• Eduardo writes from Buenos Aires, Argentina saying that while he has moderate to severe emphysema he gets great results with his inhaler, a lot of respiratory exercises and yoga breathing techniques. He would like to know if we have any news concerning the results of the ongoing study on trans retinoic acid as a possible remedy emphysema. He asks, "Do you know how can I buy the medications actually used on those tests and would it be useful to take Vitamin A?"
  • That is a good question we have had from some other readers also. Buenos Aires is a lovely city in a beautiful country. Dr. Rich Casaburi and Mary Burns had the privilege of lecturing there several years ago on pulmonary rehab and various related subjects. Just a few months ago in Vienna, we again met Dr. Mazzei, a wonderful pulmonologist from Buenos Aires. Dr. Mazzei is the physician who translated our book on Essentials of Pulmonary Rehabilitation into Spanish. (This will soon be available on our Website.) He told us in Vienna what good pulmonary rehab you now have in Argentina. We hope you have been able to take advantage of one of these programs since we are sure it would be of more immediate benefit than the retinoic acid now being tested. All the results of the studies are not yet out, but it does not look promising at this particular time. Several other similar studies in this area are also on going on, so there is always hope in the future. Do NOT take large doses of Vitamin A! It can be toxic and this is NOT what researchers are using. Thanks for a great question.

  • 1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctor worry about them. That is why you pay him/her.
  • 2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.
    3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever.
    Never let the brain idle. " An idle mind is the devil's workshop."
    And the devil's name is Alzheimer's.
    4. Enjoy the simple things.
    5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.
    6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on.
    The only person who is with us our entire life, is ourselves.
    Be ALIVE while you are alive.
    7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.
    8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it.
    If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.
    9. Don't take guilt trips.
    Take a trip to the mall, to the next county, to a foreign country,
    but NOT to where the guilt is.
    10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

    "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."

  • Expiration Date
  • Have you noticed the expiration date of your newsletter label? That marks a year from the date we last heard from you. While we request $20.00 a year to help us with costs, don't let that stop you if your finances are tight. We will continue to send the Second Wind to those who wish it, even if they can't afford it, but we MUST hear from you once a year. If you go too many months over the due date, we assume that you get us on the Internet or are no longer interested. So, if that date is an old one, and you still want the Second Wind, let us know so that you don't get dropped from the mailing list.

  • Have you tried it yet? Do you try to find articles on something specific but don't know were to start? Go to http://www.perf2ndwind.org and look at the very bottom of the page. Type in the name of what you want to look up, e.g. exercise. Click the PERF button and it will list all the references we have. Want more information? Click the WWW button and Google will search for anything else available. Try it the next time you are on line. It is really neat!

  • Why the Rush?
  • Our new Independence initiative, just launched in this issue, suggests that we need to act quickly to be able to make changes in COPD. PERF is one small component of a huge national effort to bring COPD to public awareness, and to urge that all symptomatic patients be found and treated early, while treatment is fairly simple. COPD continues as the fourth most common cause of death in the USA and the only one that continues to rise. We know that approximately 50% of patients with COPD are presently undiagnosed. If we can stimulate public awareness, promote early simple spirometry and begin a treatment plan for smoking cessation, the use of bronchodilator drugs and improved exercise, this disease can be stopped or turned around. "Why not get EVERYBODY to stop smoking and quit worrying about spirometry?" Answer: knowledge of spirometric abnormalities in smokers that got tested the first time was a powerful motivator for smoking cessation, based on a recent study done in Poland and published in Chest (by our friend Dr. Jan Zielinski). The rate of finding COPD in an office practice is doubled by the use of spirometry in a European Study. (published in Chest by Dr. Burrels and his colleagues).
  • Couple this with the new COPD Caucus spearheaded by Senator Mike Crapo to inform and arouse Congress about COPD, and the new COPD National Foundation initiative of many stake holders in COPD and you can see the momentum growing. PERF has the advantages of being small and facile. It can respond quickly to needs for research and education. PERF has a very loud voice that must be strengthened and heard. So, make your Independence Donation a top priority and join the growing movement against COPD now.
  • Dr. Tom Petty

  • Do you have a question about respiratory disease that has been bothering you? If so, feel free to write and ask us, either through our web site or by mail. We answer all of your letters.