Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease cannot be cured, but the symptoms are treatable.
Yes, medication and oxygen help But I learned there is a whole lot more you can do to make living with shortness of breath a whole lot better.
If you are among the 11 million people who have been diagnosed with COPD, such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis, o have trouble breathing, but are not yet diagnosed, you may be missing out on a terrific resource available right here in Waupaca: the pulmonary rehabilitation program and support group at Riverside Medical Center. It’s a gem.
The program is run by RNs who are trained in pulmonary therapy. They conduct programs that involve using exercise equipment and guided exercises with weights, while monitoring blood pressure, heart and respiratory activity.
There is also a 30-minute educational program each week on topics relating to maximizing respiratory function. The nurse in charge of this program, Stephanie Yenter, has an impressive background in and knowledge of exercise.
The program consists of a series of two sessions each week for 18 weeks. It requires a physician referral and is covered by Medicare. After completing the program, participants can continue exercise sessions with the maintenance group.
There is also a Pulmonary Rehab Support Group that meets monthly, which anyone with breathing problems can attend. I can’t begin to list the numerous benefits of getting together with others who are struggling with this disease. Sometimes we have speakers, but personally, I have learned the most from the experiences of others in the group. We welcome new members.
For more information, call Stephanie Yenter, RN, at 715-258-1081.