My dad is a COPD sufferer - Can he be in denial about his condition?

Hi I am looking for some advice for both my mum and dad my dad is a COPD sufferer and he takes a purple and blue inhaler daily. My mum is struggling to understand it as my dad doesn't think he is bad. He is currently really poorly but refusing for me to get a Dr to see him. He has all the flu symptoms along with shortness of breath. Any advice or help to help them understand it would be greatly appreciated.

20 Replies

  • Hi Ashkir26,

    I think I know where your Dad's coming from. I'm a 64 year old woman with sarcoidosis which I've had for over 20 years but it's only in the last couple of years it has got progressively worse leaving me needing oxygen 24/7. It happened so suddenly that I didn't or couldn't accept it thinking I could carry on as usual but I'm slowly realising I can't, this is since August last year. How long since your Dad's diagnosis, it's good he has you and your Mum for support I live on my own but have great support from friends and family best of luck

    Liz x

  • Hi thanks for replying he was diagnosed a few years ago but only the last few months he has got worse he seems to have good days then really bad days where he shuts off from us all - he has us all supporting him but my mum is finding it hard to understand as he has always been active and worked all his life he is 60 now and I don't think his gp has really kept in touch with what medication he needs to take etc... I understand it must be a hard condition to have to accept and deal with and I am hoping he joins on here to seek help from people with similar things :)

  • It's a very difficult situation.... I found myself in that position many years ago... My dad was a bit of a tyrant we were all scared of him, my mom had died 2 years before and I went to visit him, he looked dreadful and had lost a lot of weight, he said he wasn't having the doctor, I told him that he was, I phoned the gp and he was admitted to hospital. Do what you feel is right, that's all I can say. Good luck.

  • Hi ashkir26

    I am sorry to read of the problems you and your family are experiencing.

    It can take time for a person diagnosed with an illness or condition to fully understand and come to terms with what an illness means.

    When you say your dad has flu symptoms and is breathless, is the level of breathlessness usual for, has it come on suddenly?

    People with COPD can be more vulnerable to chest infections if they get things like flu - it may be worth trying to have a chat with your dad as he may need antibiotics/steroids.

    Is he using his inhalers, and are they helping?

    Please give us a call if you would like to discuss this further.



  • Thank u I have called a Dr out too see him he will go mad and won't be happy but he does need something the more I'm reading about COPD it sounds like a lung attack or flare up not quite sure which one is the right word thank u

  • I am sure he won't be angry for long when he is feeling better with treatment, I hope all goes well and the situation improves quickly.

  • Hi Jo

    he is breathless,coughing,shaking,body aches and feels very cold. He would benefit from joining a group like this to learn and get advice if he doesn't understand something he is taking the inhalers but not sure if they r helping as he is still poorly and still struggling - is there such thing as a lung attack?

  • Hello Ashkir :) You've certainly done the right thing in calling out your dad's GP. When we COPD'ers get a chest infection it's quite bad news as it makes it so much more difficult to breathe and the sooner we are prescribed antibiotics and steroids the better :) These infections are usually called exacerbations, but in layman's terms are referred to as 'flare-ups' . I suppose that's similar to what you call a 'lung attack'.

    I do hope your dad's feeling much better very quickly and wish you, and your family, all the best for the future.

  • Ashkir,

    Us men dont like to cause a fuss as its not manly - but it you think the situation warrants a doctor go for it - regardless of what your dad says, he can thank you later (for in some cases for saving his life) Copd is something which should not been taken lightly - Exbrabations can kill and do - so do the right thing not only for yor dad - but for your peace of mind

    Take Care


  • Thank you for your advice I have been reading all about these flare ups and he has all the symptoms so hopefully the doctor comes more to the 1pm mark. I don't think my dad realises how severe this condition is and once he is well I will be showing him this site and hopefully he will learn it and get advice wen needed. I am going to mention to the doctor about his inhalers too I don't think he understands how much and how often he should be taking them. He looms so skinny and unwell he has been very depressed and locking himself away from family. When he is well he is great with my 3 children but with them all been under 5 I think it's too much for him to handle having them around. You are all very helpful and thank u for sharing your knowledge as google seems a scary place to search things so I am glad I have found this site to get real information from

  • Hi Ashkir26

    Calling the GP - sounds good.

    There is such a term as lung attack - it is the same as flare up and exacerbation.

    Lung attack is just a term to stress how serious they can be.

    Best Wishes


  • Thank you - should a person with COPD struggle with every breath or should his medication be right to keep his breathing under control? He isn't very good with his inhalers my son has a brown one morning and night my dad just seems to randomly take his no pattern and never a set amount of times a day which seems strange with his condition been at the severe stage x

  • Your dad needs to ask for a referral to see a respiratory consultant. Don't let anyone put this off for ANY reason. He has a serious disease and needs to see an expert, if only once, to ensure he has the correct help. Let him be manly and say he is okay, you do it for him if you must. As Muckster says, you could be saving his life. I hope he feels better soon. Good luck. xx

  • Thank u I have told his doctor to refer him - she prescribed him antibiotics and steroids to start straight away and she has a nurse coming out every few hours to check his stats as his were 90 and she wasn't happy to not get him checked in a few hours - it's good to see a Dr doing something for him straight away he has been to his surgery loads and just been sent away with a blue inhaler and no further appointments or help. He has took his first lot of tablets and the Dr has said he should fell better by even later tonight so fingers crossed his stats go up and he keeps his breathing under control he does do well I wouldn't get through it like he does . Thanks for all your messages x

  • Hi Ashkir

    I'm glad to read your dad has been prescribed medication - that should start making him feel better soon.

    If you email us your address etails to - we can send out you out some excellent information on COPD, we also have a booklet for when your'e looking after someone with a lung condition.

    We can also advise on benefits your parents may be eligible for.



  • learned lots askhir26 look out for dad


  • Hope your dad feels better soon. COPD is a disease that is much easier to control once you know everything that's involved. Maybe your dad would be suitable for Pulmonary Rehabilitation once he gets over this flare-up. Have a word with your GP. x

  • Hi Ashkir26,

    As my wife told me, men don't need instruction books or doctors. I have learnt that I was very wrong on both counts, being a hero with copd is extremely dangerous. I have sat at home very ill and in denial, saying I am ok, until the ambulance is needed and the doctor in emergency reception told me another hour and they might not be bothering.

    Like everyone else I don't want to be hospital, I think it is the boredom and the just sitting there that gets me, plus I know how much trouble it is to visit me, but without their expert help I know would have been dead a long time ago. So next time I hope I can say early enough that I need help.

    You have done the right thing, only the experts can help with copd there are so many things to consider and so many different medications.

    I hope he feels much better soon


  • Hi im 46 and have got copd serve i use seretide 500 twice a day and i got spiriva which i use once a day also use the blue ventolin as and when needed spiriva helps alot i have trouble walking up stairs at night tme

  • Hi mate if you can get him in a good mood try this get a plastic chair and put it in his shower, get him in there and sit him down and have the hot water hit his upper back and leave him in there for a fair while or until the has had enough. Make a good lemon drink with honey lemon etc and have him drink it. If he has trouble taking ventolin with sprays go buy a nebuliser and have him use it every morning on waking and every night before bed and when he feels bad during the day. Does your dad smoke ? if he does he has to stop asap. get a doctor to come to your house and tell your dad well we paid for him so we have to use him.

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