The official blog of the Lung Institute.
A featured series where Lung Institute employees tell their stories #WhatIsMyWhy
My story about me and my concern for someone’s lung health goes back to when I was a young boy. My father smoked for 45+ years, and as a child I knew it was detrimental to his health. He smoked continuously despite me and everyone else in my family asking him to stop. As a kid, I was always worried about his health. We went on a Father/Son trip and I had this anxiety that he wasn’t going to wake up.
Finally, he stopped smoking. It wasn’t any specific event or moment that convinced him. He said he realized he needed to take our advice. He said it wasn’t that he didn’t want to quit, it was just that it was the hardest thing he ever had to do. Fortunately, he has never had a lung disease.
Spend Time with the Grandkids
I always talked with him about his overall health and I told him I wanted him to be around for me, and I wanted him to be around my children and have some great years of being a grandfather. Of course, now that he doesn’t smoke, he has found a substitute. We have to keep him away from ice cream, which he picked up after he stopped smoking. He actually does watch his health, and we are happy for him. He goes to the doctor regularly, mom cooks good meals for him, and we try and keep him on the straight and narrow.
And now I am at the Lung Institute. I’ve been here a little more than a year, and I have been in the medical industry for the last 10 years. I enjoy the medical industry because you can wake up each day and know you can help someone’s wellbeing. It’s very impactful when you know someone is suffering from a terminal disease and they are not being given information or told about all the options to treat their disease. We fill a void that a lot of patients weren’t even aware of. We are providing a chance at a better quality of life and a chance to slow down the disease.
No Judgements, Just Treatments
Each patient is unique. I go into each conversation open-minded and don’t ever judge or make assumptions about an individual. I keep in mind the saying that, “two ears are better than one mouth,” and I try to be a good listener. That individual may not be the best at communicating, but I keep in mind there is a family or a loved one on the other end as well.
I try and meet every patient when they come in. It makes it complete because you have that rapport with them. It’s great to put a face to the name. We stay in touch and they often like to give me updates.
One story that meant a lot to me was a Viet Nam vet who admittedly didn’t have much of a quality of life and was the quintessential couch potato, and he was on oxygen. He came here and had the double venous treatment and started to see results with his first treatment. He was “over the moon” excited after his second treatment and happy as could be. He told me he had less dependency on oxygen, more strength, more stamina, he was doing things around the house and walking with his wife. I was also very encouraged because his pulmonologist recommended the treatment.
We, at the Lung Institute, are in a situation where it is just a matter of time until the word spreads and more physicians hear about what we are accomplishing. Many lung disease patients are going untreated because physicians are not aware of us. I understand that physicians are not going to recommend something they are not educated about. And, I understand they are busy and just handling their day-to-day workload.
With that being said, I hope the word about our treatments gets out. We have a tremendous impact on these patients, and we are a part of something monumental.