Starting the New Season With Respiratory Rehab
I got the news. I had been waiting for more than 3 months for my confirmation. It finally came at the end of a long hard week, a week of ups and downs both for myself and for my family. Just as February slipped into March, the call came, and I am going to Respiratory Rehabilitation. It is hard to put into words how excited I was to get the call.
I've tried respiratory rehab in the past
My first kick at rehab came upon my initial diagnosis. I had just spent 28 days in ICU, having been in a coma, intubated and coaxed back to life. After spending a week in the step down ward I was released to go home and although it would be short lived, home never felt so good.
I was sent home on supplemental oxygen with the promise it was only temporary. However, being on supplemental 02 would be a back and forth solution for me many times, as I continued the next few months.
The program was so beneficial to my COPD management
I was only home for two weeks before I was rushed back into hospital for respiratory rehab. This time I had to stay in hospital all week and came home on weekends. I was reluctant to attend and went in kicking and screaming. I stayed as an in-patient for 6 weeks and continued my lessons for another 6 weeks as an out-patient. As I progressed through rehab, doctors felt I wouldn’t need 02 except for sleeping. I was also given a BiPap to help my nocturnal breathing issues.
Rehab was like a basics course for COPD management
While in rehab, I was taught all of the things that a newbie needs to know about COPD. I was taught to pace myself, to use pursed lips with exertion, to exercise everyday and keep your thoughts positive with mindfulness. I was taught to journal every day and how to track my symptoms and present them to the doctor. We were given a plethora of information all kept together in a green binder.
The program also served as self-care for me
As reluctance gave way to eagerness. I soon realised that rehab was a gift that I was giving myself. It was a respite for me, to perform self-care for me, a foreign concept to a wife, mother and full-time employee/part-time business owner. It was my time to carve time for myself and have total concentration on myself and my well-being. It felt great to take this time to take care of me, guilt free.
Respiratory rehab is a multifaceted treatment plan
I became a sponge, absorbing all the information that I could about COPD and my new normal. Rehab covered the whole person with mental, physical, emotional, social and cognitive learning. Upon completion my green binder was bursting with information. I still have that binder and keep it at my fingertips. It is the best reference guide.
Today, when I hear about all the medical miracles that are out there, I want to be ready to accept anything that could make my COPD and breathing better. So, my returning to rehab is my contribution to my self-care so I will be ready, willing and able to accept that miracle.
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, RLS, sleep apnea) in addition to COPD?