One Breath at a Time: COPD Caregiving | Holly McBain, COPD Caregiver Blog on Healthline
One Breath at a Time
One Breath at a Time

As a caregiver to a loved one with COPD, Holly McBain offers a unique insight into the trials and tribulations this disease has on the patient, the caregiver, and immediate family. Over the course of time, Holly and her mother have encountered a wide swath of issues concerning the disease and its effects on the patient and how it also affects the caregiver.

  • Jun 05 2012

    COPD: The Importance of Equipment Maintenance

    A patient suffering from COPD has a great deal of equipment and medicine which requires maintenance and proper handling. My mother, a COPD patient, has portable oxygen canisters, a canister holder that rolls, a wheel chair, a rolling walker, ai...

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  • May 03 2012

    Keeping Weight On

    My mother is 82 years old and for most of her life she has always been thin and a picky eater. She often likes to say “I don’t live to eat, I eat to live”. However I always see that sentiment thrown out the window when she is presented with a d...

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  • May 01 2012

    The Emotional Toll COPD takes on the Patient

    My father-in-law passed away in 2010 from COPD and I helplessly watched him wither away. The last 6 months of his life were the most emotionally stressing for him and for those who loved him. Each passing day he would grow a little weaker and r...

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  • Apr 26 2012

    Dealing with the Hospitalist Physician

    Every time my mother exacerbates her COPD and is hospitalized, I end up dealing with the Hospitalist, a physician employed at the hospital who is the primary caregiver for her. Although the Hospitalist does defer to my mother's own physicians o...

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  • Apr 24 2012

    A Day in the Life of a Caregiver to a Parent

    At first thought, you might think it would make it easier to be a caregiver if the patient is your parent. You already know one another, have a history together, and have established a rapport. Unfortunately, as with most things in life, nothin...

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  • Apr 11 2012

    Handling the Anti-Oxygen Phenomenon

    As a caregiver to someone with COPD who is required to be on oxygen 24/7, I sometimes encounter the “I no longer need Oxygen” or “I no longer need this medicine” phenomenon. This generally happens every time my Mother feels good for a while. Wh...

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  • Apr 05 2012

    How my Mother was diagnosed with COPD

    It was early in 2006 when my mom came down with a cold or allergies or both. She is never really sure which or what it was. She was still living on her own, in her own home, and still smoking. She was 77 years old and had smoked on and off for ...

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  • Apr 02 2012

    Be a Proactive Caregiver

    What exactly is a “proactive caregiver”? To me, this means I take the initiative at every step; especially with doctors. Why? Because I am not a doctor, nor a nurse, and I want everything explained to me so I understand exactly what is going on...

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  • Mar 28 2012

    Developing Good Communication

    Over the years as a caregiver, I have learned it is extremely important that my Mother tells me how she is feeling. It is also important that I pick up on any cues that are indicators of potential medical issues. Although I am not as thorough a...

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  • Mar 19 2012

    Sometimes it’s Not COPD

    It was April 2011 when my Mom complained that she couldn’t breathe very well and felt weak. She had no fever, but had just completed a course of antibiotics due to allergy drainage. She almost always requires a second dose, so I contacted her pu...

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About the Author

Since a COPD diagnosis in 2006, Holly has served as the caregiver for her mother Joan.