Severe COPD

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My father is 62 confined to bed due to the severity of his COPD. He also has breathing treatments every fours hours and takes over 12 different meds every 2 to 4 hours. So he can never sleep more than 4 hours at a time and he cant miss a treatment or he spends hours trying to catch his breath. I am his unemployed daughter which has been a like a god send becuase it has allowed me to be able to take care of him. But it is hard sometimes to have the will power to even get out of bed. Those in my position probably know what it is like to not even be thanks or asked for things. And now it has come to the time where I dont know if I can trust him with his meds anymore he has recently started to mess them up and I dont know what to do. I want to take control and monitor his meds but he is being very forcefull about refusing. Which I can understand it is on of the few things he still has control over. But it is scary and expensive that he keeps screwing it up. What should I do?


Fluco, I understand completely. My Mom has severe COPD, and does her meds every 4 hours. Mom was messing up her meds and doesn't want any assistance. I tried all kinds of things and finally came up with the bright idea to take 'my' meds when she takes hers. Mine are tic tac candies and chewable fiber tablets. We bought a large pill box for each of us. I fill them weekly and when it's med time I come in and take mine with hers. This has been working pretty well for about a year now. Occasionally she will throw a fit and not want to take her meds. Not much we can do about that, just say okay and try again in 30 minutes.

Hang in there and know that you're not alone!
Your father can set an alarm clock to go off when it's time to take the next pill(s). The pill boxes with compartments are big helps too. Also, my mother would keep a running "tally" sheet with a columns, and would write down the time each time she took a medication, to keep track.
I am experiencing this situation and not sure how to bring things under control.

I call 911 every month and a half period because of her progressive COPD. Thus far, her current medications are having little to no effect on her breathing issues ... Not exactly sure where to go from here. Any recommendations would be helpful and greatly appreciated.
My boyfriends father was in the same situation. No one took it seriously and gave his wife permission to give out medication. As a result, she gave him 7 days worth of pills in just over 48 hours. It caused his lungs to get fluid. To be completely honest with you when i took him to er, i told the truth to the doctors which i have been yelled at for by his wife and son. They do not know that i told the truth about alot of things. As a result, aps was called a psych eval done and there are people looking out for his best interest now. I guess my point is i can look myself in the mirror because i feel i did the right thing. Since i am not "family" i didnt have as many options as you do. At some point, you will need to assert control over the situation-maybe start with contacting his dr for options
Posted this elsewhere, cut and pasted it here for you... hope it helps...

My mum and Uncle both had severe COPD, yes I am aware that I wrote "had" :), let me explain:

Her COPD is from a life long condition of severe asthma, exacerbated even more from serious Amiodarone Pulmonary Toxicity. Her lungs were saturated with Interstitial Infiltrate's. The doctors told me that the damage was nonreversible and put her on O2. With my Uncle, his COPD is from severe Emphysema. The by product of smoking 4 packs of cigarettes a day, in a closed room. He "was" on 3 liters of O2. Both used rescue inhalers, multiple times a day, and nebulizer treatments every 6 hours.

I read a study on young asthmatics from BYU that was completed in 2010. During the study they found that a large portion of their sample group had low magnesium levels so they put everyone in their study on magnesium supplements. They then discovered that suddenly there was a significant reduction in the frequency of necessity for the rescue inhalers and in some cases a complete elimination in the need of the rescue inhaler. As they studied further, they concluded that the magnesium promoted a significant reduction in the amount of histamine in the lungs and also made that cellular wall of the airways more pliable.

I talked with my mums family physician and he agreed to dial mag. supplement with low dose of steroid for 1 year, I also researched Amiodarone Pulmonary Toxicity (APT) and discovered some case studies that supported the use of 1 year of steroid to help reduce the damage. Fast forward to present, which is 2 years later, we 100% reduced all lung damage with no signs of APT, no need for O2 with her saturations staying above 97%. The incredible part is that she no longer needs or uses the nebulizer and only uses her inhaler twice a day as a preventative maintenance approach. Her lungs are actually better than they have been in 40 years, she is now 78.

Due to these results, last year I decided to also put my Uncle on the mag. supplement. He no longer needs or uses the O2, they had to actually remove it from the home as he no longer met the minimal requirements for an O2 prescription. He also no longer needs or uses the nebulizer but we do give him morning steroid inhaler and a rescue inhaler that he only uses during the pollen season or high humidity days. His SPO2 levels run consistently between 95 and 97, will dip to 91 while walking.

Family physician was so impressed that he put all of his patients on mag supplements, at least the ones that will actually take it. WORD OF CAUTION: The mag can also decrease blood pressure and in some cases will decrease the heart rate. Monitor these closely if taking blood pressure medication or medications for fast heart rate. I actually take mag for both and no longer need prescription medications for a fast heart rate or high blood pressure anymore, both are and stay at normal levels now.

Almost forgot to add this to my last post: they both still have and are diagnosed with COPD, that will never go away. What we did do was reversed some of and drastically decreased the progression of the COPD. My Uncle was first diagnosed with severe emphysema and first put on O2 14 years ago. He is now 81 years old and breaths better now than he was able to when first diagnosed. Love the benefits of that Magnesium... :)
Hello all, i am new here and just recently started careing for my father in law who has severe COPD, ashtma, diabetes and a list of other health issues. My problem is my mother in law. She is not responsible enough to care for him. She forgets when she gives him his meds her own self. Before i stepped in, i was riding with my husband on a semi truck. Under her care solely, my father in law has had 2 drug over doses. After the last one, the doctor threatened to put her in jail if he had another one. Since then, his oxygen levels have flunctuated and some dropped severely where he wound up in the hospital for weeks. Thats when i stepped in. I have his meds in my bedroom and i monitor his intake of the medicine. I have him on a strict schedule: 5,12,5 & 8. He was doing excellent on that until my mother in law started being sneaky and taking the medicine without my knowing and giving him too much. Plus she wrote a new chart with different times on it. We have this constant battle every day about when i give him his medicines. He does have home nurses come in at least every other day of the week. I have even expressed my concerns about my mother in law to them, only one was brave enough to say if it continued she would have social services involved. You would think that would scare my mother in law....nope. Honestly, she acts like she doesnt care but yet wants others to feel sorry for her. She calls herself a "care taker", but yet each time he is left alone with her, he always winds up in the hospital. Last time he was in the hospital, she made the comment "im to the point where if he falls, he falls"....well, the day after he was released, he did just that and not once did she offer to get help (i was home but it was 5-6 am so i was asleep and didnt hear anything) and not once did she call the nurses or try to pick him up. I didnt find out about it until a day later when one of his nurses came to evualate him and he was telling the nurse then. Lets just say, i was pissed. Majorly. I confronted my mother in law about it and her response was "i tried to wake you up but your door locked"...nice try, but my door wasnt locked. I just dont know what to do. I am standing firmly on montiroing his medication. I dont know if i should just make it where im fully legally his care giver or just do the minimum i can do. They have two grown children ( as i stated previously, my husband, their son is a truck driver so he stays gone for two weeks for work). Their daughter, however, does absolutely nothing to help. She only comes over when its convient for her. As like her mom, she only visited him once or twice out of the whole month he was in there but posted pity parties on facebook. It sickens me how some people are when it comes to taking care of their own family.
SilentAngel, sounds like your Mom-in-law has some type of dementia, thus it isn't her fault that she is doing the things she is doing.... she is in denial that her husband isn't the same person health wise as he was years ago... thus the reason she didn't call anyone when her husband fell.

My own Mom was in denial that my Dad was in his 90's and could no longer climb up ladders, mow the lawn, drive, etc. She actually got upset with him anytime he tried to say "no".... [sign]. Then Dad would be lost when I said "no" to doing ladders, sorry that shipped has sailed years ago... thus he was in denial about my own age.

Maybe your sister-in-law is doing the right thing, she decided not to enable her parents to remain in their home when they both need a higher level of care. Maybe she was helping when you and hubby were on the road, and got burnt out. One has to remember not everyone can be a caregiver, just as not everyone can be a State Trooper, a military soldier, a surgeon, etc.
Freqflyer, i appreciate your comment but that was simply not the case at all. Even when i was on the road with my husband, their daughter never came over to check on them. Ever. So there is no reason for her to be "burnt out" because she chooses to ignore whats going on in the home. She lives in her own wold ( it was the same thing with two of her kids. She left one of her kids here for us to care for when he was in high school. If it doesnt deal with her or her getting attention, she ignores it. Out of sight, out of mind, is her moto).It might be the case that mother in law is in denial about her husbands failing health, but when a person falls, shouldnt that person at least get some form of help for the person who fell? She didnt try at all. My mother in law is suppose to be in therapy and taking medication herself but she isnt. They do have a history of Alzhiemer's on her side of the family and i feel like thats what is going on with her because some times she does off-the-wall things that leave you scratching your head. Both parents live in their home. The only one recieving home care is my father in law. i just need some help on how to ease the situation. I have no problems with my father in law as far as giving him medications, checking his blood sugar, fed, etc. but how do i keep my mother in law from arguing with me almost every day about how much medicine he is given? I give him the prescribed doseage he is suppose to have, where as, she gives him too much. She even gives him over the counter medicine (usually stuff that makes him sleep like benadryle). To me, i just feel like she is trying to make him sleep alot and im trying to keep him on a regular schedule so he will sleep at night without pain ( he has degentive of the spine). I usually give him his last pain pill at 8pm so he can sleep through the night. His nurse said if he happens to wake during the night in the pain, for me to give him one aleve. I have been doing this and he has been fine. But if my mother in law gives him something, he stays so loopy he cant hardly function. (Keep in mind, she does this when im not around to see it. I could be asleep or in the bathroom or cooking and she gives him something without me knowing). I have a hard time tracking everything he takes because i never know what my mother in law has given him and i avoid giving him more for fear of another over dose. Im thinking i might need a meeting with his nurses about all of this.
How is she giving him extra meds if you have them locked away? It sounds like MIL is either mentally incompetent (dementia or mental illness) or she is actively trying to rid herself of him. Either way she is a danger to him, I would work to separate them if I were you. Be candid with his health team about what you have observed, document days and times of events as much as possible. And what is your husband doing about all of this?
Cwillie, Thats exactly what some of our friends and close family are thinking but hadnt said aloud in front of her...yet. When i say extra meds, i mean for example: he takes oxycodone for pain. He is to take one 1 pill 3 times daily as priscribed on the bottle. Thats exactly what i give him. If MIL gives it, she gives it to him too close before he is due for his next dose. She is doubleing the dosage. Also, she gives over the counter medicine (big no no) such as benadryle. It just seems like she either wants him dead or just makes him sleep all the time so she doesnt have to take him to his appointments or deal with daily life with him. I mean, its sad to think this way but its what everyone around is thinking. Yes, she does have some mental problems (other than just not having common sense) and is suppose to be on meds and seeing a therapist but she uses my FIL as an exscuse not to go. He sees a therapist himself for depression. I think on the days he goes, she could slip in some free therapy on herself since she doesnt have insurance ( FIL is on medicare and other assistance to help pay for his meds and such). I actually just spoke to two of his nurses today and informed them on some things and both told me to keep them informed on everything else. I have even begune to record conversations between MIL and FIL to show people how she treats him (which is degrading sometimes, i mean, who is heartless to call a disabled person an a**hole?).

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