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Readers Respond: What Type of COPD Complications Have You Experienced?

Responses: 50


Updated May 01, 2014

Complications of COPD can be serious and even life-threatening. Share your experience about what types of COPD complications you have suffered from and what consequences, if any, occurred as a result of them.


Jee1957, I am not sure if those are considered symptoms of COPD but I have them so bad at times & yes, it wakes you up and won't go away...even on the top of my feet...I've been told to rub white vinegar on them....gotta try it yet just got the vinegar...but if not a symptom I think it should be mentioned to drink lots of water it helps. Good luck; we all need it!
—Guest Linda

Leg & Arm Cramps

I was diagnosed with COPD about three weeks ago. I have very bad leg (knee to toe) and forearm (fingers to elbow) cramps. They are bad enough to rip me out of my sleep. Is this a symptom of COPD?

COPD, Pulmonary Hypertension, Diabetes,

I have COPD, Pulmonary Hypertension, Sleep Apnea, Diabetes 2, and on oxygen 24/7 although I have been fighting using it during the day... THANKS everyone for posting.. it really helps. This crap sux.. I walk 10' and I can't breath, I get so tired of it all. & the meds.. It takes everything I have to go to work on a daily FT job. I don't know how much more I can continue, but have no clue what to do. FYI...The pain meds do help the pain in my chest from coughing and helps to relax. ... again thanks
—Guest Linda

My Complications

Insulin dependent, diabetic, high BP, swollen ankles, stents.
—Guest Atlantajo

Severe Shortness of Breath

I can hardly get to the toilet with out getting out of breath. It makes me very tired and I don't like to leave the house. It's getting harder for me; I'm always cold.
—Guest Marion

Pain, clubbing of the fingers etc.

My husband is in stage 4 of COPD. His whole body hurts. His body temperature is low with the highest going to 96.8. He sleeps a lot, has clubbing of fingers and toes and barrel belly. He's also very cranky from the pain. Too much pain and headache and feels high all the time and his memory is getting worse he's only 50.
—Guest Samantha Romaine

Pain, Headache, Stomach Problems

I've had COPD for 7 years. I recently stopped smoking after 30+ years. I'm 56 and have a cough and phlegm. I'm on 4 inhalers and a nebulizer. I'm in so much pain headache stomach hurts and can hardly walk to the door without needing to sit down. I went to ER and they gave me a breathing treatment and sent me home; now I'm worse than ever.
—Guest breathless

Exacerbation Caused by Fire

I too was diagnosed with emphysema in the 4th stage 8 months ago after a exacerbation I had when we were in the Spring Fire in California. We did not evacuate when we should have. I was very sick. My Doctor put me on 24/7 oxygen. Told me it was for life. I do avoid crowded places. I have been very faithful with the oxygen and still live a very active life. I too have not had any of these complications and pray I never will......but very afraid that they will in time.
—Guest Mary COPD

A nagging cough.

I get this cough that comes on when I start to exert myself. I play golf once or twice a week and after walking 200yds I get short of breath and begin coughing. Apart from being a legacy of smoking ( non smoker 3yrs now) I feel its just as much due to my lack of exercise and therefore fitness. Anyway, after walking a kilometer, I get my second wind and the coughing disappears. So what I'm trying to say is, yes smoking is the cause of my problem, but it would be a lot worse had I not been a keen partaker in sports right up to the age of 51 playing Golf and Rugby, true. I am still at my playing weight of 15-16 Stone, am overweight for my height, have no bad health problems, my Doctor says I have the blood pressure of a 21yr old and I just turned 65. So activity or gym work if you can or swimming will, I have no doubt, will give you a better quality of life and will lessen much pain you may be experiencing. Be well, Thankyou

Burning Pain

I have exactly the sane problem as you. Burning pain in my feet and deep pain in my legs at night, wake up every hour and I am in agony. This worsens when I have tried symbicort and seretide, which are steroid inhalers. Nobody seems to believe me about the inhalers worsening my leg pain. I wish I could take the steroid inhalers as my breathing is great when I have tried them. I am being treated for RLS, which I do have and I am on Pramipexole for this. I also take Spiriva daily for COPD. Does anyone know of an inhaler that does not cause leg pain//cramp. Any help would be appreciated as I am at my wits end.

I Can Hardly Walk

I have COPD and can't get out much anymore to take myself to the doctor. It seems like every month now I am told I am end stage COPD. I can hardly walk. I don't know what it will be like when it's over but I am so tired, I'm ready to find out.
—Guest Sharon b

Pain in My Legs and Arms

I have COPD but do not no what stage I have. The last few weeks my legs have been hurting, and my arms. Can anyone tell me if this normal as I am new to this and very worried.
—Guest susan

Achilles Tendon Rupture From Levaquin

I've had COPD for about 10 years but wasn't diagnosed until 3 years ago. I quit smoking, took my meds, did everything the doctor told me to do. I ended up in the hospital in October, 2011 with severe bronchitis and advanced COPD exacerbation. The discharge doctor prescribed me Levaquin which caused my Achilles tendon to rupture within 48 hours. I had surgery to repair it with the podiatrist having to use a major calf muscle for that. Rejection and severe infection followed causing me to be non-weight bearing on that foot for 4 months. COPD was hard enough to deal with, but now it's next to impossible to make it through a day. I've had to return to work, a desk job, but it still entails a lot of walking making me out of breath and my foot in great pain most of the time. Please stop smoking, eat healthy and find a really good pulmonologist to help you with this disease. It can be managed with medications and oxygen when necessary.
—Guest Virgo

Code Blue

I coded 5 times from COPD, and CHF in 2010, causing damage to my brain, I now get treated for Alzheimer's and dementia, I have seizures and many other problems. The coding was scary because each time I was on the vent and the last time I almost died completely to the point of not coming back. Since they fitted me for CPAP at night, and I sleep with it and oxygen, I have not had the problems I used to have. It works well to disburse oxygen through my body. I'm on 24 hour oxygen also. I'm in Stage IV of COPD and late stages of CHF, diabetic, mini strokes from lack of oxygen to brain, 5 chronic and 2 terminal illnesses.
—Guest Rebecca Castle

Respiratory Infection

Every year at the same time I would come down with a respiratory infection. It always occurred during the holidays. This year I was seen by an allergist who told me I not only had COPD but also respiratory infection that albuterol would not help. I've been seen by 2 different doctors who both prescribed different medications. I have lined a shelf with them to try and keep track of what to take and when. I've always been very active, quit smoking a year ago but suddenly find myself out of breath when I carry anything to the point that I must use a rescue inhaler.. Its scary for me and new. I too find that my legs hurt. Nobody will address that and I see others comment that they too have this problem. I have to look forward to the doctor visits ahead to find out what I can do. Right now, I just hope to feel better whatever it takes. I'm trying to be positive but we take a lot for granted.
—Guest gmcgahee

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