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I have copd and just started a course of prednisone: 40 mg for 7 days, then 30 mg/7 days, 20 mg/7 days, 10 mg/7 days, 5 mg/7 days.

I have felt breathless, shaky. This was supposed to help me breathe easier, not make it harder. Seems like it's finally starting to wear off a little so I'm a little better right now, 5-1/2 hours after taking it. Is this going to be the case every day? Any chance it will ease up?

  1. Hi Nikilet,
    I would at least tell your Doc that you gained some relief by raising your ox level. S/he needs to know this so you can receive the best therapy you can.

    Often the rate of something with something else must be carefully regulated otherwise one or more component of it may fail. And failure can make me not want to even try and get better.

    I also live with the "what is there to lose" syndrome, especially in the middle of the night should I awaken gasping for breath. And as I have lived alone (until recently) most of my life...and my family is dead..see? Yup I hear you and I feel your pain...personally, everyday.

    What keeps me fighting? I cannot explain "it" nor can I efficiently describe the walk-thru-fire of living with this disease. All I can say is this; I am here in my life. Yes a great deal has been taken from me due to this and other diseases I live with...some far worse than COPD.

    I can no longer work, and that sucks. I don't have much money and am in fact being supported right now. We are both women and thereby there is not much money coming in.

    On the flip side, I now have time to garden veggies on my balcony (yes I do know how fortunate we are), time to cook, time to sketch and paint.

    What keeps me going to my Docs and taking my meds..the thought that someone cares for me--anyone. It was decades before I found someone(s).

    Even IF you are presently alone, lonely--totally friendless. Got news for you have friends now. Right here, in the same boat, going thru the same pain and anxiety as you.

    We may be just online friends and you may never go outside again to make face 2 face friends, but (thank you Ram Dass) you are Here Now.

    Oh yeah, crying and self pity are just fine here. What comes TO the board stays ON the board! 😎

    Why try?

    I cannot answer that for you but come along there are wonders to be seen.


    1. I do wish I could participate in pulmonary therapy sessions but there is nothing like that close to me. If they have them in the nearest city, that would be 100 miles away, so unfortunatley for me, that is out of the question.

      I have an oximeter and take my readings with it often. I have done extensive research online and bookmarked many things. I do several different breathing techniques on a regular basis; techniques to get rid of mucus in my lungs; use the AirLife incentive spirometer, Acapella and Ultra Breath. I do everything I possibly can to help myself.

      I hope I'm not hurting myself by having turned my oxygen up to 3 on my own, but it did make a difference for the better and I'd be hard pressed to bring myself to turn it back down now.

      1. Nikilet - I wondered if you've ever gone to pulmonary therapy? It helps to become more mobile, and many people use oxygen in class. They take your oxygen saturation frequently when you're excercising. It gives people more confidence, and suggests breathing techniques.

        I was told that it takes some time for your lungs to recover after you have an exacerbation. I was on oxygen for a month once after a flare that was treated with prednisone, and antibiotics. They did 6-minute walk tests to determine when my oxygen saturation got back to baseline. I'd expected to recover more quickly.

        1. Hi again, Nikilet, and thanks for bringing us up-to-date with your current circumstances managing this condition. I'm sorry you're not feeling quite as well as you had hoped now that you are on the 5 mg dose of prednisone. I understand just how difficult it can be when one is short of breath, as you've shared happens on your trip from the bedroom to the kitchen.

          Please bear in mind that COPD, with carbon dioxide retention, can be a complex condition to manage. Once the threshold of oxygen is exceeded (hypoxic drive), that is when the symptoms can change dramatically. You may not want to experiment with the oxygen flow rate levels without at least mentioning it to your physician. The point is - if you are genuinely a carbon dioxide retainer, there could be an issue (at some point) with raising the oxygen flow rate. If you are not, then it is something else entirely. I would think your physician should be able to tell you this definitively. What do you think?

          Please do get back to us and let us know how this turns out, when you have a chance.

          Wishing you well,
          Leon (site moderator

          1. As always, I appreciate your input. I have considered what you say about messing with my oxygen levels. However, I can't help but take the attitude of "what can it hurt?". I may possibly suffer at some later date because of turning it up now; if I don't turn it up now I suffer all the more in the present. I can't see that it makes much difference.

          2. Hi again, Nikilet, and thanks for responding to both my comment and the comment by 'twovillages'.

            Naturally, what you choose to do is entirely up to you - both the benefits and the risks. You may have noticed I only suggested that you 'at least mention this to your physician'. That would be the most prudent action to take, to let him/her know of the action you've taken. You may not hurt yourself at all with the higher oxygen flow rate. You may only have put yourself at risk IF you are a carbon dioxide retainer. But if you are NOT a carbon dioxide retainer (and this is what the physician should be able to tell you!), then you may just have made yourself more comfortable without any risk at all. That is my concern for you. What do you think?

            I do appreciate all the other techniques you are using that help to manage this condition - the various breathing strategies and techniques, monitoring the oxygen saturation, and employing various adjuncts (incentive spirometer, Acapella device, and the ultra breath) - are all highly commendable. They all speak to your conscientious efforts to do all you can for yourself and this condition.

            I'm glad we are having this conversation.

            Keep up the good work!
            Leon (site moderator

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