Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer
Woman in a dark room about to walk through a brightly lit doorway

Respiratory Rehabilitation

A mere 3 days after a month long stay in the hospital, the specialist’s office called. They had a request from the hospital for an immediate opening. They would accommodate me by the end of the week. I told her I could not possibly get to that appointment; I could barely get to the bathroom. She warned me that the next appointment wouldn’t be for another 6 weeks.

When I told my daughter, she instructed me to secure that appointment immediately and to let her take care of the arrangements.

In-patient respiratory rehabilitation for COPD

Upon seeing the doctor, the discussion seemed to go very fast and before I knew it, my daughter and I were on our way home. I had instructions to call them ASAP to confirm my spot at the in-patient Respiratory Rehabilitation.

Surely my daughter would agree that it was just too soon, but as I gently tip-toed on the subject, indicating that it wouldn’t be possible for me to attend, my daughter disagreed. I felt like a chick being pushed out of the nest. I just wasn’t ready.

I began as a reluctant participant the next Monday, staying all week and returning home for the weekend. This would continue for the next 6 weeks.

Upon arrival, I was given a beautiful room and a bed with a window view. I suddenly felt better about being there. The nurses came in first to introduce themselves, and then the Respiratory Therapist came in. The mission of the program was to teach me how to get to my new normal and to teach me that anything I wanted to do was within my reach using the proper techniques.

One of the first things she told me was that it was not my fault that I ended up in this situation. I began to feel like the luckiest person in the world because I had just been given a future.

I had no idea that I was one of the last patients to be enrolled in the inpatient program. Six weeks later that program was eliminated and I would have missed my chance at the opportunity of a lifetime.

The benefits of respiratory rehabilitation for COPD

While at Resp Rehab, mornings consisted of exercise and the proper way to pace my activities, using pursed lip breathing. I pushed past my limits while being monitored. For the first time in my life, I began to realize how good it felt to exercise, to stretch my muscles and gain control over my body.

The afternoons were filled with education about lung disease, mindfulness, and journaling our chronic illness symptoms. We had many specialists and past participants of Resp Rehab visit to share their education.

Evenings were spent in the dining room with others from the program, chatting and knitting, and just spending time together. We were a unit.

I would end up spending my 6 weeks inpatient and signed on for another 6 weeks as an outpatient. I loved every minute of it.

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.

Comments

  • grandmapip
    6 months ago

    Oh and yes will keep you updated on rehab ( really cant wait!) I have been doing breathing exercises since the beginning. They really do help in a number of ways. I hope others do them as well! Your RT can show you all of them. Just an FYI. Great day to all!!

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    6 months ago

    Hi again, grandmapip and thanks for this reply. We will look forward to your continued participation here. I know you will do well with your upcoming pulmonary rehabilitation program. Wishing you well, Leon (site moderator)

  • grandmapip
    6 months ago

    Thankyou to all for the welcome! Being cancer free is the most wonderful gift but I have to say COPD Iis much harder to deal with and live with. I’m shocked at the stigma that comes with COPD. It’s only been four months since my two diagnosis but I’ve already had multiple run ins with people that actually blame you for the disease and have no empathy at all!! I’m afraid a lot of these were medical professionals, it makes me sad. I’m not going to let it get to me and was wondering if other people have had similar encounters?

  • Lyn Harper, RRT moderator
    6 months ago

    I’m sorry you have to experience this – especially from members of the healthcare community. It’s outragous! Sadly you’re not alone and I’m sure will hear from people with similiar tales to tell.
    Try not to let it bother you, which I realize is easier said than done. But, unless they’ve walked in your shoes they can’t really understand and certainly shouldn’t judge.
    Best – Lyn (site moderator)

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    6 months ago

    Hi again, grandmapip and thanks for your recent reply too. It is really not acceptable that medical professionals do not have the compassion or understanding to treat you with more respect and concern for this condition. And, there is no question that others in our community have expressed similar disheartening experiences with some of their health care providers too. Please know that we are all here to lend support and a sympathetic ear. If you haven’t as yet, you may want to check out our COPD Facebook page. You’ll find the link located at the bottom or this page. You will find many of members interact there with whatever is on the mind related to COPD. Warm regards, Leon (site moderator)

  • grandmapip
    6 months ago

    Hi, I’m new at this,lol. Although I have to wait until May, I can’t wait to go to Pulmanary rehab!! I hope others read your article because it’s a definite positive step to get going and live your life! I’m 64 this year and had lung cancer and found out I had COPD at the same time. I’m cancer free now and looking forward to rehab

  • Barbara Moore moderator author
    6 months ago

    Hi Grandmapip, I am happy to hear that you are cancer free. Your attitude about Resp Rehab will take you a million miles. Congrats on getting started there.
    And, never let anyone tell you this is your fault. Many people smoked who never had an issue or side-effect from it. Barbara Moore (site moderator)

  • Lyn Harper, RRT moderator
    6 months ago

    Hi grandmapip – That’s great that you’re cancer free! I can’t wait to hear what you think of pulmonary rehab. I have only positive things to say about it and I’m sure you’re going to benefit in ways you can’t even imagine. You’ll probably even make a few friends along the way. Please keep us posted and let us know how it goes.
    In the meantime, welcome to the site and feel free to ask any questions that come to mind.
    Regards,
    Lyn (site moderator)

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    6 months ago

    Hi grandmapip and thanks for your post. I will echo the welcome that Lyn provided and also congratulate you on being cancer-free. You must be so glad about that successful treatment.
    Since you mentioned that you are new here, I thought this article might help you to get acclimated to the site: https://copd.net/news/welcome-newcomers/. I do hope you find it to be helpful!
    I’m guessing (also) that you are really going to enjoy your pulmonary rehabilitation program. So many of our members have done nothing less than sung of its praises. We’ll look forward to your continued participation here.
    All the best, Leon (site moderator)

  • Janet Plank moderator
    6 months ago

    There are so many positives that people have discussed, it’s amazing. Thank you for sharing this article. It’s inspiring and I hope that it’s seen by many!

    Janet (site moderator)

  • Barbara Moore moderator author
    6 months ago

    Thank You Janet, I hope that many people see it too. Barbara Moore (Site Moderator)

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    6 months ago

    Hi Barbara and thanks for sharing your experiences with respiratory rehabilitation. Your tale will no doubt inspire others as this can be an intimidating proposition to begin with. Your initial reluctance followed by an excellent outcome is what the community needs to see.
    We’ve been big proponents of pulmonary rehabilitation here on our COPD.net site, and you are a shining example of just how much good a quality program can do.
    Warmly,
    Leon (site moderator)

  • Barbara Moore moderator author
    6 months ago

    Thank you so much for your positive comments Leon, I really appreciate your kind words. This article is so true. Left to make my own decisions I would have most certainly made the wrong choices. Sometimes a higher power must intervene.
    I was actually following you and COPD.Net, at the time and listening to you say all those things that my daughter was telling me.
    So, between the two of you, I finally got there. Thank You Barbara Moore (site moderator)

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    6 months ago

    Hi Barbara – it’s my pleasure! So glad to hear you were put on the right path to better health. Wishing you well, always.
    Leon (site moderator)

  • Poll