Husband suffering

Hi, I joined this site on behalf of my husband who has emphysema, had it now about 10 years. He is on three different inhalers and some days he is really struggling for breath and gets totally worn out. He is 75. He can barely walk these days and I need to push him in a wheelchair or he has a mobility scooter which he can use around the neighbourhood (if it is fine). I came across this site the other day and it seemed to offer a lot of support for COPD sufferers. This is the first time I have posted. I am not sure what to expect as his condition does seem to be worsening, we have visited the doctor regularly this past few months and don't seem to be getting much support from him or the practice. Has anyone any useful advice to help him and me please. He is not on oxygen as his oxygen levels always seem to be ok when checked, but it is the constant fighting for breath that frightens me, and him of course. Thank you. Buzz's wife.

17 Replies

  • Hi BuzzL I have emphysema but although I sometimes struggle to breathe not as bad as your husband as I'm still fairly mobile. There are lots of very helpful people here with far more knowledge than me who, I know, will help you greatly. I just wanted to say "hello.

  • Much appreciated, many thanks.

  • Hello BuzzL welcome the best one for information will be hubbies doctor we are all different how it affects us with the same lung disease. BLF have a help line red baloon top right of the screen will bring details.


  • Hi BuzzL welcome to our friendly forum,you have come to the right place for help and support for sure.I was wondering if your hubby had been on a PR course which your doctor could refer you to It is a 6-8 week course 1-2 hours twice weekly,where you learn all different coping strategies with loads of information about our lungs plus you do some gentle exercise to help with our fitness levels also meeting likeminded people is really great.I would be making enquiries i think it would be a huge benefit .We are hear aswell for any questions that you might have or just a natter about things. Nice meeting you hope to see you soon :) Janexx

  • Hi Buzzl and welcome to the community! It's a mare at times, catching your breath, but as Jane has said, the coping techniques learned at PR are invaluable. Click on the big red balloon at the top of the page, and you'll get contact details of the BLF Helpline nurses. They have a wealth of knowledge, whilst we members have only our own experiences to relay. Having cared for a partner, I know how helpless it can feel when faced with doctors, and their lack of understanding. I'm sure you'll gain a lot from the good people on here. Lovely to meet you, and hope to chat with you soon :) x

  • Hiya Mrs Buzzl. LongLungs and Initial are right about the PR (pulmonary rehabilitation). It s very good. The exercises are gentle and you get lots of tips on how to improve your breathing. I am just a bit younger than your hubby (71) and I thoroughly enjoyed it, so much so I am trying to get on it again. Good luck with it.

    Bobby xxx

  • Hi just wanted to say Hello and also welcome to the site. You will get a lot of help and advice here. The blf have leaflets and trained nurses on the end of the phone, also DVDs which are really helpful

  • Thank you to all who responded to my initial post, I am really grateful. He did go on a PR course over two years ago now, and he did well at the time, but has not kept up with the exercises, naughty I know. The doctor did suggest another one and I think we may pursue that avenue, seeing the GP again on Thursday so will see if he can put the wheels in motion to get him on another PR course sooner rather than later. Think it would also do him good to meet fellow sufferers, sadly he is not happy using a pc so can't get him to do his own posts, but I have filled him in on all the advice received from everyone, so many many thanks. Buzz's wife

  • hi Buzzl I am glad you are considering the PR course again I think it makes a big difference. also the breathing exercises are good to help keep your lungs clear. There are still exercises that can be done sitting in a chair, have a look on the internet. I have been going to exercise referal class which has led on from the pulmonary rehab class and it has really helped me. I wish you all the best (perhaps you could both go to the class) Irene x

  • Morning Buzz' wife, I only read these posts first thing each day so welcome. I fully understand how you feel as I care for my hubby although he does not have emphysema but another disease under the COPD umbrella. I joined because I wanted information and sometimes help for myself as it can be lonely caring for them. Armed with the information I gathered I have gone with him to appointments and put my contribution in and it has all been for the good. I have also learnt about different foods some of which produce more mucus and some don't so we now have a very varied diet and always have a fresh lemon drink daily. Exercise is important but it is the type of exercise so a pulmonary rehab class would be good, keeping it going afterwards is the challenge. We are all here to help with questions or support you so don't be afraid to ask.

  • Morning Buzz' wife! I also care for my husband who has severe emphysema. In our area you can self refer back to PR after two years - if you still have the respiratory nurses contact details you might be able to contact them directly. I am sure that will help your husband - my husband has just finished his second course - well two months ago and certainly helped him again. The problem is - who wants to exercise when you are out of breath?? It is bloody awful watching someone struggle for breath.

    Also please ring the BLF helpline - they have fantastic leaflets etc. and might be able to give you some practical advise. Good luck. TAD xxx

  • Thanks for the support and advice, all noted. I have all the paper work from his previous referral so will look it out and try and contact them, thank you. Good luck to you too. xx

  • Hi Buzzl, I don't see any mention of a visit to a Consultant. Maybe now is the time for a thorough review of his medication too. Best of luck to you both.

  • He has actually never seen a consultant, he only sees a nurse for respiratory tests once or twice a year and the GP when he is really in a bad way. The GP has never mentioned referral to a consultant for review so perhaps I will mention the possibility of a consultant referral when we see GP tomorrow pm. Many thanks. C

  • Hi BuzzI, interesting reading about your situation first question is where do you live??

  • We live in Bristol, moved here from London three years ago. Even in London his condition was only monitored by the practice nurses attached to the GP surgery. C

  • deary me, he really must see a consultant ..... I hear they have a damn good service your side of the bridge (I'm just in Wales).

    Good luck

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