What do you want your therapist to know?

Posted , 5 users are following.

Good morning/ afternoon/ evening.

My name is Amber and I am currently a Respiratory Therapy Student in Georgia. I am approaching the last 2 terms of my path and have been given a simple project. For this project; I need you to tell me what you would like your therapist to know about you and your condition.


I would like to know these things without it being a project because I believe that not only the condition and/ or disease must be treated but also the patient. Each one of us is unique and experiences something different. I would like to know what you experience on a day to day basis and how you have learned to live with Bronchiectasis.

I want to be the best therapist I possibly can so I am asking for personal insight from all you. Please do not include any identifying information because I respect your privacy as I would wish mine to be. I would not and will not give any advice as your doctor and current respiratory therapist would know better than I, and my level of expertise/ experience is not something I would be comfortable with. I am a student, and as a student I must learn, and the best teachers are the people that experience these difficulties on a daily basis. 

Thank you,



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6 Replies

  • Posted

    Good morning, Amber!

    First of all, I applaud your efforts to be the best respiratory therapist you can be. Your patients will undoubtedly reap the benefits of that…  :=)

    I’m 69 years old and have only dealt with BX for a little over a year now. I’ve been told that my case is mild, for which I’m very grateful. I’m fortunate to have an outstanding medical team. The one thing I value most in addition to great medical care is an understanding and support for the emotional issues that surround this disease. I’ve learned (mostly from this forum) that many folks struggle with much more severe symptoms than I do and I find myself experiencing some irrational fears at times. I’ve never really had trouble catching my breath but I do worry about it happening. I also deal with many other unfounded fears at times. It’s important to me that my medical team not minimize those feelings, no matter how irrational they may be.

    That’s about all I have to offer. Hope it helps and I wish you the best in your career!



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    • Posted


      Thank you for replying. I wholeheartedly appreciate it. It is good to know that you share the same feelings as I when it comes to communicating with your medical team. It is highly frustrating to communicate to persons who are listening but not hearing what you are saying. I will always remind myself not to lose my humanity and heart. 

      My father suffers from a form of COPD and has for many years. I have heard the shortness of breath and have seen the fear in his eyes. These things are not irrational, nor unfounded. 

      Thank you for replying.


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  • Posted

    I would like you to understand that NOBODY deserves this disease, absolutely nobody. Of course no one "deserves" any disease, but You'll be dealing with us. Many doctors speak to & treat us as if we deserve lung disease. We deserve it no more than they do.

    Also, please know that I hate every single minute spent on nebulizer, a cappella, SmartVest, positional drainage, etc. I am now compliant with all these lengthy things, but I hate them all. When all I had was chronic bronchitis COPD I stopped doing the nebulizer, which was all I needed then. NO ONE explained to me that the blasted machine wasn't just helping me in the present but might help me avoid something like BX in the future by keeping my lungs healthier. Y'all need to make that clear to us. I've always been good about other forms of med compliance and would've stuck with that machine if someone had explained why I needed to do that. I never heard of BX until I was diagnosed in '16!

    Thank you for listening and thank you for caring. You will be a great RT.

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    • Posted


      Thank you for replying. I despise "form" greetings but it is the best way to say thank you.

      You are very much correct. NO ONE deserves this disease. I will happily deal with you. My father has a form of COPD so I am acquainted with the misery. He is tethered to oxygen and will not leave his house. I know that I will one day be one of the patients. I am sorry for the discomfort of the treatments. Our professor has made us try some of the equipment and it is quite unpleasant. (To say the least.)

      In response to the necessity of a greater degree of communication regarding the affects and effects of treatments prescribed...

      I believe, as I am also being taught, that patient education is more than just explaining the machine set-up. I also believe that it is invaluable to communicate in such a way as to prevent misunderstanding or a possible preventative aide by simply sharing thoughts and ideas about the treatment.  The patients know better the extent of their condition; they... you are the person that is living with this disease.

      You are absolutely correct! I will remember this and will take the time to act appropriately when I communicate with an individual concerning their treatments.

      Thank you so much,


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  • Posted

    Encouraging me to make contact with other people with brochiectasis, would have stopped lots of my panicking!

    Forums really helped me.

    Internet and Illness CAN go together!

    If nothing else, this has helped me to learn the terminology used by the professionals.

    It has never frightened me. Education is empowerment.

    Oh and one other thing. i am blessed with professionals who take the time to talk with me, don't (obviously anyway!) Clock-Watch, make eye contact, always pause at the end of the appointment and asks if there is anything else that i would like to ask. In short who are approachable. I truly think that i could ask anyone on my team...anything. Confident that they wouldn't show shock or surprise, impatience or annoyance.

    Oh and our lot Smile too. Can't tell you what a massive difference that makes when i am greeted with a smile...instead of "Oh. Hello Ms X. Please sit down. Ummmmm"

    I'm sure you do all this anyway, it's just a reminder!

    ABest wishes on your career

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    • Posted


      I apologize for the delay but that is darn good information. I think you are onto something here. I often feel the same way at my physicians office.

      Thank you so much


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