My husband (65-year old, normal weight, normally physically fit and strong) was diagnosed with COPD recently following a lung function test. He then experienced his first exacerbation which we both found incredibly frightening so took ourselves of to St Helier A&E in the early hours of 29th February as he was finding it very difficult to breathe.
The A&E staff were wonderful and put him on a nebuliser to assist his breathing followed by the beginning of a 4-day course of steroid tablets and yet another nebuliser. He felt a lot more comfortable after all of this this so I was able to take him home. However, the next morning he actually passed out after a coughing fit and his condition hasn't substantially improved since then, despite getting a further telephone prescription for another steriod-based inhaler. Last Thursday he had deteriorated again, was finding it difficult to breathe, heavy (dry) coughing, feverish and very weak so I booked a same-day appointment with his GP the following morning convinced it was a chest infection. I attended his appointment where the GP checked his chest and said it wasn't an infection and anyway, antibiotics are no longer used for COPD.
Being 15 years younger than him, I am doing my best to care for him (I work full-time but from home) but have received no advice on what to do for the best. His coughing is wearing him out, he's also riddled with arthritis after a career of heavy physical work carpet cleaning. Suddenly, my husband who was an active and fit man (sailed single-handed across the Pacific when he was younger and we sailed together until a few years ago, always in the garden etc.) has become an old, weary, worn out man almost overnight, unable to do much physically and it is horrible.
Thankfully, he is mentally quite positive but I can't stand to see him suffer. Any advice on what I should be doing to improve his quality of life, gratefully received.
Many thanks for your time.