Coping with COPD

My wife has just been diagnosed with COPD, she has had Asthma since the age of three.

From the 3rd to 18th August 2016 she was admitted to hospital. She suffered another attack on Wednesday 4th January and was admitted once again and was told that she has COPD.

What advice can you give me about managing this condition. She is not able to move about much as she also suffers from arthritis in both legs.

16 Replies

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  • Hi sorry to hear your wife has not been to well,the best advice I can give is keep to a healthy diet, stay as active as possible and have a positive attitude. There are lots of things your wife can do, but have a word with your GP or nurse see what information they can give you. Hope your wife feels better soon. Please stay in touch take care. Love Bernyxx

  • Thank you so much for your kind help. Will keep in touch. Jim.

  • Thank you so much for your kind help. Will keep in touch. Jim.

  • Hi sorry to hear this. Has she been diagnosed via a spirometry test? This is the normal method used.

    Unless she is severe/very severe it is by no means a death sentence. Indeed there are many on here who are, but have been living with it for many years and have no plans to go anywhere soon.

    I know it's tempting but please don't google indiscriminately as she will go from coughing to dead in several clicks. Stick to recognised sites like this one. Stay with us here as we are the experts at living and dealing with it. x

  • Thank you so much for your kind help. Will keep in touch. Jim.

  • Thank you so much for your kind help. Will keep in touch. Jim.

  • You are very welcome Jim. As you can see there is lots of help and support on here to say nothing of friendship. We all look after each other so you are not alone. Take care x

  • Hiya its not a nice thing to be told but its not the end of the world either it took my GP 18months to figure out what was wrong with me and in the end he sent me for a xray for it to show up on my right lung i am one of the youngest people to be diganosed with it you do get breathless and are prone to chest infections but it doesnt mean you have to stop everything try and keep active and healthy food is one good luck

  • Sorry to hear about your wife but it really is not the end of the world. I have had COPD now for 27 years and still manage to enjoy life. Just make sure she eats healthily does any sort of exercise she can manage and stay positive. The British Lung Foundation site has lots of info and if she is ever offered the chance to go to a Pulmonary Course take it as they are well worth while and help a lot.

  • Sorry to hear about your wifes illness, preventative inhalers are a good way to keep infections at bay., as is activity and good diet. Chair activities are the best for arthritis/COPD sufferers although I have both I still maintain a reasonable level of mobility, I would say short bursts of walking as long ones cause both illnesses to flare especially arthritic pain. Good luck and best wishes, come back to us with questions if needs be as already said we know from experience what works ect. But you also need to discuss with practice nurse or doctor a care management plan for the future i.e what treatment she needs or can manage and whether you need help as her carer

  • I remember the shock of being given the COPD diagnosis as it came out of the blue following a sudden trip to hospital with pneumonia. I went to bed fine and by the middle of the night I was having IV antibiotics in hospital! My discharge paper said COPD and, as it was the first I'd heard of it, I thought it was a mistake and went to my GP with a view to getting it removed from my records. However, tests proved it to be true - so big shock!

    I have had great support from the folks on this site and also another COPD web site. I don't think I would have got by without the positive comments from people here. I thought I must only have a few years left, but there are people who regularly write on here who have had the condition for years and years and still manage a good quality of life.

    Everyone is different, of course, but you will both find ways of coping, I'm sure, and things will feel better once you get used to the idea that your wife won't be running a marathon any time soon! Although, having said that, some people still seem to manage extraordinary things that I couldn't have managed even before diagnosis!

    You need good medical advice and support to help your wife manage the condition. The British Lung Foundation is brilliant if you need additional info. I don't know where I would be without the regular support from the folks on here - good humour abounds.

    All the best,

    Moy

  • Just try to take things slower,i imagine is the first step,then make sure she's on all the right meds,don't do everything for you're wife excercise is beneficial if she can manage?Take her for short walks

  • Thank you so much for your kind help. Will keep in touch. Jim.

  • Sorry to hear of your Wife's diagnosis and recent problems. I also had Asthma from childhood. I'm sure it was a shock to her, long term Asthma can mask the signs of mild COPD, so I am guessing perhaps she has been given a 'moderate' diagnosis, she should have had a Spirometry test as part of the diagnosis in order to ascertain this. It is unfortunate that she is already struggling with her Arthritis. There is lots of information on the B.L.F. website including exercises which would be beneficial to her COPD and can be undertaken even with limited mobility. My advice would be to read, read, read, question, question, question and keep working towards understanding. Avoid the web and go for the booklets on B.L.F. there are also several publications out there written by COPD sufferers. I found Joe Lodge's 'Who Says I Can't' (ISBN 978-1-5196448-8-6) both helpful and positive. The Pulmonary Rehabilitation courses are very beneficial as she would meet with fellow sufferers, she can be referred on to one by her Doctor or the Nurse at your Health Centre, who should be monitoring her condition. Good Luck and come back soon to tell us how it is all going.

  • I take NAC and daliresp and this seems to keep me out of the hospital I have been out since February without an attack I also drink two tables or 2 tablespoons of vinegar apple cider vinegar Bragg's and a cup of warm water my brother-in-law's recommended this to me. He said he hasn't had to use his inhalers for a few days. I haven't had to go back to the hospital since February hope she feels better

  • You do not say how bad your wife's Asthma is? I am going to assume it is like mine. I have had Severe Asthma and Eczema since the age of 2. During the years I have had many chest infections and bad Asthma attacks, and hospital admissions. As a result, my lungs are now damaged, and I have been diagnosed with COPD. Can I say that, if your wife is in this situation, she may find it takes a while to adjust to the situation. We have been used to having episodes all our lives, getting treatment, then recovering. Well, now we don't recover fully. We are left with breathlessness, as well as the Asthma. The main change your wife will see is that it will take a lot longer for her to recover from any excaserbations/Asthma Attack/Chest Infection, and she will have less stamina, and feel tired. Your wife will be asked to go to Pulmonary Rehabilitation, and I recommend she does as the information given will help her cope, and she will meet people at all different stages, and other lung diseases which fall under the Umbrella of COPD. I think people do not realise that we folk with severe asthma, have been having difficulty breathing for most of our lives already. Your wife will recover to a certain extent, but it will take a long long time, and she is unlikely to return to her old self.

    Having said all that, two years ago I was hospitalised three times in two months, the last admission lasting 29 days. It took me ages. I found it very frightening at first because my Peak Flow stuck at 180. It is still stuck there, but I am not quite as breathless, and have learnt to get on to the Community Respiratory Team as soon as my breathlessness increases, and I need more reliever. There are more inhalers, and meds to loosen the phlegm which all help. Diet, exercise, mood, fresh air, asking for help when needed. Your wife will learn the Active Cycle of Breathing. This really does work. Keeping a small fan nearby gently moving the air when she starts to feel tight also helps. If you need to talk let me know privately (though not sure how you do that). Don't worry, and be patient. You both will adjust to the change, and COPD, like Asthma is controllable to a certain extent. We can slow down the progress, as we learn to pace ourselves properly.

    Hope that is of some use.

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