British Lung Foundation
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assessment for pr

Tomorrow Richard goes for assessment for pulmonary rehabilitation. I aren't sure how he will go on as his sats are so sensitive they plummet easily. On Sunday I was clearing out the shed and in he comes with the oxygen strapped on doing his rocket man, pulling things out etc, I told him he was going blue so to sit down, did he take any notice, did he chuff. So I threw me bat n ball down and told him to get on with it. Afew minutes later he came in, he wasnt blue he was purple, and very upset, he had bent down to pick something up and couldn't get up, he hadn't the strength to get up or shout for help, it had really scared him and he said it was the last time he would do anything like that, yeah......right.......... This morning I was taking the bins out and caught him coming back from the bottle bank a few yards from the front door, no oxygen on, he was really blue and his sats were 76. What can I do apart from sit on him to stop him doing something stupid. He keeps wanting to do things I can understand that, and I think he's testing himself out to see what he can do, but the slightest thing drops his sats even with oxygen, they come back up after hes sat down, and it doesnt take long, but I'm worried hes putting strain on his heart. I will tell the nurse all this tomorrow because am not sure what she expects him to do for the assessment.

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15 Replies

They will monitor him walking how far really, he can stop and sit down resting they check sats throuh out hope that helps :) x

Hiya Val, how are you doing?

Getting there slowly but surely thank you, I feel if they had started the IV antibiotics sooner would have been home by now, but what can you do the ward consultant disregarded what my respiratory consultant advised. Hopefully home soon :)

thanks val, hope youre feeling on the up, dont be fancying all the fit drs now, there are some about, though they look about 12. xx

Ha ha your right there x

Hi amagran, PR will probably be the best thing that could happen for Richard just now - particularly if he is wanting to do more as it will be a safe environment for him to exercise in. Tomorrow they will check that he is ok to go ahead with it, as well as noting down his walk distance so that they have something to use as a 'benchmark' to check his progress against at the end of the course. Assuming this is taking place at the hospital, see it as an opportunity to pick the nurses brains about anything you want answering over the coming weeks - it is well worth building up a good relationship with these people. My respiratory nurse was always there for me at the end of the phone long after the course had ended. Last but not least - to gain any real improvement from the exercises it is important to do them every day at home too, so you will need to encourage him on days when he can't be bothered - or you could exercise with him of course ;) Auntymary xx

thanks, I shall encourage him to exercise, am sure he will, he is getting very down. On Saturday Dionne is opening her house for us to have a party, its richards 69th birthday and also our 40th wedding anniversary on Sun. Another milestone of life. has your daugter left for uni yet, its getting that time. xx

Hi amagran - hope all went well with today's appointment - I will look in later to see how you got on. I still have my daughter for just ten more days until she flies the nest :( Have a lovely Birthday/ Anniversary this weekend . Auntymary xx

Hi amagran,

Good Luck for Richard tomorrow, but please be prepared just incase he isn't well enough to participate. Like we had a chat before, PR is alot different for people with IPF to those with other COPD's and your body simply cannot tolerate much exercise as you just simply cant get the oxygen in when you reach a certain stage, like Richard and my dad. There will be many benefits for him, including the knowledge he will gain and just by being with like minded people will be greatly therapeutic. As dads specialist said, when you have IPF you need to relax alot more and conserve your energy and concentrate on breathing exercises.

Positive thinking amagran, thats all we can do but we must be realistic at the same time hun. They are both stubborn, that we do know and they will insist on doing more than they should and then turn blue.

Let us know what happens ok, love to you both xxxx

Whats IPF?

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

IPF belongs to the Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) group. Whereas COPD is an obstructive disease, IPF is a restrictive disease - ie. it restricts the ability to take air into the lung. For this reason it does not come under the COPD banner. Sometimes people can have both diseases at the same time. While there are differences between the two, there are also similarities. So both COPD'ers and IPF'ers may have problems getting oxygen into the bloodstream as the disease reaches more severe stages.

COPD is an obstructive disease, you can breathe in but not out easily, IPF is a restrictive disease, you can breathe out but not in easily. Richard has IPF in both lower lungs and copd ( emphysema ) in both upper lungs, he has gone rapidly downhill since last november and has had 18 infections in that time, 3 lots of pneumonia, maybe more diagnosed as chest infections, he never quite gets back as far up after each infection. He started on ambulatory oxygen in May and home oxygen in August. This time last year he was gardening, shopping etc,now he struggles to go upstairs to the toilet, but still manages to be very naughty and do too much , a way of hanging on to his independance I suppose.

Thank you all I now know what it is. xx

Amagram, I think this will do Richard the world of good. He obviously wants to do more and this is a safe way of doing it. It also gives him a chance to learn more about what he cannot do. Regular exercise will be a good way for him to feel he still CAN...rather than a list of can'ts. He will learn his tolerances and, if you go with him, it should help you too. Going below your ideal sats is not too bad you know, as long as it is not done too often. We are advised to stay above 90% for 15 (or 20) hours a day, which means it is okay to slip below at other times. It needs to be done sensibly though. You should find the PR team helpful and full of good advice. Hope you both benefit and enjoy. Good luck. xx

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