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Lung & Respiratory Disorders / COPD Message Board

Lung & Respiratory Disorders / COPD Board Index

Help with COPD
Sep 3, 2011
My Dad has COPD with congestive heart failure, a-fib and still smokes a pack of cigs a day...he has been on oxygen 24/7 for 5 yrs now. In the last montha and a half he has been hospitalized 4 times and before that he was intubated twice...he is about to make his 5th trip to the ER with the same symptoms he always has and he was just released 2 weeks ago...his body is retaining carbon dioxide, levels have been 95 -99 and his good oxygen has been as low as 56 just from standing while having oxygen on...last time they sent him home with a bi pap machine, it seems as tho no matter what they do now hes been going to the hospital every 2 weeks. On top of that it is a fight to the end to get him there because his oxygen levels get so low he is not thinking straight, to the point his lips turn blue, his speech is slurred and he passes out at the table. I don't know what to do anymore i feel helpless...I am just afraid he is gonna wait too long and he is gonna die in his bedroom...I am a newly single Mom of 3 boys 2 of which still live at home ages 12 and 13 and I don't wan them to find him. He can do nothing for himself anymore...we do everything from fixing his food to pouring his coffee, I don't know how much more I can take...Any suggestions, Do you think he is getting close to his death or am i just being paranoid???
Re: Help with COPD
Sep 6, 2011
My mother just passed at the end of April due to the congestive heart failure the copd caused. I know this is going to sound awful, but let him smoke. Your dad sounds as if he was right where my mom was 2 months before she passed. She went into the hospital for another round in February and came home on Hospice care 5 days later. She passed April 28th. My mom's symptoms were the blueing of the lips, fingernails and toenails. Her Co2 was in the 70's and 80's. When on the oxygen it would only go down to the 50's. Her problem was she retained too much of the carbon dioxide and yes that was making her loopy, incoherent. She lost 20lbs in the last 5 months of her life. But she never wanted to give up those cigarettes. Why bother? They gave her a death sentence and she figured why quit now (she was 63 years of age). I understand your concern about your children. My mother lived with us and I have an 11 year old at home too. GET HOSPICE!

Although my mom initially told the nurses that she wanted to die at home when the time came and with a little persistence on my part, we moved her to a Hospice house where she died peacefully and comfortably. Of course the nurses want to honor the patient's wishes, but... life does go on. Our children should not have to bear witness to the actual dying process if we do not want them too. My daughter wanted to be with her grandmother at that time and I asked the Universe, God, Buddha, who ever would listen to spare my daughter that memory. My prayers were answered. She passed in the middle of the night, the night I asked for help, when no one expected her to go. It was peaceful and proper. Really truly get Hospice help.

It is medicaid billable(?), all you have to do is get the pulmonologist from the hospital (or if your dad has one) to call them to come out. Let him smoke. By his cigarettes. As long as he's not doing it indoors around your children while the oxygen is on, quitting now is not going to prolong his life. His body is becoming very anxious. It knows it is shutting down. He probably is feeling some sort of panic. I'm sure he knows the change is happening.

Smoking will give him some sort of sanity. I know most people will dog me for this post, but I just went through it. Reality is, they're dying anyway, and soon. This isn't someone who was just diagnosed who has 10, 20, even 30 years left of their life. Enjoy your time with your dad. Don't nag him about smoking. Make him his favorite dinners. Let him watch his shows. He'll pull away from the family but make sure he knows you're there, not judging. Trust me. I pray you go through this easily. Keep posting. I found out that this site is really helpful to vent at total strangers without feeling guilty about what you say.

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