I was diagnosed with COPD in 2008. I had stopped smoking in 2007. I was getting more and more breathless. It came to a head one day when it was very windy. I couldn’t take two steps without stopping because I was so out of breath. I have to say, it was one of the most frightening experiences of my life.
When I was diagnosed with COPD I’d never heard of it before. At the time I was quite relieved to get a diagnosis and know what it was, but when I looked it up on the internet it gave me a bit of a fright. I had a lot of support from my family and friends, but I was really concerned that this breathlessness was going to continue.
I waited 6 and a half years before going to Pulmonary Rehabilitation but had I gone earlier I would never have heard of the Warblers!
On the last day of Pulmonary Rehab you do a walking test. I was absolutely disgusted with myself when I only managed 2.5 minutes when I had to stop as I was so breathless. However when returning for my annual check up I did 10 minutes talking to the physiotherapist the whole time.
I put that down mainly to the singing. It does you good and really helps with your breathing.
Through The Warblers I found out about an exercise class held on the same day so joined that and that has continued to be a help to me as well. Through the exercise class I heard about an acting class in the Brunton theatre on a Wednesday and joined that. Who would have thought a diagnosis of COPD would lead to my life being so full. I just love my life.
I want to end on a little story about my grandson. I collected him from school one day and was walking back to his house. I had to stop two or three times and he asked me why I had to stop. I explained that Nanny had smoked cigarettes for a lot of years and it left her very breathless. He immediately said to me well here Nanny you can have my breath. He was 5 at the time now 9 and still looks after me.