The Importance of a Doctor and Others in Treating COPD

Once upon a time, back in my day, there was one doctor for everything. At that time, in my area anyway, the doctor was male. When I was called to the patient room, I was given a gown to wear. It was standard to wear a gown with ties in the back. There was also a robe that was open in the front.

Besides taking my vitals and listening to the heart, the rest of the appointment depended on what the physical complaint was. After some time, if a male doctor had a female patient, a nurse was in the room. That doctor was likely a GP or General Practitioner.

The doctors in my life

Soon after that routine, I saw the following doctors:

  • General Medicine
  • Obstetrician/Gynecologist
  • Urologist
  • General Surgeon
  • Internal Medicine Doctor

Now I see these doctors:

What we are seeing is the advancement of specialized doctors and medicine. Once upon a time, I wouldn’t have believed that I would see all of these doctors and specialists. Heck, I wouldn’t have believed that I had so many things wrong with me.

Listening to our bodies

I need to forgive myself and to keep forgiving myself because I can’t change anything that I did to affect my health. That said, I need to realize that this article isn’t just about me, it’s about everyone who sees a doctor.

As our health changes, we need to be aware of what our body is telling us. Your physician might have you come back to see him/her. They may recommend that you see a specialist like a lung doctor (pulmonologist). You then might have to return to see your regular doctor for a follow-up. You might be given a prescription for a rescue inhaler. Other medications may wait until your next appointment.

At some places, the doctor might schedule a few different tests, including full spirometry. The person who does this test might be a respiratory therapist. Depending on what the doctor orders, you might need to do at least three similar tests for the best results.

More tests and discussion

The doctor might also schedule a 6-minute walk test. With this you walk, you might walk to a cone at the far end of a hallway, then back around the cone at the side the tech is on. This will go on for 6 minutes or less depending on how you are doing. The nurse will monitor your blood pressure and oxygen levels periodically.

After the testing, your doctor will likely have you come back to go over your test results. The discussion might begin with asthma or COPD. It was that way for me anyway. The discussion might include the stages of COPD and which stage you are in. There may be talk about potential next steps including medication and/or pulmonary rehab.

Wherever you are on your journey, know that we are here and you aren't alone!

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The COPD.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.