Next week I’ll be taking part in yet another clinical research project at UCSF. This time it’s a study about “dyspnea” ( perceived shortness of breath), related to chronic lung disease , and the efficacy of various self -management techniques , including exercise. They want to find out whether it’s better to teach patients these techniques face-to-face, or if it can be done effectively over the internet . The study will last approx one year.
On Wednesday , they’re going to put me through a bunch of pulmonary functions tests , including the standard 6 min walking test and a full blown exercise stress test on the treadmill, so they can get some baseline data on me. If you’ve ever done an exercise stress test, you know it’s not fun. You basically exercise until you puke or pass out!
After that I’ll be assigned to either an internet group ,or a face to face group , in which I’ll be interviewed and/or taught something once a month.
What makes me a unique subject in this study, is my extraordinary capacity for exercise tolerance, and how well I’m able to function, despite the degree of dyspnea I live with everyday. I think I can teach the medical community a thing or two about dyspnea management.
We’ll see how it goes.