British Lung Foundation
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Hubby and emphysema

Hi, I'm new on this site and as I have been worrying my self nuts, thought to write some thoughts.

My hubby was diagnosed with Emphysema Stage 2 (his FEV1 is 63.25%) and also hearth wall thickness last month. As I have read, both of them are incurable and just a matter of time how the diseases progress. He collapsed three years ago and ever since he has been between doctors. He feels fatigue all the time. Even little bit of physical makes him breathless. He has pain in his chest due to his heart condition most of the days and feels ill. When he has chest pains he is taking so-called 'TNT' to get the rhythm back. Those days when he played football with our now 14 years old son have long gone and our son now plays football and other games with his little sister, what usually fathers are doing.

The issue in my eyes is, that he seems to take it all very easy and relaxed, while I'm worrying for both of us. Blames NHS for taking so long to find out why he collapsed and why he feels like he does. At the same time he is not helping himself at all and my nagging on him, that he has to look after him better, is not getting us anywhere. He won't listen my please to quit smoking nor drinking, he is not active at all (no exercise in any form), and he loves his greasy food. He's overweight.

I have read, that the person who has emphysema should in the first thing quit smoking if they smoke and get little bit exercise into their everyday life with healthy eating. What about, if they are not willing to do that? How is the disease progressing then? How long does he have if he is not changing his lifestyle? If he eats healthy food just once a day, when I cook and rest of the time, what he gets from the fridge or cupboards? So many questions, I know, but I have three children to look after and I would like to prepare them just in case, it is just around the corner...

Sorry about my long letter, but I do not know where else I can get the answers. Thank you

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Hi

For emphysema which is damage to the Aveoli wall, as a result of smoking. So stopping smoking is essential, this will slow the progression immensely.

Exercise is important but due to mentioned heart condition, take under advice. Overweight is a concern for both lung and heart conditions.

You husband really needs to take stock and get a better understanding of the health issues, and realise there is plenty to look forward to, with a few sensible adjustments.

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Thank you stone-UK, I hope he will change

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I totally agree with you stone-UK, I have stage 4 copd with emphaseama in both lungs and was told to give up smoking it wasn't easy, cutting down first and so on. Trouble is it's not just us that suffer it's our families as well.

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Hi. I want to encourage you, and your husband, but what I have to say is a bit scary. I was diagnosed with emphysema but not until I had reached stage 4. A nurse (who should have been sacked) told me I would not live to see Christmas (it was March) unless I stopped smoking. She also told me that if I stopped smoking, exercised and ate healthily I would have 3 years to live. Can you see why I stopped? She scared me to death. I stopped in terror. Fortunately she was wrong about the three years but I did not know that then. She was quoting figures so out of date they were useless.

I stopped smoking, took gentle exercise (nothing very strenuous) and waited to die. The funny thing was I was getting better, not worse. And the more I did, the more I could do. That was over 10 years ago and as you can see, I am still here. So, the choice is your husband's really. It is a stark choice. He can either die or fight. I, along with most of the people here, chose to fight. Good luck to you both. xx

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Thank you so much. I hope he will take it seriously and see, that there is still a lot to give, especially when you have three children and future ahead of them... I hope he would like to be a big part of that and also see in one day the grandchildren. Your story is encouraging and I'm glad you are doing well after that scare.

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Don't nag him. We smokers dig in our heels and reach for a cigarette when nagged! But talk to him calmly and tell him how frightened you are of bringing your children up without him. And keep it to one step at a time. First, giving up smoking. Everything else can follow. Hopefully he will see his way forward. xx

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Hello Mountain1953 .

I am dreadfully sorry to read about your situation. I can only imagine how very frightened you must be. To be very honest, I don't really know how to advise you. I would say patient but by the sound of things your patience might be running out. And honestly, I can't say I blame you. You have three children. The worry must be enormous.

All I can say is please don't worry about coming here and letting us know how you are getting on. We all need to talk to impartial parties at times and you will have a sounding board for your thoughts and fears.

I hope things start turning around for him even if it's just tiny steps at first.

Thinking of you.

Cas xx 🌷🌹

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Thank you Caspiana, your words are comporting. I will try to talk with him again, but as I'm not a nagging person from my nature, I will try. I hope he will start to take it seriously as those two combinations (emphysema and HOCM) are not good as I have read.

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*Hugs* 😘

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My late husband Bob had COPD and continued to smoke. His quality of life was so reduced in the last 6 years of his life that he needed to use a mobility scooter and wheel chair to get around, took his meds by nebuliser and had repeated spells in hospital . He pushed himself too much, which enlarged his heart. Because of the reduction of oxygen in his system, he also got an aggressive type of dementia which was very difficult to live with. He died of a heart attack at the age of 74 in 2003.

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I'm so sorry to hear about your loss but I hope you are doing well.

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I am now happily married to a lovely man who has never smoked. My experiences with Bob and the information from this site, have helped me to be as proactive as I can about looking after myself after my own diagnosis of COPD in 2015.

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I'm sorry Ergendl .

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For what it's worth. After smoking for 35 years I gave it up at age 51 and came down with stage 3 COPD-Emphysema at 90.

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Hi, my husband has COPD - Bronchitis and emphysema. He was diagnosed 9 years ago at the age of 62. He smoked throughout and wasn’t till this year he stopped. He is later stage and breathless and basically anything and the coughing he does it ridiculous. He’s always had a bad chest even when he was little as he suffered bronchitis so it didn’t help that’s for sure.

On the other hand my sister has COPD and was diagnosed 10 years ago and stopped smoking straight away and she still to this day isn’t suffering bad from it. She doesn’t get breathless doing basic activity’s and can still walk about fine. So stopping smoking can definitely stop the disease from taking hold of you. She’s 75. Doctor told her If she stopped smoking her lungs would deteriorate like a non smokers lungs and that’s definitely what’s happening thank goodness.

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