Severe COPD - CO2 retention

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Hi, my Dad was diagnosed two years ago with severe COPD. Last October he had an exasperation which landed him in intensive care. We found out that he was a CO2 retainer and now has a Bipap machine of a night.

I understand that after an exasperation your health takes a dip and knew that Dad's health would also deteriorate slightly but I am concerned every day.

He seems so very restricted. The weather never suits him - too cold/hot/windy/damp along with any kind of smell.

I have many questions that need answering!!! Will he end up needing oxygen or will the use of his Bipap eventually need increasing?

It worries me what might happen as he seems very severe to me! Any advice/comments welcome. Thanks. x

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Jo....there is a wonderful support group for COPD on Facebook called Breathe Easy. You may want to look into joining that group. It is for those who suffer from any breathing /lung conditions including asthma COPD and so on as well as for members of their family or their caregivers.
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  • Posted

    Hi Jo, my husband also has copd and has had 13 exasperations since last August. He is 64 and he to retains CO2. I dont have all the answers and I am still looking for them. He dies have a trilogy machine at home which is like the Bipap. Most ins wont pay for the bipap. he seems to be doing better with this and has now been out of the hospital for almost two most even with this last exasperation he had we were able to handle it at home with increasing the prednisone and using the neublizer treatments and the trilogy. He seems serious to me to and the Dr. just say he is good but he was diagnoised with "end stage" copd. What stage is your dad and how old is he? from what I have seen it is some good days and bad days just no way to know. I wish you well as I have a very hard time dealing with it as I am so afraid I will lose my husband. He also restricts himself to the house alot due to the weather etc which is understandable because one bad cold could case them to really be in bad shape or even death.
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    • Posted

      Thanks Sharon for your reply. I'm sorry to hear this - it's a sad situation and I feel for you.

      My Dad is 69. When he was diagnosed as being severe I thought they had it wrong but just recently i don't.

      I know there's no happy ending but I just hate to see him, and my Mum, leading such a restricted life.

      We worry about him constantly and just wish we had some more answers. Is he likely to have another exasperation at some point?!

      When do we take advantage of community nurses?

      Thank you for the advice.

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    • Posted

      I have no idea about the nurses. I would assume when he gets so bad he cant bathe or anything on his own then I would call in some help from hospice. I hope that wont be soon. as far as teh exasperations I dont know what to tell you about those. they cannot be predicted but I do know we cannot use colones, strong smells, cooking smoke or smoke of any kind, fires, paint etc there is so much that can trigger an irritant to the lungs. Even bad weather catching a cold. My husband seems to get alot of them. Just had one and thought we were going to end up in the hosp but the dr up"d his prednisone to 40mg and with the trilogy we got through it. I never know from one day to the next if he will have a good day or night breathing. My life is a little restricted to. and it is confusing as he is not on oxygen either since he retains it but that is what the triology is suppose to help with getting the CO2 off. I am still looking for answers. hope we both find them. you sound like you are a great support for your mom and Dad they are lucky to have you.
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    • Posted

      People always assume that because it's COPD, Dad should be on oxygen!

      I've noticed the reaction to strong smells has increased - he seems to struggle with going into their garden and I'm sure the flowers are to blame.

      This is the first time I've posted and I'm glad I have - I appreciate your help and thank you.

      My Dad can be a private, and often stubborn (!) individual and I can get frustrated when I ask how he is and he replies 'alright'!

      He struggled a bit today - keeps getting a tight feeling in his chest. The hot weather didn't help this.

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  • Posted

    Hi Jo, my husband has copd and is on oxygen 24/7 since he had an exacerbation in June last year and was hospitalised for 2 weeks. Re the community nurses...are you in the UK? If so your father should be under respiratory nurses. I have found them invaluable. They are very knowledgable and will come out whenever you have a problem. Re the limited life...yes, that happens... It is the fear of catching something. My husband has recently been put under a new consultant who is endeavouring to make him do more , she has encouraged him to not let the illness rule his life but for him to live his life around his illness. It is not easy, but he is slowly accepting this but unfortunately had a set back as he contracted pleurisy. The amazing thing though that I have found (as I was explaining to my own children) is that when life becomes more limited for him (us) somehow you just adapt and focus on what you CAN still do as opposed to what you can no longer do. Good luck to you and your parents. I hope things improve for you, search out the help that is available, it is invaluable.
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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply. You're right about adapting and focusing on what you can do. Thank you.
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