I have experience some type of lung disease most of my life. During my childhood beginning when I was 2, I was hospitalized for bronchitis and in an oxygen tent. I continued having bronchitis during my youth and adulthood. I went into nursing in the '50s and while in training I begin smoking even though we thought it might be bad for us (it was the in thing to do then). In the fall of 1972 I threw multiple pulmonary emboli to my lungs, due to an injury to my saphenous vein in my left leg that clotted from ankle to groin. I had pneumonia times three and after the third time I quit smoking almost 30 years ago. In November of 2001 I was diagnosed with COPD and put on oxygen and started a pulmonary rehab program three times a week.
I was hospitalized several times with acute exacerbations and CHF once. I have not been hospitalized for lung problems since they started me on Spiriva years ago when it was a new inhaler. I have continued with rehab since then. Last year several hospitals in the Denver area discontinued their phrase three patient pay maintenance rehab programs. I am now attending an Athletic club that has a physician ordered rehab program called Wellstart. Serving on this patient panel is important to me because I will learn from other members and I may be able to give some different input due to my background in the medical field, then employment by a major insurance company for 22 years and from 1979 to 1994 I involved with Medicare claims. After retirement I went to work with the SHIP (Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program) assisting Medicare beneficiaries with claims concerns and problems. I am also involved with the Colorado lung Health Committee since its beginning 14 years ago; we put on the Thomas l. Petty MD Moving Mountains Conference every October.