COPD and Other Stuff

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Posts Tagged ‘Better Breather’s’

Suquamish – Re: COPD – the beginning. Pain – the end.

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Thank you for taking the time to write, Suquamish – and you are young at only 52 to have COPD.  I’m sure there are other young ones with COPD who live to be retired and ancient without adding more diseases.  They keep moving as best they can, get good medical care, an exercise program and good nutrition too can overcome almost anything.

What does your doc say about the x-rays?

The pain is in my lower legs – not lungs and I’m one of those COPDers who gathered all these other medical conditions after COPD.

Venous Stasis Dermatitis – Lymphedema – Cellulitis – when I’m not careful enough about sodium and wearing support stockings.  This time though, thanks to Mellissa’s teaching and my husband’s help they didn’t swell, crack open and leak for about a year and a half.  The condition is chronic but I learned more good lessons to keep this from happening again through checking labels more carefully on everything I eat or drink.  Moreover, this too will pass – so will the pain.

The neat thing Suquamish – you gave me another idea.  You are young.  There have to be other people out there who would gladly give living with COPD and heart worthy tips to other COPDers.  Working full time, you probably aren’t able to attend the monthly afternoon Harrison Medical Center/Better Breathers educational classes at Harrison Silverdale.  However ….

Would you be interested in an evening support group of like-minded people who not only have lung or heart disease they are living life to the fullest in spite of it and want to share what has worked for them?

We should have such a support group in Silverdale. No gloom & doom – no cost – just patients sharing what works for us.

What do you think?  Would Tuesday evenings from 7 – 8 pm work for you?  Occasionally we could have speakers willing to donate their time to help educate us too.

Suquamish – Thanks for reading my posts and hope they haven’t been gloomy and doomy for you or anyone – I didn’t meant them to be.  This pain will pass when my lower legs get ‘normal’ again and I take proper care of them – including the support stockings and no more high sodium diet sodas.

I’m open to any suggestions for a meeting place that will allow COPDers (lung and heart folks) to meet on a monthly basis in the evening for an hour…

BTW:  I may be moaning and groaning about pain from my legs but it doesn’t change my plans to make a recumbent trike trip next summer from here to the other Washington for COPD.

Thanks… Sharon

One Response to “COPD – the beginning. Pain – the end”

  1. Suquamish Says:
    November 2nd, 2011 at 4:11 am

I am sorry Sharon, I guess I am following in your footsteps. The VA gave me a chest x-ray and it had a white spot on my lung. They told me to see my health provider (Group Death) I mean Group Health. They put a clip on my nipple to rule out the phantom shadow on the lung. Too bad the clip and the white spot both showed up in different areas. Group Health never diagnosed it at COPD. But a couple weeks ago when I went in Urgent care and underwent a breathing treatment the noted COPD in my health chart. I had another chest xray because of the pain you stated in your post. I guess it is just the muscles that got strained. I guess there weren’t any fractures or they would have been noted. I hope you take care of yourself Sharon, I enjoy reading your post on Kitsapsun.com. I would like to learn more about COPD from someone affected by it. I wonder how much longer I will be able to work. I am just a young guy at 52.
Read more: http://pugetsoundblogs.com/copd-and-other-stuff/2011/11/01/copd-the-beginning-pain-the-end/#ixzz1cbDldPN6

 


Do Lung Doctors in Kitsap County Neglect Support Group Patient Education

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

Lung patients need active physician involvement in support groups, particularly for non-cancerous lung patients including COPD, the 3rd leading cause of death in the US.  For many of us COPD is only the beginning of medical conditions including Sleep Apnea.

We are fortunate that Harrison’s Respiratory Department has gotten more involved and active in support services for lung patients and the Better Breather’s monthly programs are becoming a Don’t Miss.

That said last month’s program was the beginning of another round of new stuff and no MD to connect all the dots.  Pulmonary support groups NEED direct physician involvement.  I know they are busy.  So are the patients.  We want to be educated and the physician is the only person to answer medical questions.

Joyce had Cheryl Ball, Respiratory Therapist in charge of the Sleep Apnea program with guest speaker, Jeff Lackey, Patient Care Coordinator of Pacific Pulmonary Services.  Both did a great job inciting keen interest, as you will see in the following photos.

I wrote the following post in answer to the Kitsap Sun Reporter Rachel Pritchett’s article that Harrison Medical Center’s Heart Surgeons won a second year of the highest rating given for Bremerton Cardiothoracic Surgery.

*********************

“The most successful support group – or one of them – is AWAKE, the Sleep Apnea support group in Kitsap County.

Why? It is physician led.

 

Well. It is time for lung doctors to step up to educate the Better Breather’s pulmonary support group.

 

I recently attended a BB meeting and too many questions could not be answered by the knowledgeable techs present – they needed answering by doctors who know the whys and wherefores of sleep apnea.

 

Educating patients is vitally important and the lung patients have been sadly neglected…yes, I do understand about the money trail in popular medical conditions.

 

Many of us lung patients kick off due to heart disease caused by lung issues. It’s no small wonder that COPD is now the third leading cause of death in the US considering that educating lung patients is at the bottom of the physician scale of things to do.

 

Am I being unfair to busy physicians? I am a patient – the answer is NO.

 

Doctors – get involved with educating us. Please!

 

Contact Harrison’s Pam or Joyce (Respiratory) for scheduling a PHYSICIAN speaker for the next Better Breather’s meeting.

 

“…Harrison HealthPartners Bremerton Cardiothoracic Surgery is part of a larger group of Harrison Medical Center heart physicians called Harrison HealthPartners Thoracic and Vascular. “The bigger group also includes vascular surgeon Dr. George Berni and vascular surgeon Dr. Shankar Sundaram, who begins later this month.”

 

Read more: http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2011/aug/08/harrison-heart-surgeons-receive-top-rating-again/#ixzz1Ut6EsPQz

*****

Part 1 of 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gabriel,  medical miracle baby and g’g'ma’s recumbent trike …

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zi8FufDkSDQ

Thanks for reading… Sharon O’Hara


Pulmonary Patients – Eat and Move Right – Learn How Tomorrow, Better Breathers

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Better Breathers and Harrison Medical Center have teamed up for a packed educational program with two featured speakers.  Tomorrow!

Dietician Leah Werner, Harrison Medical Center, ‘Eating to Breathe Easier.’

Kinestiologist Aaron Norton, a specialist in ‘Energy and Movement’.

(Kinesiology is the study of human and animal movement, performance, and function by applying the sciences of biomechanics, anatomy, physiology, psychology, and neuroscience. Applications of kinesiology in human health include the rehabilitation professions, such as physical and occupational therapy, as well as applications in the sport and exercise industries. Kinesiology is a field of scientific study, and does not prepare individuals for clinical practice. A baccalaureate degree in kinesiology can provide strong preparation for graduate study in biomedical research, as well as in professional programs, such as allied health and medicine.)

The world’s first kinesiology department was launched in 1967 at the University of Waterloo, Canada – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinesiology

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

1:00pm – 3:00pm

Rose Room – Harrison Silverdale

1800 NW Myhre Road – Silverdale, WA 98383

Better Breathers Support Group

“Our Better Breathers support group encompasses community members and their caregivers who live with chronic respiratory disease and lung disease. Better Breathers is designed to provide support, education, networking, and tools to improve the daily lives of those living with these health conditions.

We welcome any community member with asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, sarcoidosis, asbestosis, pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary fibrosis and the many more lung diseases affecting our population, pediatric or adult.

Please email or call if you will need assistance with parking at the meeting.”

Contact:

Pamela O’Flynn – 360-744-6687

respiratorycare@harrisonmedical.org

 

See you Wednesday!  If anyone needs a ride, let me know.

Thanks for reading… Sharon O’Hara

 

 

My new ride – the hand cycle works …!

”…on the road again, can’t wait to get on the road again….”

 


Lung Patients Learn to Eat for Easier Breathing – Wednesday!

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Harrison is doing a super job of helping us get educated and this month’s meeting is no exception.

See a video and brief glimpse of last month’s meeting on Pulmonary Function Tests with Joyce Belnap, RRT and successful Reduced Lung Surgery COPD patient Clint Halliday, there with daughter Laurie Schley.   Learn how a spirometry test is taken.  Thanks Harrison!   I also have video of other folks there and I’ll show them from time to time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRLkUTWsKIw&feature=youtube_gdata

Harrison Medical Center’s Better Breathers Support Group Meeting Program promises to be a real eye opener and help us learn how to eat the right foods  for easier breathing , sometimes difficult for some of us to learn – “Eating to Breathe Easier.”

Taken directly from Harrison’s online Calendar of Events http://www.harrisonmedical.org/home/calendar/4891

Wednesday, May 18 – 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Better Breathers Support Group

Our Better Breathers support group encompasses community members and their caregivers who live with chronic respiratory disease and lung disease. Better Breathers is designed to provide support, education, networking, and tools to improve the daily lives of those living with these health conditions.

We welcome any community member with asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, sarcoidosis, asbestosis, pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary fibrosis and the many more lung diseases affecting our population, pediatric or adult.

Please email or call if you will need assistance with parking at the meeting.

Eating to Breathe Easier.

Featured Speaker:

Leah Werner, Clinical Dietician

5/18/2011 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Rose Room, Harrison Silverdale

1800 NW Myhre Road

Silverdale, WA 98383

Contact Info

Pamela O’Flynn 360-744-6687

respiratorycare@harrisonmedical.org

If anyone needs a ride, let me know.

Thanks for reading… Sharon O’Hara


FREE Oximeter Readings and FREE Take Home Pic Flow Meter – Lung Patients Meet at the Rose Room – Harrison Silverdale

Monday, April 18th, 2011

The oximeter is a wonderful aid to lung patients and Harrison’s BB meeting this month – Wednesday – will offer a spirometry reading to each of us attending.  PLUS!  Harrison’s gifted respiratory folks will teach us how to use the Pic Flow Meter AND send one home with each of us!

http://healthguide.howstuffworks.com/peak-flow-meter-picture-a.htm

Harrison and the  American Lung Association’s Better Breathers look at ALL aspects of lung disease and welcomes all of us – not just the third leading cause of death in the US, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)  Many of us have more than one lung disease diagnosis often leading to heart disease.

If you have an oximeter, they’ll be glad to check the calibration – I’m bringing mine.

I’m also bringing a few extra copies of the Harrison spin off the Old Guy made up for me to use for daily health readings to give to my doctor – in case anyone wants one.

***

Wednesday, April 20 – 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Harrison Medical Center – Better Breathers Support Group

Our Better Breathers support group encompasses community members and their caregivers who live with chronic respiratory disease and lung disease. Better Breathers is designed to provide support, education, networking, and tools to improve the daily lives of those living with these health conditions.

We welcome any community member with asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, sarcoidosis, asbestosis, pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary fibrosis and the many more lung diseases affecting our population, pediatric or adult.

Please email or call if you will need assistance with parking at the meeting.

This Support Group is held the third Wednesday of each month.

4/20/2011 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Rose Room

Harrison Silverdale

1800 NW Myhre Road

Silverdale, WA 98383

Contact Info

Pamela O’Flynn * 360-744-6685 * respiratorycare@harrisonmedical.org

If anyone needs a ride let me know.  360-337-1454

Hope to see you Wednesday….thanks for listening… Sharon O’Hara


Harrison’s Lungs and Heart are Alive and Well for Kitsap County – They Care

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Following is a response in part, from Joyce Belnap, RRT, and Supervisor of the

Respiratory Therapy Department at Harrison Medical Center in response to my blog post.

http://pugetsoundblogs.com/copd-and-other-stuff/2011/03/22/dear-harrison-medical-center-respiratory-department/

Lung patients in Kitsap County are in good hands – thank you for your response, Joyce .. …you are a breath saver.

***

“I received a copy of your email regarding our march Better Breathers.

Thank you for your feedback and insight.

I want you to know that we really enjoy having you at our meetings.  Your

presence and enthusiasm adds an extra light to the meeting.  I am especially

sad that we disappointed you in March and I  will take your suggestions and

implement them for April.   I will take your suggestions and implement them for April.

Soon after volunteering for Better Breathers, I was offered the position as the

new RT Supervisor, and along with my manager I have many goals to improve

care for the people in our community who suffer with respiratory conditions.

It will take time to accomplish all of our goals, and then replace them with new

goals for continued improvement.  Because of your input I will set a goal to

begin increasing our marketing for our April meeting.   Because of an extremely

high hospital census of respiratory patients currently, I will set my goal to begin

April 5th.

For our meeting times, I will personally stay through 3pm for anyone who may

come in later, past our speakers presentations.   Our speakers are volunteers from

other jobs and departments, and I don’t know that they will be able stay late for

that purpose, but I can certainly stay and pass on the education and answer questions,

for those with who have unexpected schedule changes.    I would be happy to do that.

I really enjoy my time with this, which is why I volunteered.

Thank you for being such a great voice and advocate for individuals

who are living, and suffering with chronic respiratory conditions.

Your passion is refreshing.

If you wish, please feel free to respond directly to me, with any more questions

or concerns.  I look forward to your future insight and input.

Joyce Belnap, RRT

Supervisor

Respiratory Therapy Department

******************

More later… Sharon O’Hara


Dear Harrison Medical Center Respiratory Department

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Dear Harrison Medical Center Respiratory Department,

I was late.  The reasons I was late don’t matter.

The clock on the back wall read 2:40 pm.  The brightly lit room was empty.  I peered around the corner where the coffee and ice water were served – the ice water container was full but no one was there.  A passer-by told me folks were there earlier.

I waited in the doorway 5 minutes until it was clear no one was coming back before beginning the long walk back down the hall from the Rose Room at Harrison Silverdale and out to the gas guzzler.

I have no complaints…I have questions.  In the light of the present day horrific life and death earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan, my comments and questions may seem frivolous.

20 minutes is a lot of time.  Japan’s record 9. 0 Earthquake reduced buildings into rubble in less than 20 minutes.

The tsunami that followed scooped up and destroyed miles of buildings, homes, cars and people within 20 minutes.

A doctor can see two or more patients in 20 minutes.

What could I have learned in 20 minutes had anyone been there to teach me?

The Better Breather’s meeting was scheduled for 1:00 – 3:00 pm and no one was there.  I understand RT’s respiratory time is valuable and they’re needed but I didn’t see any COPD patients there either.

Why wasn’t the meeting advertised in the Kitsap Sun?  Harrison’s MS support group meeting was advertised that same day.

1.      Kitsap County has how many  pulmonary docs?

2.      Capri is a cardiopulmonary rehab group – do they recommend Harrison’s Better Breather’s pulmonary support for their rehab folks?

3.      What is the problem?

Are Kitsap lung patients uninterested in further education in living with lung disease?  Do they already know all there is to know about lung disease?  Or, are they being ignored by the very medical community treating them?

If a support group is advertised to be available during certain hours, they should not leave early.  In the years I had a business we advertised being open until 9:00 pm and someone was always there until closing.  People knew they could count on those open hours for business.

If pulmonary patients aren’t interested in support group learning and education, there is no point in wasting valuable respiratory employee time from Harrison in meetings no one shows up for.

If the problem is getting the word out then do it!

The Old Guy and I will hand deliver flyers promoting the next Better Breather’s meeting to every heart and respiratory doctor’s office in Kitsap County – if that’s what it takes.  I will even print them out if you send me the file in something other than a dat. file.

In turn, stay open and available for the hours you state you will be there.  Regular business folks do.

I could have learned a lot in that 20 minutes no one was there.  Maybe I did.

I just learned that according to the Yellow Pages in the Kitsap Peninsula “dexknows.com”- the – to July 2011 edition- has only one M.D. is listed under “Lung (Pulmonary)” –page 417.

Doctors Clinic – Kittredge A. Baldwin, D.O. and Benjamin Sy, M.D. on Wheaton Way, Bremerton are the only pulmonary doctor’s listed – why aren’t the doctor’s off Campbell Way listed?  Did they change their specialty?

More later… Sharon O’Hara


$3.4 Million Savings and Breathin’ Easy

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

A recent East Texas COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) educational study saved their health care system more than $3.4 million…savings worth a COPDers cough or two and huge savings for tax payers.

We don’t use catch the disease early by offering simple spirometry testing with minimal expense and time – saving money and grief in the home stretch.

The educational opportunities here in Kitsap County are almost non-existent.  Today’s Better Breather’s Support and Educational Group meeting at Harrison Silverdale is a once a month offering from Harrison Medical Center.   http://pugetsoundblogs.com/copd-and-other-stuff/2011/03/14/lung-disease-meeting-wednesday/

Teaching patients what we can do to help ourselves at little to no public expense could easily be done in a few minutes, in a few sentences by the doctor during a standard visit in the doctor’s office.  Mention the benefit of walking – proper breathing – a pulmonary rehab program – help patients help themselves.  Let them know they CAN improve their quality of life – tell them how, depending on the patient health situation.  If not their doctor – who?

Yesterday during the pool work-out with Coach Marilyn, I raised my left leg (bone on bone hip) about a foot high.  The range of motion has dramatically improved.  When we began, I could only raise that leg an inch or two and my left ankle didn’t move.  No pain pills masking the pain – only an innovative trainer teaching her student to wake up those forgotten muscles in a non-harmful buoyant water environment.

In my dreams-why not?!

“UNT Dallas College of LawA new report released by the UNT Health Science Center shows that residents of 12 counties in East Texas are breathing a little easier due in part to a year-long education campaign conducted by the Center for Professional and Continuing Education (PACE) regarding the diagnosis and treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The report shows that the educational program contributed to approximately 50% fewer hospital admissions due to complications of COPD, which saved the Texas’ health care system $3.4 million.

The educational initiative, proposed and conducted by the UNTHSC and funded by Boehringer Ingelheim and Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), educated more than 350 health care professionals in the rural areas of East Texas to improve their ability to talk to patients about the condition and more accurately test for and treat COPD.

COPD is responsible for one death every four minutes in the US and at least 12 million cases remain undiagnosed.

Between 2005 and 2008 in Texas, COPD was responsible for more than 109,000 hospitalizations costing more than $2.7 billion. The Health Science Center researched Texas health data and current literature, which formed the basis of the proposal. The grant requests were funded, and UNTHSC independently launched a series of continuing medical education (CME) activities and follow-up cases targeting the counties in East Texas with the highest rates of preventable hospitalizations due to COPD.

To measure the long-term outcomes, researchers looked at the number of prescriptions for drugs recommended to treat COPD, the number of new diagnoses and the number of potentially preventable hospitalizations caused by COPD reported by the Texas Department of State Health Services.

The Texas Public Use Data File, a combined set of statistics reported by each hospital in the state, shows that two to three months before the health care providers in these counties attended the activities, there were 1,538 potentially preventable hospitalizations due to COPD. In the same time period following the programs, only 1,402 were observed — a reduction of 136. The data also show that other counties of similar size and population saw reductions, but the counties targeted by the study saw a 49% greater reduction, saving the health care system more than $3.4 million”

http://untsystem.unt.edu/news/2011/march/11-03-08-unthsc-copd.htm

More later… Sharon O’Hara


Lung Disease Meeting Wednesday

Monday, March 14th, 2011

I hope to see you on Wednesday for the next Harrison Medical Center’s Respiratory BB Support Group Program.

I’m disappointed we’re not having the meeting I’d expected with a Sleep Study M.D. doc and an explanation of … “is cycling healthier for a lung patient with right heart failure than walking.”

http://pugetsoundblogs.com/copd-and-other-stuff/2011/02/16/is-cycling-healthier-for-a-lung-patient-with-right-heart-failure-than-walking/

That said,  I’m looking forward to the topic of the newest home and portable nebulizer machines and hope new nebulizer meds are mentioned  In particular, I’d like to know what the latest nebulizer medications are and how they work in comparison to the old Albuterol.

***

Wednesday, March 16 – 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Better Breathers Support Group

Our Better Breathers support group encompasses community members and their caregivers who live with chronic respiratory disease and lung disease. Better Breathers is designed to provide support, education, networking, and tools to improve the daily lives of those living with these health conditions.

We welcome any community member with asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, sarcoidosis, asbestosis, pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary fibrosis and the many more lung diseases affecting our population, pediatric or adult.

Please email or call if you will need assistance with parking at the meeting.

This Support Group is held the third Wednesday of each month.

Dates and Locations

3/16/2011

1:00pm – 3:00pm

Rose Room

Harrison Silverdale

1800 NW Myhre Road

Silverdale, WA 98383

Home Nebulizers and Medications

We have a speaker for you this month from MedEquip Homecare Company.  MedEquip is part of the Rotech family of hometown healthcare companies.  Tony Vondran will be speaking about the newest home and portable nebulizer machines.  In addition he’ll be teaching you about home nebulizer medications and meter dose inhalers and their proper use.

Please join us for our great topic and some St. Patrick day treats.

Speaker:  Tony Vondran, RRT

Registered Respiratory Therapist

MedEquip Services, INC.

Topics:  Home Nebulizers and Medication

Joyce Belnap, RRT

Supervisor

Respiratory Therapy Department

Contact Info

Pamela O’Flynn

360-744-6685

respiratorycare@harrisonmedical.org

***

If anyone needs a ride to the meeting, let me know.  See you Wednesday!

More later… Sharon O’Hara


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About This Blog

This is a patient to patient blog to exchange information and resources...from COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) to Arthritis to Cellulites to Sarcoidosis to Sleep Apnea to RLS to Psoriasis to Support Groups to Caregivers and all points in between. Written by Sharon O'Hara.

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