127 ~ Breathe your best – Part 1 ~

Exertional dyspnoea:

Difficulty breathing when doing a normal or any less than ordinary task such as walking, speaking, carrying items, bathing etc. Activities which should be well tolerated.

In conjunction to 2 previous posts where I explained a brief summary about the challenges & risks Pulmonary Edema poses…



Besides mentioning the medication and surgical procedures usually used to treat Pulmonary conditions as such…

There is one particular aspect that is fundamental to incorporate into the health management of any patient with a chronic pulmonary condition…

Dyspneashortness of breath (SOB)

Accompanied by a load of additional symptoms inhibits us from exerting ourselves normally. If not guided by a professional, it’s only normal for some to think that activities which trigger or increase breathlessness should be performed at a minimal level or avoided altogether.

However reasonable this seems, a decrease of mobility & insufficient movement causes further rapid deterioration of pulmonary or cardiac disease, if a patient is not advised how to maintain their endurance level under expert monitoring.

As a person becomes deconditioned, the body does not use oxygen efficiently. The result being, you start to feel more breathless at lower levels of activity.

The goal of Pulmonary wellness is to break this cycle.

This is where Pulmonary Rehabilitation steps in. A panel of experts or therapist teaches us how to breathe our best

Countries such as the USA are ahead of us in terms of having complete specialized facilities. Cape Town also has advanced centers with experts. But here in Gauteng – South Africa… Unfortunately there is a lack of resources.

However, I am eternally grateful for a wonderful, pleasant & intelligent Physiotherapist whom a family member arranged to come home & assess my condition 💙💙

Not having a proper team of specialists in all the various fields required by my illnesses taught me to become my own savior.. To search for assistance & guidelines on social media platforms.

There are therapists amd professionals doing amazing jobs. Totally salute & respect them 🙌

I had no clue Pulmonary Rehabilitation exists until I began searching for help on Instagram & followed fellow warriors with chronic respiratory conditions to learn more.

This is the reason why IG plays an important role in my life (with balance of course). Extremely valuable & some life saving information has been gained via an array of experiences. The support that has been built across miles & countries is also an astounding feature.

I followed the stories of others & learnt of terms such as PR, additional information of Respiratory Therapy & the importance of being under proper supervision to help ourselves & improve our quality of living life.

With the thought & hope that the information I’ve learnt from experience is of help & benefit to others, like all this was to me.. I’ve decided to document this journey as I go along, God willing.

December 2018

We commenced SESSION 1:

The PT (physiotherapist first took a summary of my condition. For being young at age, currently studying medicine after completing PT, she understood most of it extremely well. I was blown away with surprise!Because finding someone who can comprehend how complicated my condition is, is just as rare as my condition itself lol.

Her mannerism & demeanor was captivating. True patient care is her sublime medal🥇

After testing my muscle strength, she expressed delight over the fact that I kept up & didn’t stagger backwards in terms of muscle weakness in my other limbs besides for my diaphragm – the core which takes the main knock of Pulmonary Edema.

When cardiac pressure in the left side of the heart becomes too high from the extra blood not being pumped out of the left chambers, it breaks through the tissue walls (capillaries) and fills into the lung air sacs (alveolar).

Over time as this builds up & Edema occupies more alveolar space, the core weakens because the exchange of air is no longer being issued from the base of the lungs where it should be.. Breathing becomes shallow & emits from the top…

Besides the ones I am already doing.. She gave a conducive set of stretches which are about 8. Performed daily in the morning, evening & intermittent parts of the day when possible.

They are structured according to my endurance level & not something crazy beyond limits like gyming, which one cardio ranted on due to his lack of understanding regarding my case.

She advised that whilst performing the exercises, a pulse oximeter should be kept on throughout the entire duration to monitor my pulse rate..

So before it reaches a number too high where I go into transient stroke-like symptoms, I should stop immediately.

Im also allowed to rest in between according to how I feel.. To catch my breath if I become extremely breathless.

We keep in contact with regards to progress & she comes home to do monthly assessments.

From my side I’ll add a point:

Discipline & adherence is vital. Especially when you’re doing it by yourself & do not have your PT or RT to watch over you daily.

It is necessary to invest in ourselves & our lives because we’re worth it.

Its also definitely worth the additional goodness..

Tension is released, you feel more flexible, physically & emotionally lighter, long term – extra energy is gained, in that way you’re able to actually live a creative life, not just survive!

Believe the benefits

Stay tuned to read what the exercises are all about for me..

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