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Ratty2E | 08:57 Mon 28th Mar 2011 | Health & Fitness
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My MIL has just been diagnosed with COPD she is currently in hospital with pneumonia too.
She has been told she has to use 2 different inhalers now for the rest of her life, but I don't know what these are specifically for. Does anyone here have COPD or know anything about it? Will she have to be on oxygen permanently? Any info greatly appreciated.


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I do not have COPD but daffy an ABer has something similar and will give you personal impressions.

COPD is an irreversible condition of the lung causes breathless of varying degrees.
It leaves the lungs i a state of "sitting duck" for any infections which will make the condition worse.

The two sprays will be 1) a bronchodilator which will open up the lung tubes 2) a steroid spray which will cut down on the inflammatory response.
The bronchodilator and steroids may be combined in one spray.

Antibiotics will be necessary should an infection supervene.

Oxygen should always be at hand for use.

This is only a quick resume.
Question Author
Thanks for the quick resposes. I was mainly worried that she might have to be on oxygen 24/7 which would be really restrictive for her. She does have a heart problem too which she's had for years and has to take beta blockers. She had a hip replacement just over a month ago too, so she's worried about that as she can't get out of bed to excercise it. It's all a bit stressful at the moment so i'm finding it difficult to get a lot of info.
on the nhs site, you can get an "information prescription" i'll just try to find the link
Question Author
She's been in hospital for a week now but there seems to have been no progress in her condition. She has to have a nebuliser every night and they can't seem to get her pulse steady or her oxygen levels up. She has an anormous amount of pills to take but they had to take her off her heart medication as they said it was making her lungs worse. She is very ill. Would this be mainly the pneumonia making her so ill ?if so how long might it take to recover from?
Bad heart to start with........then develops C.O P.D.........heart failure tablets have to be withdrawn........ pneumonia adds further pressure on the heart.
Despite continuous therapy O2 levels resistant to improvement.

Are you getting the picture which should answer your questions?
Question Author
Thanks Sqad, I think I get what you are saying. We have to try to stay positive because what else can you do.
Can't help you with the technical or medical side of this rattyratgirl but can tell you my best friend's husband has it. He is 53 and ran a half-marathon in the October and then 6 months later was in hospital fighting for his life. He has made a good "recovery" from that but has had to retire due to his health and takes many, many tablets per day (around 40) I think. He has to have a sleep apnoae (sorry, can't spell that!) machine at night and whilst his day-to-day living has changed considerably he is doing ok.
The hardest part for both him and my best friend is acceptance of his condition and that he is simply no longer able to do what he could before - but I guess that is true of anything that comes along and changes your life.
It hasn't been easy and he is such a poorly man but he copes and I wish your MIL all the best.
Question Author
Thanks BetteK. 53 is no age really and to have your life changed and restricted so drastically must be very hard from them both.
She shouldn't be oxygen dependant just yet. She will more than likely have inhalers and nebulisers (Salbutamol + Saline, and Atrovent) 4 times a day. I daresay the Docs will give her antibiotics to fight off chest infection (this will be permanent) and they will monitor the situation as the condition progresses.
Question Author
Good news. MIL is coming out of hospital tomorrow having battled through very nasty form of pneumonia and a second resistant chest infection. Thanks to all for your info.
We have a guy at our home with COPD, hes just has the two inhalers and lives a fairly normal life but he is prone to chest infections, he has never been given oxygen to keep at the home and never needed it at the home.

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