Canadian Lung Association Blog

Monthly Archives: November 2013

Larry’s New Lungs: 9 days of testing

Maison des Greffes

              Well, here’s the next installment about getting ready for all the tests required to get on the lung transplant list. My respirologist for 33 years, here in Ottawa, was a big help in getting the ball rolling, so to speak, and talking to the lung transplant coordinator in Montreal. LOL, he was a little hesitant at first because of the fact that, he couldn’t speak French,  but that all worked out and it was no problem. So my big appointment was scheduled in Montreal in August of 2010 for a bunch of tests

Posted in COPD, Stories

It’s time to test for radon!

Radon Detector

Have you been thinking about testing your home for radon? As it happens, the ideal time to test for radon is between the months of October and April. The reason for this is that the windows and doors to your home generally remain closed due to cold weather. By keeping the doors and windows shut, radon gas builds up, which allows you to get a more accurate reading of the radon level in your home. Radon is an invisible, odourless, and tasteless gas that is produced naturally in soil and rock as uranium breaks down. Due to its nature, radon

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Posted in Air Quality

Working to FREEZE THE FLAVOURS! Youth working together to put an end to flavoured tobacco.

Brooke at conference.

NOW FREEZING FLAVOURS!  The Youth Stream Pre-Conference of the National Conference on Tobacco or Health is just ending and our youth ambassadors Brooke & Aiden were there taking part.  Brooke & Aiden also got to take part in the Freeze the Industry campaign to put a freeze on big tobacco in a march to Parliament Hill.  They also learned advocacy skills and about savvy ways tobacco industries use to target youth.  http://www.freezetheindustry.com/ The day after the march, Alberta became the first province to ban flavoured tobacco on November 26.  Congratulations to Alberta, now let’s Freeze the Industry in SK!  We’ve

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Posted in Smoking & Tobacco, Stories

Larry’s new lungs, Part 3: The big decision to go for a transplant

Larry Graham

I started to get worse and I was noticing my sats (saturated oxygen levels) were low 80s when just walking from my car to the door of the Lung Association. We used oximeters (which measures the amount of oxygen in the blood) to see how we were doing in class and to know if, we were having a rough day and/or whether to sit down and rest and continue at a lower speed on the treadmill or bike. We would mark these numbers in a book after every machine we worked on. Rosario told me to see my respirologist to

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Posted in COPD, Stories

Larry’s new lungs: Part 2 – Learning how to cope with COPD

Larry Graham

When I first started going to pulmonary rehabilitation, which teaches breathing techniques and exercise to people with COPD and other lung diseases, I felt really out of place as I was only 47 years old and this group were all elderly seniors. However, I loved being with them and hearing their stories and I felt I had many grandmothers and grandfathers. Rosario Holmes, a respiratory therapist at the Lung Association, really transformed the pulmonary rehab group. She took courses to learn how to exercise with our condition, and talked to the doctors and physiotherapists at the Rehab Centre, and patients

Posted in COPD, Stories

Larry’s new lungs

Larry Graham

Part 1: Diagnosis of COPD I’m one of the blessed and grateful people who has been given the gift of life from donor lungs. On October 21, 2012 I received a double lung transplant in Montreal after four years of being on supplemental oxygen and being on the transplant waiting list for 22 months. I still say it’s a miracle and am trying to repay that miraculous gift everyday by paying it forward and telling my story to help other people waiting for organ transplants. It all started with me growing up with chronic asthma and really bad allergies and

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Posted in COPD, Stories

COPD & End-of-Life Care

End of Life

Dr. Darcy Marciniuk, respirologist from the University of Saskatchewan, presented a grand rounds education session on End-of-Life Care in Advanced COPD.  I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review this presentation because throughout my degree in nursing, I worked as a care aide in palliative care. COPD sufferers require open and honest communication about planning for the end of life and advanced care directives because of the likelihood that a flare-up may send them to the hospital.  End-of-Life care is a necessary topic to discuss with the family physician or nurse practitioner.  Many health care providers find this a

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Posted in COPD

Health Care Practitioners Talking to their Clients about AQHI

As a health care practitioner talking to clients about the Air Quality health Index I talk to them about The Triple AAA’s of AQHI .  I Ask: Do you know what the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) is and how it effects your respiratory health? Air quality affects you differently depending on your risk. Do you know what your AQHI Symptom (s) Trigger number is? I Advise on what the AQHI is and Assist them with where to find results: I tell them: The AQHI is: A simple scale that measures the health risk associated with local air quality conditions and helps

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Posted in Air Quality

Pulmonary rehab is for all lung diseases.

Blog - Connie

At 47 years old, Connie was on a constant rollercoaster of hospital admissions and specialist consults.  Connie had been sedated and intubated on multiple admissions as she was unable to sufficiently breathe on her own.  It was four years ago now that Connie was diagnosed with a rare lung disease called nonspecific interstitial pneumonitis (NSIP).  NSIP is a disease of the tissue and space around the air sacs of the lungs.  Connie’s particular form of lung disease is linked to the rheumatoid arthritis in her knees and back.  It is something known as an autoimmune condition.  Autoimmunity is when the

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Posted in Stories