I had to quit my job in 2010, because I couldn't take the physical pain any more. I was 47 years old and nowhere near ready to retire. Bending, lifting and standing had become too difficult. As a result of this, I sat at home and my mobility declined. Trying to get a handle on the pain withe medication helped, but I still struggled.
On March 2nd 2014 I was hospitalized with pneumonia. As a result of smoking for 37 years my lungs weren't functioning properly; I spent 12 days on life support in Ottawa ICU. Once the respirator was successfully removed I was transferred back to Pembroke and spent another week in hopsital recovering.
Later that year I attended pulmonary rehab at the Pembroke Regional Hospital, I thoroughly enjoyed it and started feeling better. I was able to get out more and found it easier to do small amounts of housework. During my regular visits to the hospital in 2015 I heard about this program.
In September of 2015 I started the pulmonary rehab up keep program in Cobden, under the teaching of Ellen. Now I was really getting somehwere, the exercising , breathing, inhaler usage, oxygen tanks, and an Aerobika.
For the first couple of months after beginning the program, I was so tired I would go home and sleep for two days. That started to subside and I began to feel more energetic. As the months went by I was shocked to see how much I had improved.
I still have a long way to go, but this program has given me back my life. Friends and family have even noticed that my mobility has increased. I find it easier to walk long distances ( long for me) a half hour, without stopping. I am capable of bending down more often with less pain. I was able to get down on my knees to clean a bathtub, for the first time in six years. I realise I am not Olympic material and never will be. However, with strength and determination I have overcome my own hurdles. This class has done wonders for me, and I strongly recommend it.
I have had severe asthma for many years due to allergies, recurring lung infections, and exposure to second-hand smoke throughout my life.
As a severe asthmatic, I greatly benefitted from attending a respiratory education and rehabilitation program in my community.
My registered respiratory therapist and certified respiratory educator taught me how to properly use inhalers and an aerochamber, and how to monitor my lung function at home using a peak flow meter.
In 2007, I joined a respiratory rehabilitation program following a series of severe asthma exacerbations that left me very weak and short of breath. The respiratory rehabilitation exercises helped to alleviate the shortness of breath and to improve my physical strength and stamina. Since ongoing patient education was part of the respiratory rehabilitation program, I continued to learn strategies to manage severe asthma. Eventually, I was able to do the exercises on my own at home.
My respiratory therapist reminds me that, following an asthma exacerbation, I should do the respiratory exercises twice a week, and that I should start to get relief from the severe asthma symptoms within the first two weeks. It works every time!
I meet with my respirologist, allergist, and respiratory therapist on a regular basis to review my Asthma Action Plan, my asthma diary, my peak flow meter diary, my medications, and my respiratory rehabilitation exercises. We work together to care for my lungs.