I don't have COPD but my grandma does and the doctors aren't really helping with this, please advise

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My grandma has copd and recently had basically a 2 week stay in the hospital for pnuemonia and sepsis and required a blood transfusion. First week they thought she was ok and sent her home she was home about 4 or 5 days and I realized things were not ok and we took her back and found out that it was all back just didn't need the transfusion this time. She is finally home but her legs and feet are so swollen and I don't know if it is because of the COPD or if it is all of the IV fluids over the 2 weeks had to go somewhere... they wouldn't really tell me. She is finding it hard to walk and does get really winded but she is already on oxygen and has been on oxygen for about 3 years now. Has anyone had this happen to them or heard of it happening?

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  • Posted

    It could be the effect of steroids if she is on them, which is pretty common for OPCD. Otherwise, the most likely thing is heart failure, again an eventual outcome of OPCD. In either case, a mild diuretic can help a lot. Make sure it is not Furosemide which is probably too potent.
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  • Posted


    so sorry, my mom is 84 and all this   swelling is the heart.my mom also has pulmonary fibrosis which is to do with the heart. Does she has a heart problem . When you have copd you put extra strain on the heart which causes a number of other things. Good luck to you and gramma

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    • Posted

      She's had little bruises for a while on her legs (didn't think anything of it because she bruises easy) would that be part of it as well? I thanks for the heads up and information.

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    • Posted

      My mom bruises easily too. Not sure. Believe me when I say all the info you will get is online with people or hearsay.  Doctors won't tell you enough. Each patient is different . But people on here mean well but they do not hold a medical license, what has really helped me is i see a lot of what people are comparing with themselves or there loved ones. Go online and read about copd there plenty of websites. That's what I do and it's really helped good luck and God bless.  How old is your grandma?

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    • Posted

      When your Gran sees the doc next be present and ask about the swelling etc.  We are not medical professionals here so couldn't really say what the problems she is experiencing are caused by but your Gran's doctor could advise.

      However, steroids can cause skin thinning and people on steroids do often bruise easily.  In addition skin thins naturally as we age, (I expect you may know that already), thin skin bruises more easily. 

      Leg swelling could be a result of many things, but Artrial Fibrillation could be one of them  Patient UK info on AF:-


      Breathless could be due to AF and COPD and could be down to deconditioning through illness, perhaps if your Gran was encouraged to do little walks every hour or so this may improve, BUT before encouraging your Gran to do anything you should seek advice from her doctor.  

      Hope things get easier for your grandma.  At 88 years of age it can't be easy for her.

      All good wishes V


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  • Posted

    Hi Dani

    I'm sorry about your grandma but glad she has you to watch over her.

    Call the docs right away. If you're in the States you'll need to use her doc's after hours number, preferably for her lung doctor but if she doesn't have one then her gp. Folks often come out of a hospital stay with tons of fluid piled up in their feet. Docs forget (!) to prescribe some potassium. Tell them to give her a pill she can swallow as potassium sometimes comes in a massive tablet which can't be swallowed even by folks in their 60s, much less anyone older.

    If she wasn't in congestive heart failure before, this may put her into it. CHF sounds awful & as if someone will die today but some folks live with it for decades. All depends on here overall health.

    All that fluid and then all the bathroom trips to get rid of it may make her very unsteady so she may need someone with her all the time for 4 or 5 days

    We should all be so lucky as to have a granddaughter like you.

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  • Posted

    If I were in your situation I would head to the Emergency Department with your

    Grandma right now.  Insist on finding out what is going on with her.  Don't leave until all your questions and concerns have been answered.

    I wish you luck with your Grandma and you are a one of a kind grandchild to be looking after her so well.  

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