General Question

Aster's avatar

Can you give a ballpark prognosis of a woman in this condition?

Asked by Aster (15321 points ) March 16th, 2014

I have an old friend , my ex’s girlfriend, who at age 59 is not overweight but after smoking most of her life often carries around an oxygen tank. I’m not sure “prognosis” is the correct term but do you think she could have a long life ahead of her, there is no way of knowing or do you think she’s in deep trouble physically? I mean, is this a serious condition? Or can you live another twenty years+ on oxygen if you began using it at age 56?

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12 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

The important question is why is she on oxygen? Emphysemia seems a likely diagnosis. She is in deep trouble physically if her lungs are damaged, a condition which supplemental oxygen would support.

Infomation from WedMD about chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

I hope that this woman has stopped smoking and is trying to lose some weight. At least that would take the strain off her heart. A smoker’s lungs cannot be repaired.

Some information on oxygen replacment therapy

Aster's avatar

Thank you but she really can’t afford to lose weight. She’s petite. Short and thin. I think she probably has emphysema or COPD.
I don’t know if she still smokes but I may have heard she still does it.

gailcalled's avatar

If she is still smoking, that is a death sentence.One of my aunts died of emphysema…a very bad wat to go.

Sorry, I misread and though you wrote that she “is” overweight. At least she doesn’t have to worry about that.

GloPro's avatar

If she is still smoking that is a death sentence because Oxygen is explosive.

Aster's avatar

@GloPro she has her Master’s so I am sure she’d put the oxygen away before she lit up.

gondwanalon's avatar

If she continues to smoke and makes no changes to a healthy living lifestyle then in my opinion she is in big trouble.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

If you wanted to visit her I wouldn’t put it off too long.

JLeslie's avatar

Hard to know without all the facts. I think even with all the facts it’s hard to know sometimes with lung or heart problems. Unless she has lung cancer, God forbid, that tends to take life rather quickly if inoperable.

GloPro's avatar

@Aster I don’t see the correlation to her education and the assumption that she doesn’t light up around her oxygen. If she does smoke then her masters certainly hasn’t helped it sink in that smoking is 100% counterproductive to having supplemental oxygen in the first place.
That being said, if she isn’t smart enough to stop smoking I would certainly be aware of where the tanks are when I visited.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I knew a small, thin older woman who smoked like two packs a day (bartender) and was on oxygen about ten years before passing.

gailcalled's avatar

Having advanced degrees are unrelated to addictive or irresponsible behavior.

Aster's avatar

Thank you, @KNOWITALL . Quite helpful answer. GA

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