will hope for rehab down the road....Cortisone - I am not sure yet! I am glad that you have positive things in your life.

      I was in Sydney, Canberra and Byron Bay when I was in Australia. Where are you again?

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