I'm new today to this forum and just ... - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation

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I'm new today to this forum and just need some general info and support.

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I have been guided to this site by the BLF Helpline. I'm a carer for my husband who has COPD and who, up until a few days ago, was coping well. Over the weekend though he's been really poorly and, having seen the practice nurse at our GP surgery this morning, has been prescribed steroids for 10 days, with the advice that he should start his antibiotics if there's no improvement by Wednesday. I'm sure there are many of you who have already been through this loop but to me it's so frightening. I just hate to see him suffer and wonder how other people cope without falling to pieces which I'm in danger of doing. Sorry to be such a wimp but I feel so lost.

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Welcome Janann, and you're not alone, so no fear in falling to pieces. I've been where you are, looking after a poorly spouse, so can fully empathise with how helpless you're feeling. Just being there and helping him when he needs the assistance is all that really matters :) Should he not improve after a couple of days on the steroids (something I find does help tremendously with my breathing), then get him on the antibiotics, but I'd advise you get his sputum tested too, that way your surgery will know which bacteria they're fighting. I'm sure others will be along shortly to offer more advice. :) x

Welcome, janann, to a friendly and helpful forum. Believe me I know what it is to watch a sick husband (fingers crossed getting better). You will get helpful support and hopefully wont feel so on your own. I wonder what tests have been offered to your husband and a referral, too. He should take the meds. If you still aren't happy, go back to the surgery or ask for a house visit. Please feel free to come back to talk if you get upset and worried. Love Pergola x

Ah bless you janann, yes it is scary when the copd flares up, I've had copd for a number of years and the last 6 months I've been on around of antibiotics and steroids, think it's because of the cold damp weather, oddly enough I went to Iceland (the country not the shop ) last week and felt better, think it's because the air is dry cold not damp cold. So if hubby keeps himself warm, rests up, doesn't try and push himself , he'll recover, if he is smoking it's a very good idea to stop, or at least cut right down, give his lungs a break and a chance to recover , please don't go on the web looking into copd, you'll scare yourself's silly, there's many people on here that have lived with copd for years, I personally know at least 4 people 2 of whom are now in the 80's who have had copd for ages, it is scary and I know it's probably chucked your lives up in the air, but you will find a new normal and live with it, if there's a breath easy group near by, join them for information and support as well as coming on here when ever you want/need to, take good care of you x x x

Janann - I had to delete a message. It was sent unfinished. love P x

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Thank you all for your support - it means a lot. One of my problems is that I have to fight to get him to agree to see a doctor/nurse and the BLF nurse said she thought he should see a doctor today. I've just phoned the surgery and the duty doctor will call back BUT husband is refusing to speak to him (or her). Just keeping my fingers crossed that the doctor agrees to discuss this with me...........................

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My husband was the same so I got - well I wrote a letter to the surgery and he signed it giving me full access and communication about his health. That really helped. Talk to your surgery. Good luck xx

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Hi I care for my husband who has severe Copd. I can totally relate to your fear - I feel the same when things are bad! My husband sounds similar to yours - he was coping very well but about four years ago became very ill . The good news is that he recovered very well and there is no reason to suppose your husband won't though it may take him a little longer. My husband is always put on steroids with antibiotics now. He may get a much increased appetite while on them. Make sure he takes his meds and try to look after yourself. If you are in doubt call the go /nurse back. In my case I decided to find out as much as I could to try to keep things on a more even keel. To a great extent that has worked for me. Please send me a private message if you prefer I know how scary it can be. Take care TAD xx

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I have noticed that you said I could send you a private message - how do I do that? Jan x

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Now you are asking!! If you click on my profile/name it should open another window with a box on the right hand side that says - send a message xxx

Hi janann25, welcome to this great site and do not apologise for anything as you are most certainly not a wimp. I care for my hubby Pete who has had sarcoidosis for 23 years and COPD for 4 and I am still scared by his breathing and "episodes" when he chokes a lot. Just try and stay as calm as you can. It is good that your hubby now has steroids and antibiotics should he require them but never be afraid to call out a doctor or dial 999 if necessary. I hope you get the help and support that you both need and keep in touch please. Thinking of you both. xxxxxxx

As you've probably gathered, there are some very knowledgeable people on this site, and I wish you both well.

Good advice above. Thinking about you janann25. x

Hi Janann25 agree with all other posts, also has hubby had a visit from the respiratory nurse? They will help with breathing techniques. If not google CBT controlled breathing techniques. There is a chart there, that will help him cough up any muck that is causing the breathing to labour. Short huffs and long huff ect. Hope this all helps. Also if you feel like screaming go out side and scream, it does help, if only to make you smile when everyone, looks at you, just smile and walk back in! Try it! Take care of yourself too. X

it can take about 5-6 days before the steroids and antibiotics to kick in but they should make a big difference we have all been here many many times hope husband is on the mend shortly

Welcome janann25. Glad you have found understanding people who are in the same boat as yourself and can advise you. There's nothing wimpy about being scared in your situation and it's so much harder with an unwilling patient. Please take care of yourself too. Sara

As a sufferer of copd I can only imagine how you feel,but be warned if your husband is like me he is likely to become short tempered, snap at you and say things that are regretted later. It seems to go with the copd. I was awful until my wife pointed out what was happening. Steroids can have strange effects. Your husband is likely to be feeling frightened, useless, helpless and not used to being so dependant on someone else, it takes a while to get used to what is happening, but as this site will tell you with the correct care life can go back to almost normal.

Chest infections are the normal problem, if it does not improve get a sputum sample into your doctors they need to check which antibiotic works best, the steroids and antibiotics are standard treatment and normally get quite a quick response. Last thing NEVER EVER be afraid to call for professional help, waiting to 'see' is not a good idea, normally GP's want to help and not hear the patient is in hospital. Good Luck, there is always a sympathetic ear on this site.

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To all you lovely people who have written to me, a very big thank you! I don't have any family so it's great to feel that I have people I can talk to who understand. As a follow up to yesterday, my husband still refused to speak to the doctor when she rang but thankfully she spoke with me. Obviously couldn't say too much but just advised me to try to insist he takes his antibiotics if there's no improvement. He's definitely not coughing as much this morning but I'm still watching him (discreetly!) like a hawk.

Hi janann25, Welcome to you and your husband the BLF know most of us and between the lot of us there is not much we dont know, You will find all the help and support and what we dont know we will point you in the right direction all you have to do is ask anytime that means 24/7.Matt

Welcome Jannan

My brother was put on steroids and they help him a lot, it is very distressing to see people gasping for breath and this is awful to see.

I found i was breathing like my brother, which is probably silly but it hapened.

jan

Hi janann25 wishing you a warm welcome to a great forum.Ican see already by your replies you have been given great advice and i cant add to that really except to say Rome wasnt built in a day and it does take time to understand the twists and turns of copd for the pair of you.Of course you feel a little wimpy ,when i was diagnosed by the time i got home id already buried myself haha that was over 20yrs ago,yes ive had dodgy moments but have been extremely lucky and have not suffered to greatly apart from becoming more breathless which you learn to live with.You are amongst like minded friends here who have gone through all sorts of scenarios any question you might have im sure there will be people who have had a similar experiences.Please ask anything or even if you wanna just sound off or have a chuckle.Nice meeting you janann see you soon hope your hubby gets better soon . :) Jane

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Good morning. I'm hoping you're not actually around to read this at this time of the morning (!) but I'm sitting here with a gasping husband, feeling very helpless, so thought I'd reply to you. Thanks so much for your support - because this is the first time Ive seen him to poorly, I really don't know how to react. He says "it will go off", I want to call an ambulance!! Hopefully I'll have better news in the morning.

longlungs
longlungs in reply to Hidden

Hi janann how are you and your hubby whats happening with him ,I expect youve been scared witless by the sounds of it and during the night to always feels worse! Have you started him on the antibiotics now sounds like he might be needing them ?Im hoping like myself your hubby knows his body and wouldnt be foolish like men can be sometimes realising when they need a little extra help from doctor or hospital.Also sometimes we can panic which is scarey cos its difficult getting your breath sometimes,at times like this although you will be wanting to dial 999 try and be as calm as you can however inside your body is wanting to scream out,talk about any rubbish you can to try and take his focus from panicking ,breathe in slowly through his nose pushing his tummy out as he breathes in then slowly breathe out with his lips as if hes going to whistle.Dont forget if you feel he needs extra help you know each other better than any of us dial for the doc or an ambulance .Keep in touch would like to know how its all going for you. :) Janexx

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