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Musings of a Respiratory Therapist

March 13th, 2020. That was the last day I worked in pulmonary rehab at the large hospital I work for in Boston. I didn't know it was my last day, of course. My supervisor told me we should expect to be closed for two weeks; I smugly thought to myself "it'll be three, this virus sounds bad".

The combination of having an inherited blood disorder and the way that the novel coronavirus was causing "microclots" throughout the bodies of people who had caught it, it quickly became clear to me and my doctors that it was especially unsafe for me to work with 'aerosol generating procedures' or AGP's, which have a higher likelihood to spread respiratory diseases such as COVID-19. These are just some of the many tasks that respiratory therapists perform in hospitals (in addition to running ventilators in the ICU).

I became a respiratory therapist after almost 2 decades of working as a massage therapist. That's a story for another day, but my background in alternative and preventive health led me to a passion for pulmonary rehab, where I was able to grow my coaching and teaching skills to help pulmonary patients optimize their physical and mental health. It is unbelievably inspiring and fulfilling work to see the huge life improvements people can make, even while initially feeling completely crappy and short of breath!

Since I wasn't able to work in the hospital during the worst of the pandemic, I applied for and received approval from my state licensing board to open a private educational and coaching practice; the adventure of Pulmonary Health Coaching began in January of 2021. I truly adore this work, and find it is an absolute honor to help guide someone toward making small yet meaningful changes that can make life so much more enjoyable and livable.

I hope to bring you occasional bits of wisdom and personal anecdotes, laced with practical tips on staying as healthy as possible with your pulmonary issues. And I'd love to hear from you-write to me at and tell me about have you have been doing since March of 2020? I really want to know, and I answer every email.

Talk with you soon.


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Great start to your Blog Joelle, looking forward to reading future entries.💕

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Thank you, M! Please be in touch and let me know how you are doing? 🌻

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