COPD and oxygen therapy: Will I really need the therapy in the future?

Posted by mrbill @mrbill, May 13, 2020

Last January 18 I experienced a flare up. Our daughter had just had a double mastectomy. One minute I am with her, the next I am in intensive care with priest giving last sacrament. Spent 4 months bouncing between hospital and rehab. I would start to improve and something else, such as shortness of breath would start up. So rehab, I was in 5 different rehab facilities, would send me to the hospital where I laid around and ate lousy food for several days. Then back to rehab. There was a total of 5 trips to the hospital. All 5 in ambulance or transport, I should mention I have been diagnosed with severe COPD. Enough whining.<br />I was sent home with oxygen therapy. My first experience with such. After several days I would remove the oxygen and just breath room air. I would do it for four or five hours at a time. My levels stayed anywhere between 92 & 98 or 99%. I was still short of breath if I exerted myself. I am sure I could have gone without oxygen for a longer period.

My question: what is going on? Will I really need the therapy in the future? I would think if I was short of breath from COPD I would need oxygen. Just can't figure it out.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the COPD: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease group.

@mrbill

Sounds about like what I am doing. I have been told that oxygen should stay above 90. Sometimes when I check it the finger on my left hand reads 85 to 88, but the right hand 95 – 98. Later I re-check left finger (still no oxygen) and it is also in the 90's. Do you use one of those concentrators like Phillips or Inogen makes?

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@mrbill– The difference in pulse oxygen levels is troublesome. I think that you can bring your oximeter to the drugstore and get it checked for accuracy. Sometimes certain nail polishes (colors or brands) or cold fingers can make a lot of difference in whether it measures at all or correctly. You might also try an ear lobe or toe (if you have one small enough. Does this make any sense? Have you told your pulmonologist about your findings?

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Jus tried my toe. 95 was the magic number. Could be I am too skinny. Went from 5'8" and 165 lbs. to 130 (did go down to 118 at one time – terrible hospital food). Will check at pharmacy to see if they can check accuracy of oximeter.

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