Pulmonary Rehab Q&A

We recently caught up with Bancroft resident Sondra Bennett, age 62, who successfully completed the pulmonary rehab program a few years ago at Pender Community Hospital. Here’s what she had to say about the benefits of PCH’s pulmonary rehab program:

How did you learn about pulmonary rehab at PCH?

I had some lung issues and had been in the hospital, and needed to be on oxygen, so my pulmonologist brought it up to me because they thought I could benefit from it.

Why did you choose pulmonary rehab at PCH?

It’s closest to where I live and it sure beat going to Norfolk. I had had good results at Pender before, and I’m glad I went. For one thing, I really like the therapists over there – they made you feel really comfortable. I never felt pressured and they taught me a lot of different ways to handle my shortness of breath. They’re very positive, very compassionate.

Can you describe a typical session at PCH’s pulmonary rehab program? 

It was usually an hour – they did my vitals, then my exercises, including breathing ones. They let me work at my own pace: If I needed to stop midway, they were okay with that. They even did the exercises with me – I really enjoyed our time together and I still use all those things today that they taught me because it does make a difference.

What challenges did your team help you work through? 

I had to learn how to cope with being on oxygen – all of the sudden, things were so different. When I first heard about the program, I thought “Great! I’ll give it a shot,” but when it came down to it, the day before, I thought it was going to be a waste of time. Then I got there and really enjoyed it – it was worth the time!

Would you recommend the program to others? 

Oh, yes – go for it! What do you have to lose? You’ll come out of there feeling better about yourself. I learned new techniques – for me, I was so short of breath, but learned how to control that – and that this was not the end of the world. 

How has your life improved after pulmonary rehab? 

I learned different ways to control my breathing and I learned to accept this as my new normal; I am thankful for every day when I wake up.To learn more about PCH’s expert pulmonary rehab services, talk to your primary care provider or visit our Cardiopulmonary Services page.