Tag Archives: plb

COPD, Professor William MacNee Clicked for this COPDer


Ref:  Early detection public COPD Spirometry,  World Spirometry Day and World COPD Day

I called our health district yesterday and spoke with  Cris Craig, Kitsap County Health District Public Information Officer.  She couldn’t answer my question about the health department offering free spirometry to the public.  She did say in a cheerful voice she would call in about three weeks with a response.  THAT is good news and she didn’t ask what COPD was – even better..  A hopeful sign and may mean that Spirometry will be offered and made available to the public.  I believe in miracles.

Professor William MacNee and the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh Scotland, UK website has superb graphics – the best explanation of COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) I’ve seen in one place.  His ‘The Latest Trends in COPD Research’ graphically shows why early detection Spirometry is important.

For many of us COPD is an ongoing magnet for other disease, including some really difficult stuff.  COPD and lung disease can be the beginning of a long list of personal medical challenges expanding the patient’s medical disease library.  Whatever needs to happen to avoid COPD in your life get tested for early detection and do whatever is needed to get it done.

My son, Al and I were visiting family in Northern Norway  in1997.  I didn’t know then my 40 year smoking habit was almost over.  And so was I.   I was beginning to feel sick.  The day after this picture was taken, I had to see a Norwegian doctor.  She examined me and prescribed medications for Pleurisy and Chronic Bronchitis.  The medication worked, the pain receded and we were back on schedule.   Within a couple weeks after this picture was taken and five days after returning home, I was in the hospital.

Life as I’d known it was over.

COPD is a friendly disease.  For me, once Emphysema (COPD) got settled in my lungs and got comfortable, she began to invite her Other Stuff Disease buddies for a sleep over.  Trouble is, they stayed over and didn’t go home.  They joined COPD trying to play Havoc with my health and life.

Following COPD was an open lung biopsy and Sarcoidosis – Sleep Apnea – RLS – Psoriasis – Venous Stasis Dermatitis  – Cellulitis – High Blood Pressure – Lymphedema – and  bone-on-bone Arthritis, left hip followed – to name a few.

Early detection Spirometry can stop COPD early – before it’s too late.  Ask your doctor.

This is where it gets tricky.  Health care is a huge problem.  COPD generally  takes twenty years developing before a person mentions symptoms to the doctor and by then about fifty percent of the lungs are destroyed….leading the patient to a long slow smother and the taxpayer choking form the cost.

Offering free Spirometry testing for early COPD detection gives the individual  warning.  If the problem is not genetic, it can be turned around. Telling isn’t enough – SHOW people what COPD can do to them and their families.  Let them meet willing patients who can show and tell… a real reality show.

Exercise works and muscle utilizes oxygen better than flab.  We can breathe better and move easier.  Exercise and understanding COPD gives us a quality of life back – to be the best we can be.  The recumbent trike takes us places we couldn’t easily go without one – fun stuff,  building muscle at the same time. We must keep moving … ask your doctor.

I did not qualify for lung reduction surgery or I would have opted to get it ..not enough good lung and I heard rave reviews from patients who had had one.  One COPDer told me the lung reduction surgery restored his life back to ‘normal’ and lasted about five years before time and COPD danced ahead.  Ask your doctor about it.

Pursed lip breathing training is a must for COPDers – it keeps us out of the panic mode and out of the hospital.  It has for me…and I tested it with my oximeter.Talk to your doctor about pulmonary rehab.  It is never too late to get better through our own efforts…what does your doctor say?

Photo taken by the photographer who traveled with the Trek.  This photo shows me on my recumbent trike flying the  COPD/EFFORTS safety flag and pedaling over Deception Pass with the American Lung Association of Washington’s three day bike ride – the Trek Tri Island.

It was the first time I had been away overnight from my house in seven years – since Harrison Hospital in 1997.  A slow trike rider, it is thanks to the wonderful volunteers who hop scotched me and my trike ahead of the other 200 plus bike riders time after time that enabled me to pedal 50 miles of the 137 mile trip. I felt free again.

Key motivators were the Shortness of Breath Study at the University of Washington Medical Center that I was lucky enough to qualify for and my online support group, EFFORTS.  Proof to me that  educating COPD patients work.

Stroke patient, Mary Griffith and her butterfly and gold star fingernails caught my eye the other day – more about Mary and husband, Doug later)

Kitsap County Health District … Will you be the first county health district in the nation to see the fiscal benefit of early detection Spirometry to protect citizens of ALL ethnic background.

The Kitsap County taxpayer and COPD future could rest in your hands.

Thank you Professor William MacNee for a great COPD informational website and allowing me to use it here.

http://www.efanet.org/activities/documents/WMcNeeLatestTrendsinCOPDResearch. pdf

More later… Sharon O’Hara

Part 4 of 4

World COPD Day 2009 in Silverdale includes Pictures

The University of Washington’s, Pamela Weisman, ARNP, spoke on “Strategies to Manage Shortness of Breath”

De-conditioning, Weak Muscles Lead to Oxygen Inefficientcy
De-conditioning, Weak Muscles Lead to Oxygen Inefficiency
and Port Orchard’s, Carol Lowrie was intent on note taking..
...for there is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so. Hamlet Act 2, Scene2
...for there is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so. Hamlet Act 2, Scene2
Chuck Intent on Listening and Getting Ready to Ask a Question.
Chuck Intent on Listening and Getting Ready to Ask a Question.

A few tips from the Self-Management Study included:
“Walking Up Stairs or Uphill and SOB
* … plant your whole foot flat on each step.
* Start with a few good breaths in and out; start walking slowly WHILE BREATHING OUT THROUGH PURSED LIPS.
* Don’t hold your breath! Ascend 2-3 steps at a time (fewer if necessary) while breathing OUT.
* Rest while breathing in and out for a few breaths. Continue when comfortable.”

One of a COPDers most valuable asset is to learn properly how to Pursed Lip Breathe (PLB) until it is second nature whenever we begin to desaturate. The life you save may be your own. I’ve proved to myself time after time that PLB works, keeping me out of the hospital. Other medical conditions have taken me to the ER, NOT my shortness of breath… thanks entirely to proper training and use of my oximeter proving to myself that sinking numbers WILL come up to the safety range using PLB! PLB and focus took my low 70’s number up to the low 90’s and I kept it there until the plane landed at SeaTac. Only once during the flight from San Diego did I move and that was to nod and tell the stewardess, “I’m okay.”
Years before I was hospitalized with a blood/oxygen level of 84 so I’d say PLB works even in extreme situations.

How many COPDers in Kitsap County – anywhere – use a oximeter to help train in a technique that will help keep you out of the hospital due to SOB? Panic attacks are familiar to COPDers. Hey, its scary to overdo, run out of air, gasp and get more frightened as panic begins to rule and airways can’t keep up with the increasing need for oxygen …a vicious circle all driving your saturation point into Puget Sound with the bottom fish and a panicked 911 call. All that could be avoided with proper training in the use of the oximeter using PLB technique. It works for me.

I was lucky enough to qualify for the Shortness of Breath Study and can’t praise the people and program highly enough for what it did for me and what it will do for those who follow us.

What is it about?
-Researchers at the University of Washington and University of California San Francisco are
-Testing different ways to provide education, skills training, and support to help patients with COPD manage their SOB
(Funded by the National Institute of Health, 2005-2011; http://www.managesob.org)

Eric E. Anderson BS, RRT
Director Respiratory Care, EEG
Harrison Medical Center
Eric is the genie who put the 2009 World COPD Day Celebration together and did a fine job for the small, enthusiastic crowd.

Thank you, Eric...Good Job!
Thank you, Eric...Good Job!
Pam Considers an Evening COPD Event for the Future - Thank you, Pam!
Pam Considers an Evening COPD Event for the Future - Thank you, Pam!

The enthusiastic World COPD Day event was held in the Rose Room in Harrison – Silverdale….
Thanks for the event!
More later… Sharon O’Hara

Harrison Medical Center Loved To Death?


The more educated the patient becomes in their disease and treatment, usually the fewer panicked runs to the emergency room and a huge savings in future medical and hospital costs.

One example is the oximeter, a great tool for lung patients. Using it, patients learn for themselves how pursed lip breathing can bring their blood oxygen levels up.

It is not enough to tell a patient…show him or her.

Rachael Pritchett wrote a not-surprising article:

“The Cost Of Care
Tom Kruse, Harrison’s vice president of strategy and business development, points to stalled plans to enlarge Harrison’s Silverdale campus. The hospital recently announced plans to cut staff and close its behavioral health unit.
The big-picture solution is to fix a health-care delivery system that Kruse said is “fundamentally broken.”…
Rather than universal health care, Kruse said a system that replaces the current one should have patients who are accountable for their own health through good habits; physicians who are cost-conscious without letting quality suffer; and insurance companies that profit less.”
Absolutely make patients accountable for their own health.

First, EDUCATE patients to the likely future health consequences of (smoking) for one example. Don’t ‘tell’ them, SHOW them.

Make complacent doctors responsible for suggesting early detection testing to their patients! (Spirometry is only one one example)

I bought my own oximeter for $300 and practiced until I proved to myself I could bring my own numbers up from the basement 70’s to the safe blood/oxygen range of the 90’s attic.

By sitting very still, eating and drinking nothing and a total focus on pursued lip breathing as I watched my numbers climb from the 70’s to the low 90’s.

I wore the oximeter on a string around my neck until it trained me. These days my blood/oxygen ranges in the high 90’s.

I do know the ‘Exertion number’ play and understand it. Unfortunately, it is subjective and means different things to different people.

The oximeter is precise and proves to the patient using it that she/he CAN manage a shortness of breath situation that previously sent them to the very expensive emergency room.

Posted by familien1 on May 10, 2009 at 11:05 a.m. (Suggest removal)
“… the system is broken at both ends, both for Harrison and for the people .. can’t get to a doctor except through the emergency departments.” …

Safety net for whom?

“… Harrison .
“We are the safety net for the community,” Cochrell said.”

For how long?

Harrison Medical Center is the community ‘lifeboat.’

As Harrison (lifeboat) continues to take folks aboard far beyond the weight limit of the lifeboat’s ability to stay afloat, at some point the lifeboat will sink and all aboard will drown.

Harrison might be forced to close her doors and be of no benefit to anyone.

I do not have an answer or solution…other than to say EDUCATE the patients on what they can do to best help themselves, thus making fewer panic trips to the emergency room.

I have made trips to the er in the last few years, but not for COPD. It is the subsequent medical conditions.
Nevertheless, without a community hospital, insurance is a moot point. The long term seems to be that one hospital after another will close their doors.

So. Harrison Medical Center…whatever you do, do it fast, will you?”