credit:  Online Stock Photos

credit: Online Stock Photos

Yesterday morning was the day I went to be assessed for Pulmonary Rehab.

My day started off well, I got to the hospital in plenty of time even though I was totally unfamiliar with the area. I even found a parking spot – will wonders never cease? However, when I went to pay for parking & get the ticket, no ticket would print. I re-read all the directions carefully & tried again, but still no ticket. So I read through all the instructions very carefully, searching to see if I had missed something & tried again – still no ticket!

At this point I was going to be late for my appointment so I put a note on my dash & headed into the hospital.  After I walked all the way up the handicapped ramp (which was like a circular staircase) to avoid the half dozen steps & down a hall a short way I found a “Parking Office.”  Afraid I might get towed away, I stopped in to let them know what I had done.  The girl behind the desk said, “I’ll come with you to help you.”  So I had to walk all the walk all the way back to my vehicle.  Within a moment she had the parking ticket for me (nowhere in the directions does it tell you to remove your credit card & I read them yet again).  So then I set off again, up the handicapped ramp, past the parking office & down a fairly long hallway before I found a sign pointing me in the right direction.

I’ve asked this question before, but I’m going to ask it again – why is every treatment office for people with breathing difficulties such a long walk away from the entrance to the building?

When I finally reached the right place I was huffing & puffing quite heavily.  A lovely young lady welcomed me into the office & proceeded to monitor my breathing, blood pressure, heart rate, height, weight & ask me questions for her questionnaire.  Then she provided me with a smock (much nicer than any other hospital gown I’ve ever been given) & she attached 10 leads all over my chest.  Then I was taken to see a doctor who went through all my history again.  He asked pertinent questions about how much I need to use my cane, the amount of pain in my knee, distance I can walk, readings I have been taking at home from my pulse oximeter (the thing you put on your finger that tells you how much oxygen you are getting at any given point & what your heart rate is).  Then the doctor excused himself & left me sitting in his office for about 10 minutes.

When the doctor returned he informed me he had been meeting with “the team” & it was their opinion it was too dangerous for me to participate in their program due to my particular set of ailments.  He suggested instead my doctor contact HomeCare & ask them to come to my home to teach me some exercises to help with my breathing.  He also provided me with a very informative booklet which outlined a lot of information for people with COPD, how to make your life easier when you have respiratory problems & suggestions for some breathing exercises.

To say I was disappointed would be an understatement.  I have tried to be very proactive in dealing with my lung disease & to not be able to participate in a program specially set up for people with lung disease was quite a blow.  The walk back to my car was taken much more slowly.