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British Lung Foundation
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Constant Fatigue

Hello - I wonder if any of you can advise.

My husband was diagnosed with COPD last May - he has Severe COPD (FEV1 of

35%) and suffered respiratory failure in January this year. He was in a critical condition and spent 9 days in an induced coma, he also had a tracheotomy fitted (he very unfortunately caught flu and had pneumonia even though he had the injections)......

He has made a terrific recovery and although he struggles daily with breathlessness, he manages really well. He is very fortunate he does not need oxygen therapy as the saturation level in his blood is 99%.

The one thing he struggles with is fatigue, he will sleep 8 hours + a night but still gets out of bed feeling exhausted, we have mentioned this to his doctor and respiratory consultant and they don't seem too concerned at this stage but it is bothering him.

As he only came out of ICU 8 months ago, it is still early days and it will still take some time to recover and I have said as long as he feels okay, then it will be part of the recovery process but he is feeling anxious about it.

So, I thought I would ask you for your advise and your experience so he knows not to worry and that he is not alone........

Many thanks

7 Replies

Hello aberscot, sorry to hear about your husband being so poorly, and considering what he has been through, it's no surprise that he is worrying and getting stressed. Plus all this worry is hard on you too. I suffer with very severe copd Emphaseama, and am tired all of the time as well, not for what I do because my husband is my full time cater so he deserves to feel tired sooner than me. I find the simplest tasks like laughing, talking too much, transferring into my wheelchair, even chewing food makes me breathless as silly as it sounds. Doing your breathing exercises is essencial and helps when your really struggling, if I find myself getting increasingly breathless I talk myself down as I call it. I softly say "calmly calmly, slowly slowly" out loud and it helps me come back. I hope I have helped in some way. We all have our own ways of dealing with things and it doesn't matter if you feel silly, it's all about what works for you, take care and best wishes 🌹xx


I am sorry that he is suffering this fatigue. It really is none of my business and I am sure it has been tested, but has he been assessed with overnight oximetry? I just wondered if his sats were dropping when he is asleep?


So very pleased he made a good recovery but like u I think it’s early days it took me 6 months to fully get over a bad chest infection. When he feels more himself there’s lots he can do to help his condition how old his he ? It’s funny us talking about him if your listening take care xxxx


Hello aberscot, you’re husband has certainly been through the mill and so have you. I would just say that Pete has sarcoidosis and COPD and falls asleep during the day. He often gets up feeling tired but he doesn’t sleep 8 hours per night.

I hope your husband recovers well and can get some help perhaps if he needs it.

Good wishes to you both. Xxxxx


Could be some of his medication

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I was admitted to hospital last year with something called a Ludwig's aneurysm, caused by an infection after a tooth extraction. I had emergency surgery and IV antibiotic and numerous courses of oral ones too. With COPD stage 3 (severe)it took almost 8 months to recover to where I was at before all this, so don't give up just keep fighting/supporting on.


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Thank you for all your replies, you've given me some great advise and some things to think about.

Hubby is 52 and has completed his breathing rehabilitation and he always says that the best thing he learned from it, is to slow down - I keep reminding him that this is really the start of our new journey and we have to learn things, he spent all his life just doing everyday things without thinking especially breathing and now he has to re-learn.

I did wonder about his sats when he was sleeping, he hasn't been tested - he has a great doctor who sees him every 3 months and he is due his appointment next month so I'll speak to his doctor then, thank you.

He made such a quick recovery when he came home from hospital, he finds it frustrating that it has now plateaued but we were told that his recovery steps should be measured in months rather than days/weeks.

The best thing to do is speak to his doctor but I will show him all your replies so he can see them too..............

Thank you all, take care xxx


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