Thursday, January 18, 2007

To Laugh, Breathe, and to Live!

Pulmonary Rehabilitation... it is a WONDERFUL thing to get into. It teaches us so much as to why we really need it, it teaches us to laugh, breathe, and to live a life we thought was gone forever! When I initially began this BLOG I had said "Once we are diagnosed with the Big E we think it is the end, rather it is the beginning of the end, we cannot let... or allow the Big E to control our lives, but rather we control IT!" That is so embossed in my mind, I believe that is part of what keeps me going, because I am so stubborn and determined that I will win whatever obstacle is placed in my path, God has put me on this earth for a reason. I would like to say "Thanks" to Lori and Love Your Lungs, Breathe For Life... I now know the reason.

My Dr. suggested that I go to pulmonary rehab. I had to wait about a week before there was an opening to get in. And I believe the whole session was for 4 weeks. The first day the p/t's do an evaluation, meaning a walk timed test that lasts about 6 minutes, they check your heart rate, respiratory rate, and pulse. That gives them an idea on how to personalize your goals for rehabilitation. The first day was scary, I wasn't sure what to expect. While I was waiting to be evaluated an older lady came out of the exercise room and said to me, "have you ever been here before?", I replied "no, I have not, this is my first day", she said "you're gonna just love it, when I first came here I was on oxygen 24/7 and now I am off it, I can now get on a plane and visit my grandchildren!"
I have never forgotten those words and the joy in her eyes. From that day forward I had a goal and a wonderful memory to keep me going. I knew I was going to ace the course and I did. I couldn't walk or talk at the same time, nor could I walk any distance without being so short of breath, it was scarey and the anxiety that went with it. Due to the awesome people that worked with us daily and retrained us how to walk and talk, breathe properly, maintain a healthy diet, and exercise... I find myself a whole lot better. Anxiety sometimes comes around but now I know how to deal with it.
I continue to exercise, it is very important... I eat healthy and continue what I learned in Pulmonary Rehabilitation class.
Once the course is completed, you receive a diploma. It is nice to look at, and see where we were and how far we have advanced. You also have the option to continue in a maintainance course where you go every week for as long as you want to continue the program or you can do it yourself, which is what I chose to do. About 4 weeks later they schedule you to return to the Pulmonary Rehab. center for a check up, meaning another timed 6 minute walk. Once you are done and all is well... you are on your own!
Please feel free to write in and share your experiences with Pulmonary Rehabilitation. Those of us who have gone through it may be able to help others who are uncertain about joining a class. Also, if anyone has any questions, again... please feel free to write to me. I will try to help you in any way that I can.

Let's Breathe Easy Together
1 2 3 Inhale... 1 2 3 4 Exhale

Your friend,


RX850 said...

My pulmonary rehab experience was wonderful! I went 2 times, once in 2002 and again in 2004 and continued off and on in maintenance.

Over the past year I have let things slide and have just started going back to the maintenance program. I have to be accountable to someone or I just don't do the work! I have all the best intentions but don't follow through after a while.

Exercising is so important for us with lung diseases! I learned that by making my muscles work more efficiently and use oxygen better, my lungs had to work less to supply them and could send the much needed oxygen to the vital organs like the heart and lungs and kidneys.

Education is a benefit of pulmonary rehab that I think we all should experience. We may think we know what it's all about, but we all need to learn more to make our lives better!

Anonymous said...

Good Morning and Thank You for your reply, I agree it is tough to conitinue with the rehab thingy,once we feel better we think it's ok not to continue, I take each day as a new beginning and exercise at will, not on a schedule thru out the day I purse lip breathe, walk with a little perk in each step, on days that I can, we are all different with this disease, we can do this together if you want to , I check my blog pretty much on a daily basis... Breathe Easy, and Have a super day !