Battling COPD with the help of St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute
The story of Cindy Glidden

Cindy Glidden has lived with an autoimmune disease since she was 11. As a result, she developed other health issues throughout her life including asthma and other pulmonary diseases. Cindy is living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and her physician recently referred her to St. Luke's Outpatient Cardiac & Pulmonary Rehabilitation program to help regain some of her life. 


COPD diminishes your lung capacity and makes it very difficult to breathe, yet alone exercise. Even going for walks became increasingly difficult for Cindy as she continued to battle with her COPD. At St. Luke's, the therapy team worked closely with Cindy to develop an exercise, nutrition and wellness plan that would help her regain stamina.   


"The exercise program is A-1! We would do 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise and then regroup for seated exercise. We worked on balance and coordination while using a chair for stability. We worked a lot on balance, because those of us with respiratory disorders don't have a lot of endurance and it is difficult to walk or get a lot of exercise."


The medically-supervised outpatient program includes cardio, strength and endurance training, along with balance and coordination activities. The group discusses nutrition, how to conserve energy and breathe "smarter," and provides tips on how to manage stress, anxiety and depression. During these sessions therapists would closely monitor Cindy's blood pressure and oxygen levels to encourage optimal exercise benefits without putting additional strain on Cindy.


"Emily, Shaina and Laura were really great and they monitored my exercises very closely. There are lots of great people and everyone is there to help. It is a really positive group. You are in really good hands, and I highly recommend St. Luke's."


The outpatient program at St. Luke's helped Cindy regain her stamina and prevent future complications.


 "More than anything, St. Luke's can spot problems before you know you have them by watching your blood pressure and oxygen levels. The staff is excellent, and the program is excellent. Everyone is there supporting each other, and most of all supporting us. It feels like a family at St. Luke's."


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