British Lung Foundation
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Copd

Hi guys, I am not sure if this is the right place to ask for advise but not sure where is. My mum has copd, I would say just over a year ago she was diagnosed. She goes to her appointments but won't go to group sessions. I don't live that close to my mum (300miles) so can't keep an eye on her. I found out yesterday (Not from her) that the doctor has told her if she does not stop smoking then she is just killing herself. She has been telling me a much different story. I feel I need to speak to her but I don't really know what to say, she knows the risks and is still choosing to smoke. Does anyone have anything they can suggest? She can't climb stairs in the house without being out of breath and is caughing a lot. Walking around is already limited. Thank you

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Hello Snm, how hard it must be to live so far away from your mum when you know she’s ill. Probably nothing you say will make your mum stop smoking as she’s really got to want to do that herself.

Just make sure she knows how much you love her and how concerned you are for her wellbeing.

Good luck, l wish you well. Xxxx

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Plan a vacation go there and don’t let her smoke until she detoxes from nicotine which should be in three days. The hardest three days of her life for sure. You have to look at a user of nicotine as a drug addict. Everyone that smokes wishes that they can quit but most can’t and it’s sad. You should plan it with her spend a week with her as her sponsor and helper. And at the end of 7days pray she has the willpower to proceed but the first week is the biggest hurdle. You really don’t fully detox off of nicotine for at least a few years when you quit for a year and this is important tell her this when you quit for a year and you have a bad day or you are stressed out and want to smoke guess what you’re still addicted. When you can deal with stress and not think of a cigarette then and only then are you free from this debilitating habit. I’ve smoked for 25 years I quit about 10 years ago. It was the hardest thing I ever did. If you think about it though and understand the way nicotine addiction works it’s a lot easier to quit. I wish your mom luck I really do.

[edited]

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Hi it sounds like she is in denial. The worst thing she can do is carry on smoking as this runs the risk of massively accelerating the disease.

Having said that however I have been diagnosed mild for 9 years and only stopped smoking last August. I am lucky enough to still be mild but she is playing Russian roulette with her health.

You can't make her give up smoking but you can help by encouraging her to. Not by nagging or scaring her but by telling her she is strong enough to do it and you will support her all the way etc. If she will go online there is a great stop smoking site on here and they helped me stop. She will find like me that much of her current health issues are made much worse by smoking and by giving up she will be able to breathe a lot better and have more stamina. x

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Thank you Hypercat and well done on stopping smoking. How long did it take for you to feel the benefits?

I really don't know what stage my mum is at and I think I have been a bit ignarant of the situation until now. I need to look into it more and make the effort to go home more when she has appointments.

I hope it's not to late for her and she can stop because I really do not want my younger sister to have to watch her mum deteriate every week because she could not stop. X

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Hi unless she is very severe she will not deteriorate every week as the disease does not progress that quickly. Even those at this level can still live for many years as many on here will testify.

I felt the benefits within a week. I was someone who coughed a lot when I smoked and when I stopped smoking I virtually stopped coughing. Most people are the other way round though. For years I had been blaming my copd for coughing, breathlessness etc. when in reality most of it was caused by smoking.

However smoking can also mask other health issues as I have found. I have been diagnosed with borderline under active thyroid and have various symptoms which make me feel tired so am not feeling many benefits at the moment. However it's much better to know so I can get treatment.

I think this is what happens when smoking gives people up rather than the other way round. So many issues come to the fore that their health seriously declines.

I hope you can help your mum to give up. x

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Hello Snm6341 .

I'm sorry you are in such a difficult situation. My mum lives in the U.K. and I live in Japan. I call her weekly and do whatever I can from where I am but there are times when this is impossible. On Christmas day, she had severe chest pains. She did not call an ambulance because she did not "wish to disrupt anyone's Christmas". And she did not call me or my sister. I was horrified when she told me days later. So yes, being apart from our parents in their old age is a worrying thing.

I am not sure how to handle your mum's situation. When my grandma was made to stop by my dad and grandad, it was very difficult for her and she became quite depressed. In those days though it was cold turkey. Now, there are ways and means of quitting. One thing you could do, is to accompany her to her next doctor's visit. That way you can discuss the situation with her and the doctor in a somewhat regulated environment which may be less uncomfortable for you both. The cat 🐱 would be out of the bag, and you can go on to discuss what needs to be done to help her stop smoking. And it would be difficult for her to tell you what she'd like you to hear.

Having said that, your mum is an adult and it won't really work unless she gets in board. I guess she will need some sort of motivation, some reason to think living many years longer is more vital than smoking. I have no first hand experience with quitting so please excuse me if this isn't really helping.

I am currently trying to get my mum to , at some point come live here with me. Wish me luck!

Please keep us updated.

Sending best wishes,

Cas xx 🌻🌞

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Thank you cas for your kind reply. I hope your mum is doing better. My mum lives with my step dad but they are more like friends and he called me worried, she has been given tablets , patches and tried the vape to quite but she always goes back to smoking. I just don't think she wants to stop.

She does not have much of a social network so just sits in the house watching tv and smoking when she is not at work. I wonder if she is a little depressed so.

I have a younger sister who lives in the same town (26) and has planned to get married in 2 years abroad but even that has not made her want to give up. I am also an ex smoker so I do understand why she finds it hard. I just don't think she wants to.

I am calling her tomorrow to see if she can be truthful, all I want is for her to be honest.

I will make sure I go to her next appointment and then I can ask the doctor the hard questions that I don't think have been asked by my mum.

Thank you and I hope u get your mum to move.

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I think she does want to stop but genuinely cannot do so partly because she has no social life and also because of the depression which I am sure she has.

If you spend a lot of time in front of the tv or a computer screen, it is very easy to light up a cigarette without even being aware of doing so.

When you desperately want to give up because you know the damage it is doing but cannot, you feel so ashamed and such a failure which leads to more depression and so it goes on.

I do hope you get some answers and that your mum succeeds.

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Yes, I think it's a great idea for you to go with her to the doctor. I am sure she may not like it, but it will be okay. Please keep us updated. Hoping for the best outcome for you and her.

Cas xx 🙋🐕

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Hi Snm,

if u can go to the doctors with your mum, I'm sure it will help you too. You are right, you need your mum to be honest with you. Which may be difficult for her if there is the depression and also if maybe doesnt want to think about the long term but unfortunately if she can quit it will help in the long term.

With the love and support from you all, hopefully she can find the strength to try again.

My mum was diagnosed 7years ago, she chose to quit smoking, thankfully. She successfully used the patches but I think as it was her choice that helped.

Good luck xx

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Oh wow this is indeed a hard one for you and I feel your pain. I smoked for many years after finding I had the start of COPD and it was only my new partner who managed to finally get me to quit some 13 years ago now and I fully believe if he hadn't I would not be here today.

My big incentive if you like was to watch the money grow that I was not spending on cigarettes and which I still save every month to this day putting £200 a month away which pays for all my Christmas presents and food and also at least one holiday with spending money per year. All you can do is your best to encourage her that for your younger sisters sake if nobody else she has to take the best care she can of herself. I really wish you all well.

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Hi Snm6341 if a person wants to smoke its impossible to make them change. You can only emphasise that smoking will make her condition worse. I once was like your mum, I am not better but can do things at a slow pace, took me three tries. The best you can do is support your mum. Some people are turning to Vapes might be worth a suggestion. I've been quit for 12years now, but it was hard especially as I lived alone. The other day I felt like a cigarette but stayed off them, these are all the things that deter people like your mum from quitting. Being with company that don't smoke is better. I wish you every best wish and hope your mum finds a reason to quit soon.

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She probably has two mind sets one being what is the point the damage is done it cant be cured so it will still get me, Two being self denial .Sadly I was the same until I ended in AE pneumonia I'm proud to say I haven't and I will never smoke another cig if only I had listened years earlier .I wish you luck and hope that she realises it will help her so much but it has to come from her has like me she wont listen xx

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smn6341

Hi your mum needs a good talking to, smoking IS BAD for people with COPD & don't let her tell you different, it's showing in the cough and the stairs. Too many people on this forum didn't give up in time, me included. She could move on from COPD to emphysema and believe me she would not want that. Once the lungs start to go they don't easily repair if at all. They are precious don't mess about with them. We all know it is hard to give up but tell her she must, the longer she carries on the worse the damage. I have been through all the treatments and cannot get ANYBODY to treat me, unfortunately I also have a cancer which prevents treatment ANYWHERE in the world. Frighten her if needs be & don't take no for an answer or one day maybe. NOW.

IKeith

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You - or someone geographically closer to her - must sit her down and be blunt, even if she doesn't want to hear. Emphysema is progressive and irreversible. All you can hope for is to slow the progression of the disease and that means stopping smoking. I did some eleven years ago and I had many years of better health than I would have done had I not stopped. But it will always catch up with you as it has me. You can exercise, use the best inhalers, but without stopping smoking you are condemning yourself to a faster deterioration and all that that entails. I originaly gave up easily with Zyban (an anti-depressant that targets nicotine receptors in the brain) and since falling off the wagon a year or so ago I'm now addicted to Nicorette Mist. But it means I don't smoke. She will find an improvement in her breathlessness once she stops smoking but it is not a cure. And if, further down the line, she needs some sort of surgical or non-surgical (valves or coils) intervention to help, she will not be considered if she still smokes. I'm afraid you have to be as brutally honest as you can manage with your mum.

Best wishes and the best of luck. Be tough.

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She is the destiny of her own fate. It is a very difficult situation but there is nothing u can do until she realises the danger she is putting herself in. I gave up smoking as soon I was diagnosed but still dereriorated and ended up in a wheelchair but I was lucky enough to get a transplant. Very sad for us but there is nothing you can do other than let her know u you are there for her. Good luck xx

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Perhaps it’s a good idea to get her to join us in this site for support . No one that isn’t a smoker can understand how difficult it can be to quit . Some smokers find it Extremely difficult and will always have problems with it as do some alcoholics with alcohol. Perhaps knowing the actual facts and how people have improved their condition may help her.

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