“The department is our TV show “Cheers,” where everybody knows your name,” comments a patient. Heart and lung patients have found Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation to be a place they can exercise without fear and continue to improve their health. Knowing there are trained medical professionals close creates a sense of security. With dedicated staff our program encourages physical rehabilitation and fosters lifestyle changes through active monitoring, education and emotional support.
Patients share their experiences with staff and fellow patients: what works, what doesn’t, how they feel. Participants encourage each other, if someone misses a session, the ‘community’ is concerned. Many see it as their responsibility to encourage newcomers, some even commenting it’s a reason why they continue rehab.
Following are some examples of why this service is so important:
Returning to a New Normal
Steve Noren, a farmer/rancher from Oberlin, Kansas, currently receives Cardiopulomonary Rehabilitation. In April of 2015, Steve had a heart attack and flat lined twice in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. He had emergency cardioplasty and started rehabilitation at Community Hospital in May of 2015. A year into his rehab, during a regular session, the nurses identified a concerning heart rhythm. It was a good catch. Steve soon received a pacemaker defibrillator.
Steve will tell you, "I'm glad I'm here [at rehabilitation]. These ladies are great. They understand how to motivate you and they watch you like a hawk! I keep coming back because...I can push it at home, like chasing cows and fixing fence, because they watch me here. So I know how hard I can push myself.
Community Support & Accountability
Jim Jenkins has been receiving services for more than three years. At 53, he had his first heart attack and triple bypass surgery, but he didn’t do any follow-up. At 71, Jim’s second heart attack required stents and double bypass surgery.
“I wish I would have done more after the first heart attack because I’ve seen the importance and improvement now. You see dramatic improvement between when patients start and when they leave. These girls (rehabilitation staff) know how to cheer you up and get you going. They fire me up to workout at home. So when I see patients around town that have stopped coming, I talk to them and encourage them to come back.”
Motivated To Do More
Leon ‘Bud’ Buker is no stranger to the cardiopulmonary rehabilitation center. He has been receiving therapy off and on for over five years. Bud is a retired, Stockville farmer/rancher and says working with chemicals and grain dust over the years have damaged his lungs.
Bud comments, “I have a treadmill at home, I can do this at home, but the girls here keep me motivated and give me a strong attitude. They monitor my oxygen levels, it’s good to know I’m staying steady when I’m working out. Never find a better staff than here, they treat everyone as the only person out there.” Bud continues, “Really think [cardiopulmonary rehabilitation] needs to be expanded, more people would come if there was more room. If I hadn’t done pulmonary rehab, I’d probably just sit in a recliner and die.”