The drug that I represented while working as a Pharma Rep was for COPD, Spiriva, from Boehringer Ingelheim. Our training was three weeks of eight-hour days. Toward the end, they had us do a demonstration that would drive home to us how horrible COPD is. We were each given a straw and a clothespin type device. We were to close our noses, and use the straw to breathe through our mouths while walking up and down the hallway. Scary! It didn’t take long to feel like not getting enough air. Then we were given one of those stir straws that you get for coffee, with the VERY narrow hole through its length, and to repeat the walk down the hall. Shortly, extreme panic set in. That, we were told, was what stage four COPD feels like.
I lost my Mom to COPD, and to have the realization of what she had gone through hit home. Believe me, whenever and however I could help a patient suffering from this progressive disease with no cure, I did whatever I could.
The lesson learned is to never smoke or stop now, and to encourage your loved ones to do the same. The price to pay down, now or in the future is “scary” and heart-breaking to witness or live through.