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Another new member - Carers UK Forum

Another new member

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
HI I am Pam , I have married a man who collects serious illnesses for a hobby it seems. He had an heart attack years ago and since then he has got severe COPD, Sleep Apnea , Angina, Arthritis in the neck and knees. He has fallen from a parachute into trees in the past and broken teeth, ribs and feet. I have only been married to him for coming up 2 years. I have had to learn a lot but at the moment he is still a very happy person. It is myself who worries like hell if I am away from him even for shopping. I find myself rushing back home to check on him. I love him to bits he is a great guy. I have been told that his personality will change with the COPD. Is this true? he is now 74 and has had COPD diagnosed since he was 50. I appreciate any replies Thank you.
Hi Pamela, welcome to the forum.
I think a later life marriage brings different challenges.
Have you been married before?
Did you talk about his health issues before you married?
What are you so afraid of when you go out? Does he have a Lifeline pendant?
Do you know anyone who went shopping and regretted what happened forever after?
I think you would benefit hugely from some counselling. I found it life changing.
HI , yes I have been married before for 41 years to an abusive partner who died in 2012. I had no intention of getting married again until I met my present husband. Chalk and cheese as the saying goes. I knew about the COPD and the parachute jump into trees. The rest I found out about after we were married. I have no problem with that. I think when you eventually meet Mr right you are not too keen to lose him. He had carers that to be honest were not a good advertisement for carers unfortunately, they came twice a day. Plus a 3 times a day personal assistant who told me her job was to do anything he needed doing. The main thing he needed her to do was to take him shopping to a supermarket. I noticed that she told him that she had not got the car with her when he wanted to go shopping, or that she was not going to a supermarket that week and I found that strange. I twigged on one day when I went out to a shop and found her car parked round the corner so he could not see it and she had just told him she had not come in it.

Therefore after we were married he stopped all care off and I took over the role. I have no problems with that as I spent several years working as a carer myself in a nursing home. He did have the button call but never kept the button on him or close by. That went too against my better judgement. He takes steroids often and is very very unstable on his feet. I think that is why I hurry home, especially now with covid-19 I do not want him anywhere near a hospital, neither does he.

Due to my previous marriage and the brilliant personality of the person I am now married to, I was very concerned when I read that with COPD the personality changes and I was really just wondering is that always the case and wondered if others could tell me of their experience of this. Thank you.
Hi Pamela,
welcome to the forum.

I don't have experience of COPD but others on here do, so hopefully they will be along.

The way you describe your husband, he sounds a happy-go-lucky person; so I wouldn't dwell on the what-ifs. Instead, why not research how to protect his mental health https://www.blf.org.uk/support-for-you/ ... ng-my-copd

Re the shopping, I think you should talk to your husband about this and tell him you'd like him to have the pendant again and to wear it when you are out for your peace of mind.

Melly1
Thanks Melly 1, I will try to persuade him to re set up the button emergency call. It would put my mind at rest that way.

Hopefully other members with COPD experience will come back to me on that one. Maybe it is not a one fits all situation giving me hope he will remain the same that way. Thank you
Hi Pam
My husband had COPD for many years and I don't think it changed his personality at all. Unfortunately he suffered from Vascular Dementia in later years and that did change his personality. I was lucky in that My husband always knew who I was. I would try not to worry about what might happen and enjoy what you have. It sounds like you are doing that anyway.
Best wishes
Thank you woodpecker for your reply, that is very reassuring, I am sorry that he developed Vascular dementia in later life. I worked for a lot of years in a care home for people with all different types of dementia. Hard work, I know 24/7. Our longest shift was a 12 hour one. Carers at home have it so much harder. Thank you again for your reply.
Hi Pamela
My husband didn't have COPD but other health issues, including bronchial asthma. He too developed Vascular dementia. That changed his personality, but his dry sense of humour showed through very often. We had a good marriage, and am now so pleased I can look back on happier times. He died just over 19months ago. I was grateful he never forgot who I or the family were. Always dreaded that, and the dread was unfounded. As woodpecker said, enjoy each day as much as you can.
Pamela,
Can I ask who funded the carers your husband had previously?
Were you given the option of Direct Payments, so that you could arrange to have your own carers.
I understand that you were once a carer, but this is a different situation.

Would it not help for you to have someone to do the domestic chores at the house, so that you could go out knowing that there was someone there your husband could call on if neccessary?
You need to be able to have regular time off so that you can keep well.
Hi, my husband funded £525 a Month and social services had sorted the rest for him. I have wondered about finding a companion for him to begin with who could just stay and have a chat and a coffee with him. He has had a very interesting past as he was a sea farer and worked on both merchant ships and cruise ships and has travelled the world. Then Covid prevented me from finding someone.

I know in the future maybe not too far off I will need someone strong to help me get him to the shower etc. He is a big man weight wise, (another problem to solve). When he walks he drags his feet and can not walk far even in the house without having to sit down. Partly Copd partly arthritis and partly broken feet that set wrong.

No doctor is willing to operate so he gets frequent gall bladder infections. His face and his personality fair lights the room when I come in. Underneath all his problems he is so fantastic and you see the man within.

My six children now all between 36 and 49 wondered why I married him, until they met him. Now they treat him like he has been in the family all their lives. I am 67 and I feel like we have been together for ever.

Knowledge empowers so the more I understand COPD the more I will be able to be prepared for the future.
Thank you for your reply.