• Letter review
  • We receive letters and emails from around the world, and know that many of these questions, and their answers, are of interest to many of our readers. In the future, we will print several of these every month, changing names and some of the details, to insure privacy for those who wish it.
  • We received some letters recently that fit right in with our next article. A very nice gentleman writes that his doctors give him no hope of improving his emphysema or getting off oxygen. He has met a therapist who has promised to cure him in 3 months with an extract of herbs. He only has to take one drop in milk 3 times a day, stay on organic foods, and do a few simple exercises. He wanted to have our opinion.
  • I'm afraid we can't be as positive as his therapist, but we don't blame anyone for being tempted by a promise like this. If you do have emphysema a variety of COPD, as your doctors have told you, there is no way that anyone can legitimately guarantee you a complete recovery. We can understand how desperate you are to get better but please be very cautious about following the advice of anyone who promises a complete cure. If your therapist did have a miracle herb, we can assure you that every physician in the world would be prescribing it for our pulmonary patients. They want you to get better! And your therapist would be a multi-millionaire when he sold the secret of his herbs to a pharmaceutical company. Please be careful! We have found some of these medications to contain stimulants, steroids and other ingredients when we had them analyzed at a university pharmacy; these ingredients can cause serious problems. It would be best for you to discuss this with your pulmonologist who is in a better position to evaluate what you are getting than we are. The exercises are probably good for you, organic foods certainly can't hurt, and you are taking such a small amount of the herb that your doctor may not object to you continuing as long as he can monitor your condition. And this is a great time to introduce our next guest, who will give you a lot more information on this subject.

  • Success Story
  • Ron Peterson has been corresponding with us for years and is one person who wants his name to get out there. He's not shy! Ron had a lung transplant 3 years ago. He emailed us that he has just completed his 254th consecutive day of walking at least 60 minutes a day and feels great. He plans to do this until he is "deceased since they can't bury you if you are walking." He is now 59 but plans to live until he is 150 so that he gets the record for longevity with a lung transplant. Way to go, Ron! And if you think you need a lung transplant to walk an hour a day you should know that Ron achieved that goal while he was waiting for a lung on the transplant list. When he first wrote to us he could only walk a few minutes at a time, but he persevered. Check the PERF Website on "How to Start an Exercise Program" to see what worked for him. He is now a true believer in the value of exercise. Ron was discharged on the 3rd day post op; he was told that no one ever bounced back from a lung transplant as fast as he did. We believe it! In his spare time, Ron produces inspirational videos to help teenagers quit smoking or, better yet, never start. He is one special guy. If you would like more information, contact him at ron@preventionvideo.org.
  • "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body. But, rather, it should be a long skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -- 'WOW!! What a Ride!!!'"

  • Donations
  • PERF again thanks John Boynton for his quarterly donation to the Chair. The Women's Fellowship of the Neighborhood Church in Palos Verdes Estates, CA made a donation from the proceeds of their Annual Yule Parlor Parade. (If you are ever in this area in early December this is an event not to be missed!) Thanks also to Jim & Iris Fraser and Denise Giambalvo RN, MN for their donations. Wanna Tolliver and Paul Donatoni each made a memorial donation in memory of Jerry Donatoni. Jim Wood made a donation in memory of Evelyn Gould and of his wife, Carlin.

  • NEWS
  • TIME IS RUNNING OUT but there is still time to join us at the California Society for Pulmonary Rehabilitation (CSPR) annual meeting April 22-23 at the Long Beach Hilton, in Long Beach, California. This is an inexpensive way to get 12 CEU's, or CME's, enjoy all the fine lectures during the day, and network in the evening with this friendly group dedicated to pulmonary rehab. Call Jim Barnett toll free at (877) 280-2777 or check the PERF Website at http://www.perf2ndwind.org for the brochure, "Keeping It Alive"
  • Many thanks to Barbara Butler for many nice things she said about our newsletter on her phone message. It meant a lot to us, Barb. Thanks!
  • LA Biomedical Research Institute Rehabilitation Clinical Trials Center (Whew! What a mouthful!) sponsors a monthly "Brown-Bag Luncheon Meeting" on the 4th Friday of every month. Folks bring their own lunch while drinks and desert are provided. With so many well-known docs and researchers on campus, you can be sure this monthly meeting will be of exceptional caliber. The guest speaker in February was Richard Effros, M.D., a member of the Pulmonary Faculty at Harbor-UCLA whose topic was "New Directions in the Treatment of Chronic Lung Disease". We are pleased to offer you a few of the highlights of this talk.

  • 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.