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COPD (long post)(12 Posts)
My husband has just been diagnosed with COPD at the age of 35, we have 3 children 5, 2 and 5 weeks old. He's always suffered with asthma but mild up until the last year and a bit. Finally he got some results as to why his "asthma" took a turn for the worst and it turns out to be lung disease.
Since the results last week my husband has quit smoking (although finding it extremely difficult) he does have an appointment at the smoking clinic on Tuesday next week to get extra support and products to help him. He is also a bit over weight and has his first induction at the gym on Monday next week also. We have also began slimming world together as I want to eat what he eats and support him through his new dietary changes.
I know we are doing all the right things at the moment and we will continue to do so.
I just need some advice if any of you can relate or help.
Obviously since the results we have both been scared, upset, angry, anxious and low in mood. (Although we have brave faces around our children). I can see it in his face how scared he is and he already feels his life is over. I hate seeing him so low and I'm worried he's going to become depressed. Iv also got a long history of poor mental health and find it hard to keep on the straight and narrow. I just want to support him and help keep him strong and positive. I will always be beside him but I want to make sure I'm supporting him and being strong. It's very hard to be strong when I see him so low and so frightened.
I don't know how quickly he could deteriorate and how awful it will be. Will he be in pain, need an oxygen mask, be bed ridden and suffer? I know nothing about life expectancy or anything.
When we were given the results I saw him sink into his chair and he couldn't say a word. I had a million questions but didn't want to ask the doctor those awful questions in front of him. So I just sat with him and held his hand whilst the doc explained a few bits. The doc more elaborated on what to do next rather than what to expect.
I keep thinking of how he must be feeling inside and how his future plans have changed. I keep thinking about how I'm going to be his support and look after him. I also keep thinking of our young children and what we are expected to go through as a family in the future. How can I protect my kids from the inevitable?
My husband said when he starts to deteriorate in the future and requires help to breathe by a machine ect that he won't go through it and will kill himself before it happens. He says he can't live like that until and die suffering. (This is killing us).
When he's low in mood, snappy and tired I fully appreciate it because of what he's going through and I know he's struggling with it mentally and physically and the changes in diet and smoking are new and hard for him. I just don't know the best way to respond to it and deal with those situations.
He's very stressed and tired and I'm the same. I can feel my own mental health creeping back up plus the emotions of having a new born baby, my eldest having behaviour difficulties as a result of physical abuse of his biological father and biological fathers partner (it's been a long process and my son is safe away from them) and also my two year old who has massively hit the terrible twos. I'm tired, stressed and bitter to the world at the moment and now since the results seeing the man I adore go through this I just feel like the world is crumbling around me.
I need to be strong for my children and my husband and keep myself sane!!
Sorry for the long post but I really need someone to talk to and support. I don't really have anyone like that apart from my husband and I can't approach him with my worries because I don't want to put more pressure on him.
Please can someone help me with what's best to do or ways we can manage this as a family. (Children are not aware).
Thank you so much for reading and again I'm sorry for the long post. XXXX
My DH is 47 and was diagnosed with COPD a few years ago. The top of his right lung has 'died' and he has pockets of disease (not the right word) on his other lung. He also has tumours on one lung.
He was told he may need the dead part of his lung removed.
He uses a blue inhaler for breathlessness, he rarely needs it, and another inhaler every norning and evening. He takes medication for nerve pain.
He works, walks the dog, rides his motorbike etc. Hes actually healthier now because of the medication, especially his twice daily inhaler.
He only needs to see his consultant once a year now and doesn't need an operation.
Theres alway the possibility he will get worse, but we dont expect that until old age tbh.
Your DH has been given the chance to improve his health with his diagnosis. Definately get him to stop the smoking and try to exercise.
Thank you for that reply!! It's give me more hope to think medication and some lifestyle changes can keep him level for hopefully a long time. My DH doesn't need pain relief currently but takes a special inhaler morning and night to and his blue as and when he needs it. Does your husband have the circle shaped inhaler that you have to put a tablet in and inhale?
Can I ask if his doctor or consultant has spoken about life expectancy or future treatments? Or did he just say to continue to be healthy just exercise ect and he could last as long as anyone else type thing? I'm sorry to ask I'm just scared of losing him I suppose as we all would be. I'd like to think we can grow old together xx
DP was diagnosed with COPD last year and we went through a lot of the emotions you describe. We're in a similar place to you regarding not knowing how the future will turn out, so I can't offer any advice there, but he is so much better now he's on the right medications. Just wanted to say I know it's tough emotionally on everyone and I hope this is the start of a road to improved health for your DP.
No his inhaler isnt like that, Ill check the name of it when I can be bothered getting up!
His consultant doesnt see why he cant live a normal life span. Obviously as he ages it might progress, mainly just because of old age, and his Gran and Ddd had/have it. But at the moment there are no concerns.
He still attends an asthma clinic at his GPs every few months.
He smoked from the ages if 14-30, he had given them up for 13/14 years before his diagnosis. He was also a coalman for a good few years, so breathed in a lot of dust.
A close relative had it and lived to 89, passing away of heart failure in the end, that's not to say that he didn't give us scary moments - more than once a chest infection made him gravely ill in hospital as he couldn't breathe out the carbon dioxide - that's what the machine does, and there were periods probably in the last ten years where he did need oxygen but i honestly believe that it was his strength of character and determination that helped him through those moments.
Avoid contact with people who have chest infections, coughs, colds etc
DH has never needed hospital treatment, whereas I, without COPD, have been in hospital 7 times in 2 years with pleurisy and/or pneumonia
My dad has had it for about 10 years and he lives a pretty active life with the help of a blue and red inhaler. He has a cough and is a bit wheezy sometimes, but apart from that seems quite normal. No sign of any deterioration as of yet.
Thank you very much. I'm the kind of person who has an answer for everything and can always see a silver lining. But this time I just feel empty.. And just so so sorry for him. He's such a good man.. Why does this have to happen Iv got the British Ling foundation calling me Monday to give me more a perspective and info ect.. In the meantime I'm trying to pick spirits up in the house. Iv read lots and it does say COPD can cause depression and anxiety and I want to help him before any of it happens. I'm sorry that your both dealing with it too. xxxx
Ok thank you so so much for the replies, I am so very grateful for your time. I don't feel so hopeless. I'm going to do the slimming world with him and go to the gym with him when my mum can have the children for an hour and do it with him so he's not alone. XXXX
I've seen lots of people with work (social care) with COPD. The people I saw who were REALLY bad were those who had the diagnosis and continued to smoke. There were lots of these people. No word of a lie- they'd have the oxygen generator and they would switch it off so they could have a fag. For most other people it didn't affect them that much…they just used inhalers and gave up smoking!
Stopped their oxygen to have a fag?? Oh my goodness well no he's given up, 3 days no smoking so far so I'm very proud of him xxxx
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