Respiratory Disorders Community
Death from emphysema
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Death from emphysema

What does the family expect to happen at the end with a loved one who has emphysema.  Can't breathe and affixiates?  Heart attack?  Usually complications to pneumonia?  We want to be prepared and know what's ahead for us and our Mother.  We know everyone is different, so what is the USUAL cause of death?  
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My mom died in 05 of emphysema, I lived with her the last 3 years and was her only care taker.  If your mom is capable of walking (on a treadmill) this would be really good for her, very slow with oxygen on of course.  My mom walked every day that she could and the Dr. said that is the only reason she lived as long as she did.With my mom it was very much a roller coaster ride, she would go way down have to go in the hospital, and I would always think she wasn't going to last long, and then she would all of the sudden have some good weeks.  up and down for 3 years, at the very end, she did not want to go to the hospital any more so hospice put a hospital bed in the house.  I did everything for her, cooking, help her get dressed, bathe etc for probably the last 2 years..  It just took to much energy for her to do anything.  One of the best things we did was put a chair in the bathtub and put in a sprayer, that made it much easier for her baths.  Her breathing just got shorter and shorter, and once she got in the hospice bed (5 days before she past) she never got out.  Hospice had me give her moraphine to keep her comfortable, and that was the hardest thing I ever had to do, I felt like I was killing her myself.  I realize now that the moraphine just helped her to stay comfortable and was the best thing for her.  If you don't have a support group of any kind I would suggest you get one.  Being a care taker is very stressfull, but I wouldn't  give anthing for  those last 3 years that I got to spend with her.  
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