Pulmonary Rehabilitation helps patient breathe easier
Visits to Columbus Community Hospital have become part of Bonnie Bierman’s weekly routine.
Bierman visits Pulmonary Rehabilitation at CCH three to four times a week to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
COPD is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, cough, mucus production and wheezing.
“When I was diagnosed with COPD, it was scary,” Bierman said, “But my doctor and his nurse were helpful and comforting.”
Dr. Edward Discoe from Columbus Medical Center recommended a rehabilitation program, along with prescription medication, to help with Bierman’s symptoms.
“It’s common to consider pulmonary rehab when a patient’s life has been significantly impaired,” Dr. Discoe said. “Bonnie experienced a dramatic change in her quality of life. Her condition made it difficult for her to go about her regular activities.”
The CCH Pulmonary Rehab program includes education and exercises tailored to Bierman’s abilities, needs and limitations.
Respiratory therapists, registered nurses, certified personal trainers, pharmacists and dietitians have all helped her feel better.
The program is an outpatient supervised pulmonary conditioning program where patients are closely monitored during exercise sessions.
“It allows them to gradually increase their activity and improve their endurance over a period of time with the constant monitoring of the staff to make sure they’re not putting themselves at jeopardy while they’re improving,” Discoe said.
Bierman said the program, along with her treatment from Dr. Discoe, has allowed her to keep up with her seven grandchildren. She said she plans to continue the program indefinitely.
“It’s been a wonderful and life-changing program,” Bierman said. “I’m happier and healthier. Overall, I just feel better.”
A COPD support group is also offered through Pulmonary Rehab. It provides networking opportunities and support for all persons affected by COPD.
For more information on the COPD support group or Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, please call 402-562-3344.