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LizG

Pillows for easier breathing at night

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Hi everyone,

 

My mom is in month 10 since her diagnosis with Stage IV NSCLC and still doing ok, but she's starting to have a lot of shortness of breath and has had to begin taking daily Spireva and uses an albuterol inhaler frequently. The heat and humidity where we live has been insane and makes it pretty much impossible for her to be out of the air conditioning- the air quality is very bad even for those of us with healthy lungs.

 

One thing she has been finding that helps her with breathing at night is to sleep propped up. Unfortunately, this causes her some neck and shoulder pain and also aggravates her hip, which she has a healing pathological fracture caused by metastasis to the bone there. I am looking for a good wedge pillow that will give her more even support and take the pressure off her neck and bottom so she can sleep comfortably.

 

Does anyone have any recommendations of a pillow? Currently she is sleeping in a normal bed and really doesn't want to have to switch to a hospital-type bed while she can avoid it. Also, has anyone found anything that helps people with LC breathe more freely, especially in the summer months? We have a dehumidifier that runs along with central air, but I was curious if an air purifier might help. So far her breathing is stable enough to avoid an oxygen tank and we are hopeful that continues.

 

Thanks!

Liz

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Liz,

 

Breathing - something I also have trouble with.  I have about 40% lung capacity and a very reactive airway and take all your mom's medications.  Before we got our high density foam mattress and electrically adjustable bed, I would sleep in a recliner when difficulty set in.  Elevating the upper body is a good solution for me.  Ask your mom's doctor if she can use a CPAP that normally treats sleep apnea.  This device pressurizes the airway making it easier to breathe.  I've used one for years and it works for me.  But ensure you consult with your mom's doctor because CPAP devices are normally prescribed.  

 

Stay the course.

 

Tom 

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Hi LizG, 

Have you seen these? http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/contour-minimax-multi-position-bed-wedge-pillow/3274952?categoryId=13114

I saw them not too long ago at the store.

There is also this: http://www.brookstone.com/nap-massaging-bed-rest

 

I hope these suggestions will help lead you to a helpful solution. 

 

Best,

Cindy

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Thanks Cindy! I found an inexpensive wedge for her to try and if it helps we'll probably upgrade her to one of those since they seem to be better quality.

 

I also bought her an under-knee wedge and she said the two combined have helped her sleep comfortably with less breathing difficulty and also less hip pain, so if anyone is struggling with hipbone mets I would recommend trying it out. She was able to do the stairs yesterday for the first time in 2 months!

 

Liz

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Has anyone suggested pulmonary rehabilitation for your mom? http://www.lungevity.org/support-survivorship/survivor-resource-center/living-well-with-lung-cancer/managing-your-breathing

 I know many survivors who have benefited from it.  Being elevated also helps.  Keep us posted on how she is doing and how YOU'RE doing too!
K

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why do you & your mom want to avoid oxygen at night if it, in fact, would make breathing easier? when 1st diag w/sclc st 4, i was having so much trouble breathing, i had no choice but to use oxygen almost constantly. It was only temp. then for me asusing the oxygen was  chemo caused cancer cells at esophagus to die. But, using oygen when needed caused such relieve i could function better & felt so much better.  I hope by now that your mom is feeling much better now.

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I suggest you buy a Mediflow pillow for your mom by using this he can take breathe more freely. My uncle facing the same problem now he is using this pillow he bought it from My Pillow discount code, hope it will work for she will definitely feel much better. I know its really very difficult time for you. 

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