Citizens Memorial Hospital | Vitality | Spring 2023 11 HEART AND LUNGS What is cardio-pulmonary rehabilitation? Cardio-pulmonary rehabilitation helps improve your health and reduces the risk of future cardiovascular disease so you can live your life more fully. Cardiac rehab is specifically geared toward people with a history of: » Heart attack. » Stable angina. » Coronary artery angioplasty or stents. » Open-heart surgery. » Valve surgery. » Congestive heart failure. » Heart transplantation. » Long COVID-19 or long-haul COVID-19. Pulmonary rehab is specifically geared toward people with a history of: » Asthma. » COPD. » Emphysema. » Chronic bronchitis. » Bronchiectasis. » Sarcoidosis. » Pulmonary fibrosis. » Pulmonary hypertension. » Interstitial lung disease. » Lung cancer. » Lung transplantation. When you’re living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), it’s important to remember these two truths: 1. The disease doesn’t go away, even with treatment. 2. You can learn to live better with COPD and slow the damage to your lungs. Here are some suggestions on how to take good care of yourself: » If you smoke, commit to quit. Even if you’ve smoked for many years, it’s never too late to quit. Stopping now is the best way to help slow the progression of the disease. Ask your doctor about medicines or products that could help you. » See your doctor. Regular checkups are especially important when you’re managing a chronic condition. Your health care team can answer questions you have about your condition and help you overcome any obstacles to staying healthy. » Take your medicines as prescribed. They can help you feel better—if you use them correctly. Again, talk to your doctor if you have questions about your medicines or experience bothersome side effects. » Get a yearly flu shot. Catching the flu can be much more serious when you have a lung disease. Find out from your doctor if you need a pneumonia shot too. » Pace yourself. COPD can make you feel tired. To help conserve energy so you don’t get worn out: » Take your time with chores. » Put often-used items in easy-to-reach places, such as a lower shelf. » Use a cart with wheels to move laundry around. How to live your best with COPD » If your home has a second floor, move some items to the first floor to cut down on climbing stairs. » Wear clothes and shoes that are easy to remove. » Ask family or friends for help. » Manage stress. Feeling stressed can make it harder to breathe. Find ways to relax—perhaps listening to music or sitting quietly—that work for you. But tell your health team if you feel overwhelmed, anxious or depressed. » Talk with your doctor about lung rehab. Pulmonary rehabilitation may improve your ability to do activities without getting out of breath. Classes typically include support, coping tips and exercise. » Know when to seek help. If you have severe symptoms, like difficulty talking or catching your breath, you need emergency care. Sources: American College of Chest Physicians; American Lung Association; American Thoracic Society; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Is it for you? For more info, call CMH CardioPulmonary Rehab at 417-328-6574.