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COPD information

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by HeatherLynn, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. HeatherLynn

    HeatherLynn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know Deb is dealing with this with her soon to be hubby but I am looking for information. As much as I can get. My sister has asthma. Has had it for many years. Adult onset. She was exposed for many years to black mold in army quarters and she went from allergies to severe asthma. Anywho now they are saying copd even though she has never ever smoked. Her breathing is awful even on the highest dose of meds they can give her. They checked her lung function and it was very very bad. He told her she has the lungs of an 80 year old. Thats pretty bad for a 50 year old. She does not take care of herself. Has pnuemonia 3 or 4 times a year. doesn't eat right, has way too many cats indoors. ect ect She also had some type of fever in arizona that related to fungus in the lungs so who knows what that did.

    She is now willing to think about some measures to help with this. She is going to see a pulmonary specialist now finally. I suggested she do some breathing " workouts". She mouth breathes all the time and in the winter this is heck on her lungs. She stays sick the entire winter. Anywho breathe through the nose and then release through the mouth. Doing it slowly of course. She can barely do it. I also suggested modifying her diet to a bit more of a clean diet and actually eating regular. Cut out her dairy to cut down on mucus. You guys have any more suggestions.

    I think her house needs a huge cleaning out, decluttering, de-cat hairing. I would say cleaning vents and such would not be a bad thing either. I already told her to toss all those sprays she loves so. I cannot go into her house at all without having an asthma attack. She loves all those scented things and has like 5 cats inside and quilts hanging on almost every wall. Its allergen heaven. Seriously its the only time other than when I am dead sick that I have to pull the inhaler out.( my dr insists I keep one on hand since I do get them rarely)

    i am freaking out just a little because I get brochitis all the time and have seasonal asthma flare ups. I'm on no regular meds thank goodness but I do alot of natural support to stay that way.( I really hope the worst is I carry that stupid inhaler around forever) Is this what I will face also? When she was my age hers was no worse than mine is now. Pretty scary. My huge dose of anxiety does not lend to me not stressing this one either.
     
  2. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    COPD is a generalization, much like cancer is. It is a disease, but the different afflictions that encompass COPD vary widely. Asthma is swelling and constriction of the esophagus and can cause death. Asthma is encompassed in COPD and has many of the same treatments that treats emphysema.

    She needs a dry climate, because that will help a great deal. De-humidifier if she lives in a humid climate will help. I suspect she needs to see a pulmonologist, and quickly. For someone to say she has the lungs of an 80 year old there is more going on than just asthma.

    With emphysema, the sacks in the lungs explode and are no longer functional, causing a person to have trouble breathing all the time, need oxygen. Their trunk area of the body also expands, causing pressure on other organs, such as the heart, kidneys and liver. It also cuts down on their appetite due to pressure on the stomach.

    Asthma does not cause those side effects, yet it is devastating on it's own. Advair, Spiriva, inhalers are often necessary. Make sure she sees a lung doc, not just her primary doc.
     
  3. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    Oh and ask her to find out what her FEV score is. I can offer more information once I know that number.
     
  4. HeatherLynn

    HeatherLynn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They have had her on advair for several years now. Its not till she went to a different doctor for work that she finds out she should be seeing a specialist. Her doctor never really said anything alarming so she has gone on this entire time without good info. Apparently she knew it was COPD but the doc said as long as she took her meds and stayed away from smoke she would be fine. I am calling doctors today to get her in with a specialist. Its a bit scary but the sooner we know what we are fully dealing with the better. I will try to get what info I can out of her. She is not the best at dealing with real life so she is a bit flaky on this stuff.
     
  5. dewey

    dewey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have lung issues due to lung scarring from radiation for pelvic cancer, with calcified granulomas and mild to moderate emphysema. Also still working on getting over this recent onset of pleurisy and lung infection. I'm glad you're helping your sister find a good doc since only a specialist can advise what's going on and what's best for her individual care and treatment.
    Quote: ...or is still doing. She really also needs this followed up on quickly by a specialist who sees and treats advanced cocci infection. They can check titers regularly, although titers often are not a good indicator of what's going on internally. The lung and other organ damage being done by the cocci spores can go undetected for 10-20 years or more and are very serious. My DD's (then) 11 year old step sister had 10+ strokes from cocci and was hospitalized for more than 6 months, and has to be treated daily for life to hopefully keep the cocci in check, and she has a permanent brain shunt for the continued life-long battling of cocci. Please make sure your sis follows up with a specialist about her initial infection.

    Hoping your sister finds relief and help to start feeling better soon. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  6. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

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    My thought's included that she should considered being treated for fungus, and mold related infections. She does need to clean out the house, getting the cats outside, and getting rid of any carpets. The best thing she could do for herself is have a real and very clean home.

    Best wishes on your sister health.
     
  7. HeatherLynn

    HeatherLynn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Its a struggle with her and it worries the heck out of me. Every little step is a fight. She doesn't want to spend money on anything to help her so she is waffling on the specialist. She has insurance but the copays bug her. She asked me yesterday if I could fix her lungs. She knows I use herbals and diet for my health but herbs and diet only go so far. I felt so stressed all day because she is expecting something more than I can give. I told her upfront that damage is done and there is no going back on that. That only the specialist can say what is damage and what can be improved.

    I agree on the house. I think its a HUGE factor. I am not asthmatic really. I do get asthma like symptoms when I get seasonal brochitis and it is labeled as asthmatic brochitis but thats the only time. I walk in her house though and I cannot breathe. My throat closes up and I start wheezing. I told her the house is her best bet on improving this. We are considering cleaning services for her Christmas present. Everything needs to be wiped down, aired out, bleached. Vents need cleaning I am sure. Probably her entire heating and air system needs serviced and cleaned. She cannot do most of this. I cannot do it for her without ending up at the doctors. I am massively allergic to cats and mold, which is 2 things she has so much of. She won't pay for any of these things to be done. She lives alone so once its clean it would be easy enough to control all the allergin factors.

    This is sitting very heavy on my heart, I hope we can help enough.
     
  8. bargain

    bargain Love God, Hubby & farm Premium Member

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    Well, I've had lung issues for many many years, repetitive pneumonia and then misdiagnosis pneumonia (4 times in a row) that really was MAC, which scarred my lungs horribly, and then return of Mac two times, then, fungal infection and then fungal meds that landed me in the hospital and then pseudomonas pneumonia in Dec 2011, Jan 2012 and recurr in Febb 2012. All that said, Bleach is bad for me and my lungs, It literally launches me into an attack. actually hydrogen peroxide diluted works well to kill germs. ALSO oxine is an excellent - non toxic, non damaging cleaner. Tips I would tell her as one who knows:

    Her ability to get oxygen is critical, not only crucial to breathing but the very life and vitality and viability of her entire body - including muscles, brain, etc. She really needs some reality time with a doctor or nurse practicioner. who specialize in lung diseases. She may also need to see a rare disease physician for any symptoms that may say be animal born such as histoplasmosis etc.

    I am using a shaker vest which is a fancy machine that vibrates my lungs so hopefully I will cough up anything that doesn't belong there, a nebulizer with medicated airway openers and a Lung flute to manually move my lungs and cause coughing - takes up around 3 hours a day....Is it helping I hope so. however, I may soon learn that I am still not through the medical route or that some of the lack of oxygen has caused a muscle disorder, that causes me to collapse without warning. Yes, about 3 times a week, my leg or legs go rubbery and down I go.

    But she has to make up her mind that SHE is worth the effort.

    I have and I will work hard every day to improve my health. That doesn't mean I have a lot of fun doing therapies - I don't - they hurt but they are purposeful. I don't like all the med appointments - but without them, I either may not be or i might slip to a lower level of functioning.

    I didn't mean to turn this into a pity party - but to say that you can talk yourself blue, and she may not listen, Maybe if you can find a COPD group on line or in the community and offer to drive, that might help. One thing that truly helped me a lot was becoming a patient at the National Jewish Hospital last year as the patient education given is tremendous! She can receive a lot of that online as well at no cost. Wishing you both the very best. Please tell her that I hope she avails herself of help, because breath is literally life sustaining.
     

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