The official blog of the Lung Institute.

A Look Inside the Life of a Caregiver

12 Jan 2016
| Under Caregiver, Lung Disease | Posted by | 6 Comments
A Look Inside the Life of a Caregiver

A Look Inside the Life of a Caregiver

It’s difficult when someone you love has a chronic lung disease like COPD. From going through your daily routine to traveling to doing the things you enjoy doing, lung disease can take a large toll on both the patient and the caregiver. At the Lung Institute, we understand how difficult diagnosis with a chronic lung disease can be, and we are here to help you. Recently, we spoke with Mr. Lundgren, a former caregiver for his wife, to have a look inside the life of a caregiver.

When was your wife diagnosed with COPD, and what was her treatment regimen?

She was diagnosed around 2000. She took breathing treatments, O2 at night, steroids, a rescue inhaler and several other meds.  It was a grocery sack every three months.

What did you and your wife enjoy doing together?

We traveled a lot every summer. We went to Glacier National Park or the Grand Canyon. Sometimes we went to other places, too.

How did that change after diagnosis?

After diagnosis, our trips had to become shorter, less walking. Our last trip was 5 years ago to Alaska on a ship. It took her weeks to recover upon return.

She would have to stop and rest several times just to walk a short distance. When we visited the parks, we would want to see the sites, but she couldn’t walk far because she just couldn’t breathe well. It was sad.

Did your wife ever smoke?

Yes, she was a smoker. She smoked two packs a day, but she quit smoking ten years before her diagnosis.

How did you help your wife through daily tasks?

I feel like I helped her indirectly because she didn’t require a lot of physical help, but she was unable to do anything that required a lot of movement. I had to help her more as the disease progressed, especially near the end of her life. She lost a lot of weight; we just couldn’t keep weight on her. That’s when she became so weak. I took her to all of her appointments, and I tried to be there for her.

As a caregiver, what was your biggest challenge?

For me, it was the stress that this was chronic and degenerative.  It also really limited our long term travel and activity plans.

As a caregiver, what was your biggest success?

How we supported each other the best we could.

Do you have any advice for other caregivers?

I wish I had some words of wisdom, but the truth is you’re watching someone die slowly.  Make the best of the time you have.  If possible, maximize the energy the patient has and do as much as can be tolerated.  If the patient has symptoms, go to the doctor soon, and make sure the patient gets cultures to ensure the correct meds.  Try new treatments because you never know what will help.


The Lung Institute thanks Mr. Lundgren for participating in our interview and for sharing some of his and his wife’s story. COPD and other chronic lung diseases are challenging to live with for the patient, the family and the caregiver. However, with advancements in medical technologies, medications and alternative treatment options, there is hope.

The Lung Institute offers adult autologous cellular therapy options for patients with chronic lung disease. Cells are harvested from the patient’s own body, separated in the lab and then returned to the patient. Because the cells are the patient’s own, the risk of rejection is significantly minimized. If you or a loved one suffers from COPD, or any chronic lung disease, contact us at (800) 729-3065 to see if you qualify for treatment.


  1. Lung Institute

    6 months ago


    Thank you for your comment. The Lung Institute only treats lung diseases with our cellular therapy. Unfortunately, at this time, insurance companies don’t cover treatment. However, we’re hopeful that treatment will be covered by insurance companies in the near future. Keep in mind that it will take some time before the insurance companies see a financial benefit in their favor and then decide to cover it. In the meantime, you can learn more about cellular treatment options and have your questions answered by one of our patient coordinators. Feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149 for more information. We look forward to hearing from you soon.


    The Lung Institute


    6 months ago

    My question is does the Lung Institute only treat with cell therapy. We have looked into cell therapy and we really just cant afford it. But I would like him to be with a group that has additional resouces

  3. Lung Institute

    8 months ago


    I’m so sorry to hear that you’re having a difficult time. Being a caregiver isn’t easy, and quitting smoking can be hard. However, quitting smoking is the most important thing that your husband can do for his health. Please visit our Resources page for our smoking cessation guide. You may also consider checking with your primary care physician to see if your state offers any free materials, such as nicotine gums, medications or patches, to help people quit smoking. We wish you and your husband the very best.


    Lung Institute

  4. Joan

    9 months ago

    My husband went three months of therapy for his emphazima but. I thought he had quit smoking. Find out a friend Has been buying cigerates for him. I am his cargiver and he also has amyloidosis (the ttr type) others are sayIng let him smoke. I can stop this from telling the friend he must stop this but Husband will lose a friend while i am losing a husband And it is tearing our mariage apart.

  5. PB

    2 years ago

    Dear Jerry,

    We’re so sorry to hear that you and your husband are going through such a difficult time.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  6. jerry Henry

    2 years ago

    I’m a caregiver for my husband . The Doctors say he is in his final stage, I’m so sad . He has look in on the cellular treatment, but we don’t have the money to have it done.. I just pray that your treatment works for people this is not fun to watch….May god bless you for what you are doing …

All claims made regarding the efficacy of Lung Institute's treatments as they pertain to pulmonary conditions are based solely on anecdotal support collected by Lung Institute. Individual conditions, treatment and outcomes may vary and are not necessarily indicative of future results. Testimonial participation is voluntary. Lung Institute does not pay for or script patient testimonials.

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