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British Lung Foundation
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Help!

My dad has end stage COPD and has just been discharged from hospital for the third time since Easter but the man that sits before me is not the man that went into hospital. My dad is a gentle loving man. The dad that has come home from hospital is angry and aggressive and extremely argumentative. I pointed this out to the Drs in hospital but all they came back with is I will make a note about it”. I’m extremely confused as to why his behaviour has suddenly changed. Can anyone shed any light on this please? 😢

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That's awful, I hope you will cope OK.

I wonder could it be a drug that they used or maybe he is just extremely worried.

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I’m now wondering if it’s because he has high levels of carbon dioxide in him because of his refusal to have the cpap anymore to get rid of it. I’m going to see how he goes over the weekend and if there is no change then I’m going to speak to the GP I think.

Thank you for ur response 😊

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Well I hope it all turns out good for him and you.

Take care.

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I wonder if it is drug related. Steroids changed my Dad's character in a similar way. He could be thoroughly frustrated and irritable too. Maybe when he has relaxed a bit he will come round

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I’ve looked at his drugs and the only different one he’s taking is morphine in tablet form. This should chill him and relax him really. He’s been on steroids for a long time now so I don’t think it’s that.

Thank you for ur response 😊

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One would assume that Morphine would have a calming effect, but I can say with certainty that that is not always true. It had an opposite effect post surgery on both myself, and a sibling. I learned what mental confusion was right then, and I hope never to experience it again. I became confrontational with everyone. Talk with your father's Doctor, ask to try a different medication. J

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Thank you for your reply

I spoke with the hospice team who advised a GP appointment. I saw the GP and raised my concerns. She has also confirmed that it doesn’t always chill people out and she has stopped the medication now and given me lorazepam to give to him when required.

Take care 😊

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Medications can totally affect someone’s personality. If that’s what it is, hopefully the effects will wear off soon. Can you speak with your dad’s doctor or nurse or someone who knew him before his time in the hospital, who will see the change in his behaviour and perhaps be more motivated to do something about it. It’s such a difficult situation for you to cope with. I hope things improve for you and your dad soon. Thinking of you 💐

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Thank you 😊

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Steroids can and do change personality like this, my partner will testify to that fact. I get "ratty" when I have to take steroids, the longer I take them the worse I get.

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It seems the consensus is possibly the medication. Do you have access to it to see what he has to take?

It might be worth giving the BLF helpline a call to see what the experts suggest. Failing that, his own GP who knows him is your best bet as it could be something else. It must be so hard for you and the family to go through. All the best, P

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Thank you for ur suggestions I think I might call BLF as u suggest. Nobody else seems to be able to help me.

Thank you for ur response 😊

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It's 03000 030555 office hours. They may ask what medication your pa is taking. Prednisolone is usually the steroid tablet. I absolutely hate taking it as it makes me feel dreadful but at times needs must.

Good luck.

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Has he been in hospital because he has an infection? Infections can cause very odd behaviours by causing inflammation in the brain - read up on that, or delirium. It can take some time to resolve.

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Thank you beech. Very helpful information at the moment.

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He has severe pneumonia and nearly died twice in 12 days. They discharged him and then less than a week later he was taken in again with a severe chest infection. Discharged him again and this time we lasted less than 24 hours before he was back in again as he just struggled to breath. We have now finally got him oxygen at home which is brilliant.

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If it’s not drug related perhaps he’s had a slight stroke. Any other changes to have noticed

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No other changes. GP thinks it’s morphine related so she’s stopped the medication for now

😊

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Let’s hope he starts improving soon. I have always said morphine is a drug that needs to be treated with respect no matter what form it takes

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Without a doubt!!!!!

I’m pleased it’s been stopped and I haven’t noticed that he’s suffering by not having it. Fingers crossed he will be calmer now.

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Hopefully it is just the steroid and hopefully the dose will reduce and he will return to normal.

Its awful for you to experience this and it must be for him too. I do hope he comes back to his gentle positive self soon.

The other thing I thought of, is blood sugars being high, perhaps a blood glucose test by the GP may be worth asking for. I got diabetes as a result of repeated dose of steroids but hopefully this is not the case for your Dad.

Also if he had mild dementia before, repeated infections can exacerbate it.

If you are in a position as his carer, phone up his doctor and mention your concerns.

Hope things settle down for you both soon.

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Thank you Bkin

I’ve spoken with the GP now and the morphine has been stopped. Hopefully it will make a difference

Take care 😊

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Hello. I think you should discuss this with your doctor and have him referred to a consultant who specialises in the elderly mental health issues. It could be any one of a number of reasons but you won’t know without investigations. Don’t take no for an answer.

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Is a kidney infection possible Phoebe? These can affect some people terribly.

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Everything seems fine in that department. He was like this in the hospital and I’m now thinking it’s because he’s got too much carbon dioxide inside him as he’s refusing anymore cpap treatment 😢

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My mother changed character aged 68 after coming out of hospital following a hysterectomy. It was the start of a type of dementia.

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As a worn out old dad myself, have you considered that your poor dad might just be thoroughly fed-up, pissed off, and wants only to be left alone? Three visits to hospital since Easter is an awful lot to put up with and we all have our breaking points when being "gentle and loving" is not possible any more. I don't know anything about your dad, your posts are mainly about you. I live alone with my ailments, but still show the tendencies you mention. Fortunately only my dog witnesses them and would probably write in the same vein as yourself if she could.

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My dad is a kind gentle man who never says a bad word about anyone. He never swears or is disrespectful.

Sadly the past 2 weeks he is shouting and swearing and being extremely rude and nasty.

I’ve spoken with the GP and changed to his medication have been made.

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Probably tired of being sick.

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I would suggest that is the most likely reason. We actively encourage members to come on this site to rant and rave about their ailments. It makes them feel better and is often the only response left open to them when they have reached their limit of endurance. What is needed is hugs, words of sympathy, plenty of TLC and words of understanding. Implying that their behaviour is unnatural and the result of some side effect or dementia is insulting to them.

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25 Harmful Effects of Morphine

It’s an effective pain reliever. It’s administered frequently by healthcare professionals. It’s prescribed to manage moderate to severe pain after an accident, post-surgery, or for a chronic condition. It’s accepted for common use throughout the U.S.

Unfortunately, this use is not without cost. Like other opioids, this drug has drawbacks. While offering relief from pain, morphine also delivers the following side effects.

Effects on Behavior

Inattentiveness – With morphine in our system, it is harder to stay alert and focus our attention.

Mood Swings – With this strong drug interacting with our system, our emotions are often erratically affected.

Effects on Our Psyche

Abnormal Thoughts – Under the influence of morphine, our thoughts can become cloudy or impaired. We may have thoughts we would not under normal circumstances.

Disturbed Sleep – Morphine can interrupt our normal sleep patterns.

Severe Depression – As morphine slows down our systems and effects our physical and mental functioning, it can also lead to depression.

drugabuse.com/25-harmful-ef...

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Very interesting reading kflatt

Thank you for sharing 😊

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Has he been checked for diabetes? One form of it can cause that change and make someone angry. mol

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This happened with my previous husband, who had severe COPD. He got a form of vascular dementia on top of the lack of oxygen from pushing himself too much and became very angry. It seemed to be his way of staying alive, living on adrenaline.

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Oh bless your heart I feel for you. If he is a co2 retainer and is now having oxygen it's possible it has raised. If you have NIV nurses that visit at home you could call and ask if they could do an earlobe test. In all honesty I'm a co2 retainer and if it's high it gives you dreadful headaches and sickness and confusion just to mention a few but I've never been aggressive, you feel so unwell I just don't think that fits in. Steroids could be a possibility but if I was you I would call the doctor back out . I get regular chest infections and I have iv antibiotics for two weeks so it sounds like your dad didn't get enough treatment. Don't worry one bit about calling the go he will probably send him back in . If you have any concerns when he is in hospital always tell them your concerns x

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Thank you Mandy. He is refusing NIV so they are just administering medication to make him comfortable.

It’s extremely hard to accept he wants no help but it’s his decision and I respect his wishes.

He’s just finished his latest course of antibiotics so we will see how he goes.

Thank you for your kind reply.

Take care of yourself xx

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Hi Phoebephoebs

I get like that sometimes when i get short of breath and wheezy... moaning. irritable. argumentative,, worry about stupid things and to be honest i just want to be left alone and dont want to talk to anyone until it passes and i am just at the mild moderate stage of copd

Hate to think what i will be like when i get to severe stage

Very best wishes to you

has must be so hard

Music

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I’m sorry to hear u feel like this. Such a horrible thing to go through.

I’ve spoken to our GP and she has stopped the morphine and given me Lorazepam to give to him when he gets agitated. I don’t want to speak too soon but today he seems calmer and that’s without any lorazepam

Thank you for your reply.

Take good care of yourself 😊

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