Advice for those who have loved ones with COPD.

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If you have a loved one with COPD I have a bit of advice I would like to offer up. As a caregiver for almost 8 years to my mom who had COPD and recently passed I have been through the ringer and found out things that some people do know or should know about side things someone with COPD can get. I want to help anyone I can with this information. If your loved one starts to become delusional, lethargic, loss of appetite, forgetful. Don't think it's dementia or Alzheimer's, have them tested as soon as possible for CO2 retention. It's a blood gas test and it could prolong your loved ones life to do so. I thought for the longest time my mom had one of the above and fought for tests all tests came back normal. It wasn't till 2 years ago when she passed out and fell out of a hospital chair that they tested her blood gas and found out she was a CO2 retainer. It can be managed but once they become one you loose almost all chances for lung transplants or medical help and if not properly managed with a cpap or bipap the CO2 will take your loved one sooner then later. My mom hated her Cpap and took it off frequently. Her CO2 would go through the roof and in 2 years I had to call 911 20+ times due to it she spent almost 2 weeks a month in the hospital trying to bring it down. Please if your loved one starts to see people/things talks out of sorts or falls a lot have them checked ASAP. I just lost my mom to it. It started with her talking about things we already talked about or telling me something I told her and saying someone else said it. To her forgetting to drink to finding her unconscious. CO2 retention is very scary and once it starts it's a downhill slope if not monitored. I beg anyone experiencing this if you haven't had a conclusive test on Dementia or Alzheimer's and you want definitive results have them tested. The sooner the better in my mom's case it was too late by the time they caught it her blood gas levels were 125+ off the scales and keeping it down after that was the biggest battle because she would leave the hospital forget everything the doctors said and take her mask off that night. Please I beg you to watch your loved ones very close. Any questions please feel free to post and I will try to answer them to the best of my ability I have had a rough 8 years with COPD and 2 years with CO2 retention I know what I am talking about. I can tell you to also push to get your loved one a cpap called the trilogy they can blow off CO2 during the day and sleep with it at night. Thanks for reading and good luck!


Thank you for sharing your experience.
Tryingmybest, thank you for sharing this important info. You were so kind to respond to me under my "guilt feelings" post, and I appreciate that so much. My Mom retains co2. She gets extremely lethargic and although she already has dementia, gets more out of it, doesn't help with transfers, etc. She is on the trilogy. I can only put it on her during the day, while she can be watched, because she has a swallowing problem and could vomit into the mask and I'd never know, and yes, she tugs at the mask and sets off the alarm all the time. She was on a bipap a few years ago, but she felt like she was "drowning" and wouldn't keep it on. This disease is so difficult and heart breaking. Sounds like you did what you could for your Mom. I'm so sorry again for your loss. God's peace and blessings to you.
Your very welcome Dees and I am so sorry to hear she has dementia and CO2 retention that has to be heartbreaking, I know just having CO2 retention and COPD and a few side health problems caring for my mom got very very hard. My mom could do the sit and puff and would be good about it for a couple of days then just stop. I was shocked in January when we fought for dementia tests and Alzheimer's test for the last two years to finally have a doctor tell us that all she had was CO2 retention but as far gone as hers had gotten she had only 2 mind sets 5 year old or alcoholic brain though she never drank her brain just thought in these 2 settings. My prayers are with you and you are doing your best for your mom never feel like your doing less your there for her I've learned through this that not a lot of children are, my brothers were not. But others have told me also they couldn't do it so they put family members in homes or other care outside of where they were. We did hospice and that killed me having to do that I cried the whole time I signed the paper work. She was at home when she passed which is what she wanted though she was very angry all the time. I hope you find some time for yourself and you care for yourself also I didn't and now I live with "what do I do" moments. I wish I could hug you because I know everything you must be feeling. I wish you nothing but the best. Please take care and God's blessings to you also.
Thank you again, tryingmybest. May good things come your way.

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