When your loved one is diagnosed with COPD, her doctor is likely to order all sorts of tests. One of the tests could be a chest X-ray, which can show your loved one’s doctor less about COPD and more about other conditions that she might have alongside the COPD.
A Chest X-ray Doesn’t Diagnose COPD
It’s a common misconception that your loved one’s doctor is able to see all sorts of problems on an X-ray, including COPD. But in reality, COPD is not diagnosed using an x-ray because it just doesn’t show up on film like a broken bone or some other problem might. Laboratory tests and lung function tests actually help your loved one’s doctor diagnose the presence of COPD while the chest X-ray gives different information.
Other Conditions Do Show up on X-rays
What chest X-rays can do is diagnose other health conditions, such as cancer in the lungs, pneumonia, or emphysema. All of these conditions can exist alongside COPD, making the condition, even more draining for your loved one. As your loved one’s COPD worsens, other related conditions may start appearing on chest X-rays, such as the diaphragm changing and flattening.
They Can Show Changes Over Time
Your loved one’s doctor may only want an initial chest X-ray to serve as a baseline. Your loved one could go for quite a long time without another chest X-ray, in fact. If she experiences lung infections or an increase in symptoms that doesn’t make sense, your loved one’s doctor may want another chest X-ray to see what changes have occurred since the initial film.
Normal Chest X-rays Don’t Mean Your Loved One Doesn’t Have COPD
Again, COPD can’t be diagnosed from a chest X-ray. What can be seen, however, are abnormalities, changes, and other health conditions. So while a normal chest X-ray can be good news on some levels, it doesn’t mean that your loved one no longer has COPD or no longer has breathing issues. A chest x-ray is a tool that helps to rule out other problems and concerns.
COPD can really sap your loved ones strength and energy, especially on the bad days. Consider hiring home care providers to help you and your loved one power through those days that aren’t as great.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering homecare in Indian, AK, call us! The friendly staff at Shine Bright Care are here to answer your questions. Call toll-free (888) 264-5998
In reflecting on this journey, my home care career, I cannot help but think of my parents. I assisted alongside my sister, to care for them during their last years. Both mother and father had suffered a stroke, heart attacks, diabetes, dementia, hypertension and many more complications that I cannot even imagine going through.
Life as a caregiver was not easy but it was something that you just had to do, especially for your parents. Both my parents needed full-time 24-7 care, meaning they could not do anything for themselves. Every day my sister would care for them, whether it was assisting them to medical appointments, cooking and cleaning, bathing and showering, or transferring from wheelchair to bed. It was their complete care for all activities of daily living.
I think of my parents often. My father passed in 2012 and my mother recently passed in 2015. I would give anything to have them back. That would be selfish to say, as it would have meant them suffering and not living a full life. I know they are in heaven smiling down.
With the experience of caring for my parents, I was able to secure a job as a direct support professional. I was later offered a job as a case manager and excelled to become a team leader. Gradually I was promoted to being a care coordinator and from then on, I just knew this was meant for me.
This is my calling; this is my life’s purpose. I went on to experience greater things in this field of Human Services. To care and help individuals and families find support and services needed to navigate the system to meet their needs, is such an honor and rewarding experience to be involved in.
I look back, and a decade has passed since I started and it is now 2017. I would love to thank my parents for giving me the opportunity to have the experience of caring for them and go on to do something great with helping others find care and support in the community.
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