THERE'S BEEN A CHANGE...

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Hi Everyone!

I've been blessed since my diagnosis alittle over a year ago....I even got a bit better because I stopped smoking meaning I was on oxygen when I left the hospital and then bc I quit smoking while in there I only needed oxygen when I exert. My lung function is about 50% and my pulse oximeter reads 91-92 while not on oxygen.

But....I have had increased SOB the past 3 days now...could barely do anything without panting and needing oxygen but...my pulse ox numbers still read pretty good. But today I woke up and I could tell I was really weak and fatigued....out of breath a bit just going to the bathroom. My pulse ox was 83-85! So I put on oxygen and have had it on all day now...that brought me to 91. Then a bit later I took my emergency inhaler.and now I'm at 95 with oxygen. Guys....it's been very humid outside...some folks say it's the humidity. Or is this what they call an exacerbation???? Will this just pass most likely? Do we try to ride these out unless of course we stay in distress??? I got really scared but am trying not to over react.......any thoughts?

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  • Posted

    Hi LJ anything could cause us to have an exacerbation including humidity.   Unless you are in real distress I would leave it until tomorrow then get it checked with your doctor.   Mine told me it was much better to get something checked out even if nothing is wrong then something to be wrong and not get it checked. 

    At least it will put your mind at rest if nothing else.  Obviously if your symptoms become severe get yourself off to emergency at once.   Ok?   x

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    • Posted

      Pretty much what i was suggesting hypercat:  I personally don't think unexplained deteriorations are worth mucking around with and my gp agrees that he'd rather I come & see him than wait until it gets worse and I end up with pneumonia again and maybe hospitalised
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  • Posted

    Hello ladyj I just read your post to my wife she says get to the hospital when you are hitting those low 80's you need steroids and they will more than likely give you one of those hour long breathing treatments same thing happens to my wife but I do know low 80's is hospital time but I also agree with HyperCat if you want wait until the morning but I would say up your dose of steroid do a double of your breathing treatment and see how it goes we usually do everything the hospital does and if she is still not well she's off to the hospital even if she doesnt want to😁 and the only reason i say wait until tomorrow is your level is at 95% right now i hope and pray you feel better please keep me posted
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    • Posted

      Hi Kellys Husband,

      I wanted to tell you...you made me think about something...a nebulizer machine. I have one..it's my grandson's but I've never used it. I have only been to 1 Dr appt in a whole year since being diagnosed...the reason for that is bc i was having to go thru the county public hospital system bc i was forced to stop working awhile back so no insurance. And everything there is a long process. But I was recently approved for disability and now I have Medicare and coverage and by accident found a wonderful hospital with wonderful clinics for my lymphoedema and a major COPD clinic here in Dallas. So I'm changing things over to them and have begun lymphoedema treatments but had not called the COPD CLINIC yet since I'd had no issues to hurry me...until this little flair up. But..I called over there today and they agreed that I should have a nebulizer so that I can take a treatment at home if needed which does make sense to me. We just used it for asthma with the kids but I could use it and I need my own medicine for it so I'm pushing forward with getting into that clinic so I can get checked and update my medicine and get under a Dr's care that DOES care. So I thank you and your wife for mentioning that bc not one person has ever told me that I needed one of those. I feel so much better today....I really think it was humidity bc after I closed the windows and turned on the AC, I began to feel better last night and normal today. But could've been alittle exacerbation too. Thank you again....ladyjack51

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  • Posted

    Thanks so much hypercat, Kellys husband.....

    I did a double dose of my Advair and did a dose of the Albuterol for emergencies. But you know what???.... I also shut the windows and turned on the AC and my pulse ox is 91 without oxygen right now..which is nearly normal for me. So....not sure if it's the humidity, or the medicine, or maybe both that helped but I feel better. Still watching it closely bc of course, I know when I probably need to go to the hospital...I just try to do what I can at home first bc i don't want to run there every time there is a change....just wanted some input from yall nice folks. And as I said....never had an exacerbation yet so wasn't sure how that would be for me. I'm definately gonna see how it is in the morning...thanks so much!!!

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  • Posted

    When diagnosed with COPD I was told that every exacerbation damages the lung tissue (permenantly) so I was supplied with "emergency meds" (Steriods & antibiotics) to begin as soon as I SUSPECT that I might be having an exacerbation.

    I questioned "what if I'm wrong?" and was told that doesn't matter - the drugs won't harm me if I don't need them and if I do need them then, of course they are there!

    It sounds very much like you're having an exacerbation so in my humble opinion, I'd get some medication as soon as possible. "Riding it out" could do more harm than good.

    Also, your oxygen levels - anything below 88% is claimed to risk serious damage to internal organs. Again, has to be worth getting checked. A recording oximeter can be a useful addition to help identify early on-set of an exacerbation.

    Hope you feel better soon.

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    • Posted

      Hi y-not,

      I also couldn't help but think that this COULD BE my first exacerbation...but whether it was or not is not most important. Most important to me was to feel better....so if you go back and read you'll see where I said I doubled up on my Advair and took my emergency Albuterol. And I mentioned my pulse oximeter device many times. By riding it out I meant, do we run to the hospital for this when it happens or handle it at home? I did not go bc with oxygen my blood oxygen went back up and then showed to be better even without oxygen. I really appreciate people's input but please read carefully before answering. You were very nice and I do appreciate that. I may still end up going to the hospital bc my number is still dancing around being low for my standards. It upsets me bc i am praying that I haven't gone down a level to where I am gonna be on oxygen 24/7 again like when I first got diagnosed. It's a much nicer place to only have to use it when I exert verses all the time.

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  • Posted

    I am reading all this and my heart goes out to all who suffer with COPD. It reminds me of the times my husband has ended up at the local Polyclinic to be put on the nebulizer when his oxygen was so low and the cough so very very bad. It did work at the time, but it was such a battle with me to actually get there as he hated going to a public place for that 'hour job' as Kelly's husband has described it. To anyone who has not tried it, they offered him rehabilitation once and he loved going and it did him a world of good. Now he does his own little exercises plus we walk for about an hour when we can, weather permitting. The past 18 months he has not had an awful exacerbation, which is terrible to watch and not being able to do anything about. He never goes anywhere without that nasal spray I mentioned earlier. At the sound of a sneeze ir cough I remind him to spray and believe me it has helped. I know what I am talking about as the last time he was tested his lungs were only 36% functioning and passed out twice during a spirometry test, and specialist here more if less said there's nothing else he can do for him. I do not think his lung function can ever improve really? It would be a miracle for us. My point is as in his case, not to ever give up and to try and help oneself as much as you can as it has helped my husband. Thank you.
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  • Posted

    I never could understand what is an exascerbation either, but from what I understand, it is usually a bout with a flu, or, pneumonia, or, bronchitis, that when in full bloom, puts us flat on our backs in the hospital. Some people, especially ones who have been hospitalized several times due to them, seem to know their bodies warning signs, or the symptoms, before the sickness gets the best of them and puts them back into the hospital. As for me, my doctor informed me to call his office and they immediately prescribe me a Z pak, and I also up grade my oxygen to one or two higher levels, and relax with chicken noodle soup, until the symptoms subside. Also, I take mucinex, guafinisin, which helps me greatly. It is important that we learn our warning signs, and take important steps to getting well, so we dont end up in the hospital. I am glad that you are feeling better. As for me, when I have symptoms, (I am trying to learn them), they are heavy feeling in my lungs, LOTs of SOB, can't sleep lying down due to constant SOB, coughing more than usual, harder time walking, no energy, and harder time trying to breath. That is when I call my doctor. 

    Note: I was trying to tell you about some good medications that I take when I have those symptoms, but it got modified since I was giving names of products out. Sorry! Take Care! 

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