Living Better With Lung Conditions
Tim McCumber’s chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) got very bad, very quickly.
“I knew I was sick, and I knew my breathing was bad,” said the 61-year-old Riva resident. “Then I got double pneumonia. From the moment the doctors in the emergency room saw me, I was on oxygen 24 hours a day until I got my double lung transplant.”
That was May 2006. Today, Mr. McCumber contentedly tends to his bonsai collection, gardens, cooks, and plays “a little music” on his guitar.
What kept him on the road to recovery after surgery was his dedicated participation in the AAMC Pulmonary Rehabilitation program, an activity he continues to this day, three days a week.
“Dr. Howard Young, my pulmonary physician, sent me to the center when I was diagnosed with COPD,” said Mr. McCumber. “I was trying to stay well enough to stay on the lung transplant list, but I was becoming so ill that I was at risk for not being eligible for a transplant.”
By now retired from Verizon after 36 years of service, Mr. McCumber focused his energies on his health. He became a rehab regular one year before the surgery.
“In many cases, rehabilitation does more for the symptomatic patient with severe lung disease, like pulmonary fibrosis or emphysema, than medications,” said Dr. Young. Exercise and activity help reduce shortness of breath, build muscle strength and increase endurance, he said.
Rather than view his three days a week in rehab as a drag, Mr. McCumber sees it as an opportunity. “It’s the most positive thing that has happened to me. I love the staff. I enjoy meeting the patients who are going through what I went through. These are people who are trying to get better, trying to have a better quality of life. They should be proud of themselves.”
For Email Marketing you can trust