Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Get moving today, so you can keep moving tomorrow!

Your patient is afraid of pulmonary rehabilitation. But you really, really want to persuade them to try it. In celebration of Pulmonary Rehabilitation Week, let's use these points to persuade them.

First, it feels so good to move. It’s what our bodies are designed for. Moving helps bring a sense of normalcy back into your life.

Second, gains. With consistent exercise, mobility gets easier. Many studies point to gains in mood with exercise, too.

Third, comfort. I get a lot of air trapping because my lungs can get air in but they can’t get all the air back out. It's like how a balloon feels right before it pops. Exercise helps empty my lungs of the “bad” air so I can take deeper breaths and eliminates the discomfort.

Fourth, support. The respiratory therapists who run the programs make sure you are comfortable with the exercises and are there to adjust your oxygen or suggest you rest as needed. No one asks you to do anything extreme. Most of the machines are non-weight bearing and you can sit. Also, you’ll likely rotate among machines. You’ll never have to plod along on a machine you hate. If you are an use oxygen user guess what? Several other people will be using it, too. It’s not like walking through a store with your oxygen and feeling like everyone is looking at you. Everyone looks like you! No one is there to judge you - only to help.

Fifth, socialization. I quarantine through every Covid surge. Being on a schedule and being around other people somewhere safe that is not my home is great. The #respiratorytherapists constantly clean the machines. Everyone is masked and have their temperatures checked upon entry. Plus, they check your blood pressure and oxygen levels before, during, and after your exercise. Some people even wear heart monitors. The level of care is extraordinary and I've made a lot of friends.

I don't know who needs to hear this, but if you have a patient who is having a hard time maintaining their blood oxygen levels or YOU or a loved one are, talk to your doctor about pulmonary rehabilitation. You can also message me and I'll try to help. Lastly, as a #COPDFoundation State Captain, I recommend you visit their website for a ton of useful information.