Age or illness?

What do you do when you have an eighty one year old man who is just plain stubborn and shies away from hospitals and keeps as low a profile that he possibly can?

I have been taking oxygen at 2 Litre per hour 24/7 for at least six years and am about to have a reassessment by the respiratory matron here at home within the next few days. The first one in over three years.

Do I tell her that I can’t stand up for more than a minute or two, that it takes me several minutes to get my breath back after walking to the dining room or the simple task of taking a flannel to my face exhausts me?

That I can’t go out on my scooter because I am unable to fill my portable unit up with liquid oxygen and the other cylinder types are too heavy to carry, that portable concentrators are not available in this area except for going on vacation.

I do try simple exercises and when I read what I have just written feel ashamed that there are

so many of you far worse off than I am, while others are taking care of themselves and their families, some of you even holding down a job while others like myself can only admire your courage.

Like quite a few of you I am very aware that my lungs are deteriorating all I have to do is hope that they carry on working for a few years longer.

Emphysema is a lousy illness and without this forum a very lonely one. The trouble I am having now is confusing illness with age and not knowing which is the villain.

What a godsend you people are for those of us seeking answers to questions that we are afraid to ask our doctor or loved ones.

The advice given is always sincere especially when followed by showing that the red balloon is there for one good reason be pointed at and used.


18 Replies

Well Allen you tell them as it is i am only 71 and like you everything you have said is me i am not on oxygen never had the 6minute walk test .

you must tell the nurse every thing or its the naughty step for you !!! take care love Dorothy xx

sorry ALLAN got the spelling wrongxx

Hi Allan, Happy New Year :) I agree with Dorothy, you must tell the nurse everything, she is there to help you cope with your illness so you can carry on being stubborn and keeping a low profile! Julie xx

I know it hurts Allan, and it is really scary to be so short of breath - I know, I am there with you - but if you don't do anything you soon will be able to do even less. It is a vicious circle and exercise is vital. By exercise I don't mean weight lifting and jogging, just taking that walk into the dining room a couple of times a day. Do as much as you comfortably can then, when you get your breath back, do it again. I do the walk into my dining room, or walk between bedrooms if I am upstairs. I try a little each morning, then again in the afternoon. Do your best. I hope 2014 is a good year for you. x

As others say you must tell nurse fully about your situation. Otherwise how can you get any help or support?!

Suggest you write things down so you clear about things and don't forget anything important.

good idea of Bevvy's to write things down as you have here. Tell her you need some support whether it's age OR illness Allan, you deserve it either way. You can stop being a stubborn hero now and get some quality of life for the years you have left.

New Years resolution for you: Be honest with the nurse

All the very best to you and please let us know how you get on. xxx

Allan like everyone has said tell the nurse. For the last 2/3 years I kept putting all my symptoms and weight loss down to my age and ended up in Hospital.

Hi Allan. Don't keep struggling on. There is lots of help out there. You have paid all your life for it. Please tell your Dr or Nurse. They will be only too pleased to point you in the right direction. They may even be able to help you become more mobile. Take care. X

I have to agree with all the replies above.

Don't try and be a silent hero, ask and ye shall be given the help you so richly deserve.


Excellent advice as expected.

Will write a list as suggested and tell it as it is. I served my country, was there when needed so yes, why not? It's pay back time.

In my eyes you lot are the heroes though.


Hi Allan, I would also ask you respiratory nurse WHY has no one been for three years to see you? Also request for more frequent visits from them to help you get more in control of both breathing and mobility. No matter what your age is you owe it to yourself to get the best treatment and care that is there for all of us. Go for it and look forward to hearing how you get on.

It's easy to stay beneath the radar if you have repeat prescriptions, ignore surgery letters and have regular oxygen deliveries, as I did until last August/September!!

Off the radar ? no one looking because oxygen is not cheap either are the meds

Yes - or, if you prefer, left in peace.

Yeah Allan! Tell her! Can you increase your exercises a little bit. I know it may be much to ask, but you can try. Exercise, even for emphysema helps lots. Have a happy new year 2014!

As usual you get the best advice from people who live with our problems......

Honest is always the best policy and they can't treat you if they aren't given the full facts. I'm just a whippersnapper at 66 but do feel for people in your position.

Get out of breath every day and you will see an improvement I promise, stick in there cos this whole site is rooting for you x x

Just realised that as it is the New Year I can make a few resolutions so I'm making sure that exercise is top of the agenda, even it if is only walking from room to room in the Bungalow.

As that supermarket is so fond of saying "Every little helps."

That's the attitude. "Every little helps" most certainly. My New Year resolution is to walk a little further everyday. Keep trying eighty.

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