Case Study #1: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Place: At home
“Trixie stop barking!” Erin calls. She gets up from the couch slowly. “I can’t believe how tired I am.”
Taking a few steps towards the back door to let Trixie out, Erin stops at the corner of the kitchen island and puts a hand out to steady herself on the counter.
“Oh my. Can’t catch. My breath. Trixie. Stop barking.”
Remembering it was her late husband who took care of the dog, her eyes tear up slightly.
I miss him so, she thinks.
Moving toward the back door, Erin reaches down and lifts Trixie up onto the washing machine to place the leash on her.
“You stink, Trixie. Your bath will have to wait till I feel better. Not sure what is happening.”
Trixie, finally leashed, is lifted down and out they go through the back door into the cold winter air.
Erin gets down the steps and leans against the house to catch her breath. Meanwhile, Trixie relieves herself against a flower pot.
After about a minute, Erin begins to walk very slowly, with Trixie pulling on the leash. After about five minutes walking, Erin slows to a stop.
Looking back, Erin thinks to herself, “I have only walked about 50 meters. I am not sure I can even walk back to the house.”
Erin takes out her cell phone and calls her son at work.
“Thomas, I don’t feel well. You need to come home.”
“Mom, I’m at work. What’s up?” asks Thomas.
“I can’t. Catch. My. Breath. I think. I need. To go. To the. Hospital.”
“I will be there in 10 minutes, Mom.”