Return to previous page
My mother has COPD and has for many years now. She did live with me and I took care of her for several years but I moved to Washington and she just did not think moving so far away would be a good idea. So now she lives near my sister in Texas. I had several questions regarding her condition but let me summarize her current progress in health. She is in what the doctors call stage 4 or the last stages of COPD. I do not like this term by the way. And she has been on the vent 3 times in the past 6 months. The last time they said she only had a 30% chance of coming off. This was several weeks ago. She came off thank god! But she is on oxygen and also a c-pap machine. Her carbon levels were at 97 last time she was vented. But due to the fact that she has issues with carbon levels spiking and has to wear the c-pap the doctor told us last time they had to use the c-pap for a long duration of time to bring the levels down and this causes the lining around the lung that expands and contracts as you breath in and out to loose its elasticity and from how they explained it is like it is stuck in a relaxed position like breathing just out. We are being told this while she is on the vent and the doctor says she may need a trach put in if she comes off the vent. Well she came off the vent and did not need any further assistance, so no trach and nothing was ever mentioned about this again. The doctor told her that her lungs are just too weak and can not handle another ventilation so if this happens again they do not plan to vent her. So now she is back home but things are much different this time. She is complaining her lungs hurt and this is with morphine. Her nurse says it could be pluracy and if so the only treatment is to let her ride it out. But she is also having portions of days that she does not remember and is easily confused. It is very difficult to take care of her when the information we are given changes or is not elaborated on and our main goal is to make her comfortable and be able to make informative decisions when the time comes to make them. So I know that we have no timeline with her and appreciate each and every day but I almost lost my father years ago to emphysema and he had lung volume reduction surgery that saved his life. So this is not new to me and I know every person's condition is different and that makes treatment and advice hard to give but any advice about proper care for her would be helpful. Also any advice about exercise and pulmonary or physical therapy will not be much help, she had a vertebrae in her back collapse several years ago while doing stretch bands during physical therapy and the doctor who did her back said just simply bending down to pick something up could make her entire back go out. So this is not a possibility.
Join Us on COPD360social
It is not our intention to serve as a substitute for medical advice and any content posted should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. While we encourage individuals to share their personal experiences with COPD, please consult a physician before making changes to your own COPD management plan.