Ready or not?

Hi, I haven't posted on here for a long time but do drop in and read what's going on from time to time with other people. I have had COPD for 24 years FEV 38 (I think!) . This is going down annually and I am starting to struggle quite a bit sometimes, if I'm honest, quit a bit of the time. I still work in an office bit have cut my hours down and have been given permission to park in disabled car park so I don't have too far to walk . I have applied for a blue badge and still awaiting the outcome of that. I also have IBS which is not well controlled at the moment. I seem to be exhausted most of the time - unless I'm just sitting down doing nothing - which I don't want spend the rest of my life doing. My husband and I go abroad a couple of times a year and airports are becoming so difficult. Next year is our ruby wedding anniversary and we are hoping to do a road trip around spain.

Now, to get to my problem, lsorry it's taken a while, I don't think I will be able to do all the walking entailed to see all the places we want to. An hours shopping trip exhausts me at the moment so a few hours wandering around Spanish towns is scaring me. My husband wants to get me a wheelchair or small mobility scooter so that I don't struggle and we can do what we're planning. I know it makes sense but I don't know if I am psychologically ready to take that step. How have others approached his stage? I keep thinking that life would be so much easier if I did but still can't take that step. My husband is a golfer and can walk for miles along beaches when we're away but always says to me to say when I want to turn back - usually after about five minutes!

I really do feel that I'm missing out on family things now but really can't resolve this is my own head.

18 Replies

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  • Hi Ann, I am sorry you have this dilemma. I am no expert regarding copd. Have you had a word with your G.P. He may recommend more exercise or know what help you can get.

    Sorry I havent been much help.

    I have just posted an article on C O P D. on 2 other sites . I will post it on here , you may find it interesting.

    Take care. :)

  • Thanks Jillygirl - I will read your article. Unfortunately my GP surgery is being run almost entirely by locums who really don't seem to be interested - see a different one every time and was told recently that spirometer results weren't much worse than last years so what was the problem? Problem was they were already very low last year!

  • I don't want this to come across as blasé or rude but as a wheelchair user who never had your problem with choice when diagnosed with COPD.

    If you have a choice of walking a few hundred yards and being too exhausted to enjoy life when you arrive at your destination, a wheelchair will get you to far more places and still leave you your legs yo explore on once you have arrived. It provides a seat for you at every venue. It gets you a rest while moving from A to B and increases your range and scope and providing you a second wind to enjoy more sights. It makes a great walking frame and an oxygen carrier if ever you need either.

    Because you choose to use a chair it doesn't mean that you can't get out of it and enjoy your legs more again.

    Regards Rib

  • Hi I agree with Rib. Can you look at it this way - why spoil your holiday (and your husbands?) because you can't get very far? Just see it as an aid to an enjoyable time rather than a step backwards. You haven't got to use one when you come home have you? And like Rib says you can still get out and walk when you get to where you are going can't

    you? It's just something to help you make the most of your time away. Go for it and have a great holiday x

  • Evening.

    I know exactly where your coming from I've cried every time something happens. When I had to start using oxygen but now I wouldn't be without it, then after having Pneumonia my husband got me a wheelchair for when I feel really ill god send. And then this summer while on holiday he encouraged me to try a mobility scooter they were hiring in a car park, never had so much fun as my husband hired one and raced me along the pier. If we go away again I will not hesitate to hire one, it gave me so much freedom I didn't feel a burden.

    Kim xxxx

  • I have a better FEV than you but decided to get a mobility scooter sometime ago. I can now wander around shops with friends, been on hols with friends, go into london to museums and so on. I wouldn't be without my travel scooter and believe it has given me back independence. Yes I still get tired and have to plan trips out carefully but has made a HUGE difference to my life.

    First time I went into central london I nearly cried - I was able to look around and see wonderful architecture. Before I would just walk trying to control my breathing. My biggest problem now is STILL trying to do too much on days out.

    I DO know where you are coming from - I should use scooter at work but at moment too embarrassed to do so! I also chose my scooter(s) on how they look - am only 46 so want to look 'cool' trundling around.

    Currently have 2 scooter but saving for another with a longer battery. When got that money will sell one of the old scooters because not using it very much.

    I do have a wheelchair but prefer the mobility scooter because I am in control of it rather than being reliant on others...

    Hope this helps but feel free to e mail me to ask any questions.

  • Hello! Well we have just him that hurdle this summer. My husband has severe copd and a girl in our office rang out of the blue in June asking if we wanted a mobility scooter. Sadly her nan had passed away and they had a portable scooter for sale. She was very kind and brought it home to try. Fantastic little thing packs up,to the size of a medium/large suitcase - just concertinas up. Well it has been fab - given him a new lease of life. He could do the uni shop with my daughter! The summer how to Cornwall was so much easier and he says that he feels much better because he doesn't feel so guilty about holding us up. Yesterday we went to a local shopping centre - trekked to one end only to find we needed to be at the other - no need for a panic we could do it. So actually it has changed our lives he does not worry so much we just have the scooter in the car and we are ready to go!!! The very best of luck xxxx

  • Ho. Thanks to everyone for your replies - you are making the decision easier. I can now see in my mind me and my husband trundling around the Spanish towns we want to visit. I want to enjoy this trip - not just worry about how I will get through each day. On my mind it's always seemed to be the 'next step' but it doesn't have to be does it? If I have a wheelchair or scooter I can choose when I use it can't I? My mum passed away 3 years ago from COPD but she seemed to give in - I don't have to do that do I? I want to enjoy my life with my children and grandchildren for as long as I can - whichever way I can so need to get my head around this and just make a decision - I don't want my own fears to stop our very special trip going ahead!

  • Wishing you the very best trip - my husband had similar worries but the scooter has opened doors again. He can keep up with our 14 yr old! And your grandchildren will love it too! Take good care lots of love TAD xx

  • Good for you. Have a lovely time, and let us all know how you got on. I bet it'll be great. Angie. Xxx

  • I have been using a scooter for years. We have been all over the place on holiiday from the Isle of BUte to the Isle of Wight - fantastic. Now that husband is poorly, I still have some independence to do the shopping and see friends. You wont be sorry! And, yes, the grandchildren loved it. xx

  • Hi ann, I too feel like u, I'm not ready or thought I wasn't until I realised I'm missing out on life through my vanity, age, not wanting to admit how bad I was, what ever it is , it's my choice now , do I accept the help that's available or stay couped up cuz I can't do something. Honestly plz Take up all the help u can get, enjoy ur holidays and anything else you want to do and remember it's not superglued to u, u can use the aids and devices when u want and need. Take care x Sonia

  • I am looking at a mobility scooter as we only have the one car and the wife needs it for her part time job. I would never think of walking to my nearest shop as I am not sure I would get back. it would give me a little more independence and a lot lower cost to buy and run even with insurance at about £25.00 park it in a shed not a garage. i can only think of plus points. RibvanVey has it down to a tee.

    Be Well

  • Hello Ann,I have severe emphysema.My Fev is 19% and at times of infection can do very clittle.Once I had accepted that I was disabled,it took a lot of soul searching (and swearing lol) I started to look at my situation.I got a wheelchair,cheap from the council but hate with a passion being pushed about.Unfortunately our pavements are so bad that self propulsion is only viable when I,m at my best.So I started to look at scooters.There are so many!I ended up finding a local shop that did new and second hand.Ii bought a second hand one after trying it out and it changed my life.I go out every day unless it,s raining and go where I want,without having to ask anybody to help.It cost me £360.00 with insurance and I love it.Don,t let your worry get in the way of your freedom .Go for all the help you can get to maintain your independence,iit,s not admitting defeat it,s taking the nasty old bull by the horns and giving it a kick up the backside.You go for it girl,you can always pimp up your scooter and keep up or even go faster than hubby lol.The best of luck!Let us know how much you enjoy your new found freedom!Regards D.

  • Hi I have a wheelchair which I use if and when needed, I treat it as my other legs lol, at first I felt unhappy using it but now it's there if we are to be walking a distance, so don't feel bad or disheartened or that you're giving up every little helps xx

  • I was only on symbicort for 8 days, I was very hoarse and now that my dr told me to get off of it and he'll change me to advair . Two days later I have a real bad sore throat , what can give me some relief?

  • Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to reply - and for all the positive encouragement. I kept going over it in my mind thinking I had to decide if I was at the stage of not being mobile any more. You've helped me to realise that I would actually be getting my mobility and freedom back. Not only freedom to go where I want but that I have the freedom of choice - just because I decide that I might need help on a particular day doesn't mean I need it every time I leave the house does it?

    Thanks again - roll on Spain!! X

  • Get the scooter ive just got back from spain and hired one for the first time and it was my best holiday in years my husband loved it to as we had the freedom to go whever we wanted and i wasent feeling ill and breathless at all you go girl have fun x

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