Hi, please excuse my long post but it comes up from big concerns that keep rolling in my head all the time.
my mother is 70 years old, and newly diagnosed with copd stage two. she was a smoker for 55 years. her breathing is improving from 61% to 71% while using the inhaler(when doctor was doing her spirometry). She used to cough frequently but we never thought it is serious, and she even went last year to pulmonologist, but didn't mention for her COPD.
we discovered that she has it when she started coughing in a weird way and intensely for around 24 hours, and then she collapsed and admitted to the emergency for 9 days for the first time in her life!
The doctor said that her esophagus is shrunk, and apparently what happened with her might be due to sensitivity(she recalls staying in a place full of smoke the day before the exacerbation)
I'm still trying to build a knowledge about this disease, and so happy I found this site. Please share with me your experiences to ease it up on me.
Right now the doctor gave her 2 inhalers, one for 6 months and another for lifelong use. She quit smoking the day she admitted to the hospital(almost one month now),
- With the inhaler, she seems to have very good breathing, especially noticeable when she laughs without end cough! Will she need a Pulmonary rehab program at this stage? her doctor didn't mention that! Would it be better to have it now or wait?
While saying exercise is good and helps, will walking be enough? Maybe that's suitable for her age! She's active at home as a housewife though(cooking, cleaning..etc)
Can she travel alone in her condition(for long flights more than 12 continuous hours)? her average at home oxygen level we check by spirometer is around 94%, is there any risk of drop if she breathes normally in daily life?
We are living in a place where we use a stove(chimney) operated by fuel oil(well ventilated to outside) all day for heating. although no smoke present in the room, is it dangerous or has any side effect for her? in case yes, will the purifier work on that?
What is the best purifier type could be used?
She coughs very rarely during the day, is this still normal?
while using one of the inhalers(Symbicort) she is feeling hoarseness, althogh she gargles with water. Any proven way to avoid this(which normally lasts for around 3 hours). I also read that there might be a side effect of throat infection. Any great way to avoid it maybe a drink or a habit she can follow?(
How concerned should I be if she goes out, for example to mall, where there are air fresheners, people apply perfume, passing by perfume shops? is just passing by fine?
Myself is living in one of the Arabic gulf cities, although it is well developed, but statistics say that the air is polluted and it is one of the most polluted in the world (“Unhealthy for sensitive groups” with a US AQI reading of 132),We cannot see the pollution (there's no smog), is short visit of her to me would be ok? like one month?Am I taking this so deep!?
Can she apply perfume beforehand on her clothes? is just smelling the scent could be bad?
What type of mask is the ideal if she travels, that can still make her breath easily?
Is staying in a place with central AC, could be bad for her(considering staying in 5-star hotel for few nights).
How frequent could the exacerbations would be?
Would she be able to avoid admitting to the hospital if she goes directly to the doctor when the first signs of infection/flare up, if any, appear? How to control these exacerbations at first?
Is it a rule of thumb, that she can walk until she feels tired? or she should not feel tired when she walk, and she should avoid reaching this level to avoid complications?
Please share with me your experiences about life expectancies and the progression of the disease. it is taking over my thoughts.
Thank you so much