This blog is a Kitsap Sun reader blog. The Kitsap Sun neither edits nor previews reader blog posts. Their content is the sole creation and responsibility of the readers who produce them. Reader bloggers are asked to adhere to our reader blog agreement. If you have a concern or would like to start a reader blog of your own, please contact sunnews@kitsapsun.com.

A New Tess, No More Oxygen Tank and Hose in the Nose

Once upon a time, there was a woman called Tess who lives in Port Angeles. She wore a hose in her nose tethered to an oxygen tank that followed her wherever she went.

Without supplemental oxygen, Tess’s blood/oxygen saturation (normal is 100) dropped to 82 with mild exertion. Her FEV1 (standard gage

Tess, Fit and Living Life Without Oxygen
Fat and Sassy No More-.Healthy and Sassy Nowdays
for COPD) was 34.

Tess is an exuberant woman who knew the prognosis was not good.
Luckily, she learned of the University of Washington and UC San Francisco Schools of Medicine, Shortness of Breath Study, applied for the one-year study and was accepted.

COPDers are different and roughly, 10% of COPDers are Alpha. Alphas inherit the disease.
I am a plain COPDer, Tess is an Alpha and has already lost one brother and sister to the disease.

Immersed in the study, Tess began slowly and lasted five minutes on the treadmill. Gradually, with difficulty, she continued to increase her speed careful not to drop below the 90% saturation level.
Tess’ slow five minute beginning had jumped by the end of the first month, to 30 minutes at 2mph, and included increased speed and fast bursts of speed.

By the end of 6 months, Tess had lost 4 pounds and decided to join Weight Watchers to increase her weight loss. Exercise made her able to be more active but the weight loss needed more help. Time passed and Tess got stronger and dropped weight, including her cholesterol. The cholesterol dropped 50 points to a healthier 200 points.

By the end of the yearlong study, Tess lost over 40 pounds and walked a steady 3.5 mph on the treadmill. She nearly tripled her speed in the final study 6-minute walk from the first 6-minute walk.

Now we are coming to the part I do not understand…Tess does not need oxygen anymore, her sats stay above 95 and she had all the oxygen equipment picked up and out of her house.

Until now, I have thought once on oxygen, always on oxygen. Wrong.

Tess has lost 52 pounds to date and looks forward to her son’s wedding in two weeks without worry about running out of oxygen nor the hassle and worry of dragging a tank around.

The opportunity to join the University of Washington’s Shortness of Breath Study ends this month, March 2010.

I wholeheartedly recommend and urge COPDers to apply…your life will change for the better. More importantly, the combined results of the study will benefit COPDers who come after us – our children and grandchildren.

Who are the researchers?
“The study is under the direction of Dr. Ginger Carrieri-Kohlman, Professor in the School of Nursing at UC San Francisco and Dr. Huong Q. Nguyen, Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing at University of Washington, Seattle. Dr. Carrieri-Kohlman is an internationally known expert in the research and treatment of dyspnea. She has led the Dyspnea Research Group on studies of shortness of breath self-management in patients with lung disease for over 15 years. Dr. Nguyen’s research has been focused on developing and testing Internet-based education and support interventions for people with chronic illnesses.

Our collaborators include Drs. Steve Lazarus and Josh Benditt from UC San Francisco and U Washington Schools of Medicine, respectively. They are both well known for their excellent research and clinical practice with people who have chronic lung disease.

We have a stellar research team: UCSF: DorAnne Cuenco, RN PhD, Krista Sigurdson, BS; UW: Pam Weisman, RN, MS, Lynn Reinke, RN, MS, Sarah Han, RN, and Cheryl Beardsless, BS. “

https://www.managesob.org/RS/StudyII/

More later… Sharon O’Hara

6 thoughts on “A New Tess, No More Oxygen Tank and Hose in the Nose

  1. P>S>
    I forgot to mention Tess joined EFFORTS (Emphysema Foundation For Our Right To Survive) online support and advocacy group shortly after beginning the UWMC Shortness of Breath Study and posted her remarkable story there a few days ago…thanks again EFFORTS.
    http://www.emphysema.net

    I did the reverse, found EFFORTS first, later found the Shortness of Breath Study at the U.
    More Later… Sharon O’Hara

  2. Congratulations, Tess. You are a poster child and an inspiration to others. Also thank you to Sharon for bringing this to the attention of many more COPD patients.

    Don’t loaf around; you will end up as toast! AJL

  3. It’s wonderful that Tess has discovered how much life can improve with exercise & weight loss. COPD can be devestating to many, but it is also manageable. Although the results Tess experienced would not be the same for everyone ~ it’s possible for many.

  4. Congratulations Tess! It has been wonderful getting to know you and share in your incredible journey over this past year through Efforts/Walkers. You have done a magnificent job Tess, keep up the good work.

    Thank you Sharon, for sharing this blog and message with us on Efforts, hopefully it will encourage even more people to get up and move.

  5. I have to give full credit to EFFORTS who kept me motivated, and the UW COPD/Exercise study. If you have this disease(COPD) please eat right and exercise it will improve your quality of life. Thank you Sharon for sharing my story, I look forward to meeting you and riding bikes with you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Before you post, please complete the prompt below.

Is water a solid or a liquid at room temperature?