Mum has had COPD diagnosis. Can anyone give me some advice?

Posted , 7 users are following.

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

Hi everyone. I found out yesterday my 53 y/o mum has been diagnosed with moderate (stage 2) COPD. She's been a smoker most of my life and has had a cough for as long as I can remember. She's quite healthy and active, doesn't really drink etc. She is going to quit smoking and is being treated with inhalers for the time being. She was quite upbeat telling me all this and that she will be fine etc, however after doing my own research on COPD I can see that it cannot be cured or reversed and at some point her life expectancy will be reduced because of it. I think she is trying to be upbeat and not have me worry but of course I will worry! Does anyone have any experience of a similar situation? How will mum get on from here? What can I do to help her and how long until her symptoms actually worsen? Thanks in advance for any information you can give, greatly appreciated smile .

0 likes, 13 replies

Report

13 Replies

  • Posted

    Foremost important thing to do is get her to stop smoking today.

    I smoked for 40 years it's tough to quit.

    I don't have copd but my wife does she's at 30% at this time she is doing herbs to see if they will work I'll keep everyone posted on the out come.

    As for stop smoking I used the lozengers and the patch and cinnamon sticks for my hands and something to puff on.

    It's been a year since I've stopped and have put on a few pounds lol but alot healthier

    Report
  • Posted

    Your Mums actually been quite lucky .. to be diagnosed only as having 'moderate copd' after smoking for so long. But it really doesn't have to be a 'death sentence', Stephie, far from it. In fact, if she manages her condition properly, there's a good chance her symptoms won't 'worsen' at all.

    First thing she MUST, MUST MUST do, is stop smoking. If she battles with patches and sprays or doesn't have the will power to go 'cold turkey', suggest she starts 'vaping'.  I did, and I never looked back .. even though I had a 30-a-day habit.

    She has to get out walking as often as she can. It's the BEST thing she can do. Even if it's only 15 mins a day, she'll feel the benefit.

    She must eat well .. lot's of good nourishing meals .. fruit and veg etc.

    She must have her flu jab every year ..  and enquire if her GP will give her the pneumonia jab.  I'm not sure she'll qualify for the pneumonia jab on the NHS until she's 65 .. GP practices differ .. but it's worth enquiring.

    Enquire about Pulmonary Rehabilitation Programmes in her area. Again .. she may not qualify, but worth enquiring. Many sufferers have found them invaluable.

    She could learn how to breath properly. 'Buteyko' breathing is excellent, as is yoga (lots of help and information on Youtube) .. for calming the breathing down .. especially if your Mum gets anxious.

    She should take her meds as prescribed .. (although, as I was also diagnosed as 'mild'  I find I only need the 'puffer' very occasionally .. I simply don't need it anymore).

    Tell her to try and stay away from people with colds, and to avoid crowded places whenever possible. A simple cold can cause havoc with people who have copd. I always keep a bottle of 'First Defence' (or an equivalent) handy 'just in case'. Most chemists stock it.

    Get her to sign up to this forum.  I guarantee .. she'll get more good advice, support, and heartfelt sympathy here ..than from the medics. I don't know how I would have coped without it!

    I'm sure I've forgotten something, but no doubt others here will add to the list.

    Finally .. don't panic. There is no reason why .. if your Mum follows the few simple rules above, she shouldn't lead a full, and normal healthy life for years and years to come..

    Good luck Stephie!

    Jo

     

    Report
  • Posted

    Your Mom has the right attitude in saying to you that she will be fine.  She will be fine if she stops smoking, not an easy thing to do, I know, I still would like to have a cig, particularly after a meal.  Unlike a lot of the people on this forum I tend to, guess you could say, stick my head in the sand a little bit.  I don`t want to know all my numbers, etc.  I have an oximeter which shows me my oxygen levels and pulse rate which I use when I think of it.  I try to eat well, sleep well and maintian a positive outlook on life, again, not always easy.  

    My exercise is not where it should be as I`m dealing with quite a number of other health issues (spine, etc.) and also had a major surgery this June (large colon) so, that`s my excuse for the time being!   (re: lack of exercise).  This forum is an excellent place to pick up information and support from people that are experiencing a very similar path to your Mom.

    Just remember though that we all are very different.  What works for one person may not work for your Mom.  Your pharmacist and Dr. are your best sources regarding any questions you have about medications, etc.  Also good old Google or whatever search engine you use.  I would suggest that you don`t use that as a resource too much as it can tend to get overwhelming and scary at times.  Your Mom knows herself better than anyone else, including her Dr.  

    I wish you and your Mom well and am sure that, as she says, she will be just fine.  Take care.  

    Report
  • Posted

    Ah thank you so, so much for responding, you really have made me feel so much better with your comments. I must admit it was all doom and gloom for me after reading up on the condition but I guess they just give you the worst case scenarios on the internet!

    Mum says this is a kick up the backside and she is definitely quitting smoking and is attending her first group tomorrow. I've told her that when she's been quit for a whole month I'll also take her on holiday, so hopefully that will be an added incentive.

    Thanks for your incredibly helpful advice guys smile 

    Report
  • Posted

    What a great daughter you are....As a COPD severe last stage patient here are the things I can tell you.  1.  Get her off the cigarettes.  2.  Let her continue with her exercises, greatest thing she can do is to keep in shape.  3.  Drink plenty of water.  (Nectar of the Gods) 4. Keep her out of severe heat, severe cold, crowds, and places with pollution.  (auto emissions, refineries, restaurants with open smoking etc)....

    It sounds as if she has taken responsibility for what is going on.  I don't think she is soft pedaling you.  But, I don't know your Mom...if you don't believe her, go with her to the doctor.  See what her FEV levels are....If she's exercising, let her go.  Her biggest threats are smoking and pneumonia.  Those two things can lead to major hospitalizations and complicate her COPD which can compromise her health.  I know this because it has happened to me not once but 3 times.  The last time (May and June of 2016....ended up with me have Pneumoccal with Sepsis and Staff infection)  ....so take care of people who come in her home and want to smoke.  That's a nono, people with sinus or coughs.  NOpe....they can't get near her.  She needs to keep some masks with her, and always always wash her hands after she's been out.  I do not allow anyone to wear shoes in my house.  They must leave them at the front door and put on booties, which I keep in a basket near the door.  The feet carry everykind of germ and infection possible.  So look into germs that are carried on the floors.  If she has carpet, try to get rid of it...But you will learn as you go along.  No it is not reversible but it can be stopped from progressings, so she is in a good place.  God bless and keep the faith.  Sounds to me like she's doing a good job.  Good luck ....Breathless 

    Report
  • Posted

    Hi stephieprawn

    A lot depends on your Mum, what she does to help preserve her lungs and health generally, and if she avoids all those things which are known to exacerbate symptoms and can aid a deterioration in lung health and health generally.

    So my recommendation would be that she asks her GP for a referral to a pulmonary rehabilitation course, its an education programme which will give her the tools and knowledge on how to manage her symptoms and preserve her lung health.

    The responsibility is your Mum's

    Those who take actions to preserve lung health can become stable which means for many years there will be no further deterioration in health, some live well into old age.  Others may not be so lucky and generally it is those who continue to smoke and do a number of other things that can results in an unstable lung condition and further deterioration.

    For yourself to understand, you may want to make contact with the British Lung Foundation, they also have a helpline and lots of information on their website.

    In addition you can check out Patient UK information pages: 

    http://patient.info/search.asp?searchterm=copd&searchcoll=All

    Some more Tips here:  http://patient.info/forums/discuss/tips-know-the-difference-478568

    One of the things that can help your Mum a lot is she should try and avoid people who are infected with a cold or the flu virus, as her lungs will be more vulnerable to infection.  So if you have a cold best to keep it to yourself, (hope you don't mind me saying), its something my entire family are aware of, I just don't have contact with them if they are infected by a cold or the flu virus,  they understand this is one very important way to help avoid lung infections and protect my lungs and health.

    Hope you find some of this information useful.

    Best wishes

    Vee

    Report
    • Posted

      Thank you so much for your very helpful comments, I will definitely have a look at these links. Best wishes to you
      Report
  • Posted

    Hi,

    Some good answers on here and they know what's best because they have had it for many years, but i can't see how you can stay away from people with colds when everyone goes shopping or to work or have young kids that go out to work or nights out and can catch all sorts and bring it home. 

    I have 4 kids and grandkids plus dogs. so not sure how you can avoid all them.

    Report
    • Posted

      (You can't always tell, John, it's true .. which is why I always have a bottle of First Defence in my bathroom cabinet. It won't always work, I know that, and sometimes the virus will prevail .. but it's just an extra weapon in my arsenal).

      Jo

      Report
    • Posted

      Hey John.....Sorry if I've offended you or anyone else.  I have 2 grown sons and 5 grandsons, one married and 2 in college, 2 more in high school.  It's never easy, but if the kids have something, then I cannot be around them.  My sons have animals, so I cannot stay at their homes.  I as an individual choose to stay healthy and if that means they have to come see me when they are well, or they have to take their animals out when I come home, then so be it.  The doctors give me a steroid (medrol dose pack) and antibiotics plus tamiflu.  I choose to be healthy....Didn't mean to offend anyone.  We each just choose the way we live.  I shop online or in a very small boutique.  Hopefully as I get stronger and stronger I will be able to get out more, for now I choose to get stronger.  Thanks for listening.  I hope you stay healthy...Have a great night.

       

      Report
    • Posted

      At first I tried to avoid crowds, shops, kids, etc. just in case I caught something.  Luckily, some people would say not so lucky, I live in a small resort town where in the spring, fall and winter the population consists of oldies much like myself.  They have scooter parking outside the shops!  Then the summer HITS and the place is crawling with tourists, thousands of the buggers, just as long as they bring cash you are welcome.  Some times I end up next to a family with young children with a kid that is spewing germs all over the place and I think "Damn, should be wearing my mask."  Been lucky enough not to catch anything.  I have 3 daughters and 4 grandchildren who I rarely see.  (nothing to do with COPD).  If for some reason a child is going to be in my home their parents usually know that if the kids is ill, let me know and strange as it might look, to the kid, I don my mask.

      So far, so good.  One thing I always do is wash my hands after being out and about.  Take care and breathe easy.  

       

      Report
    • Posted

      Not offended me it's just how i think about things. I want to see my kids and grandakids and would find it hard not seeing them.

      I have just been and done my first 2 mile walk smile not walked that far for many years.

      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