lungs meditating holding a green binder and weights

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.

More on this topic

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.

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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.

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