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What do I do about my father?

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Old 11-23-2003, 08:51 PM   #1
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LtHarps HB User
What do I do about my father?

Hello everyone. I am a new member of this board and I deeply concerned about my father. He has been a heavy smoker since he was a teenager (he is now 52). He has smoked in the vicinity of 2-3 packs per day. Lately, his coughing has been getting progressively worse. Every time he wakes up he has a couging attack, it sounds like he has trouble breathing. He absolutely refuses to see a doctor, not just for his coughing, but anything else in life. He has this phobia of them. Even the slight mention of a doctor makes him turn the other cheek. I just don't know what to do. He won't quit smoking, and I am afraid its already too late. It affects me because every morning I wake up hearing him coughing unconrollably and I feel completely helpless. I want to just knock him out and drag him to the doctor and show him what he is doing to himself! I have simply run out of ideas.

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Old 11-25-2003, 08:01 AM   #2
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Location: Chalmette, LA
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M4dmartin HB User
Re: What do I do about my father?

I am a new member to the board also (just today). My father was also a heavy smoker (from the age of 15 to the age of 60, he is now 67) and smoked in the vacinity of 2-3 packs per day. He also had the morning coughing attacks for years (probably for the last 15 years). I also remember every morning waking up hearing him coughing unconrollably and feeling helpless. My dad was just diagnosed with lung cancer, although I am not in any way diagnosing you dad's ailments, and I understand your anxiety because I feared that he had this disease for years. Like your dad, my dad just refused to go to the doctor until he started making routine visits in the last five years. Both of my dad's parents died of lung cancer and I often wondered if he suspected and did not want to hear officially of his prognosis.

I really don't have any advise as to how to get him to go to the doctor. In my dad's case all of the asking, pleading and nagging my sisters and mother did, did not get him to seek medical attention - one day he just finally made the decision to become proactive in his health care. I wanted to let you know I totally understand what you are experiencing and feeling.

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Old 12-09-2003, 09:09 AM   #3
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Re: What do I do about my father?

When you go to your doctor for your physical tell him your concerns and ask him what he thinks you should do. A vaporizer in his room at night may help him. Reflexive coughing is the body's way of getting rid of the junk in the lungs from smoking. When I used to smoke I developed asthma. I had Nebulizer treatments was prescribed Combivent and a tablet (can't recall name).

If he considers the notion to quit a doctor will help him. That may be in the form of Nebulizer treatments (they help ease breathing and wheezing) prescribing the proper therapy; patches or gum or other to curb cravings. Replace ashtrays with candy dishes in easy to reach places with sugar free suckers in each room, on the table, console, armrest-in his car. Where he is when he is home. That way a substitute would be available. Keep reminders out of view like-ashtrays, lighters, matches etc. Back then I remember drinking grapefruit juice. I read it can help curb cravings as well. Grapefruit juice is not for everyone because it can interfere with some medications and conditions etc.

If he is not willing to quit or go to a doctor have him least consider changing to a "lighter" brand that has less tar...Prop up pillows at night behind back, somewhat in a sitting position. That can assist labored breathing. Air filtration systems should be in place and the smoke vented.

I am concerned for your health. Second hand smoke kills. Ask if he can smoke outside when home so you do not get sick from the smoke. Second hand smoke can cause cancer in the person breathing it in and not cause cancer in the smoker. It can cause you bronchitis, asthma, earaches and more.

I smoked for over 15 years but because of other health conditions I tapered down then quit. Ironic that quiting had little to do with lung ailments and more to do with other conditions. In either case, I did not want to but did. It is a decision a person makes. It is very hard to do without help but can be done.

Last edited by Gemi; 12-09-2003 at 09:17 AM.

Old 12-11-2003, 01:04 PM   #4
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LL29 HB User
Re: What do I do about my father?

Amen to that Gemi and that's why I'm reading all of these posts to help me be strong.

I started smoking when I was 13 yrs. old - became a pack a day at age 19 and smoked til 11/19/03 - I'm now 33. So basically 15 yrs. smoking.

I quit cold turkey but some days it's really rough. Even though I'm 22 days smoke free - I still do not feel like I'm out of the woods by any means. I do come out here though -the smoking cessation room as well - there are 4 of us out there strong that keep each other going. These threads are a really great support system. People don't realize how addictive cigarettes are.

Well any advice is always appreciated. Oh and LTHarps - have your Dad come out here and read these. If you don't think he will - print them out and put them in his car or lunch box or some place where he'll have time to read them and be alone for awhile. Eventually I really think it'll sink in.

My prayers are with you on getting him to quit


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