In 2017, after I was diagnosed with bronchiectasis and a MAC lung infection, I spent months walking around in my Upper Westside neighborhood in a daze. At the time, I was seeing a pulmonologist who hadn’t explained anything to me in detail. To make matters worse, it seemed like the more I researched these two rare conditions online, the more questions I had.
Fortunately, my emotional brain fog did not prevent me from seeking answers from other professionals. The first breakthrough I had was meeting with Marion Mackles, a cardiopulmonary expert at the Pulmonary Rehabilitation and Wellness Center. She patiently answered my questions and taught me airway clearance techniques.
I liked the friendly vibe at the center and over time I followed up by watching many of the Pulmonary Wellness seminars that were offered at no charge (and still are!). One of my favorites was Dr. Noah Greenspan, owner of the center, interviewing Donna Wilson, a Registered Respiratory Therapist, nurse and clinical exercise specialist. After listening, I knew I needed to see her for a consultation.
At the time Ms. Wilson was working in the Integrative Health department at Memorial Sloan Kettering. We met and went over my CT scan report and health issues. She answered questions and together we did exercises that target the breathing muscles, including strengthening the diaphragm, which plays a large role in respiration.
I have continued to do her exercises over the years and thought she had retired. So, I was so pleased to see a Pulmonary Wellness social media post at the beginning of this year saying that she would again be a guest speaker.
Now, the recording is available!
I promise you, it will make you reconsider how you breathe and the critical role of exercise!
As always, consult your medical team before beginning, modifying or stopping exercise.
Oh, did I mention you will never see another woman in her 70’s with such incredible arm muscles?
#pulmonarywellness #bronchiectasis #copd #asthma #breathing #oxygen #exercise #healthylungs
Linda Cooper Esposito, MPH is a health educator with bronchiectasis. She developed the BE CLEAR Method to Living with Bronchiectasis and writes with compassion and humor about this chronic lung disease.