Terry Miller had a simple goal. When he was done with pulmonary rehab at Loring Hospital, he wanted to be able to take his dog for a walk.
He first sought pulmonary therapy back in 2014 after a bout of pneumonia that landed him in a hospital for a month. After recovering, Miller still had difficulty breathing, so his primary doctor referred him to Loring’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation program.
Pulmonary Rehab therapists work with patients – especially those with chronic lung diseases like emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and asthma – to regain their lung strength so they can return to more active lives.
During his first session, Terry could only walk on a treadmill for 5 minutes with the aid of an oxygen mask. And by the time he finished 36 sessions, he was able to walk on the treadmill for an hour unaided – and take his dog for walks around the neighborhood.
Miller’s therapy was simple but effective. He worked with his therapists doing light exercise on an elliptical, bicycle, and treadmill – as well as using a handheld breathing device. For the first several sessions, he was skeptical about the treatment. It didn’t seem like it would work. But he kept going and doing his exercises at home.
“After my eighth or ninth trip, I started feeling better, and I enjoyed coming to my sessions,” Miller says. “I had someone to motivate me to do my exercises and to shoot the breeze with. The therapists are fun to talk to and joke with. That made it fun.”
Since 2014, Miller has returned several times for tune-ups, to get his lungs back in shape. He loves working with the respiratory therapists. Beyond being thorough about explaining why his exercises are helping and how he should approach nutrition, they crack jokes with him and have become friends, of sorts.
Miller is impressed with Loring Hospital in general. It’s a smaller hospital – a major upside, Miller says, because wait times are shorter and the providers are more attentive. All the staff are kind and go out of their way to check in on him.
“They do care about you,” he says. “They ask you questions, and if you ask them something, they’ll explain it to you. You come here with an injury or something, and the next day, they’ll call you to see how you’re doing.”
Today, Miller is doing really well. He keeps active on his at-home exercise bike and walks outside when he’s able to. He says he’ll keep coming back to Loring for his medical needs. Everyone knows him, and they treat him like family.