a woman carries moving boxes as she's moving her parents with copd

Moving Mom in With COPD 

If you’ve read my post 'When Your Kids Tell You to Quit Smoking', it’s clear that we all felt like it was time to quit smoking. Then we all agreed that mom would come to my place and get used to oxygen and her new COPD medications – and stop smoking. When moving mom in with COPD, life became stressful for everyone.

I’m the boss

Mom had a strong personality, and she raised her girls to be strong too. As the oldest, I had an extra dose of bossiness. That had always come in handy when she needed help with my younger sisters. When she got sick, it caused the dynamic in our relationship to change. She felt like I was mothering her, and wasted no time in telling me about it.

Let me help you

Mom had lost a lot of weight. Her O2 levels were low. I bought a lot of healthy foods and told her not to worry about cooking. Day 1 we got her settled in my guest room. I also fixed her up with a chair where she could look out the window. I had a screened-in front porch with rocking chairs. It felt like moving mom in with COPD was a little piece of heaven.

No smoking

She was miserable. Mom was missing her smokes. I was not a heavy smoker, but we had agreed that this was a perfect time for us both to stop. She wasn’t happy. To add insult to injury, she didn’t have her car to go buy cigarettes. Initially, it went ok. I kept a pile of magazines nearby and let her have the remote control. We had plenty of snacks around her chair. I had been an off-and-on smoker and shared some of the tips that I used when quitting. She was open-minded, but her nerves were shot.

Stressful beginning

Mom was chewing her gum and wearing the patch at the same time. Couldn’t that cause a heart attack? I called the doctor, who then had me taking her pulse and cutting off her beloved caffeinated sweet tea. We tried to joke about it. She threatened to sit on the porch and yell to the boats going past that she was being held prisoner. I told her if she could yell that loud, she could go home.

One day I ran into town to get groceries. When I got back, the was a distinct smell of cigarette smoke in my living room. She swore it was her bathrobe, and we argued. Then she admitted that she had found a pack in her suitcase. On one hand, I totally understood. On the other hand, I wanted my mom to live a long time. I let it go and told her to smoke on the porch – without her oxygen tank.

Moving mom in with COPD

We made it almost 2 weeks before we both realized that moving mom in with COPD was not working for us. The other kids couldn’t come out during the week because I lived so far away. She had polished off her pack and was doing better with the patches. We quit fighting as much and she felt confident with her medications. We had a reasonable conversation about her going back home. I called my siblings and we all knew it was the only thing that would make her happy. She didn’t quit smoking right then. You may have read my post 'Mom and I Quit Smoking Together' and this was one of our attempts. We both finally got it right.

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