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 Newby with a lot of COPD history
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joeabby
Member

USA
40 Posts

Posted - Feb 17 2017 :  6:45:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi everyone, I'm 76, retired USAF, & 20 yrs with the bank equipment industry.
I was diagnosed with COPD/emphazima in 2000. Since then, I have been hauled off 4 times to emergency for COPD exacerbations [one was the flu]. The other 3 were all over the New Year's holiday. This last one all but killed me; intubation & a lot of medical jargon I can't pronounce.
After 8 days in ICU, I was taken to a rehab facility where I spent another 4 weeks. I was unable to do anything for myself but feeding & peeing in a bottle. I have been home for a month now with therapists & an nurse coming 3 times/wk.
Recovery has been very slow, but I am now somewhat ambulatory with a cane.
I also have sleep apnea so CPAP w/O2 is necessary. For the short & sweet, I will keep this short for now & see where it goes.
It breaks my heart to see a lot of you are still young, so let me say this: COPD is NOT a cause of death. It's the heart, lungs, & other parts that suffer if you don't take care of yourself.
I've already learned a lot from reading what you've said & hope I can contribute.

Gettin old ain't for wussies!

Mark-OK
Member

34 Posts

Posted - Feb 19 2017 :  3:36:39 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi joeabby ! First, Thank you for your service. It is appreciated. I'm sorry to hear about your problems and your hospitalizations. I'm in bad shape too. I wish I could figure out what makes it a God breathing day and a Bad breathing day. I still get around, sometimes with more trouble than others. With this condition there is no "Bluffing" about how you are doing. My wife knows how I'm doing no matter what I say to her. She just watches me and she knows. When we were young people smoked on the nightly news and other TV programs. It imprints on a child. My Mom and Dad and all their friends smoked...(that I can recall). Times are different now. Sadly....My Grandchildren see the problems their Grandfather has and hears his words.. Do Not Smoke.....

Good Luck, Mark
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joeabby
Member

USA
40 Posts

Posted - Feb 19 2017 :  7:06:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mark, thank you! Finally, someone close to my age group who can relate. Cigs were $.17/pack & 90% of us smoked. No filters then either! My wife is also my caregiver. She's been thru hell these past few months & I'll never be able to make it up to her.
Today is our 36 Anniversary!!
Quitting smoking is the absolute hardest thing I ever did, even after 3 relapses. I finally did it 2yrs ago.

Gettin old ain't for wussies!
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Mark-OK
Member

34 Posts

Posted - Feb 20 2017 :  12:07:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey joeabby, Happy Anniversary ! My wife and I are also on our 36th year. People like us are getting hard to find...haha. We are soo lucky to have someone to look over us. For better and worse......
You hang in there. I'm glad you quit smoking. I agree...It was the hardest thing I've ever done also. Good for you.

Mark
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Sandy9s
Member

USA
312 Posts

Posted - Feb 20 2017 :  12:41:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I, too, am an ex-smoker -- stopped in 1999 because of blocked carotid arteries even at that time. That was a 3/pk. day habit which by now I wouldn't be able to afford anyway! The COPD had already also been diagnosed, but was pretty mild at that time. Now (age 78), my breathing (or lack thereof) is my main complaint. I direct a Chorus and am hard-pressed to remain standing for 15 minutes without sitting for a minute to catch my breath. And I'm only directing......not singing! My FEV was about 30% last test.........the test says I am Severe. But my Pulm. Doctor says I am "Moderately Severe" because of trying to stay active and still being able to actually sing. Sitting still my Sats stay in the low 90's......so that's what I am most comfortable doing!

But, when I was doing a bit of complaining recently because of all of our rehearsals before our Annual Show, my son had just a few words for me: "Suck it up, soldier -- carry on!" So that's where I'm at..........until I am able not to do so! It's not easy pretending that I'm just fine, when in fact my upper body is burning trying to continue to breathe and trying to remember to do my pursed lip breathing at the same time. But at 78, guess this still beats the alternative -- and it does seem that ATTITUDE is the only glue that I can think of that will help me to keep on keeping on, along with all of my inhalers, medicines, and other breathing helps.
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joeabby
Member

USA
40 Posts

Posted - Feb 20 2017 :  1:11:58 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mark, we have a lot in common & you're so upbeat!! How is that app for disability going?
Sandy, I was afraid I was the 'senior senior' in the forum. Congrats on your motivation & 56 yrs of wedded bliss!!
There are problems we oldsters have that don't afflict the younger ones, like arthritis, incontinence, falls, etc.
I have a problem I haven't seen here in the forum, so I'm hoping for more 60+ folks will join us so I can get some input.
It's like Penny says, it's a privilege to live this long.

Gettin old ain't for wussies!
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Bo H
Contributing Member

USA
1128 Posts

Posted - Feb 20 2017 :  2:50:11 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Joeabby, I am 81, been married 61 years and was diagnosed with a fev1 of 30% when I was 50. I have lived a great productive life. I am on hospice now but that was the only way I could get a BiPap. Hospice has helped because they believe in helping everything being as easy as possible. I am severely SOB so I am on Morphine LA 15mg every 12 hrs and 15 mg Morphine PRN for my breathing. I didn't follow any Doctors orders as far as going on disability or taking it easy so I have worked and lived as normal a life as I possibly could. A lot of faith, a good attitude and exercise, exercise, and exercise has helped me greatly. When reading these forums just remember we are all different, the meds treat us all different and our bodies can tell us more than anyone else. Do the maximum you can do and you will be surprised what your body can endure.

Bo in Al
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joeabby
Member

USA
40 Posts

Posted - Feb 20 2017 :  3:57:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bo, you are now the senior senior!
I also signed up for hospice in Oct for quality-of-life [palliative] care. They approach things quite differently. They took over so they could supply all my equipment. Two other companies had to come get their stuff. They did loan me 2 O2 concentrators, a Bi-pap, a buttload of O2 bottles, & supplied all my meds at no cost. [Well Medicare covers hospice 100%] I had a nurse & respiratory therapist twice a week. Unfortunately, they didn't pay enough attention to my physical state & I crashed 6 weeks later.
Going into the hospital automatically cancels any hospice contract. I couldn't resign with them when I left the rehab facility because I needed home rehab & they don't do that. So, I had to call my equip companies & renew my need for O2 & other supplies. Hospice then came to get their stuff.
I've never heard of the morphine regamine you're on but commend you on your diligence. We are, indeed, all different where the meds are concerned.
Thanks for sharing.

Gettin old ain't for wussies!
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Sandy9s
Member

USA
312 Posts

Posted - Feb 20 2017 :  4:27:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is an amazing place to share the workings of Hospice and Medicare as it relates to equipment and care.
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Mark-OK
Member

34 Posts

Posted - Feb 21 2017 :  4:54:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey joeabby, Thank you for the complement! I try to stay up beat. It's really important for me to keep busy. I need to do more than just sit around sucking Air out of a tube. I have found a couple of hobbies I can do even on my worst days and it gives me enjoyment and makes my life better. Think about it. See what YOU could do. Like Bo said, Exercise the best you can. I am still out there doing what I can with a smile on my face. I am 60 with an FEV1 of 23% and my SSDI took 7 weeks to approve first time around. Of course, It took me a couple days to fill out the forms they said would only take a couple of hours to complete on line. I gave them everything ! I think it might have helped. I will receive my first check in April. Thank you for asking. I didn't know that a hospital visit would cancel a Hotspice contract....doesn't seem right. If the powers at be want to reform the medical system they should start with full medicare coverage, 100% at retirement if at 62 or 65 or some like me 66 and full medicare coverage with no waiting period for all who are disabled. Maybe they could agree on that...anyway... The people on this forum have helped me greatly. They know who they are and Thank You ! We are all strangers but are kind and caring to each other. Maybe it's because we will all be in each others shoes as time passes...
Bo H.......You win the Marriage award !! 61 years. Woooohoo ! That's a long time.... Congrats !! I'm sorry about the Morphine.

Mark
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joeabby
Member

USA
40 Posts

Posted - Feb 21 2017 :  5:03:30 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Medicare covers hospice 100%, but when you go into the hospital, hospice ceases because you can't have both at the same time. Medicare covers hospital costs @ 80%. When you leave, you can resign with hospice. I couldn't do that because I needed in-home nursing & therapy. Hospice doesn't provide that, nor do they have rehab facilities which I needed. It can get hairy, but they have people who know all the rules & they compete for your 'business'. We had a lot of options.
Congrats on your SSID!!!

Gettin old ain't for wussies!
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Mark-OK
Member

34 Posts

Posted - Feb 21 2017 :  5:35:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for explaining that. You're a good guy. I wish you the BEST !

Mark
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