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What is going on with my Mom?

Hi All, My mother who is only 67 years old, was diagnosed with CoPD about 10 (maybe more) years ago. Since moving to a new town, she never informed anyone at her new hospital (she is dependent on government care) of this diagnosis, despite going there on a regular basis for arthritis and osteoporosis. Recently I noticed her breathing became so loud I could hear it sitting across the room from her. In the last two weeks something very radical has happened in that she seems non compus mentus at least 85% of the time. She cannot hold a thought and is doing nothing but sitting in her bed in a vegetative state. My mother, as I’ve known her, seems to have gone. I took her to a GP about 4 weeks ago to get a referral to see a doctor at her regular hospitals respiratory clinic to test what stage CoPD she is in. Unfortunately this new development has happened before she seems to have made the appointment. After researching online, I see Dementia can be a complication of CoPD. Is this coming on? She is also unable to hold down food and complains of feeling sick sick sick! She went to Trauma at the hospital again last week but all they say is that she’s just aging. She’s not eating … I practically have to force her to eat. Is there anything i can do to help her? I need to know what is going on and how we can help her or at least make her more comfortable. Right now, without medical aid for her and proper attention, I’m feeling really helpless.


Community Answers
  • ConcernedDaughter author
    1 year ago

    Hi Leon,
    Thank you for your reply.
    Unfortunately my mom passed away on Monday night. We still don’t have a cause of death or any further insight into what caused this – relying on government health in SA is not always good. They sent her away a week ago saying that she was just aging (I can’t accept that knowing she was only 67!).
    I remain convinced she was in final stage CoPD and now believe she had a series of strokes and her organs shut down. I am devastated by this, knowing my mum smoked herself to death (no judgement meant by this!), but I also respect that that was her choice and she lived her life the way she wanted – who has the right to fight that? As much as we suffer the loss, we know she did what she wanted and that’s important.
    I just wish there was something more we could have done for her.

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    1 year ago

    Hi ConcernedDaughter – I’m so very sorry to learn of the unexpected loss of your beloved mother. Please accept my condolences to both you and your family. I know how hard this is to go through but feel you have the right approach and outlook, based on what you’ve written here.
    Please know you are always welcome here in our online community.
    Warmly,
    Leon (site moderator)

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    1 year ago

    Hi ConcernedDaughter and thanks for your post about your mother’s present situation. My heart does go out to you as it’s never easy as the adult child, dealing with the progression of illness for our parents. I would suggest you do whatever you can to seek out the necessary medical evaluation for her. The medical team there should be able to diagnose and treat whatever has recently changed for her that you are seeing. Perhaps if you can point this out to the doctors who are providing her care now (arthritis and osteoporosis), they can guide you to the specialists who will evaluate her current symptoms.
    Please check back and let us know how you (and she) are doing.
    All the best,
    Leon (site moderator)

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