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British Lung Foundation
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Dont know what to do?

Hi everyone sorry to bother you all. Hope you don't mind me coming on to ask a few questions. I have copd which I am just coming to terms with after being in denial for a few years. Am having up and down days where I am very low. I am married to a wonderful man. We have both smoked a long time and I finally gave up on 12th Dec due to sudden breathlessness over the last few weeks. Since giving up smoking I have been checking my oxygen sats on my phone. My husband checked his and two days running it has been 84! He sounds a bit wheezey to me sometimes but says he is fine and is adament he doesn't want to see our gp. This reading seems very low. Mine I'd around 95. I don't want to scare him but am secretly terrified. How can I get him to go without worrying him. Would appreciate any advice.

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Welcome Betsey and no bother at all - that's what we're here for.

Such a dilemma with men (or lots of them anyway!) Men are often notorious for not going to the GP.

No easy way to say this but 84% is serious. The safe cut-off point is 88% - some medics say 90% - and below this you risk damage to major organs. Needing oxygen as you probably know is not about being breathless but about the need to preserve good organ function. He may think that if he can manage his breathlessness then he's ok so I guess you need to tell him this.

If he is 84% at rest, then he will doubtless go lower still when he moves around. Also if he is still smoking he is not only damaging his lungs further but damaging yours too.

Re how to get him to go to the doctor I dont really know what to say. Could you just make him an appointment and then tell him? Maybe some of our male members might have a tip or two. Others will reply to your post Im sure and maybe your husband will take notice of people other than you being concerned for his safety.

Good luck :)

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Hypercat Thank you so much for reply. Your right, some men seem to hate going. he has only been to the Drs a few times ever, unlike me who is always there! I will get him a doctor's apt anyway and test at differant times of the day. . It is very difficult to discuss this with him as we have been totally in denial about my condition and I have been making excuses for my worsening condition, menopause, life, etc. It is very easy to find something else to blame. Thank you so much for your great advice , best wishes xx

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So sorry o2trees, I addressed my reply to you to HyperCat, but this was meant for you, am all over the place today! Sorry xx

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No problem Betsey. Hope today feels a bit better :)

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Hi nice to meet you and welcome to the site. You are not bothering anyone as this is what we are here for to share information and to help and support each other so post away.

I wonder if your husband has got copd too and is in denial? Men can be notoriously difficult to persuade to visit a doctor. It's the famous male ego I guess!

An oxygen reading of 84% is low and could be a cause for concern. You say you have stopped smoking - that's great and well done. Has your husband too? If not this could be partially the cause of his low oxygen levels.

My advice is to check his oxygen level (sats) every couple of hours or so to see if they rise. as sats can be at the lowest in the morning. If they still stay under 90 then it's time for him to see his doctor for a diagnosis. Drag him if necessary!

I hope this helps a bit. x

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HyperCat54 thank you so much for your reply, sorry about the confusion above! X yes your right, I have been thinking he is showing copd signs for a while. My diagnosis has hit him very hard and he thinks he needs to stay strong for me. Will retest him throughout the day and see if it changes. We are both prepared to make lifestyle changes and have started already and will encourage him more... Will definitely try and get him to the doctors for a check up, Thank you so much for your advice, you are all so kind on here xx

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You are more than welcome Betsey. Most of us come in here knowing nothing and we learn from each other. x

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Thank you x

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Hello Betsey and welcome to you. Well done for stopping smoking and I hope your husband has too.

Just tell him about this forum and advice given. He needs to see a GP, and no arguments. Xxxx

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Hi sassy58 thank you so much for your reply xx The smoking has been so much easier than I imagined and am starting to feel a little better everyday, although more breathless, which is strange. Your advice is so right, I should tell him about this forum and the advice on here, it has been so very helpful to me. Will definitly get him to go to the gp. I am due a Spiro test so that may be a good time.. xx thank you again. Best wishes xxx

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Wishing you and your husband well. Xxxxx

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Thank you sassy and you too xx

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Not strange at all as this is a common side effect with copd. Have a look at the Quit site in here and they will give you lots of advice and support to stay stopped. x

healthunlocked.com/quitsupport

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Thank you so much xx

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Welcome Betsey. Most of us are cowards when it comes to going to the doctors mainly because we are frightened of what he is going to tell us. So rather than you telling him how bad he could be because of that high reading I would say it is probably nothing to worry about but just to be on the safe side get checked out because if on the off chance it is a problem catching it early is the sensible thing to do. 😉

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Great advice Don :)

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Hi Don Thank you so much for your reply. yes this would definitly be the best way to approach this with him and is true ,- Thank You. It has been worrying me. Yes I think we are all deep down worried about what the doctors will say and avoid going. On a positive note his sats were 92 today, so will keep testing at random times. Thank you again, best wishes xx

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Love the male mind! :) x

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Hi BETSEY69, I'm interested to know how do you check oxygen levels 'on your phone'? I hope your husband takes the advice given and books that docs appointment very soon. Joy.

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Hi Joy, thank you for your reply xx I check my levels on my Samsung phone.(S7 model) it is the Samsung health app. It checks, oxygen sat, blood pressure, blood glucose, heart rate, stress levels and tracks weight, exercise, sleep and diet. All you do is put your finger on a button on the back of your phone. It is very accurate and was already on my phone. some phones just have it. Think it's free to download. It is very good. X

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That sounds amazing. I’ve got

an iPhone I’ll have to see if it has a similar app. Thank you x

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Good luck Joy x am sure it will have one or something similar x

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Hi Betsey69 and welcome .. BRILLIANT that you have both quit smoking well done! .. I need to ask .. you check your breathing on your phone? Is this an app? If so which one? X

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Hi Candy thanks so much for your replyx I use the Samsung health app (see above reply to Joy) It is brilliant really. Think it's free. Didn't even realise I had it on there! Xxx

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Thank you so much I’ll go have a swatch xx

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I also have Samsung health but don't use it because it always measures my O2 and pulse rate as lower than they are. BUT that said it's only a few % off so if mine measured 84% I'd be very worried. Hoping you manage to drag your husband to the Dr!

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Hi frose - still better than registering higher, which could lead to complacency. Hope you good these days xxx

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Hello 😁 yes, I'm very well thanks, as I hope are you. Xxx

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Hi thank you for replying x It is good to know that it is not entirely accurate. I didnt realise that - thank you. Have found it quite useful to test myself in certain situations where I have been feeling anxious and found it has calmed me down a bit when I realise I am not actually having a heart attack. Thank you again and best wishes x

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Hello there!

Smoking depletes the oxygen in youre blood but once you stop even after 24hrs the carbon monoxide leaves your body and his levels should return to a fairly normal reading. Please encourage him to seek help with quitting-it can be done weve all been there!

Good luck c

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Hi thank you so much for replying. You have all been so helpful. Yes I will keep encouraging him to stop and get him to the docs, he's slowly coming round..... I love him and dont want him to get sick. Wish we had never started smoking, everyone feels like that I am sure. Thank you again and best wishes x

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